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    You are here : Home » Get Involved » MSRC Interactive » Help, Advice and Inspiration from people with MS » Living With MS » Matthew Grace's Recovery

    Matthew Grace's Recovery

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    Matthew Grace

    It's hard to say if I really know anything. I have a myriad of impressions, thoughts and feelings concerning disease, health and healing and I continue to learn as I go. I have also witnessed some remarkable recoveries from "incurable disease," including my own. I have gained some understanding of the principles of health and their application to a sickly body, and I have been able to verify certain conditions and practices that significantly increase the chances of healing. Understanding the process of disease and recovery is an immense subject involving the extensive study of physiology and natural laws as well as a complete study of the mind, emotions and their effect on the physical world. Unfortunately, the study of disease, health, and recovery has been retarded and hindered by the so-called "health care system" presently in place with all its backward practices.

    I know that most people who are reading this publication have been afflicted with a list of symptoms and nervous system disorders that doctors refer to as "multiple sclerosis." Naming this list of symptoms is very helpful to the medical machine and pharmaceutical companies as it provides a specific identity to the list of symptoms that require treatment, as well as a vehicle for fundraising and research. It does little for the patient. The reality is that what is commonly known as MS is a non-specific group of nervous system disorders that continue to mystify the medical world. No one knows the cause and there remains nothing but hapless treatments. Scarring on the myelin sheaths of cells are sometimes present and sometimes not. There are those with massive scarring and no symptoms and those with no scarring and severe symptoms. The cause remains unknown to our medical establishment and despite what appears to be "a clear diagnosis," the ambiguity of the symptoms are evident. If you don't know the cause of disease, how ludicrous is it to attempt to treat it? The idea that if "we know what it is, then we can treat it" is preposterous in this instance.

    Many patients feel a strange sense of relief when they finally hear a name for what "they have" as if medical treatments can actually do anything for them other than create more problems. All drugs and steroids have what doctors call "side effects." There is nothing side about the effects of known toxins that create flu-like symptoms, nausea, headaches, abdominal cramps, and major organ damage. These are direct frontal assaults on your health. Taking a pill that would make a healthy man sick, in order to make a sick man healthy, is absurd.

    To an individual who wishes to be well and or recover from a body in disease, disease nomenclature becomes a hindrance. I don't believe in the necessity to name bodily responses to poisoning. Many times patients become completely identified with their disease and consciously or unconsciously use their diagnosis as an excuse to not participate in life, or do things that are difficult or uncomfortable. If you are serious about getting well, you will take notice that:

    There is one disease on the planet, and one cure
    The disease is toxicity, and the cure is detoxification.

    Any disease from cancer to diabetes, to asthma, to a cold, to the flu, to MS, etc., has to do with the body's response to poisoning. The average American poisons themselves (physically) an average of fifty times a day. When the poisoning ceases health begins to return. "MS" or "spinal cord degeneration" never existed for me. The fact was my body was breaking down and all I was interested in was regaining my health. That's it. I refused to use any medical terminology to describe my condition and when friends and family would emphatically ask me "what is it?" or "what did the doctors say?" I would repeat, "I'm not interested in what doctors say; I'm interested in re-gaining my health." I saw at least 20 doctors and one chiropractor in seven months. These doctors told me many different things, but I simply wasn't interested in their methods of healing. I refused all treatments and took none of the recommended drugs. The doctors had little hope for me ever recovering and a couple of them even suggested that I sign up with a handicap employment agency.

    If you are genuinely interested in being healthy, you will stop buying into the fact the MS is a distinct disease entity and it has taken you over. A group of people selling products came up with the idea to name these nervous system disorders MS. There is little science involved. See this as the fact that it is, and focus on what you want, a healthy body.

    I have learned that physical care of the body according to our natural biological laws can eradicate most symptoms. In my book, "A Way Out - Disease Deception and the Truth About Health", I have presented my observations of The Laws of Nature and the true origin of disease. As I said earlier, most symptoms and bodily disease are eliminated by adhering to our natural diet, which consists of raw (uncooked, untainted) fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts. We are the only species on the planet who cook our foods. There are no provisions in nature for cooking. Cooking destroys the life force in food making it a complete burden to the digestive and eliminative organs of the body. The simple premise is to simply stop poisoning the body and it will return to its normal and healthy state of wellness. Of course this includes elimination of all environmental poisons such as fluoride, chlorine, mercury, pcb's etc.

    I also state in my book that the most important factor in regaining and or maintaining your health is the contents of your mind and heart. I know people who eat well yet remain ill because they refuse to change their thinking. I would like to share with you the outline of my recovery and the inner-work that was done to bring it on. Before I do, I'll list the symptoms I had.

    At my worst I had little or no feeling from my chest down. I was extremely fatigued despite the fact I would sleep for 12 or 14 hours. My lower body felt as if it were in constant spasm. I hardly had an appetite and my digestive system all but shut down. I had occasional spasms in my face and some extreme hypersensitivity in my feet. My eyes would sometimes go into a brief spasm. I was unable to move my legs without using my arms to move them around. I could not stand up without a walker and a lot of arm strength. I could use my hands but they were desensitized and debilitated. My manual dexterity was off and I was unable to hold a guitar pick; as soon as I struck the strings it fell from my hands. Nor could I co-ordinate my left hand to touch the strings I wanted to touch. Needless to say, I was depressed, angry, and impatient.

    I had been a highly competitive athlete my whole life and all of a sudden I was a cripple. I was shocked, scared, and embarrassed. I didn't want anyone to see me in this condition. I'll never forget the first day I went out of my building being pushed in my wheelchair. I remember the look on the faces of my neighbors of shock and disbelief. Some of them literally couldn't speak and I realized then just how awful I must look to evoke such a reaction. Rumours had spread that I had been shot or in a car accident I weighed about 160lbs, down from 190lbs. For five months I was in this completely debilitated state and it took me over one year to learn how to walk again with some co-ordination.

    I had a strong sense that what I was experiencing was caused by my emotional and mental state. I had always prided myself on not being addicted to any kind of drugs or alcohol. Little did I know there is a whole world of addictive behaviors that include neither one. I was an addict of another sort. Just before I was stricken, I went 36 weeks training three hours per day of highly intense weightlifting. I remember going weeks without a day off. I used the training as a way to deal with unmanageable emotions. The workouts left me physically exhausted and provided relief from the inner turmoil. The frequency and intensity of this program was certainly a shock to my nervous system. I was eating six times a day, which put a huge strain on my digestive system. I was sleeping five to six hours a night, giving lectures on medical fraud, hosting a cable television show, training five to six people a day. I was frightened of a quiet moment and would do anything not to face myself. I was angry, resentful, and eventually frightened at the condition of the world. Ironically, my inner world was what needed attention and I was completely focused on the outer world. I also decided it was my job to save the world. Bad idea, especially when it was me who needed saving.

    Life gets very simple when you are unable to walk. Activity is limited and one can only watch so much television before the mind begins to cry for mercy. I could read for a couple of hours but then my eyes would give out. At the early stages of my body's breakdown I began to seek some help with my emotional life, the more severe my symptoms became, the more serious I got about my inner-work. I got involved in a 12 step program to help me deal with my addictive behaviors and harmful or toxic thought patterns.

    This opened up a whole new world of self-responsibility for me, and at the same time was very difficult. I felt the key to my recovery was in my heart and mind and I worked this program with great determination. Even though I couldn't walk I found ways to get to meetings.

    I made concerted efforts to examine my belief systems and see myself as I really was, not how I preferred to see myself. This was quite shocking, as I had always thought of myself as an easy-going, light-hearted, fun guy. In fact I was dealing with a myriad of emotions from anger and resentment to bitterness and hate. On a suggestion, I began writing letters to friends and family members saying exactly what I felt. I never sent these letters, as that was not the intent. By writing down on paper my thoughts and feelings I saw more clearly the depths of my anger.

    I know a lot of people think that anger is purely an emotional issue, and that its effects on the physical body are limited. The fact is that people sometimes die in moments of extreme anger, as the blood pressure soars and the strain on the heart is sometimes too much. Usually this occurs in a short and explosive outburst, but how many of us have ever considered the long-term effects of internal anger on the body? My experience is that being angry and resentful is the equivalent of taking poison and hoping somebody else dies.

    I also noticed an increasing amount of fear in my life. Fear that the world was simply a horrible place that just kept getting worse, corrupt governments, rapacious corporations, and a "health care system" responsible for at least 250,000 deaths per year. I had thoughts that soon they would be coming for me as I often went on long tirades on television about the way things really operate. We all know that human beings can in fact be scared to death if the fright is sudden and intense. Once again the question must be asked what are the long-term effects of living in fear? Can fear, over a period of time, steal nerve energy and life force? I think so.

    The worse I got the harder I worked on these issues. I began to see clearly how much help I needed and I did something I hadn't done my entire life, I asked for help. This was very humbling to a man who thought he knew it all, and had never asked for help. Nonetheless I received help and began some practices that changed my life.

    I began meditating, at first for 15 minutes a day and eventually, working my way up to 2 hours a day. During my meditation I would take time to just sit and breathe, doing my best to quiet my run-on mind. I would practice sitting and observing the thoughts as they passed, doing my best not to go with them, realizing that most of what I was "thinking" were random thoughts that just happened to be passing through. It was quite a revelation to recognize that I didn't choose to think them. I also spent many hours visualizing myself in my healthiest state, and recalling what it felt like to walk and run and play sports. There were times when I would sit for long periods of time imagining a healing beam of white light pouring into my head filling my entire body, especially my legs. Meditation helped me to calm my mind and think clearly as well as taught me great discipline to sit immobile and still for long periods of time. I learned to be a human being instead of a human doing. If you are interested in meditation I suggest Thich Nhat Hanhn's book The Miracle Of Mindfulness.

    I began keeping a journal writing down daily what was going on internally and checking to see that I kept myself in empowered states. I paid close attention to the language that I used to speak to others and myself and did my best to use positive language and tones of voice. I realized that we all have tremendous healing capabilities within and I did everything to utilise mine.

    As soon as I accepted my situation (instead of trying to change it) things started to get better. Accepting where I was at, examining how I got there, and beginning to piece together how to eliminate my diseased thinking put me on the path to recovery. The first noticeable shift was the relaxation of my mind and the lightening of my heart. I was laughing more. I noticed the quality of my sleep improving. I became less fearful and more trusting that everything was exactly as it should be. I read and studied about addictive personalities and how they are formed, and reformed. I listened to uplifting music and did my best to surround myself with positive impressions. Eventually the body began a slow but progressive journey back to health.

    It took close to a year before I could walk with confidence. I went from being able to move my feet, to moving my legs, to standing with the walker, to walking with the walker, to walking with a cane (a very scary progression), to standing without a cane, to walking without a cane. I fell hundreds and hundreds of times and did my best to stay light-hearted as I practiced walking. I noticed that my attitude towards falling had a direct impact on my progress. I refused to berate myself, or take myself too seriously. I learned to fall so well that it looked like I meant to do it. I stayed relaxed yet very focused on my goals, one of which was to be able to jog two continuous miles one year after I learned to walk again. I made that goal.

    Today I have regained all of my required-by-life abilities and continue to gain in the athletic arena. I have gone on some extremely difficult hikes in Utah and Maine without difficulty. I ride my bike 5 to 7 miles everyday as my mode of transportation In New York City. I am back to weightlifting and yoga. I am able to leg press 600lbs for ten repetitions. I feel and look as good as I ever have. I am now in the process of learning to roller-blade. It's not pretty, but I'll only improve if I stick with it.

    It is necessary to have specific aims or goals, both long term and short term and to honour those goals by fully committing yourself to making them. Without goals you are aimless and will be pushed and pulled by your ever-changing nature. How many times have you decided to do something on Monday that was really going to change your life, then you wake up Tuesday morning with absolutely no desire to do what you said you would do? Your goals should be a stretch, something that is going to be hard to achieve and there should be a distinct time frame, one-week aims, four week aims, yearly aims etc. Write your aims down and report on them each day. Make your goals public by telling friends who are in good will towards you. That way, you're on the hook to do what you said you would.

    As you see, I spent most of this article talking about an inner approach to healing. That doesn't mean we should ignore our physical realities.

    As far as eating goes, do your best to stop poisoning your body. Before you eat anything ask yourself, "Is this going to help or hurt my chances at recovery?" Everything you need to know about eating properly is in my book "A Way Out".

    It is my belief that all disease is reversible. If you are interested in being healthy, please study health. Stop giving any credence to medical dogmatism and understand that health is not found in a pill or a bottle or any bizarre toxic treatments. It is impossible to practice health and not get healthier. A common question I get at my lectures is, "Can anybody recover, or are some people too far gone?" I don't pretend to know the answer to that question, but I believe that the human spirit combined with the laws of nature are a mighty combination, and when the inner self is transformed the outer self follows suit. How could it possibly hurt for you to believe that you are recovering?

    Remember that any difficulty in life can provide an opportunity for growth. We are not here to shrink and cower under our personal difficulties. We are here to grow out of them. A man or a woman's struggle is what makes them who they are. Your illness is a chance for immense growth and inner change. See it as the opportunity that it is and find that place in yourself that is willing to face anything.

    Forget the results. Just make the efforts and your life will be richer. Never give up going for what you want. Whether you make it or whether you don't, you'll be the better for your efforts. Good captains do not make their reputation on quiet seas. They make their reputations in severe storms. Best of Luck To You. Matthew Grace

    Matthew's food for thought:
    Asking What I Owe vs. Asking What I'm Owed
    Being Grateful vs. Being resentful
    Gaining Understanding vs. Wanting a Quick-fix Solution
    Allowing Solutions vs. Forcing Solutions
    Seeking Contentment vs. Seeking Excitement
    Inwardly Focused vs. Outwardly Focused
    Stubbornness vs. Acceptance

    A special thanks to Betty Iams for allowing us to use Matthew Grace's Story. Visit Betty's webpage and read about her own Journey to Wellness.

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