There are theories about symptom reduction—hard to prove because MS is a unique creature, unique in each one of us, like our thumbprint. What works for me, what is true for me, may very well not be true for my friend who has MS.
But—that doesn’t mean that what works for my friend won’t work for me, and so anecdotal evidence, stories we share, are savored and remembered and often acted on.
MY TRINITY OF SYMPTOM REDUCTION
Today I’m going to share my own anecdotal evidence for symptom reduction.
For me the benefits of diet, exercise and de-stressing are huge.
De-stress The word doesn’t do justice to living serenity, but it is a great first step. Taking life in deep breaths, one person calls it. Positivity is how DDP Yoga lives it. These and more are part of what makes this step.
Diet changed my symptoms when I first was dealing with MS. I read an inspiring book, The MS Recovery Diet, took it literally, and combined that with yoga. Pains went away and movements became more fluid. I had never considered organic or clean eating before MS, and now it is part of life (yes, I take a break into sweets and treats! I am not an absolutist).
Exercise took a front seat in my regimen when I started working on a book about MS and exercise. First, you can’t easily extoll the benefits of exercise if you are a couch potato, so this in itself got me up and away from the computer many days. Second, a trainer took me in hand. She had me do things I wouldn’t have chosen or thought of—not hard, just different muscles doing different things—and one day I found I could run again! I call it the MS jog; it includes my limping left leg, but it is Not walking, and I’m thrilled.
Because of these 3 approaches I’m making plans to do a week on the Camino Santiago, a walking meditative pilgrimage that draws over 200,000 people each year. I will be one of them! When I moved to New Hampshire in 2011, having just been firmly diagnosed, I never considered the possibility of walking over two miles a day, much less the Camino.
The studies can’t rely on anecdotal evidence, because just because something worked for one person can’t be applied to the rest of the people in that category. But stories are what inspire us, move us, give us the energy to try things, test them on our own MS. My anecdotal evidence joins the narratives of other people walking the MS walk. These stories that inspired me to try the Big Three that make The difference in my MS.