Simple Things

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 Getting, protecting, and recovering health should be simple, make sense, and be accessible to all.  Today I just want to share a few of my favorite, tried and true, simple remedies.  A remedy is something that helps healing.

Cool Showers:  Years ago I used to take cool showers, so in the winter I wouldn’t be so cold while riding my bike to work.  It worked.  Here are just some of the benefits of cool showers or baths [especially for those with MS]:

  1. They strengthen the body to resist feeling cold
  2. They stimulate the nerves
  3. Invigorate the mind and thinking
  4. Increase muscle tone [strength of muscles]
  5. Increase muscle flexibility
  6. Increase muscle endurance [can do more for longer periods].  *Drinking water will also help.

After a cool shower I always move better, and feel ready to conquer the world.  For those afraid of cold water, try what I do:  I start with warm water for a few minutes.  Then I gradually turn the water to cool or cold for 2-3 minutes.  Make sure the water hits the entire body.  After the warm water, the cold does not feel too bad.

Lemon Water: It is the juice of ½ or 1 fresh lemon added to a cup of warm water. Warm water gets into the bloodstream faster than cold.  I drink it in the morning before eating any food.  I also add a shake of cayenne pepper [it helps circulation and helps clean mucus from blood], and 1 tablespoon of organic maple syrup [touch of sweetness, vitamins and minerals].

Lemon juice has lots of benefits, but here are just three:

    1. It helps the body resist bacterial and viral infections.  And if sick, it helps you heal.  *Germs cannot live in the presence of lemon juice.

    2. It strengthens the body’s immune system.

    3. And helps remove toxins from the blood.

I drink this to help clean my blood.  But if getting signs of a cold or the flu, I take it to reduce chances for getting sick.  But if sick, I drink it every few hours to speed my recovery.  It works.  I’ve had bronchitis twice, and both times, drinking lemon water every few hours helped me get better quickly.  Drink it during flu season.  Drink it before you get sick.  Give it to your family too.

Apples:  Called “the queen of fruit”, apples also have abundant benefits.  A few of them are:

    1. They reduce inflammation.   I’ve noticed that my MS symptoms are worse when inflammation is present.
    2. They remove toxins from the intestines by way of the feces.
    3. They help constipation.
    4. They help keep blood pressure low.

For me, being under the influence of apples is a good thing.  When I eat an apple [Red Delicious or Gala] my vision clears, my thinking becomes sharp, my balance and muscle strength improve, and my complexion looks clear and smooth.  And when I eat an apple before bedtime, I sleep well with few or no muscle spasms.

Activated CharcoalNot barbecue charcoal!!!  I recommend that a bottle of activated charcoal be in each home, and each camping first aid kit [along with a Bee Sting/Snake Bite extractor kit].  You can get it at pharmacies, health food stores, and online.  It comes in powder, tablet, and capsule forms. *I use Nature’s Way Activated charcoal capsules.

Charcoal has numerous benefits, but here are a few:

    1. It can adsorb [not absorb] many poisons, toxins, gases, chemicals, drugs, and venoms.  Adsorb means that the carbon in charcoal is quick to combine with these poisons and make them harmless.  Don’t neglect to call 911 for serious bites, but while waiting for the ambulance, do something to help.  Giving charcoal after bug and critter bites or stings, or for drug over-doses can be very useful.    **Never give charcoal to an unconscious person.  Call 911!

    2. Charcoal can help relieve and stop intestinal gas

    3. It can help stop diarrhea

    4. It can help treat infections.  I’ve used it successfully to treat infected bites from unknown insects on my foot [they ‘bit and ran’].  How?   By making charcoal poultices [see below].

To use charcoal internally, take the tablets or capsules with a tall glass of water, or stir the powder into a glass of water.  Take hours before or after any medications – since it will adsorb it.

To use charcoal externally, make a poultice with the charcoal alone, or mix it with ground flaxseed.  The charcoal powder is very light and can blow around easily.

*Poultices:  Do a search on the Internet for how to make a poultice.  There are several good sites.  **Drinking some charcoal and applying a poultice are very good for Brown Recluse Spider bites, while waiting for the ambulance.

    1. Basically, you will take some charcoal powder [or break open a few capsules] and add enough warm water to make a paste.  Only stir with a spoon.  Charcoal will stain skin, but will fade over time.

    2. Then, depending on the size of the bite or infected area, get a clean, damp cloth to cover that size.

    3. Put some paste on the damp cloth [must stay damp], and cover with ends of cloth – like making a sandwich.

    4. Apply to the skin snugly

    5. Cover with plastic wrap and secure with tape.  Keep it on and then change the poultice every few hours or the next day. 

That’s it for my simple remedies.  I hope they will help you too.

See you next time.

Copyright © 2013 Regina Spence


A Most Remarkable Person, Part 2

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Continued From Part 1 …

Two more ways Mrs. Hamlin shared the ‘good news’ of good health:

2.  She ran the FRESH START* live-in health-conditioning program.  For this participants lived on site and learned about and practiced the laws of health plus simple remedies [like hydrotherapy, poultices, massage, charcoal, and more].   *FRESH START is an acronym using the first letters of each of the 8 basic laws of health, plus the first letters of 2 extra principles of health [Happiness and Restoration], to get 10 laws.

Fresh Air

Rest

Exercise

Simple Diet

Happiness [added on]

Sunshine

The use of water

Abstemiousness [moderation – not too much or too little of things]

Restoration [healing – added on]

Trust in Divine Power 

She said these “ten steps [laws], carefully followed will change – wonderfully change – any situation, no matter how impossible it may seem.”

3.  And the most incredible way she shared the message, that good health is possible at any age, was by taking her bike and riding it around the world.  She rode her 15-speed-Schwinn-Mirada-bike on trips across America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and Canada.  She began at age 68 and finished at age 75!  She crossed all kinds of terrains – like the 6,915 foot high Gotthard Pass in the Swiss Alps; endured various climates; was blessed with miracles – like escaping bandits in India; experienced wonderful hospitality by total strangers; recovered from terrible falls and scrapes [but no breaks], and had the most awesome adventures for a woman of her age.  Then, thankfully, she wrote about all of it in her book, “Ride With the Wind”.

The book not only tells of her travels, but it also describes each of the laws of health.  It’s a real page turner and is available on www.Amazon.com  or by calling: 407-644-4255 to order  [Florida, USA].  Try to get a copy.

I wish I could share more of my memories of this lady.  Like the time she took my roommate and I camping near the Upper Peninsula in Michigan.  It was autumn, and she wanted us to see the Canadian geese migrating.  Or describe the delicious vegetarian meals she made.  Or the pineapple upside down cake she made without eggs, milk, or sugar.  It was good!  Or enjoying watching how much joy she got out of life.  But I think there is enough here for you to get a glimpse of who she was.

Mrs. Hamlin is gone now, but I will always remember her as a woman who loved God, her family, and being in nature [EX:  gardening, birds, mountains, and skiing].  And she was absolutely passionate about helping others learn how to make good choices to help them prevent sickness and disease, and recover if they got ill.  This concern continued even when she was in her 90s.            

I miss her, but am forever blest for meeting and knowing her. 

That’s all for now.  See you next time.

Copyright © 2013 Regina Spence

A Most Remarkable Person, Part 1

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Mrs. Charlotte Hamlin passed away on March 7, 2013 at age 94

*Her name, information, and pictures are used with her son’s permission.

I’d like to tell you about a very special person: Mrs. Charlotte Hamlin.  She was one of my professors, a mentor, role model, and dear friend.  We knew each other about 30 years.  And it’s quite interesting, that, although I do not remember too many birthdays, I never forgot hers.  And I must have really admired her, because I’ve adopted her distinctive laugh!

It was in Nursing School, in our Community Health class, that I first met her.  She was the professor and a very striking personality.  First of all, she was a senior citizen.  Then, she was happy and full of life; had beautiful, silky, white hair, twinkles in her eyes, and her posture was straight and strong; she was quick and light in her movements; and she filled the classroom with her enthusiasm for the subject we were all there to learn.

She was about 67 years old at that time.  And her words and actions were not what I was used to in older folks.  Some of my classmates even felt that she was a bit nutty.  Because as she shared about her life, we learned that she ran and won medals in Senior Olympics, rode a bike, and swam in the lake in front of her house [the one with the snakes].  Back in 1980 I don’t think any of us students knew seniors who did things like that.   Today many seniors are quite health-minded and active.

Mrs. Hamlin described herself like this:

“I have been a vegetarian for 50 years, take no supplements or medicine, have high bone density [and no osteoporosis], and have never had any major surgery.”  From her book, Ride With the Wind, P. 29

She was definitely different, but no nutty professor.  As I observed and listened to her, I concluded that she was ‘sharp as a tack’ [very intelligent], had more energy than most of us students, and was onto something that I’d better pay attention to!

Why was this lady like this when so many of her age group [and even younger] were full of aches, pains, and medications?  Here is how: she not only taught us students about the laws of health, but she lived them every day!  She was a walking advertisement that using these simple principles really worked.

And she didn’t keep this ‘good news’ to herself.  Three ways she shared it were:

1.  Her “Prevent the 3 Cs” Classes – which were a continuing education series teaching folks how to help avoid Coronary [heart attacks], Cancer, and CVA [strokes].  Community members, and university faculty, staff, and students were all invited to attend.  To start, everyone got blood tests to see what their risks were.  Then there were classes to learn about each of the 3Cs, and how to put into practice the  laws of health.   At the program’s end, blood was tested to check improvements.  Many were helped.  I was also helped.

It was in her 3Cs class that I first learned that women who eat the most animal fats are inclined to have the highest risks for breast cancer.  Before then I’d never heard of any connection between diet and cancer.  Today we are hearing much more about this relationship.     **[Eating much animal protein and sugar also increases risks for breast and other cancers as well].

To Be Continued In Part 2 …       

  Copyright © 2013 Regina Spence     

PS:  The GEEK Squad, at Best Buy, helped me find out why I could not copy and paste on Friday.  It was so simple.  They fixed it and I’m back in business!  Thanks for your patience.

Et’s Baby, Part 2

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Continued From Part 1 …

We chose a great pastor to do our wedding.  But he announced to us that he required two things if he would agree: 1- Three months of pre-marital counseling.  That was cool.  He said he’d had enough of all the divorces.  And 2- Heath certificates from our care providers.  He said we needed to be clear what each other was getting into.  Because people lied to each other.  My certificated stated that my MS would get worse over time.  Tony had to read mine, and I read his.  He accepted my report.  Major blessing!

But even though Tony accepted me, I wondered how his family would take a disabled person [was walking with a cane then].  Well one day while visiting their church, his Father was about to pass me in the aisle, but instead he took my hand.  He said, “Hello daughter.”  It stopped me in my tracks and I asked him what he called me.  “Daughter”, he said, then kept going.  Major blessing!

Our Wedding Day, 9/14/03

Our Wedding Day, 9/14/03

The wedding was lovely.  We had 200 guests [yipes], but also a small army of friends and family who took care of details and helped us have a wonderful day.  Major blessing.  But I’ve shared much of this story so I could emphasize a few things I learned and appreciate.

  1. God is interested in every detail of our lives.  Talk to Him, then listen.  Ask Him for what you need – as long as it’s for your best interest.

  2. God never breaks a promise – whether He speaks it to you, or you read one in The Bible and claim it for your life.

  3. God has His own time table for doing things.  He promised me a husband in 1987.  I met Tony in 2000.  Thirteen years passed before the promise was fulfilled!  But sometimes God has to get us ready for the gifts He has for us.  My emotional baggage had to be cleaned up first.

  4. When I was emotionally well, God blessed me with the most wonderful ‘boy-next-door’.  Sort of.  We lived 12 miles from each other for years and didn’t meet each other.

  5. Et’s baby has become my Tony.  I believe his Mom passed me the ‘baton’ on our wedding day, after the reception.  As several of us sat on lawn chairs in front of the church, just talking, his Mom sat on my right side and held my hand.  And Tony sat on my left side, holding my other hand.

My Tony is such a kind, gentle, thoughtful, and strong man.  I am proud that he is very smart, diligent, and is a man of integrity – doing and saying what is right. I am so very, very grateful for him and his love.  He is my love, my best friend, my beach buddy, and my partner in whimsical things.

Tony in Chicago

Tony in Chicago

Each evening he comes home from work and asks me, “What can I do for you?”  He does for me before I ask for help.  And when transferring from the scooter to the car, his hand is always right there.  There are times my legs buckle and I fall and can’t get up.  He’s there to give a strong lift.  He doesn’t complain.  Our life is different than what I [and maybe he] envisioned 10 years ago.

One of the things that nearly breaks my heart about this man are his prayers.  Whether we are going out in the car, or going to eat a meal [at home or out]. He always reaches for my hand before praying.  Or when he prays over me that God will take care of me during my day, and give him the strength to help me!  My Tony is an off-the charts blessing!

Mutley and her Tony

Mutley and her Tony at his Dad’s 90th Birthday Party

That’s all for now.  See you next week.

Copyright © 2013 Regina Spence

A Magic Wand and Broken Wing, Part 1

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No Magic Wands Here

They came from childhood.  Issues that left me feeling worthless.  I tried not to say too much in case others wouldn’t like me, or more likely, they really didn’t want to hear what I had to say.  I was even told that I was as a jinx; and would bring bad luck to anyone who helped me.  So, I used to pray for the protection of anyone who did something nice for me.

These struggles with a poor self-worth were bad enough.  But then MS slammed me with more issues.  A big one was financial problems.  Especially because, for three-plus years I was not able to work full-time, and barely part-time, and was silly enough to buy a car. 

I was a new Registered Nurse.  All my classmates and co-workers had cars.  I used to ask to borrow their cars to go places.  I should have had my own car.  Right?  So, I bought one.  But, during those early years, having MS did not allow me to work enough to make regular payments.  Can you tell where this story is going?  I’ve never shared this with my family, so dear ones, don’t be too shocked by this news. 

Things got so bad that the bank repossessed my car, and it was hard to keep up with my other bills.  I had to file bankruptcy.  Everyone asked “What happened to your car?” I sort of lied and said, “Someone took over the payments.”  Yes, the bank did.  On top of already feeling worthless, this was a crushing blow.  Now I was a legally registered failure.

MS also changed the way I walked.  I looked disabled.  Also, many people shied away from me as though MS was contagious.

As I struggled with these, and other issues, and made some very bad decisions, the emotional weight became unbearable.  Last week I shared with you that dealing with the losses MS brings, could possibly require professional help.  Over the years I did seek out help.  But the counselors were not right matches for me, and I couldn’t afford regular sessions.  So the pain continued – until one evening in 1998.

Enough was enough.  I had reached a breaking point, and saw no way out of always feeling bad about myself.  Some say drastic times require drastic measures.  Actually, they require drastic prayers, but I couldn’t see that during that time.  I cut God out of the picture, but He didn’t cut me loose.  I’m so grateful for that!!!  I’d wanted to end my life, and knew I would if I didn’t get help.  But God’s finger prints are all over what happened next.

One evening I called the ER at the local hospital and shared my need.  They immediately put me through to an Intake Counselor on the Psychiatric Unit.  Blessing!!!  He asked many soul-baring questions, but I was beyond being embarrassed.  I was in deep crisis mode.  Then he told me to call the local health center, in the morning, for an appointment.  I figured oh no – a delay.  But when I called and spoke with another Intake person [more soul-baring questions], my appointment was for the coming Friday at 11am.  Blessing. 

That’s all for now.  See you in part 2

Copy Right © 2013 Regina Spence

Continues in Part 2 …

What I’ve Learned, Part 4

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My new Urban Rebounder

My new Urban Rebounder

  • Anyone living with nerve-related diseases [like MS] should try to avoid refined foods, like white or enriched flour foods [and refined sugars like white or high fructose corn syrup].   These items, and foods made from them, are missing many nutrients – especially vitamin B-1 [thiamine].  Thiamine nourishes the nerves. 

  • Whenever I eat white flour or enriched flour foods, I get weakness in all my muscles; my fingers don’t grasp or pick up very well, and at times my speech becomes slurred.  And once, after a dish of yummy ravioli, my facial muscles became very twisted.  Scary!  These symptoms quickly go away when I eat some fruits or vegetables.

  • MS folks should eat a low fat diet, because fat causes decreased oxygen levels, and makes blood cells stick together.  *Low fat is also good for the heart and blood vessels.

  • Sip warm water [2 glasses] first thing in the morning, and throughout the day.  Warm water quickly gets into the blood to help it flow better, and help keep cells from sticking.  When I do this, I can almost ‘hear my body say, “Thank you!”  ‘

  • Getting good health should be simple, make sense, and be affordable to all.  Not complicated and expensive.

  • One way to improve energy is to drink more water and do more exercise.  Simple.

  • In my opinion, the best exercises, if able, are rebounding, biking, swimming, and squats.  They are so strengthening for body, mind, and spirit, and so energizing.  *All action helps to build stronger nerve cells.

  • I recently got a new rebounder – for bouncing on.  I also have a stabilizing bar on mine, because of poor balance.  I love this equipment.  It’s my 3rd one.  Here are a few of its benefits:  makes me smile while bouncing; thinking becomes clearer; improves my energy, balance, and muscle and bone strength; makes me sleep better; improves the immune systems; and improves the drainage of my lymphatic system. 

    • The lymphatic system is made up of lymph, lymph nodes, lymphatic vessels [for transportation], and organs – like tonsils, the thymus gland, and the spleen.  It works with our immune system to protect the body.  It’s like an internal vacuum cleaner that sucks up garbage, toxins, wastes, excess fluid, infection and more.  Sluggish lymphatic systems cause the lymph to become thick and cause problems like insomnia, muscle spasms [for me], diseases, and infections.  Rebounding [and other vigorous exercises] stimulates drainage of the lymphatic system.

  • MS or any disease is a loss of health.  Losing anything makes us grieve that loss – whether it be keys, limbs, jobs, a loved one, etc.  As a result we will go through the stages of grieving: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance.  We may go back and forth through the stages, but work at getting to acceptance.  Try not to get stuck in the first three stages.  For some this may require professional counseling.  Don’t be ashamed or afraid of getting help.  I had to because of emotional issues from childhood and issues in dealing with MS.  It really helped me.

To be Continued in Part 2 …

Copyright © 2013 Regina Spence