My Story of Healing Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Naturally
Healing MS Naturally is Diane McLaren’s story of overcoming the paralyzing symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia
The battle to overcome paralyzing symptoms of MS (Multiple Sclerosis), Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and more, and how it changed my life and my life journey. - Diane McLaren
Your health affects everything ... when you feel good you never give it much thought, when you experience symptoms of some sort, you believe they'll pass ...
For many people, symptoms of illness arrive so slowly , they don't notice change because the process is so slow e.g. months & even years.
One day the symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) did not pass for me without a very significant and difficult journey, a life changing journey ...
I had an experience while attending McGill University in Montreal majoring in my first passion, music. The experience shattered my dreams, left me unable to play my beloved piano and forced me to take stock of myself, my purpose and mission in life.
In dealing with the symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis and more, I discovered each of us has an incredible power and unlimited ability to chose our own futures
I had no guide so it took me a long lonely time to regain my health and re-define my future, those experiences motivated me to help others avoid the confusion, pain & disappointments addressing their own personal, sometimes significant health challenges including Multiple Sclerosis, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and more. Those were the labels my doctors gave to me on my health.
We all have many quality of life choices available to us ... if we look for them
I found out the hard way that we do have many choices ... while I'd had the undiagnosed early symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis (MS), doctors could never figure it out, though eventually, I was initially diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and more diseases were later to the list.
I landed in the hospital ... paralyzed by symptoms of an unknown disease
1982 was the year I landed in the hospital, paralyzed from my face to my toes on the right side of my body with extensive speech loss due to facial paralysis, pain, little colon/bladder function and 90% vision loss in one eye. It took them a long time to label it Multiple Sclerosis!
Initially my doctor's did not know why, and that was just the beginning of a difficult 10 year journey!
Prior to that episode that landed me in the hospital, I had been repeatedly told that they could find nothing, that it was likely "all in my head"
Once hospitalized, I had no idea I would face so many challenging years to reclaim my health
The discouraging prognosis of the doctors, neurologists, psychologists & psychiatrists was a possible 50-70% recovery to a cane(s), no children, restricted mobility, limited career options, no beloved piano and so on.
During the early years, I would regain some degree of health but only for short periods, I could never stay healthy for any meaningful length of time.
Doctors said "it was simply the nature of the disease…so just accept it" ... I did not!
During my last and final crisis in 1992 there were too many weeks where I could not drive my car, walk properly without holding to walls, could not climb the stairs, … feed myself, get dressed on my own, you name it.
It took me another long and painful 18 months where even after 12 months, I had still not made any real progress, I was ready to give up many times ... but ...
I did not quite!
Diagnosed with MS and more and my doctors did not know how to heal me
I was trying everything that western medicine had to offer, the medications, procedures and more, but nothing provided lasting results and the side-effects were unwelcome.
Western medical reasoning & diagnosis as I experienced it
- Initially I was diagnosed with symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis but because I was much more tired than the typical MS patient ...
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome was diagnosed ... but ...
- Because I had tremendous pain and according to doctors, symptoms of MS are not painful ... so Fibromyalgia was diagnosed!
- I pointed out to my doctors that 8 out of 10 people in the waiting room were in pain and asked … "who said symptoms of MS is not painful!"
- They diagnosed me as having several more diseases including Erythema, Nodosum and Sarcoidosis
- I had been diagnosed with 6 different diseases, i was not even 30 years old and with each new diagnosis came more medications and treatments aimed at the individual diseases following the allopathic method of western medicine.
- I remember asking one medical specialist “could there be a connection between the 6 diseases, because I simply could not believe that somebody could be so doomed” and I was told “No, no connection at all – that is the way it is”.
By the 6th disease, I’d had it with the western medical system of guesswork and got very angry and frustrated with the continuing lack of any solution that lasted.
Lots of diseases but no solutions!
If western medicine couldn't help me get my life back, it was up to me
I had began to question western medical wisdom because surly there are cause and effect relationships to be drawn when a series of events happen!
- In the early days, laying paralyzed in the hospital with soon to be diagnosed symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis, I hated depending on others for just about every human necessity
- Several years later I remember refusing the offer of a handicap license because for me, accepting it would have meant I gave up all hope of recovery.
- I was so scared that I would never come back, I consciously decided never again
- I consciously chose not to be at the mercy of these diseases ... living with the fear that some mornings I could not walk, drive a car or even hold my child.
I vowed to fight back, no matter what!
Finding solutions in natural health modalities
The anger and frustration lead me to begin researching eastern philosophies, nutritional strategies, herbal medicines, nutritional health supplements, mental visualizations, body work and many other alternative health therapies.
The more I studied and applied them, the better I understood the complex relationships of our body systems acting in unison. My health finally returned to me and in the process, I discovered a new life passion, that of sharing what I had learned so others might find hope.
- My family doctor was and remains a big supporter. At the time she observed the changes & simply said “whatever you’re doing Diane, don’t stop!”
- My neurologist, after assessing my case for years finally threw up his hands and said check-in annually so I can document this unprecedented recovery!
- Over the years I have become a Registered Nutritionist, Certified Iridologist, Herbalist, Reflexologist and trained in many related natural health therapies.
- The formal knowledge coupled and combined with my own experiences enabled me to develop an effective methodology that offers reasonable solutions to help others.
That was a 10 year journey. Since 1994, I have dedicated myself to helping others find solutions and avoid what I experienced.
Options, knowledge and choice are a powerful combination
When I was ill, I promised myself, (and family though they didn’t know), I would not be living like that. Once I would come back (walking and all), I would do everything I could to stay healthy.
- I had finally decided to take ownership for my own recovery!
Did you notice?
I did not think or say if … I said once I would come back ... this is a very important point and I believe crucial to successfully fighting any illness or disease (or achieving any goal for that matter). You see, in my mind and in my heart - there were no doubts.
- I did not know how long it would take
- I did not know what I would have to do
- My one burning desire was to get well, then stay well.
I wanted to enjoy life without depending on others - I wanted and still want to do everything I choose, when I want, as long as I want and I still do whatever it takes to stay healthy.
Anybody can heal, I see daily in my wellness centres
Of course there is a lot of resistance to the notions of natural healing and the science of alternative health so when someone learns of my personal experiences, quite often I'll hear words like ...
- “what did you do to get well”
- “you are so lucky, you got well”
Then when I tell them what I did to get well did not involve luck, many will say,
- "Oh no, I cannot do that"
- "Oh no, it is too much for me"
- "I can't do that because my <husband/wife/partner> would never let me"
Ultimately and while not easy, it comes down to a personal choice.
Solutions born from need are powerful natural healers
Thanks to my many positive experiences (and many not so positive) with doctor's, Holistic Health Practitioners, Herbalists, Nutritionists and access to modalities like Iridology, Reflexology and Applied Kinesiology; with absolute determination and the internal belief that I could, I have been symptom free for many years now.
- I had always visualized my goal = “What good health would look, feel and be like for me” and that's why it's an important part of my wellness programs.
As a result of my training and experience, I'd discovered and since developed a unique methodology focused on a holistic approach that helps people take one small step at a time, and get results.
- No one needs to endure the journey I've had to achieve & enjoy good health
The years of nutritional support I required to get my body functioning normally included a clean diet with lots of whole foods plus large quantities and correct formulations of nutrient dense herbal medicines and nutritional supplements.
- Through early trial and error with a number of herbal product lines, I eventually found the correct formulations in Nature's Sunshine Products and today, they remain a part of my maintenance program and my natural health practice.
- I owe a debt of gratitude to Nature's Sunshine Products for my recovery and ongoing good health. They have put the science, research and quality into an exceptionally complete line of herbal products which is why I recommend Nature's Sunshine to others. Used appropriately and properly, their nutrient dense all natural plant sourced herbal products simply work.
Good health is a proactive, individual choice
While I recognize there is an essential place for modern medicine and technology in saving lives, I also believe that as natural beings, good health today requires people to take a proactive preventive approach to maintain wellness, not the typical reactive response to treating symptoms (not the causes) of illness after they have arrived.
Today I'm playing the piano again, have 2 healthy grown children, travel and own my own wellness centres. I am continuing my education and pursuing my passion of helping others avoid what I had to endure through my counselling and education programs.
2013 Update on MS & Health :: 20 years later
It's actually over 30 years since that crisis that landed me in the hospital. Yes, the doctors diagnosed Multiple Sclerosis in 1982 and the other diseases were to follow but I never took ownership of them, they were simply names of conditions I worked very hard at healing naturally.
It's now been 20 years since my last and final crisis! From time to time people ask me if I'm cured of MS and I'll tell them I do not know about cures for Multiple Sclerosis, or any of the other diseases I'd been diagnosed with, I can only state that I have not had symptoms of MS or those other diseases for 20 years. If that's considered a cure, then I am!
If you'd like help addressing a personal health problem, my services are available in French or English from my Wellness Centres in Mississauga (Toronto, ON Canada), or by phone and Skype.
To your lasting health and wellness,
"Your body has the amazing ability to naturally realign and heal itself, if you’d just give it some basic attention!" ~ Diane McLaren