Derek Swinnard was 45 years old when he as diagnosed with ALS in 1997. He is now in his 60’s, and still golfing. Below is Derek’s story.
Derek Swinnard was an athlete, basketball coach, school teacher, husband and father of
two daughters. In 1993 & 1994, when he was in his early 40’s, he noticed he was not running as well, and dropping balls so much so that he stopped playing with his local baseball team because he felt he was no longer contributing. He joined an “over 35” basketball team, yet his older teammates were outrunning him. He had difficulty shooting and he seemed to be falling a lot. He developed drop foot in his right leg, which the neurologist had told him was an “irreversible L4 problem”.
Derek tried acupuncture and also saw a chiropractor who specialized in sports injuries. They seemed to help somewhat yet over time his symptoms worsened. On his “old-timer” ice hockey team he started having trouble standing and fell often. In the classroom he was dropping chalk in class, and had trouble throwing and catching things. A physiotherapist noticed his right calf was visibly atrophying.
In June 1995, on a visit with friends, he tried special insoles and tried sleeping on a magnetic mattress pad, both of which he purchased and both helped, but overall, Derek’s symptoms continued to worsen. He was experiencing bad muscle cramps, severe muscle twitching, and began to have trouble stepping in and out of the bathtub.
When he went back to visit his friends in September, they literally put him in a car and took him to a local naturopath, who did live blood cell analysis, and showed him his blood versus healthy blood. His naturopath identified free radical damage, white blood cell problems, as well as yeast and fungal infections. He left the office with dietary instructions (including no fried foods, no red meat, no carbonated drinks), liver and kidney cleanse supplements, and a number of other supplements. Although Derek felt he might be getting scammed after the $400 bill, he trusted his friends’ judgment and decided to follow the naturopath’s instructions. After several months of strictly following the regimen, in November 1995, he returned for another live blood cell analysis and could see for himself the obvious improvement in his blood.
Although he was feeling better with his holistic treatments, Derek knew there was something still wrong. He noticed during weight training his strength had diminished and that his left side was weaker than his right. He saw a doctor for blood work and his doctor noticed enough abnormalities to refer him to a neurologist. The neurologist ordered tests, including a nerve conduction test and muscle biopsy, which were inconclusive so Derek was finally referred to a neurologist in Toronto in June 1996, and continued visits about every six months. After the fourth visit, he was definitively diagnosed with ALS in December 1997.
During all of his visits with traditional doctors in the process of getting diagnosed, Derek’s doctors did not suggest any treatments, only more tests. So during the period from June 1995 until he was diagnosed in December 1997 Derek continued with various holistic regimens. He continued the diet and supplements that the out-of-town naturopath recommended, then found a local naturopath to work with. He was also treated by a Chinese herbalist/acupuncturist, and continued with the chiropractor and the homeopath. He felt positive results from these treatments, their approaches made logical sense to him, and he was taking positive steps towards his health versus doing nothing while waiting for test results and more neurologist referrals.
As a result, after two and a half years of holistic treatments while getting diagnosed, by the time the final diagnosis came in December 1997, Derek’s symptoms were about 60 percent better than they were at his lowest point.
Still, when the diagnosis finally came, afterwards Derek was in a daze. He told his wife, who was upset not just with the diagnosis, but also that Derek did not want to share the diagnosis with anyone, including their two teenage daughters. Derek felt that what he was doing was working, that he could beat this, and wanted to share the diagnosis only when he could give people good news.
After his diagnosis, Derek stepped up his holistic therapies. He saw his homeopath regularly and continued with the naturopath, who started researching ALS and based her treatments on what she found. He was referred to a different chiropractor who found and cleared three blockages in his spine. His lower back felt better and he found out spinal blockages could also affect nerves going to internal organs and glands, like the adrenals. His Chinese herbalist/acupuncturist referred him to a well-regarded acupuncturist from China, whose treatments helped his spasticity and walking. He had some sessions with a cranial sacral therapist. Derek also researched on his own. He found and tried a number of vitamins that might help. He had no adverse results from any supplements except for calcium-based supplements. He took grape seed extract almost from the beginning and still takes it today. Derek also found Steven Shackel’s website in 1998, now http://shackel.org, to be extremely valuable and some of the protocols on that site were helpful. After reading about lever function he added NAC, milk thistle and burdock root to his regimen and noticed the yellow tinge in his eyes disappeared. He shared with Steven via email his success and others wrote to Derek wanting to know more details. Just knowing there were others healing ALS holistically and trying to heal had a positive effect.
While working on his holistic treatments after his diagnosis, Derek continued to work as a school teacher. He thoroughly enjoyed his work and it helped him keep his mind off his disease. Still, the stress of “acting normal” while dealing with a terminal diagnosis, worried about falling, wondering each morning if he would be able to walk to the bathroom, Derek began to have mood swings and had a very short temper. Finally, during an outburst about eighteen months after diagnosis, his wife insisted he share what was happening with their daughters, and shortly after that they shared it with other close family members and friends.
Derek was raised United and his wife is a devout Catholic. His routing included saying the Lord’s prayer every night and thanking God for what he does have, rather than focusing on what he does not. Still, around the time he shared his diagnosis with his daughters, even though he was continuing to improve physically, Derek was frustrated with his slowness of his improvement. In late August 1999, Derek remembers going out onto his back deck, looking up and saying “God, could we make this better or just get it over with?” He said it not as an ultimatum, but rather a plea for help.
About two weeks later, Derek was coaching a basketball clinic and that night he had a dream. In that dream, a person he thought he recognized said “Hi Derek” and a peaceful feeling came over him. Later in the dream the room was very crowded and Derek thought he might fall and he felt someone intentionally bump his back. He could not turn around but a hand appeared and showed him a note, and he felt that same peaceful feeling. On the note was written “Psalm 30” and then he woke up. When he looked up Psalm 30 it was “The Blessedness of the Answered Prayer”. He couldn’t believe what was written and when he showed his wife, she cried.
After the dream, things seemed to shift. Derek’s fear of death subsided considerably. The emotional roller coaster he had been experiencing during and since diagnosis calmed. When he felt down he knew that someone was watching over him.
About three years after diagnosis, Derek finally shared his ALS diagnosis with his colleagues at work, and soon the school and community knew. They had been aware of the gait issues and likely thought it was MS or Parkinson’s. This led to Derek getting involved in the local ALS community. He participated in fundraisers, including annual ALS walks. He remains involved to this day and also participates in the national Canadian ALS Society as an ALS patient representative.
Over the years Derek has met and shared his story with many people diagnosed with ALS. Some are interested in what he has done, others are not. Some try some treatments and then seem to give up. Many have not had the level of success that he has and to them he would like to say, “Be patient, be persistent, keep trying things, keep researching, see holistic practitioners, stay positive, and don’t give up”.
Today Derek feels he is about 95 percent better. After over 20 years experience with ALS, he knows that positive mental attitude is key to healing. Without being positive, without gratitude each day, without letting go of the negative things in life that happen almost daily and turning them to positives–all the physical therapies in the world will not be successful.
Someone once told Derek that healing is like peeling an onion. Until you get to each layer you don’t know what needs to be healed, and until you heal that layer, you won’t be able to see the next one. This is why the same treatment that did not work at an early stage of healing, might work at a later stage of healing. The onion example can be equally applied to physical and emotional healing.
Derek credits also his healing not only to his own positive attitude, research, and acting on that research, but also to the various medical professionals that helped him in his healing journey. They worked with him on nutrition, supplements, detoxification and applied their expertise to helping him heal. His homeopath and naturopath were especially key, but the chiropractors and acupuncturists were important as well. Even the magnets had a positive impact. Having the support of his wife, family and friends was also key. His friends dragged him to that first naturopath and set him on his healing journey. His wife supported him while he tried any and every treatment he could find. Steven Shackel provided him with information on his website. Each holistic professional and each chance article he read or encounter with a friend all contributed to his healing.
Derek suggests considering prayer and reading Psalm 30 for anyone diagnosed with ALS. He believes we will eventually go to a better place, but in the meantime don’t give up on getting better now and do everything in your power to heal.
–By Erika Wheeler, diagnosed ALS 2013
I have learned thru my own research that I have entered into a stage of electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) where I am very sensitive to EMF (Electromagnetic Fields) radiation. My question remains whether my present condition of ALS was induced by EMF exposure. I honestly know that it has. So, as you read the following, my prayer is that you will be convinced that EMFs are affecting us all in a negative, biological way, to the point where you will do your own research and become an active voice in a sleeping generation where many of us are living in a sea of radiation.
There are two basic forms of radiation: Ionizing radiation in which x-rays and atomic bombs are examples. Non-ionizing radiation is the kind of radiation emitted thru tech
devices e.g. cell phones, Wi-Fi etc. The latter, non-ionizing, is my greatest concern as it effects, not only PALS (People with ALS), but all illnesses including those who are presently in good health. An even greater concern is who is protecting us from the level of exposure in which we are surrounded by 24 hours a day? The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) has not updated their standards since 1996 or 1998 depending upon which source you are reading.
For those of you, like myself, who hadn’t a clue to what even EMF stands for or what it is,
here is a brief description: EMF (electromagnetic frequencies or fields) is an ionizing type radiation. It is invisible and odorless and cannot be readily detected like cigarette smoke or gas from your gas lines. EMFs are emitted thru cell phones, Wi-Fi, tablets, laptops and smart meters, to mention a few. There are two types of EMFs: Radio frequency (RF) and extremely low frequency (ELF). On the surface, RFs and ELFs appear non invasive when it comes to health related concerns which may have been true 30-40 years ago. But today, our environment has increasingly become well saturated with EMF radiation, rising exponentially, with stronger signals nestled in an avalanche of newer and upgraded devices.
I recall many years ago when a tech would walk up to our homes and manually read our
electric, gas and water meters. Our meters are now being swiftly replaced by ‘smart meters’ that emit an alarming level of radiation. I called my electric utility company where I was informed that my neighborhood is slated for installation this Spring 2018. I have requested that mine not be installed.
The data emitted, according to some reports, emits up to thousands of signals a day, where each pulse could last anywhere from minutes up to hours per day. Then add that to power lines, all your in home technical devices,, electricity running thru your homes and appliances which all emit EMFs.
Additional concerns are expressed in this documentary posted by Dr. Mercola. The entire video is a must see for it reveals other alarming issues surrounding smart meters. You can fast forward to 40:00 where the discussion focuses on severe health issues surrounding the smart meter. https://articles.mercola.com/
On this New Years Eve, as I type, my laptop has protective covering; I’m using a wired keyboard and mouse; I am covered with protective layers of fabrics including specialized gloves and I am grounded with wiring running to the outside thru my window to a grounding peg. I am typing in a 4’ x 6’ area in my home where the RFs meter readings are registering safe. You may say to yourself, that’s extreme! Not when you are trying to save your life.
An individual once said to me, ‘I’m going to pray for a miracle that you will be healed’. I said, “that’s nice but my joy would be that I recover in such a way that I can share with other PALS (People with ALS) the protocol that led me to that victory.” You see, I believe we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Our bodies are designed to heal on its own once the obstacles are removed (including disbelief) and we replenish what is lacking. How many times have we cut our finger and before our very eyes, in a matter of a few days… it heals! We have no lingering thoughts during those few days of “I wonder if it will heal” for we go about our daily lives and soon the wound heals.
Our bodies are incredibly made and because the solution to this illness isn’t so apparent as a finger cut, I believe it carries the same principle. We must believe, remove anything hindering its recovery whether its GERD, toxins, stress etc. and then apply a ‘balm’ whether it’s supplements, meditation, organic eating, relaxation, ozone therapy, oxygen therapy etc.
I was diagnosed, out of town, with ALS, nearly 5 years ago with the onset of symptoms well before then. According to many PALS, including myself, the same mantra is bestowed by our neurologist: ‘There is no hope, but here is a prescription of Rilutek’ available to you. I accepted neither. There were no tears. I just smiled. I finally knew what I was facing. I felt I had been prepared for a moment such as this, for in years prior I had avoided a repeat surgery by applying the same principle. My symptoms went away, never to return again.
One day a few months ago, I was travelling from one area of my home to another, by
scooter, when suddenly my head bowed down without explanation. My chin was down to my chest and it was as if a hand was on the back of my head pressing it downwardly. With all my might, I couldn’t lift it up. I was frightened, but at the same time trying to assess the situation. I thought, Oh God, is this yet another ALS interval of decline? In my experience thus far, there is a warning before a muscle weakens. There are preludes of fasciculations, cramping and soreness, but not this time. I had not yet experienced fasciculations, cramping nor soreness around my shoulder, neck or upper back.
I continued travelling towards the hallway. Upon entering, my head miraculously lifted up with ease into its normal position. A relief came over me, but I was still puzzled over what had just happened. Through my research, I was already suspicious of the amount of radiation being emitted from my modems/routers. Upon this encounter, I immediately purchased a RF radiation meter which revealed that the hallway area (that released my locked head position), and another small area (4’ x 6’) were the only safe zones in my home. All other areas signaled yellow or red. The RF meter has green, yellow and red light signals as traffic lights where yellow is cautious and red is high alert (stop!).
Around that same time, I was captivated by yet another observation while typing on my laptop. I noticed a pull and a heaviness in my left arm similar to the previous incident and a weakness to a point where I immediately closed down the laptop. I had always felt a tingling/prickly sensation while typing, but not where the arm and finger (pinky) became disabled momentarily. This left arm had already shown signs of gradual weakness. I hard-wired (Ethernet) my computer thinking this would eliminate all Wi-Fi RF activity. No, it didn’t. According to my RF meter, there was an additional red zone signal emitting exactly every 60 seconds, letting me know there was a strong signal of radiation. I remembered reading about an individual who discovered a second Wi-Fi signal in his laptop and had a hard time convincing the company from which he purchased it, that it existed. I called the company where I purchased my laptop and shared my dilemma. They sent a well informed tech to my home where he went behind the scenes (instead of thru Microsoft Windows) and removed the signal thru bios.
We have two modems in our house located on the opposite ends of the house. In spite
of disconnecting the Wi-Fi by way of a phone call to my internet provider, the modem still
gave a red alert signal. I later found out these modems are being constantly upgraded with stronger and stronger signals (more RFs) and modems are replaced in our homes whenever the cable company (in my case) had an opportunity. I tried purchasing an older model from them, but they are no longer available which causes me to ask myself, are we creating a situation of no return where low radiation modems will not be available?
RF meter readings were checked throughout my home including the attic which registered ‘yellow’ for caution. We were quite puzzled for I thought I was only facing modem and computer issues. The meter was then taken outside for a reading, I was floored. The reading was still at the same level. Whether it was being generated by smart meters, power lines or the Wi-Fi black boxes that are now strategically being installed by cable providers on telephone polls to emit an even stronger signal, I don’t know. My brother took the meter to his home, which is out in the county, and he found it refreshing to see only ‘green’ registering outside of his home. Inside, however, only his modems registered the same as mine…. with a red alert. The rest of his home registered ‘green’.
In the meantime I contacted Dr. Laura Koniver, M.D., of Intuition-Physician.com whom I had purchased grounding items from in the past and have received good advice. I shared my dilemma. She recommended a pair of grounding gloves to use while typing which I am now simply enjoying because they are truly blocking the radiation coming from my extended keyboard. I can feel the difference. They are comfortable, tight fitting and does not interfere with my typing proficiency as I thought they might (www.Intuition-Physician.com). Even though the verdict is still out as to what degree grounding is beneficial to PALS, I like the soothing effect it generates thru me over a period of time and thus I deem it as a ‘balm’. I believe the two documentaries, “Grounded” and “Free to Heal’, are beautifully and professionally made documentaries that should be viewed by everyone and available at every school; in every library and every home.
For my cell phone, I purchased a “SafeSleeve” from Amazon which has a good rating thru Consumer Guide, but I still feel quite a bit of radiation emitting from it.
The RF meter, window and computer shields were purchased from lessemf.com. We were not successful in lowering the RF meter readings with the window shielding. I am learning unless you are able to seal every possible entrance, including upper and lower levels, crawl spaces or any opening for that matter, it’s an almost impossible task. I did use some of the window shielding to cover my computer monitors and it was very effective.
The RF meter can be seen demonstrated by Ce Ce Doucette, a leading spokesperson on protecting and alerting us on the dangers of wi-fi. In the video you will see her using the same RF meter (Acoustimeter) I purchased. I encourage all to view all of her videos on YouTube. For she is well informed, well articulated and a true activist.
As you see, I’m very much in the infant stage of trying to mitigate the exposure I am experiencing. I have many questions unanswered. If it accelerates the decline of ALS, then to what extent is it having on the most fragile of our society, the unborn fetus where unsuspected mothers to be often rest their laptops or cell phones nearby within inches of their precious cargo; or no sooner they are out of the wound are enveloped with wireless devices including baby monitors?
Back in 2003, Pub Med published the effect of EMFs on ALS stating there is a need for research. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/
Another respected source in the National Library of Medicine sites a 2012 report that suggest EMFs was significantly associated with increased risk of ALS in pooled studies and case-control studies. https://www.ncbi.nlm.
My ALS journey has been one of awe in discovering that there is so much information that has been documented that could truly help us but it’s up to us PALS and small ALS organizations to find it on our own. Then there are obstacles that scream to be researched, but are not. According to Dr. Bedlack of Duke University, our leading ALS physician/researcher, has uncovered at least 34 reversals and Health Advocates Worldwide has an upcoming book on ALS reversals, with little funding.
Here are some more interesting points found in the book: “Radiation Nation” by Daniel and Ryan DeBaun, which I highly recommend:
○ A mountain of research reports have revealed the effects of EMFs on laboratory animals
where the brain activity is clearly altered. Isn’t this a direct correlation to ALS where the hallmark of this illness is of a neurological decline?
○ When sperm is exposed to radiation for one hour, 25% of the sperm count are left immobile. How often do you see men resting their laptops on their laps or carrying their cell phones in our pockets? If it injures the sperm count, to what degree is it affecting the ovaries? If a pregnant woman holds her laptop in her lap to what degree is it having on the fragile unborn? –
○ Wi-Fi has been banned at Lakehead University in Canada. The French National Assembly has banned Wi-Fi at all children facilities that caters to three year olds and under. The Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario representing 76,000 teachers has requested a cease of all wireless devices.
Dr. Mercola is also a wonderful resource for just about anything health wise: https://articles.mercola.com/s
Knowledge is powerful. Collectively, we are powerful. Please feel free to communicate and share your findings, ultimately finding our way closer and closer to…. healing ALS.
A year ago, in November 2016, we wrote a blog about Stephen Sherry’s ALS reversal. If you would like to re-read it, here is the link:
People keep asking us, “When is the documentary film coming out?” and our response is: “When we get the rest of the funding we need to finish it.” We did get more funding this summer so we are have been busy working on the book and the documentary film.
In the meantime, we decided to release some “profile” videos, so those who diagnosed with ALS will be able to see some details of how some of the ALS reversals occurred. Below is the first of these, and we thank our donors, because the video below would not have been possible without you:
Please see some of our other blogs of other ALS reversals. If you would like to join our cause and help fund the upcoming film and book on Healing ALS, and support more videos like these, please go to: https://healingals.org/donations/
Beginning December 2017 or early 2018* there is a free on-line course in emotional healing discussed at the bottom of this blog. *Exact dates TBD.
Emotional Healing is key to Physical Healing
Yet most people do not realize that emotional healing and postive mental attitude are just as important to healing ALS and other diseases as anything we can do physically.
Those who Reversed ALS Healed Emotionally
Before you read this blog, make sure you have read the blog immediately below, telling
about Evy McDonald’s ALS reversal, because it brings home just how important emotional health is. One of the major factors Evy attributed to her healing was forgiveness, giving and receiving love freely and keeping positive thoughts. Every time she thought a negative or
angry thought, her body felt worse, and when she thought positve thoughts, her body felt better. So why continue any negative thoughts? Since her body felt better with positive thoughts, why not think positively 99% of the time?
Steven Sherry (diagnosed ALS 1999) said meditation, and thinking positively most of the time, were extremely important factors in his ALS reversal. He lived in a state of gratitude no matter what, focusing on what he could do, not what he could no longer do, as he continued to research solutions to his ALS, to improve his symtpoms.
Dawn McCrea (diagnosed ALS 2002, http://energyhealingstrategies.com) said releasing and healing negative emotions were essential before she was able to turn her ALS symptoms around.
Steven Bishop (diagnosed 2001, https://healingals.org/2017/07/) said had it not been for a positive mental attitude, positive affirmations, a state of gratitude and giving to others, he would not have reversed ALS and he would not still be here today.
Steven Shackel (diagnosed ALS 1994, http://shackel.org) said mental healing was key to reversing his ALS, along with all of the physical things he did.
Donald Jaeger (diagnosed ALS 1992) and Wendy Moore (diagnosed ALS 2003) attribute their healing to the power of prayer and knowing God had the power to heal them.
Eric Edney (diagnosed with ALS in 1993, died in 2015 at age 85,
http://EricIsWinning.com) said of his 3 pillars of Nutrition, Detoxification, and Positive Mental Attitude (PMA) were key to reversing so many of his ALS symptoms.
Virtually every one of the over 20 people we interviewed who have reversed ALS permanently say that mental healing was as crucial to healing, probably more important than anything they did physically.
How to Emotionally Heal and Stay Positive
It is very easy to say “Be positive”, “Live in an attitude of gratitude”, “Focus on what you can do, not what you cannot do”, “Give to others so you are not focusing on yourself all the time”. It is much harder to do these things. Here are some things that those who have reversed ALS have found helpful:
Meditation. Scientific studies have shown that those who meditate, no matter what the
health challenge, have better outcomes. Start with just sitting still, eyes closed, without moving, 15 minutes per day, while clearing your mind of its constant chatter. By quieting the mind and body, you will often get insights you would not otherwise get. You may be inspired to look at a certain website, search a topic, speak to someone, or get an idea about something that might help you heal.
Positive Affirmations with Emotion. Steven Bishop originally used the affirmation “I am healing” throughout the day. Then he changed it to “I am healed”, on the premise that all of us are perfect, as we are, no matter what our physical condition. Joyce Brown listened to recorded positive affirmations both day and night to help her reverse her ALS. Remember positive affirmatins need positive emotions attached to them to be effective, so be emotional what you say your affirmations!
Forgive: No matter who you are angry with, including yourself and God, forgiveness is the
key to emotional health. It wasn’t until Evy McDonald forgave everyone in her life that her ALS symptoms began to turn around. Every negative emotion you carry with you is detrimental to your health and interferes with your healing. So why hold on to negative thoughts?
Have an attitude of gratitude: Every time you have a negative thought, think of something you are grateful for. It completely changes your mental outlook and your can feel your body relaxing and being happy. Remember, if your body is in a state of relaxation versus stress, the cells take in nutrients better and detoxify better. There is an immediate positive effect on your physical well-being.
Keep a positive mental attitude (PMA) 99% of the time: Understand that every second that you think a negative thought, your body is no longer in a healing state. Remember that PMA is a choice. Eric Edney said that he and his wife Glenna had a rule: that they couldn’t both be down at the same time. So if one of them was having a bad day, the other had to be positive. It is this type of thing that makes us realize that our attitude is a choice. So why wouldn’t you want your body in a state of healing 99% of the time? Why would you spend any time in negative thoughts, knowing it is halting and probably worsening your healing? “Stuffing” your emotions is not the answer, “releasing” them is.
Visualization. Todd (diagnosed ALS 1988 at age 16) upon recommendation of his psychologist, used visualization. The psychologist had been reading studies about the power of visualization and thought it would be worth a try so Todd thought, why not? Every day when he was laying in bed since he could no longer attend school, he visualized microscopic erector set men (perfect for a 16 year old) coming in and repairing his neurons so they became healthy again. He also visualized Jesus healing him. All this lead him to a better diet (if Jesus healed him he had better do his part) including eating vegetables for the first time in his life. Today Todd is healed and lives a normal life.
Find a way to give back. According to Steven Bishop, Steven Shackel, Evy McDonald, and so many others we interviewed, giving back was a key part of healing ALS.
- Evy was still able to speak so she volunteered to make phone calls on behalf of a local non-profit. She also made it a point, no matter who she was in contact with, to make the other person’s day better.
- Steven and Jennifer Bishop volunteered at their local MDA Association in a variety of ways and started a local chapter of a non-profit pairing young volunteers with ALS patients who needed help at home.
- Steven Shackel started the first ALS patient website in 1994 (using Mosaic!) as a way to help others diagnosed with ALS and for PALS share information. One of the things that kept him going was knowing he was needed–so many people were depending on him for the most up-to-date information on possible ways to heal ALS.
One advantage of focusing on others is that it takes your mind off of yourself. Another is that it feels good to give to others. All of this helps in your healing.
Embrace Life the way it is, not the way you would like it to be: According to Evy
McDonald wishing life were different is unproductive and only makes you unhappy. Loving life as it is, in this moment–since we cannot change this moment–is the only logical way to live, because anything else interferes with joy, happiness and healing.
Stay in the Present: Most of us live in the past (regretting, which is unproductive) or the future (worrying, equally unproductive) yet we only have this present moment. In this exact second, are you living your life the fullest and being the happiest you can be?
Listen to positive YouTube videos: Search free YouTube videos by Bruce Lipton, Gregg Braden, Larry Dossey and others on the mental aspects of healing. When you listen to inspirational lectures, you feel better.
A course from a Medical Doctor on how to heal emotionally
Again, we get to “How do I do all this, when I am so sad, depressed, and/or miserable?”
Dr. Darrell Wolfe, MD, as a doctor treating cancer, found out quickly that if his cancer patients were not emotionally healthy (and all of us have some emotion issues), their cancer did not reverse. He also discovered the same was true for every other chronic disease he was treating.
Dr. Wolfe knows from direct experience with his patients that emotional health is key to healing any disease. He also says that every single disease has its roots in emotion. There are studies showing that 95% of all disease is caused by stress. So how do we get rid of stress and be at peak emotional health, even with physical health challenges?
Dr. Wolfe is giving a FREE Webinar course starting in December 2017 or early in 2018 at 7 PM Eastern time for sixteen consecutive Wednesdays. If you can attend the live webinar, you will be able to ask questions via chat. If you cannot attend live, the webinar will be recorded so you can listen later.
Before the webinar begins, Dr. Wolfe suggests listening to the audio file below several times. You may not agree with everything he says at the beginning, but you may find after several times through, you will be agreeing with more and more of what he says. This may be listened to all at once or in segments over several days.
When the webinar starts December 2017 or early 2018 Wednesdays 7PM ET for sixteen weeks following, the link to the webinar and the recording is:
More information about Dr Darrell Wolfe and several free books and webinars can be found at:
–Patricia Tamowski, co-creator, Healing ALS
Evy McDonald was only 29 years old with a busy career as a health professional in nursing when she was diagnosed with ALS. It was September of 1980. Her neurologist gave her only one year to live.
Her symptoms had started the previous April. She started tripping and falling. At the same time she started having trouble holding IV bottles and medicine vials at work. When Evy’s symptoms happened more frequently, she made an appointment with a neurologist, who, in turn suggested she go to a neurologist in Houston. There, after many tests including a muscle biopsy, the ALS diagnosis was delivered and Evy was told there was no hope.
Evy’s first reaction was denial and she returned to work. Within a couple of months, however, she did not have the strength to continue. Around the same time, a minister at her church, upon hearing of her diagnosis, offered to let her move in with him, his wife and their two sons. The couple wanted to minister to the “dying” and Evy would not be able to care for herself much longer.
On the outside, Evy was cheerful at first, but inside she was confused, angry and upset. She did not want to acknowledge her feelings. Within months, Evy was confined to a wheelchair and isolated herself more and more from friends and family members. She did not want visitors and only spoke when necessary. She needed assistance dressing, showering, and with the basics of life. Spending most of her time alone, Evy analyzed the dying process, and gathered data on how much physical ability she was losing.
Then one day something happened. Some friends “kidnapped” Evy and literally carried her, angry and fuming, to their car, to drive to a lookout on the edge of town for a picnic and to watch the sunset. They all ended up having a wonderful time, enjoying food, wine, conversation, laughter and a breathtaking sunset. Evy felt alive for the first time in months.
The next day, Evy woke up with joy in her heart. She realized that she had been focusing on and was obsessed with dying ever since her diagnosis, instead of focusing on living each day. She thought a lot about how she wanted to live the rest of her life, she read as much as she could, and then she came to a conclusion: In the few months she had left, Evy wanted her life to count, to make a difference. She made a decision to live, the best way she could, to freely give and receive love, to be of service to others, to let go of the anger she had been carrying around for years and instead practice total forgiveness.
When Evy attempted to put into practice what she had decided to do, it was not as easy as she might have anticipated. Evy realized she did not love herself, inside or outside, so how could she possibly give love to others? It was difficult, but she experimented with ways to do this and she finally succeeded.
Forgiveness was a real challenge too. How could she possibly forgive those who had damaged her life, her self-esteem, and more? She realized that she had been carrying around suppressed anger inside herself for years, dating back to her childhood. Here she used the bible and Jesus’ example. It was a process and did not come easily, but as she forgave others she also forgave herself, and was able to accept Jesus’ forgiveness.
Evy, in her self-analysis, also realized some hard truths about herself. As a nurse, in the service profession, she was always giving to others. Yet she realized that she had always expected something in return, such as recognition for her service, appreciation or a favor. She had never truly “given” without expectation of anything in return and she decided to change that. From her wheelchair Evy was still able to speak, so she contacted a non-profit and started making phone calls on their behalf. She found that this simple act, without any expectation of getting anything back, changed her life and she felt worthwhile again.
All of this took months of introspection. At the end of each day Evy would ask herself: What did I do for someone else today? Did I expect anything in return? How did I show love to someone else today? Did I speak or think negatively about myself? Every day she rated herself and worked on improving her results.
Evy did not expect a cure, she just wanted to live the highest quality of life possible for herself and those around her. Slowly her attitude shifted, she became happier and both the quality and quantity of her interactions with friends and family increased.
As part of her determination to live the best life possible, Evy knew she had to care for her body as well as her mind. Evy’s caregiver, Meg, the pastor’s wife, made sure she only got nutritious food, high in healthy protein, no sugar and minimal grains. Meg created delicious meals that gave Evy’s body more energy. In addition, she took vitamins that made sense to her: 3000mg of Vitamin C, Vitamin D3, Vitamin B complex and amino acids. Evy also had her amalgam dental fillings removed. It seemed sensible not to keep any type of poison in her body.
After months of introspection, reading and doing the above exercises, Evy eventually summed up what she learned: “I no longer demanded that life be the way I wanted it and embraced life as it was.”
Eventually, through trial and error, persistence and determination, Evy learned to love and forgive herself and others. She let go of resentments, and embraced whatever life situation she was in at that moment, instead of hoping that life would be different. She kept reading and reflecting, and as a result, got ideas to assist her in this process. From her wheelchair, Evy celebrated life and lived every precious moment.
Remember, at this point Evy did not focus on a cure for her ALS. She focused on wholeness, healing everything she felt was broken within herself, and seeing herself as whole and beautiful.
While doing “her part” by being as healthy and happy as she possibly could in body and mind, at the same time she completely surrendered her future to God. She focused on living the best she could each day no matter what and no longer concerned herself with dying.
As a result, Evy’s everyday thinking changed profoundly. As she radically changed her view of herself and the world, Evy radically changed as a person, even though physically, as she put it, she was still “a bowl of jello in a wheelchair“.
Remember, Evy fully believed she would die. She planned her funeral complete with the music and readings she wanted. She did not intend to heal, only to live the best life she could.
Then, surprisingly Evy’s ALS symptoms began to slowly reverse. Over a period of months, her body gradually regained strength. Instead of losing functionality, her body gained it. After about six months, she had the strength to get out of her wheelchair and stand. Then, after more time she was able to walk again. After about a year, she was back to normal physical function.
Why did Evy’s ALS symptoms reverse? Why did Evy heal when others, who seemingly did similar things, did not?
Evy is now in her 60’s. She lives a full life. Her ALS symptoms have been gone for over 35 years and have not returned. Looking back on the “why”, “Why did she heal?”, Evy
says that she knows, without a doubt, that had she not changed her thinking, she would have died long ago. She does not know how much of a role a good diet, supplements and removing her amalgam fillings played in her ALS reversal, but she does know the substantial role her “change in thinking” played.
About three years after her ALS reversal, Evy went to visit the neurologist who diagnosed
her. He was very surprised to find out that she was still alive. They went to lunch and spoke for hours, and he noted that she was a completely different person than the “hard-edged” woman who had walked into his office for a diagnosis. They became friends, and co-presented at an ALS conference the next year. This eventually led Evy to be the lead investigator on the “ALS Patient Profile Project” which followed 144 PALS and their primary caregivers for 18 months. Their results were published in a peer-reviewed article in the Archives of Neurology in 1994. That led to being invited to speak at other ALS conferences, including one in London where she met the Duchess of York.
Today, forgiveness, giving and receiving love, and living each day to the fullest and with joy, are all still a part of Evy’s ongoing life journey. Evy is proof that ALS can be reversed, and also proof that the mind can play a significant role in healing. Evy knows that her journey is not unique and that others too can heal ALS and other ailments.
In 400 BC Socrates said, “There is no disease of the body apart from the mind.” For more modern scientific theory and evidence of the mind’s role in healing check out books and YouTube videos by Bruce Lipton, Larry Dossey, Gregg Braden, Dolores Cannon, and others.
Some more details of Evy’s journey to healing ALS are at: https://ahha.org/selfhelp-articles/another-perspective-of-als/
Steven Bishop was only 35 years old when he was diagnosed with ALS in February 2001. Steven is now into his 17th year living with, not dying from, ALS.
At the time of his diagnosis, Steven was happily living with his wife Jennifer and their almost three-year-old son. They had their whole lives ahead of them. Like anyone given an ALS diagnosis, the couple was devastated and Jennifer insisted on getting a second opinion. A few weeks later, a second neurologist at a different hospital confirmed the diagnosis.
One of the first things Steven and Jennifer did was try to find other ALS families. Through their local MDA (Muscular Dystrophy Association) they were able to find other families and start a support group, as well as get valuable information about ALS, what to expect, and how to get equipment. At least they did not feel totally alone.
Steven’s job was extremely stressful so he made the decision to go on disability soon after
his diagnosis at the recommendation of his doctors. He knew that stress was a contributing factor to disease. They also decided to move into a smaller house on one level, both for wheelchair accessibility and to keep expenses down.
From the beginning, Steven took anti-oxidants C, E, and CoQ10 on the advice of his neurologist. He and his wife already ate a healthy diet and did their best to avoid junk food, and artificial flavors, colors and sweeteners in their home anyway, so they had a head start on a healthy diet.
As many people do after receiving an ALS diagnosis, Steven went into a depression. Jennifer felt all the burden on her, with a three year old and the additional physical and economic responsibilities. She told her husband that they “needed him” to be an active part of their lives.
Fortunately Steven was able to pull out of his depression and decided whether he had 18 months left or 5 years, he was going to live the very best life he could. He wanted his son to remember a father who was positive and happy, not one who was grumpy and complaining. He made up his mind to be a good role model. He and Jennifer decided to focus on the quality of life each day, since they did not know how many days they had left together as a family.
The other thing the couple decided was that they were going to “give back” to the ALS community. If there was no hope for ALS now, at least they could work so there would be hope for others with ALS in the future. They volunteered to help with fundraising for the MDA in their local area. This had an added bonus: focusing on others took their minds off their own problems.
One evening they were asked to attend an MDA fundraising “lock-up” where volunteers were “jailed” at a local restaurant until they raised a certain amount of money. Steven and Jennifer went around the room telling the volunteers how the MDA had helped them. It happened that the local television station was at the fundraiser that night and interviewed the couple. This eventually led them, months later, to be invited to the annual national Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon in Atlanta, where they told their story on national television. Jerry Lewis was so impressed he asked them for their phone number.
To their surprise, Jerry Lewis phoned them soon after, and then every week for the next year for a mental pep-talk. Jerry explained to them that in his 40 years with the MDA that he observed that the people who had the most positive attitudes had far better outcomes with their disease. These phone calls were invaluable. Both Steven and Jennifer made it a point to be more positive during the week so they would be able report back to Jerry.
It is impossible to prove, but both Steven and Jennifer feel that focusing on others, maintaining a positive mental attitude, and deciding to make the very best of whatever time Steven had left, slowed his disease progression along with other therapies they tried.
In addition to taking anti-oxidants, Steven experimented with various therapies that might help slow his ALS symptoms, including chriropractic, massage and “dry needling”. Even if it was only relief of muscle cramping and twitching, he felt some benefit from these.
Since his progress was so slow, they thought Steven might be misdiagnosed, but a third and then eventually a fourth neurologist confirmed his ALS diagnosis.
Despite all of the positive mental attitude, the anti-oxidants and other therapies, Steven continued to decline physically. He could stand and walk for only short periods and needed a wheelchair for anything requiring long periods of walking or standing, like the zoo, museum, park and his son’s field days. He could no longer do stairs, and he was tired much of the time. He continued to exercise as much as he was physically able to.
Still, Steven and Jennifer kept their eyes open for things that might help and in 2009, through a friend, they found a nutritional supplement that is a Nrf2 activator. They did not think it would necessarily reverse ALS, but they did think that it might help Steven stay healthier overall by allowing the body to heal itself. The science was strong and Steven decided to take the new supplement instead of the C, E, and CoQ10 he had been taking. Jennifer also started on the supplement and felt health benefits soon after. Steven did not notice any improvement intially but continued to take it because he knew the science and was convinced it would help him stay healthier.
In 2010, over a year after he started taking the Nrf2 activator, Steven had a good day, when he felt a little less tired, and felt a little stronger. Then, a few weeks later he had another good day. Soon he was having several good days in a row. Several months later his doctor commented that he might be getting stronger in some areas, and even stated “I believe you will be around to see your son get married and have kids.” To Steven and Jennifer, this seemed like a miracle! It was a memorable day.
Over the next months and years, Steven slowly regained strength. Eventually he no longer needed his wheelchairs nor his walker. They called the ALS Association to give back the equipment. Steven remembers the freedom he felt the day the ALS Association picked up the electric wheelchair that had been donated to them so someone else could use it.
Today, in 2017, sixteen years after diagnsosis, Steven still has ALS. He still deals with fine motor skill issues, he gets fatigued if he does too much. He can do some yard work but if he overdoes it he pays for it the next day. Steven still cannot return to work because anything stressful causes his symptoms to worsen. He still uses a bi-pap for ALS-induced sleep apnea and baclofen for muscle tension when needed. Steven and Jennifer are grateful for Steven’s dramatic recovery. He can do stairs again, and drive again and continues to slowly improve physically.
Steven and Jennifer still give their time to others diagnosed with ALS. They also share the Nrf2-activating supplement, because they feel it was part of the reason Steven has been able to successfully reverse ALS.
To find out more about Steven in his own words, visit https://alsliving.wordpress.com/.
Cathy Cummins, DC was diagnosed with PLS in 2005 and ALS in 2008.
She was a busy chiropractor, helping students and patients while pursuing her dreams. Like many people with active professional and personal lives, she often overworked her body.
Before her diagnosis, Cathy competed as a hopeful for the 1992 U.S. Judo team for the Barcelona Olympics until she broke her arm. She became a competition body builder.
She continued her post-doctoral education to become the best she could be in her profession while continuing to work.
When Cathy was diagnosed she knew, as a holistic healer, that one could accept the diagnosis without accepting the prognosis. She enlisted the help of her partner, also a chiropractor, and other health professionals, including a highly skilled naturopath to help her plan and adjust her program.
As a medical professional, Cathy knew the importance of nutrition, supplements and detoxification. She also knew that rest, stress reduction, staying positive and keeping mentally and emotionally healthy were an essential part of healing.
Cathy used all the tools at her disposal, including traditional medicine. She took a prescription muscle relaxant and had a medication pump
implanted into her spine to help her with her cramping. With her own research and the help of other professionals she experimented with supplements and protocols she knew were low risk that might possibly help her symptoms.
Despite all of her best efforts, Cathy’s physical condition continued to worsen. However, she knew she was on the right track and she knew that holistic protocols take time to be effective, so she persevered and made the best of whatever state her body was in.
During this time, Cathy remained in her job as an assistant professor teaching chiropractic on a part-time basis. She thoroughly enjoyed her work and it took her mind off of her diagnosis. She used a van with a lift and an electric wheelchair to get to, from and around campus.
Cathy’s diaphragm and voice were very weak, working at 50-60% of normal, so she used a ChatterVox and micrphone at work so that she could be heard while teaching.
While experimenting with various treatments and working part-time, Cathy knew her emotional well-being was just as essential to healing, so she made sure to include fun in her life. She kept up her annual trips to Mexico with her family, even though it meant sometimes being carried by friends when things were not wheelchair accessible, even once using a luggage rack for transport.
Cathy joined a competition-level singing group, despite only being able to stand for short periods, needing a machine to amplify her voice, and sometimes needing assistance breathing. Cathy was very excited to be able to sing the National Anthem at a ball game with one of her quartets. She also took up wheelchair curling for recreation.
With all this, at times Cathy’s symptoms were scary. At her worst, she needed a respirator at night and her partner wondered if she would even make it until morning. She had an Ambu Bag with her at all times on her wheelchair since she had passed out a few times from a lack of oxygen and over exertion. Cathy needed help cutting up her food and needed her wheelchair both in and out of the house. Friends and family prepared for the worst, while hoping for the best and never giving up.
Finally, after years of experimenting with various protocols, mostly holistic, Cathy’s symptoms turned around. She got so good at wheelchair curling she made the 2014 Sochi Paralympic team as a the women’s alternate. Unfortunately—or fortunately—shortly after the Olympic trials she was disqualified from the paralympic team because her symptoms improved so much she no longer qualified. She was no longer “disabled enough”. Fortunately a rule change allowed her to stay on the team.
Today, Cathy is slowly giving away the equipment she has accumulated over the years such as canes, walkers and wheelchairs. If she overworks or overstresses, her ALS symptoms worsen. To maintain her health, she needs to rest, exercise, watch what she eats and take supplements. She continues to tweak her protocol.
Cathy is a poster person for ALS reversal. Her courage, determination and perseverance have paid off. She was not afraid to enlist help from her partner, family, friends and colleagues, all of whom helped her heal. She sought professional help from a naturopath
and other experts, even though she was a professional herself. She took the time and effort to maintain her emotional and mental health throughout the process. She made sure she had fun and came up with fulfilling things to do to enrich her life, at every stage of her disease, no matter what the level of her disability.
Today Cathy celebrates her improvement. Thank you Cathy, for showing others what is possible.
Back in 1988, Joyce Brown was diagnosed with ALS at age 54. Her symptoms were
muscle cramping, muscle twitching (fasciculations), difficulty swallowing, breathing, and walking, choking on saliva, and losing her voice. She went to a second doctor who confirmed her diagnosis.
To be absolutely sure of her diagnosis she traveled to a neurologist in Salt Lake City who had experience with ALS and had a third confirmation of her ALS diagnosis. The neurologist told her she might live until Thanksgiving, only five months away.
Hoping for a miracle she tried to find someone who had any kind of treatment that might work. Through her doctor in Las Vegas Nevada she learned of a homeopathic treatment from Germany that had apparently worked for some ALS patients in Germany. She agreed to try it and traveled 900 miles round trip once a week to get the treatments—injections which mixed her blood with the homeopathic remedy. She was also told to eat only whole foods and not consume meat products during the treatment period.
After 10 weeks of homeopathic treatments and 9000 miles of driving she still continued to get worse. Walking was extremely difficult, she could no longer eat in public and regularly choked on her food. People were having so much trouble understanding her speech that she looked for a voice board to communicate.
After 10 weeks of treatments Joyce’s doctor went on vacation for a week. She got so much worse the week with no treatment that she convinced the doctor to continue treatments when he returned.
All of this time Joyce continued to pray. She had a near death experience several years before her ALS diagnosis and had felt close to God since that time.
Joyce also knew that thoughts affected the body and so did not want to think anything that might affect her body in a negative way. She recited positive phrases out loud over and over again throughout each day to keep her mind positive. In addition, each night Joyce put on headphones during sleep listening to “sleep teaching”–her recorded voice repeatedly saying positive statements.
Joyce also decided to no longer attend ALS support groups during her treatment because they focused on how much everyone was deteriorating and what to expect with physical decline, instead of on what one could do to slow, stop or reverse the ALS progression. She did not want any negative thoughts entering her mind.
Joyce also saw a spiritual counselor and realized that in case she died she needed to forgive everyone in her life she felt had wronged her, including herself. She also asked God to bless her life. Looking back on this, Joyce feels forgiving herself and others was a key part to her healing.
Joyce continued to pray to heal, although she prepared in case God had other plans for her. She continued her weekly homeopathic injection treatments.
About a week after her 16th homeopathic treatment, while praying, Joyce felt a shift. She
described it felt like grey smoke lifting off of her. From that moment she felt different and when her husband came home that day he said she looked different. She no longer felt like she was choking.
In the coming weeks Joyce’s muscle wasting stopped progressing. Her doctor tested her and said her ALS was gone. She continued to gain strength over the next few months, although her muscle mass never completely returned. After more time, Joyce’s voice finally recovered completely.
Today Joyce is almost 84 years old, lives on her own and stays active. She has had life challenges and other health problems including two bouts with macular degeneration which have affected her vision but her ALS symptoms have never returned in the past 29 years.
Joyce is founder and president of Stress and Greif Relief, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization—helpstopsuicide.org, where she administers a suicide prevention lifeline (800-734-3439).
Joyce’s favorite saying is “Believe in Miracles, Expect Miracles and BE a Miracle for someone else.”