Your Natural Healing Stories
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Healing Lyme Meningitis With Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
by Dr. Grace Johnstone
On July 4th, 2012, my life changed dramatically. I was suddenly in agonizing pain with a high fever and incapacitated by what was eventually diagnosed as Early Disseminating Lyme Meningitis, and then Lyme radiculoneuritis. Within the short span of just 12 hours, I went from being a person actively gardening, mountain biking and doing the chiropractic work that I love to being bedridden and in acute, excruciating pain.
Treated first with IV antibiotics my condition improved, but soon deteriorated again as I began to experience severe lower back, leg and abdominal pain. Nine months later I remained unable to walk, dress, read, drive, or sit without excruciating pain. A host of treatment approaches, including a long course of IV antibiotics were unsuccessful, and my life was reduced to my couch, bed, constant pain and morphine.
I am fortunate to live in Vermont, where there are not enough people for much anonymity. Eventually a friend of a friend heard about my situation and offered to let me use her hyperbaric oxygen chamber. This was the beginning of life a new for me. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) allowed me to recover and get my life back. I took out a loan and got a hyperbaric chamber for use at home — I could not drive or walk without assistance, so this was my only option. Within two weeks I started walking again, discontinued morphine, and was gradually recovering. Now I garden, run, ski, and work full-time. I have resumed the chiropractic practice I love and am certified in Hyperbaric and Undersea Medicine.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is defined as the medical use of oxygen at pressures greater than normal. Although I was a physician, I had never heard of HBOT until Lyme disease catapulted me into incapacity and demoralizing pain. It is a safe, effective and well-researched treatment modality that is underutilized here in the U.S, as we tend to rely on pharmaceutical approaches instead.
The hyperbaric chamber is a tent-like structure that one can sit or lie down in. It is pressurized with room air at the normal mix of 21% oxygen, and an oxygen concentrator is used to provide 90-95% oxygen, which one breathes through a mask. At normal pressure, oxygen is carried by red blood cells, but the increased pressure in the chamber allows the oxygenation of plasma and all fluids, perfusing the entire body, brain and all of the organs with high levels of oxygen. This provides powerful anti-inflammatory and antibiotic effects, and speeds tissue healing, including soft tissue, bone, brain and neural tissue. It also stimulates stem cell production and normalizes immune function. Even when one’s blood supply has been compromised, as in the case of a stroke, diabetes or a large wound, HBOT delivers high levels of oxygen directly to the tissues.
Both clinical experience and research demonstrate that HBOT is particularly effective in treating chronic and degenerative conditions such as traumatic brain injuries, non-healing wounds, radiation damage, autism, and resistant infections such as Lyme disease. Over 30,000 research articles support its use. 1 The U.S. military is using it to treat veterans suffering from traumatic brain injuries and PTSD. Diabetic patients have been able to avoid amputations and halt vision loss, allowing them to regain mobility and resume their daily activities. Even some patients with dementia have made complete recoveries, and others regained the ability to speak following strokes using HBOT.
The U.K. has over 50 HBOT centers for the treatment of MS and cerebral palsy, which have been a central part of their treatment protocol for over 35 years. In other countries, HBOT has been approved for the treatment of between 60-120 conditions. Many of these conditions have few other effective treatment options. It’s time to spread the word here in the U.S. about this safe, effective treatment option.
Dr. Grace Johnstone is certified in Hyperbaric and Undersea Medicine and runs three hyperbaric treatment centers, as well as the nonprofit Hyperbaric Vermont, committed to making affordable HBOT treatment and education available throughout Vermont. Visit www.hyperbaricvermont.org for more information.
How Gluten Elimination Cleared My Acne And Excess Weight
by Sheila Rajan
For my whole adult life, I’ve been a huge health geek! I’ve always enjoyed eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly and practicing mediation. As a result, up until a few years ago, I maintained a steady weight and was relatively healthy except for some minor health issues. One chronic condition I could never really shake was adult acne. I tried several products and dietary changes, but nothing really worked. I didn’t worry too much about it since it was cosmetic, and I figured it would improve with age.
After recovering from a long bout of depression and its after effects, I was finally happy again, but with 20 extra pounds! Since I love natural health, I began fighting the weight gain with a stricter diet and more exercise. My diet was already pretty clean (vegetarian, whole grains, unprocessed foods) so I eliminated dairy, reduced my carb intake and started intermittent fasting. For exercise, I began running to add intense cardio to my work out. I absolutely hated running but I forced myself to do it as often as possible and tried my hardest to like it.
A few people had suggested eliminating gluten, but I resisted for a long time. I figured that I didn’t have Celiac disease because my digestion was pretty strong. I also didn’t want to give up whole wheat, since I always thought it was so nutritious.
Finally, on a trip to India, my schedule and long flight home forced me to fast for extensive periods. When I arrived home, I happened to not eat gluten-containing foods for a week. I noticed some weight loss, so I decided to consciously eliminate all gluten from my diet for a month. I lost 10 pounds and was pleasantly surprised not to have any breakouts in that period. I couldn’t remember the last time I went for a month without a single pimple!
I continued a whole food, gluten-free diet for the next six months. I replaced running with walking (since running made me miserable), and added some dairy back into my diet. I lost a total of 15 pounds out of the 20 that I gained initially. My acne decreased significantly too, but I still experienced occasional hormonal breakouts.
Finally, I went to an Ayurvedic doctor for my remaining acne. She prescribed me herbs, dietary changes and remedies. Since starting her plan, I haven’t gotten a single pimple and I was able to lose the remaining 5 pounds, finally returning to my original weight.
I did several Internet searches on the relationship of gluten to weight gain and acne so I could understand the science of how gluten was affecting my body. Several websites (and my primary care doctor) said something along the lines of, “There is no official research to link gluten to acne.” Despite these few websites, I found many more in which people recounted their own experiences similar to mine. Ultimately, my gluten journey was a huge scientific experiment, so it’s all the data I need to prove something to myself that official science hasn’t yet investigated.
My Path To Tong Ren Healing
by Leslie Saffer
I first learned about Tom Tam’s reputation as a powerful healer from the widow of a cancer survivor during a short conversation we had at a social event. She described how her husband’s life had been extended years beyond the timetable forecast by his medical doctors and how, on one occasion in particular, his debilitating pain had been relieved at a distance while they vacationed in the Midwest.
Our conversation was brief and her experience with Tom had taken place years before, yet her enthusiastic animation in describing her late husband’s compelling pain relief was more than enough to plant a seed. Over the next 12 years, two trusted holistic health practitioners also shared their experiences with Tong Ren, the energy healing discipline the Boston-based acupuncturist, author, teacher and inventor began developing more than 30 years ago.
The passion of these three individuals was not lost on me. Finally, after the span of a dozen years, I took action to check Tong Ren out for myself. What I discovered was not only an extraordinary healer, but a community of devoted practitioners and deeply grateful patients.
The success of the Tom Tam Healing Healing System relies on tapping, acupuncture, Tui Na and devices Tom has invented, all honoring the principle of clearing energy blockages by tapping into the collective unconscious to allow the body to heal. Tong Ren practitioners use a hand-held model of the human body with a magnetic hammer to clear blockages in nerve pathways, distinguishable from meridian pathways, to support the balanced flow of chi, the life force energy. The therapy uses the power of the mind to move chi.
Tong Ren practitioners do not diagnose; they work with the medical diagnosis of the individual seeking healing. In a group tapping session, the leader moves from one individual to the next, inviting each to verbally share his/her current need or complaint. Some report the results of their latest lab or other conventional procedure. Tapping on the human model for each person present is done sequentially and generally lasts anywhere from one to three minutes per individual. Sessions close with a few minutes of quiet time where the healing energy is broadcast to the full group.
Like others in the room during the first healing circle I attended in Burlington, MA, I felt strong sensations reflecting movement of the energy elicited by the tapping. That first Sunday afternoon, I arrived home feeling a pronounced sense of elation and renewal. I felt so much lighter, happier! I was due for hip replacement surgery in a few months, and the cutting lower body pain I’d been experiencing was relieved to the point that I could walk around the house without my two ski poles. When my surgeon unexpectedly cancelled the scheduled hip replacement surgery date, the only way I was able to make it through to the new date was by way of the support I was getting from the Tong Ren community.
Many who come to Tong Ren are unfamiliar with the concept of chi and are looking for hope and solutions. Like me, they’ve heard Tong Ren stories or someone they know has suggested they check it out. They’re not into the science Tom bases his work on and they needn’t be to benefit. Within a few weeks of attending these free healing circles, the vertigo I’d experienced for several months vanished completely and has not returned. Prior to experiencing Tong Ren, I considered sleeping four hours without waking a good night; yet that first night, I slept 6 1/2 hours without waking. On days I attend weekly healing circles and/or tap at home, sleep continues to be sounder and longer. And if I can’t attend an in-person session, I can sign in online with my healing request to maintain momentum via circles held throughout the week.