The inspiring documentary “The Healing of Heather Garden” underscores the value of taking personal responsibility for your health after you’ve been diagnosed with a serious illness, but I recommend you start sooner than that.
At the age of 27, Heather Garden, an athletic Canadian woman, was diagnosed with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (MS). MS is an autoimmune disorder in which your immune system attacks your body’s healthy cells.
The year was 1991, and Garden’s doctors told her she would never walk again and would become increasingly more disabled over time. Doctors told Garden there was “no cure” and “no hope.”
Despite taking conventional treatments for about five years, Garden continued to deteriorate. When she began losing her eyesight and doctors suggested she may spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair, Garden became motivated to create her own program for healing.
Healing Begins by Addressing Your Lifestyle
Some of the approaches she tried are among those I have spoken about for many years:
- Eating fresh, whole foods
- Eliminating pasteurized dairy, sugar, as well as all processed foods
- Focusing on emotional healing
- Increasing her intake of key vitamins and minerals
Let’s take a closer look at what causes MS and how you can best address it. Even more than that, by focusing on specific aspects of your diet and lifestyle now, I hope you can prevent MS from becoming become part of your story or the story of someone close to you.
MS: Attacking a Dangerous Intruder That Doesn’t Exist
MS is a chronic, degenerative disease of the nerves in your brain and spinal column, caused by a demyelization process, or deterioration of the myelin sheaths. MS results when your immune system thinks the myelin sheaths are a dangerous intruder that must be destroyed.
Myelin is the insulating, waxy substance around the nerves in your central nervous system. When myelin is damaged, the function of your nerves deteriorates over time, meaning that electrical impulses are slowed or stopped as they travel through your nervous system.
As such, communication between your brain, spinal cord and other regions of your body are interrupted. Due to those “communication interruptions,” the MS sufferer experiences symptoms such as:
- Imbalance or loss of coordination
- Muscle weakness, spasms or loss of muscular control
- Numbness and tingling in arms and legs
- Problems with cognition or vision
Conventional MS Treatments Are Very Toxic
If you undertake conventional treatment for MS, you should expect your neurologist to routinely prescribe a variety of prescription medications. Drugs and steroids were a big part of Garden’s program, and the pain and side effects were horrific.
“I was getting sicker and sicker with the drugs,” said Garden. “I was taking a lot of drugs, and then drugs for the side effects of the drugs.”1
It is my strong recommendation that you reject a purely pharmaceutical approach to treating MS. The use of drugs alone has not been proven successful in countless other cases, and your best bet is a more balanced and holistic treatment program.
If you’re already taking drugs, I suggest you talk to your physician about getting off them. I say that because MS drugs are among the most toxic drugs used in the field of medicine, including:
- Prednisone: a steroid hormone that can significantly impair your immune system, and cause diseases like cataracts and osteoporosis
- Interferon: a natural substance typically administered via painful shots in a dose that shuts down your body’s natural immune response
These and other MS drugs do not cure the disease, but they may reduce the frequency and severity of attacks and the development of new brain lesions.
Fortunately, there are many natural treatments that can alleviate, and often reverse, MS symptoms. Even if you are not battling MS, implementing some or all of the following recommendations will positively affect your health.
Optimize Your Vitamin D Levels
If you watched the documentary, you know that Garden lived in Canada her entire life — first in Ontario and later in Manitoba. Due to Canada’s northern location, its residents receive fewer hours of sunshine and are more likely to be vitamin D deficient.
According to a survey by the MS International Federation, nearly 100,000 Canadians have MS. That rate is 28 percent higher than second-place Denmark and a stunning nine times higher than the global average.2
A campaign by the MS Society of Canada actually branded MS “Canada’s disease.”3 Canada aside, a large number of studies have confirmed that your risk of MS increases the farther away you live from the equator.4
Lack of exposure to sufficient sunlight was identified as a risk factor for MS as far back as 1922. Information gathered from population studies suggests the relationship between geography or climate and the prevalence of autoimmune disease is “most evident” for MS.
Increased exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays plays a protective role in autoimmune diseases such as MS, rheumatoid arthritis and type 1 diabetes.5
Simply stated, if you live in a place where the sun rarely shines or you have limited sun exposure due to the climate, your risk of contracting autoimmune diseases such as MS is heightened.
Get Regular Exposure to Healthy Full-Spectrum Light
Another beneficial treatment for autoimmune disease is light optimization. Light has been used therapeutically for thousands of years. Besides vitamin D production, sun exposure — due to the near-, mid- and far-infrared wavelengths in sunlight — has many biological effects, including but not limited to the following:
- Triggering (via your hypothalamus and pituitary) the secretion of hormones, including those that influence your mood
- Regulating your circadian rhythm, which in turn affects your health
- Altering your genetic expression, including ones that regulate your inflammatory responses. During winter months, inflammatory immune-system genes are activated, which helps combat infectious microbes, and during the summer the activity of anti-inflammatory gene activity increases7
- Increasing nanostructured water in your cells, which aids mitochondrial function and boosts energy production in your cells (ATP)
Some experts even believe that “malillumination” to light is what malnutrition is to food. The best way to get exposure to healthy full-spectrum light is to do it the way nature intended: by going outside as often as possible to expose your bare skin and “bare” eyes to the sun. To learn more about the healing benefits of light, check out my interview with Michael Hamblin about the benefits of near-infrared light.
Clean Up Your Diet by Eliminating Pasteurized Dairy, Grains and Sugar
Another crucial element in the fight against autoimmune disease relates to your food intake. To successfully address MS:
- Eat healthy seafood that is low in toxins like sardines and anchovies as they are loaded with DHA, which is the most important fat in the treatment of MS. Plant-based omega-3 fats do not convert well at all to DHA, and marine-based DHA supplements are not recommended as they are isolated sources of DHA that do not contain the other supporting fatty acids
- Drastically reduce your intake of grains: A study of 72 MS patients and their first-degree relatives revealed an increased prevalence of celiac disease (CD), suggesting the need for early detection and dietary treatment of CD with respect to antibody-positive MS patients8
- Reduce your sugar (especially processed fructose) intake: Healthy individuals are advised to keep their total daily fructose consumption below 25 grams from all sources, but if you’re struggling with chronic disease, you may want to consider lowering your limit to 15 grams per day until your condition is under control
If you haven’t yet grasped the toxic nature and profound health dangers of sugar, now’s the time. Not only does sugar contribute to the development of autoimmune diseases, it increases uric acid levels, which leads to chronic, low-level inflammation. Also, don’t make the mistake of simply swapping sugar for aspartame or other toxic artificial sweeteners.
Aspartame contains methanol, and since the human body lacks the necessary enzyme to safely break methanol down into formic acid, the methanol breaks down into formaldehyde — a potent neurotoxin — instead. It’s this formaldehyde that does most of the damage.
Consider Adopting a Ketogenic Diet
A ketogenic diet involves lowering your net-carbohydrate intake (total carbs minus fiber), while increasing your consumption of healthy fats. By doing so, you will allow your body to start burning fat as its primary fuel rather than sugar. Subsequently, your liver will boost production of ketones, which are a superior source of energy, especially for your brain.
The first step toward a ketogenic diet is to clean up your diet as mentioned above. Remove all processed foods, grains and sugar. Then focus on eating as many raw, whole foods as possible, in addition to plenty of healthy fats. Lowering your net-carb intake while eating high-quality healthy fats is the key to success.
However, it’s important to eat the right kind of fats. Avoid the fats most commonly found in the American diet (i.e., the processed fats and vegetable oils used in convenience foods and fast foods. Sources of healthy fats include:
|✓ Animal-based omega-3 fat such as krill oil and small fatty fish like anchovies and sardines||✓ Medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil|
|✓ Avocados||✓ Olives and olive oil (make sure it’s third party-certified, as 80 percent of olive oils are adulterated with vegetable oils, and only use it cold, not for cooking.)|
|✓ Butter made from raw grass-fed organic milk||✓ Organic-pastured egg yolks|
|✓ Coconuts and coconut oil (excellent for cooking as it can withstand higher temperatures without oxidizing)||✓ Raw cacao butter|
|✓ Ghee (clarified butter)||✓ Raw nuts, such as macadamia and pecans|
|✓ Grass-fed meats||✓ Seeds such as black sesame, cumin, hemp and pumpkin|
|✓ Lard and tallow (excellent for cooking)|
Use a Sauna for Detoxification and Pain Relief
Repeated use of a sweat-inducing sauna may facilitate your skin’s ability to eliminate toxins from your body and significantly reduce your toxic load over time.
Although downplayed by modern medicine as a means of detoxification, studies have demonstrated the value in sweating to increase the excretion of heavy metals such as arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury.9 In one study, sweating was shown to be more effective for eliminating toxins than urinary excretion. The authors also determined:10
- Sweating may be an important route for excretion of cadmium when an individual is exposed to high levels
- Sweat-inducing sauna use might provide a therapeutic method to increase elimination of toxic trace metals
- Sweating should be the initial and preferred treatment for patients with elevated mercury levels in their urine
Studies have also documented the effectiveness of sauna use as a valuable clinical tool for autoimmune, cardiovascular, toxicant-induced and other chronic health problems.11 In terms of sauna’s benefits for pain relief, a study of 46 patients hospitalized for chronic pain of at least six-months duration revealed that just 15 minutes of sauna therapy five days a week for four weeks reduced patient pain and anger scores.
A follow-up study two years later noted that 77 percent of the sauna-therapy group, as compared to 50 percent of the non-sauna group, had been able to return to work.12 Ideally, look for a full-spectrum infrared sauna with low EMF rating. Remember, there are different healing properties in the various wavelengths that are all beneficial with the right exposure levels.
Breakfast, blood sugar, & inflammation
Recent research has shown that Inflammation is responsible for 7 out of 10 Deaths in the United States. But it doesn’t have to be the same way for you.
In fact, in a fairly short amount of time, you could start to experience better sleep…less stomach issues…more energy and stamina…less muscle and joint pain…a drop in weight…lower stress levels…and much, much more!
Learn how to Prevent—Even Reverse—Most Major Diseases by “Turning Off” Inflammation!
Did you know that one of the best times to stretch is right before bed? However…
What stretches should you do? Here’s a 1-minute stretch routine you can do before bed...
Lisa, Yoga Coach
eatlocalgrown / wisemindhealthybody
...easy, 3-minute exercise that completely cured his horrendous snoring! We can both finally sleep!
Today is a good day. Tonight will be even better. Why?
Because you're about to learn easy throat exercises that cure (not just treated) your stubborn snoring – in 3 minutes – starting TONIGHT!
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Use them anytime, anywhere... even while stuck in traffic or watching TV.
Plus the results are permanent!
Did you know that your bodyfat can become "calorie-resistant"?
True. And it's completely unaffected by even the strictest diets... and most intense exercises.
However, there's good news- Calorie-resistant bodyfat can be now removed...
It's a little-known, calorie-burning hormone we all have... just waiting for the right spark to come alive. It's not thyroid, leptin, ghrelin, insulin, adiponectin, HGH or any other "fat loss" hormone you may know. Read more to find out precisely how to unleash its calorie-burning power:
To your health!
PS - Studies show that it can also reduce your risk of diabetes by 53.7%, a heart attack by 83.3% and stroke by 51.4%. Here's more of the scientific proof...
I bet you can’t guess which muscle in your body is the #1 muscle that eliminates joint and back pain, anxiety and looking fat. This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
If this “hidden” most powerful primal muscle is healthy, we are healthy.
d) Hip Flexors
Take the quiz above and see if you got the correct answer!
In April, 2009, researchers stunned the medical community when they reported chronic inflammation as the root cause of several major diseases.
See, every year 610,000 people in the U.S. die of heart disease. Cancer claims another 584,000...stroke 130,000...Alzheimer's disease nearly 85,000 — and the list goes on.
Truth is, we now know... chronic inflammation is responsible for 7 out of the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States! Hundreds of studies and scientific reviews prove it.
Fortunately, newer research shows you can prevent-even reverse-most major diseases by "turning off" inflammation. And in our new book, we show you how to do just that.
If you or a loved one is suffering from a debilitating condition-and you"re not sure what the culprit is-now's the time to find out...while you can still do something about it!
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Over the past year, my friend Dave over at PaleoHacks has been working on a super secret cookbook project with our good friend Peter Servold a Le Cordon Bleu trained Chef and owner of Pete's Paleo...
And today, this new incredible Paleo Cookbook is finally available to be shipped right to your door for FREE!
The cookbook is called Paleo Eats, and it's filled with over 80 chef created, insanely tasty Paleo recipes which means they are free from gluten, soy, dairy, and refined sugar.
Get your FREE copy of Paleo Eats Here. (Grab this today, because they only ordered a small batch of these cookbooks for this freebie promotion, and they will sell out FAST!)
Sponsored Health Resources
In the years that I've been working on this website project I've come across some amazing resources by some very special people. I'd like to share them with you here.
NOTE: I update these links often so please check back to see what's new!
1) Everyone knows green smoothies are healthy right? Have you heard of a “red” smoothie? If not, check out this story…
2) Forget what you've read about 10-day lemonade cleanses, 7-day detoxes with green juices and Gwyneth's gruel. All you need to do, and this is perfect for Saturday or or anytime really, is a simple 1-day cleanse.
3) This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
4) I thought it was virtually impossible for a website to be able to tell me anything even a little bit insightful after only submitting my name and date of birth... I was wrong!
5) Turmeric is amazing. The problem is - It's hard to absorb!
6) Wonder why your stomach still sticks out even though you're hammering the core exercises every day? It's a common myth that bulging belly is due to weak abdominal muscles.
7) Even if you're the most active of athletes, you may still suffer from tight hip flexors due to the amount of time you spend each day planted to a chair.
Enjoy! Let me know how these work out for you. And if you run across anything I've missed please let me know.