Hi all, I thought that some of you might be interested in reading the thoughts of my friend. He was diagnosed with RRMS about 25 years ago, and hasn't had a problem for the past 20. Below is the body of an email that he sent me, outlining his approach.
When I was 30 I was dying. I was obese, had the beginnings of typeII diabetes, had active MS with some severe episodes, I was very depleted weak and sick. I made a number of changes, and have a sense of how each change affected me, but to be honest I'm not totally sure why I got better.
The main change was how I looked at things (i.e. health issues). I've been around two groups (Native American and Western) my whole life and strongly influenced by both. I realized there are profound differences in the fundamental assumptions of these two groups. I confronted these differences in myself, but I find it almost impossible to explain it to a Western mind.
I found that in all tribal peoples of the world what the West calls science, medicine, law, and religion are a single thing to the tribal mind. How could this be, and what separated them?
You believe in getting somewhere (like optimum health, and a promised land). Growth, progress, development, improvement-- your life depends on these. For example, we all now are dependent on a growth economy. What doesn't grow will consumed by those that do.
This is contrasted with a belief in equilibrium. The highest form of equilibrium is a cycle. This is why science, health, religion and law were once one. The goal of all four was equilibrium and alignment with natural cycles. Once the assumption of infinate growth and progress was adopted they separated.
If you look at health from this perspective what can you see. First, all disease is either your body out equilibrium, or not economically valuable (a purely functional definition on which your life depends).
There are a number of dis-ease states unique to Westerners. This includes auto-immune diseases. M.S. of course being one. I would consider most all Western disease as humans being out of equilibrium with with their evolution. Westerners defy subtle influences, then mitigate, then simply acquiesce to institutionalization (so your out of the way of progress and growth).
As to what I did to get better there is a backdrop of a lifestyle. This is a very complex piece. I'm writing down what I've come up with in regards to diet and exercise. I'll send you a copy if you're interested once I've gotten a bit farther. Basically evolution can't be ignored for long, and if you want to stay in this system and out of their institutions it has to be addressed. But here are some specifics:
Stop eating like a child: Children need to eat many times a day. Basically each time you eat there is a release of hormones a growing body needs. The adult body of Westerners are being poisoned by an overdose of these hormones.
Sun: Homosapians evolved in a desert during a drought. Sun is like oxygen to us. Both are powerful poisons and eventually are the cause of our deaths, but both are absolutely essential to our functioning. Never allow sunburn, but get as much as you can. There has long been a known corolation of MS with latitude.
Milk: Because you're european you probally have the genetics to handle milk pretty well, but even among europeans there are problems with it. Milk, like our eating habits, is something we need to mature out of. There has been much looked at with milk and MS.
Exercise: Humans do have physicall endowments which have no rival in the animal kingdom. It was not just our big brains that gave us such an advantage. First, humans can handle the hot sun better then any other animal. Second, though not the fastest, strongest, and having armor or weapons, we can exert our muscles all day. Many hunters use to just pick up a trail in the morning, then follow and run them down (all day!). Men especially need to bring their skelatal muscles to exhaustion on a regualr basis. If you can't yet move to a basic agricultural life style, lift weights such that you experience muscle failure three times a week.
Wisdom: Western medicine has a couple of hundred years of wisdom, your body has 4 billion years of wisdom. Learn to listen, and don't aquiese to the artifactual conclusions and rationalizations of clever children.
Dirt: Auto-immune disease happens when we are always clean little children our mothers' show off. Even Western medicine has shown us this over and over. A law of evolution is that whatever a population encounters (either initially detrimental or incedental) becomes esential.
In conclusion, go outside, work very hard, get dirty, and quit eating like a child.
Now, I am a bit torn about this, because before I was diagnosed, I was very active, and spent lot's of time outside getting dirty. I wasn't quite as in line with his thoughts on eating, because although I liked to eat healthy foods, I did like to eat often, and I've always had a real sweet tooth
For me, this also serves as a reminder that culture plays a very strong role in MS, something that seems to warrent more attention than it recieves.
At the very least, I figured that his dramatic turnarond could serve as a source of real inspiration.