Mindfulness and MS

 Mindfulness and MS

What if I told you that you can help your quality of life and improve your Multiple Sclerosis by practicing Mindfulness? Would you even know what that means?

What is Mindfulness?

Definition of  mind·ful·ness: 

1. The quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.

2. A mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.

Can mindfulness help us on our journey with MS?

MindfulnessMindfulness was something first introduced to me while I was studying under my mentor, New York Times Best Selling Author, America’s #1 Success Coach, Jack Canfield. He taught me how to live my life with purpose, passion, clarity and to be mindful of everything around me. It was life changing for me and my journey with MS.

When I was studying personal growth/leadership development I wasn’t doing it hoping to find a way to help my MS. I was doing it for my own growth.  At that time I didn’t understand the concept that the mind, body, and spirit are connected and if we want to heal our bodies from MS, we must focus on each of those areas to be successful. I started to wonder if mindfulness could help others in their journey with MS, too.

Why is mindfulness important in our journey with MS?

Many people with MS suffer from depression, fear, anxiety, insomnia, pain, and overwhelming stress. Each of these issues can be devastating to our health.

For years I’ve been searching for alternative ways for us to deal with each of those issues. When I say “alternatives,” I mean alternatives to drug therapy, which is what most MS Dr’s present to us immediately. It can end up meaning a medicine cabinet full of prescriptions that can actually make things worse.

Hmm. When I think about this, it makes me think about daily life.  Do we just go through the motions? You know, everything is pretty much on auto pilot, isn’t it? We all have our routines with our families, with our jobs, with ourselves – things are just done out of habit. Can we be mindful every day?  The answer is a resounding, YES!

Are there different ways to practice mindfulness?

1 – Being mindful – Going through your everyday functions and being present, engaged, aware and calm.

When I practice mindfulness throughout the day, it means being aware and grateful for everything – The sun, the rain, family, friends, my dogs, good things that happened in my day and even the challenges, too. It’s all about having the right perspective in any given situation good or bad and responding in a healthy, more positive way. I also do affirmations and journaling which keeps me focused on thinking the right way, which is so important, not only for all of us living with MS, but just in daily life.

2 – Mindful meditation – Meditation where you can focus on areas of the body in pain and releasing or separating yourself from that pain. You can focus on specific parts of the body and visualize it’s repair and healing (I have several MS friends that visualize their Myelin being restored over nerve endings throughout their body or picturing their MRI’s with less lesions). It can also be something as simple as deep breathing and just being in that moment of meditation.

MindfulnessThe great thing about being mindful and mindfulness meditation is that everyone can do it and it can have lasting health benefits to us. In studies people that practiced mindfulness had an improved quality of life, and more positive and hopeful expectations.  It also took away pain, stress, anxiety, depression and fear. Some hospitals now prescribe mindfulness meditation for patients dealing with pain. Check out MS & The Mind to learn more about its affects on our MS.

When you learn to practice mindfulness, you will have better coping strategies in stressful situations. We know stress can cause us to have an exacerbation or even cause new lesions, so we must do everything to ensure we are living stress free as much as possible.

Remember, our mind, body, and spirits are connected and we must focus on each area for healing.  Mindfulness can be a very powerful way to start on our journey to health and healing!

For inspiration and great ideas on healthy living with MS, check out my new book “Waking Up From MS – My Journey to Health, Healing, and Living Symptom Free”  – It explores my almost 30 year journey living with MS and how I am now living symptom free, healthy, and thriving. On FB check out my MS Free For All page.

To our health!

Kellie Alderton

 

To learn more about healthy products and green technologies for your healthy lifestyle check out my business page –  Healthy Solutions, Inc 

Benefits Of Holistic Dentistry

Holistic/Biological Dentistry

Have you looked into holistic dentistry as part of your healthy lifestyle? I don’t know if you’re like me, but after living with Multiple Sclerosis for almost 3 decades, I decided that I must, not only figure out this disease, but I must learn, study, and investigate every possible facet to healthy living and MS.

I never knew about holistic/biological dentistry and how it focuses on natural and organic ways to deal with the health of your teeth, mouth, and body. I’ve consistently had challenges with my teeth since I was a teenager. In fact, my dentist at the time was obsessed with ROOT CANALS. (Yes, obsessed.)  And we now understand the science behind root canals and that it could negatively affect our overall oral and physical well-being. Some doctors, dentists, and scientists think it’s almost a guarantee of some type of illness or disease – so it’s worth investigating. Now, when I say my Dentist was “obsessed,” I’ll explain. My sister and I were each given 4 root canals.  As many of you know from my blog and my newly published book “Waking Up From MS – My Journey to Health, Healing and Living Symptom Free”, that both myself and my twin sister Kim were diagnosed as teenagers with Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis.  And we wondered if those procedures could have been a part of our long history with MS? You can learn more about my sister and me in MS and the Mind.

Holistic Dentistry and Healthy 

Living go hand in hand! 

My best friend told me about a wonderful, local, holistic dentist. Since I was focusing now solely on holistic and alternative therapies to heal, I went with an open mind and literally an open mouth. We now understand the direct correlation with oral health and lifelong health. Many diseases and illnesses can start in the mouth.

holisitic dentistry

 

Benefits of Holistic Dentistry:

– They take a Whole Body approach to our care, it’s not solely focused on our teeth. They focus on the mind, body and spirit. (Wow, I’ve preached for years how we must focus on a whole body approach to healing our MS.)

– They understand that each tooth is related to an acupuncture meridian that directly relates to various organs, glands and systems in our body. An experienced dentist can assess your overall health by studying your tooth health.

– They use materials that are bio-compatible to your body. (I had biocompatibility testing done to ensure I wasn’t allergic or had sensitivities to any of the products the dentist would be using on me.) After that testing we learned that most of the things in my mouth through previous dental procedures I was allergic or sensitive too. That was an eye-opener!

– Holistic dentists believe in doing everything possible to support the body’s natural ability to heal itself. (Again, this was another point I have always believed. That every “body” can be healthy if you give it the right tools to do so.)

– They believe in natural or holistic solutions for things like Root Canals.

– They don’t use Fluoride, ever. Which is a known carcinogen and neurotoxin.

I highly recommend going to a holistic dentist as soon as possible, check it out and see if you think it will be a benefit to you and your family. Simply Google “holistic/biological dentistry” in your area. Checkout my MS Resources & Links page for further information about different providers. Remember, in this journey with MS we must look at many different areas for our healing. One thing didn’t give us MS, and it won’t be one single thing to heal. It’s important to focus on a whole body approach – mind, body, and spirit.

 

To our Health!

Kellie ♥

If you’re interested in understanding more about MS and how to heal naturally, check out my book – “Waking Up From MS – My Journey To Health, Healing and Living Symptom Free.

Extreme Temperatures and M.S.

cold weather BABY, It’s Cold Outside!!!!

It’s very interesting and ironic. As I sit here today finishing this article, I started to feel my fingertips and nose getting colder! So I walked to my closet and put on my husbands big Flannel hoping that would help. Well, no luck, turns out the heat is out!!! Waiting right now on the repairman and thinking how funny life can be as it looks like I’ll be taking my own advice today for staying warm!

Can any extreme temperatures cause an MS flare-up? I’m not sure where you’re located, but we’re now in full winter mode in Chicago. That means hat, gloves, scarves, ear muffs, snow pants, boots, you know, anything to beat the extreme cold. “BRRRR” seems to be my go-to word for the past few months and for anyone that knows me, Yes, comparisons of Chicago and Antarctica are definitely on my mind!  

Were you one of the millions of MS sufferers who were counting down the days for cooler weather?  Me too! Yes, heat and humidity can be very disruptive and cause minor, temporary flare-ups of our MS symptoms during the summer months, but did you know some people also have challenges during the winter months? It’s less common, but still can affect those of us with MS?

Some people do report worsening of symptoms just as much in the coldest part of winter as they do in the hottest months of summer!  You might be wondering if we can use ice, cold showers, cold compresses or cooling vests to cool down during the summer, why would the cold negatively affect us now, why is this different? The truth is that any drastic changes in temperature either hot or cold can have an impact on us.

Things you may experience due to the Cold:      

  • Fatigue
  • Spasms
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Numbness and tingling

The good news is, just like in summer months, there are things we can do to protect ourselves against the cold.

warm-winter-drinks-alcohol-free-caffine-free-healthy-drink-recipes

Make sure your house is properly insulated, check around doors and windows for any pesky drafts, there are plenty of low cost ways to seal them.  While you’re in, you can use a heating pad, blankets, extra clothing. Some people find warm showers or baths may relieve some of the stiffness, aches and pains. (Be careful to not become overheated!) You can also warm up with a nice cup of soup, tea or coffee.   

If you have to be out in the elements, try layering clothing to keep heat from escaping, protect your head and use hand or feet warmers. Also be sure to use any walking devices or aides to help you outside when your muscles can become stiff or slow to respond. Just like the summer months it’s very important to stay hydrated, make sure to continue drinking enough water, people tend to think just because it’s cold outside you can’t become dehydrated. Dehydration can also cause or complicate many of the above symptoms.

 

As I’ve said before, our minds are extremely powerful and I’d like to say it’s as easy as thinking Warm thoughts of summer to beat the cold, but your best line of defense is to be prepared for the elements, listen to your body, and seek assistance if needed.  You can learn more about MS in All About MS and Resources to help you on your journey! Enjoy!

 

If you have found this article helpful please share. As always, I look forward to and appreciate your feedback!

To our Health!

Kellie

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