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Our strong desire and physical urge is to return to the equilibrium that we know. If we are in the habit of treating ourselves to a handful of cookies every night after dinner, there is a vacancy in our world--an electrical socket that has been unplugged. The core tenet of all medical practice--the Hippocratic oath's first, do no harm--has so discouraged health care providers from stepping out of their diagnostic and treatment comfort zones that they often overlook significant opportunities to improve their patients' lives, either with pharmaceuticals or with high doses of herbs. This isn't because of a lack of compassion or desire to provide the highest standard of care with the best possible results. All health care providers share a common desire to heal. Rather, I see this as a failure of the system--one that heavily emphasizes specialization (and its attendant compartmentalization) and teaches medical students a formulaic approach to identifying disease through differential diagnosis: If it's not A or B, it must be C. It also encourages a heavy reliance on treating illness with specific pharmaceuticals for which the risks have been profiled, as opposed to therapies that have shown early benefit, but--most often for lack of research funding--have not yet been subjected to random, double-blind, long-term human trials. Such an ingrained, black-and-white approach means that many of today's mainstream physicians simply aren't comfortable with--or practiced in--restorative medicine therapies, including the use of high doses of herbs. But the fact of the matter is that some of these natural approaches are rooted in thousands of years of tradition--tradition that modern science is now beginning to affirm, and even improve upon. If you're a physician, don't be afraid to use the restorative treatments I share in this article. And if you're a patient or family member, don't be afraid to find a doctor who does! As I've learned, restorative medicine can make a significant and measurable difference: ameliorating some of the most troubling symptoms of MS while decreasing its rate of progression. It is a little bird like a sparrow or wren. It is very friendly and likes to be near people. But when there is danger, this little bird grows big and fierce as a dragon and its wings spread out to touch the edges of the universe. When you need protection, you call his name and he flies out through a little door at the center of your chest. If you close your eyes and look inside, you might be able to feel that little door. You might be able to feel the door opening and the Red Bird coming out to greet you. Yes, I see him. He is spreading his wings wide open in front of me.

He is flying out with big wide wings and sparkly black eyes, shiny and bright, protecting the whole front and back of me, he said. That Red Bird is always with you, no matter what happens, I said. We moved in with Pa and I remember it feeling like a breath of fresh air: quieter, calmer, more relaxing. My parents used this time to reconnect with my grandfather. Some of my earliest memories include playing in the dirt of his huge garden and holding a freshly caught fish on his lake dock. We lived in Texas with Pa for about two years, and during this time my younger sister was born. Shortly after we came to Texas, my grandfather met another lady and quickly remarried. We called our new grandmother, Gladys. I remember my parents were a little stunned because they had made this grand gesture to move to Texas and care for Pa, and it felt like he left them to suddenly get married again. Even though they were surprised and a little hurt, my parents decided to stay in the area and get to know Gladys better. Gladys was not an easy woman to love. Even though she claimed to follow Jesus, she often seemed spiteful, full of vicious gossip, and seemed mostly unhappy with the world. Increasing your self-confidence starts with your acknowledging and giving yourself credit for the inner strengths you already have. Add to that encouragement and support from others, and you feel your confidence and self-assurance grow. The ability to balance the give-and-take in your relationships helps you feel secure enough to reach out to learn new skills and take on new challenges. Questions for Reflection What are your current strengths? How can they help you face the new changes in your life? What are your top ten talents and abilities? What interests have you forgotten about that you might pursue again?

What encouraging statements can you use to motivate yourself to try new experiences? Who are your supporters? In the end, Choices wants to help you live a safe, happy life. To do precisely that, this might be your best option. Several approaches are used to implement this recovery process, including evaluating the type of disruption, methods of problem-solving, coping strategies, modeling, support group, and self-thought tracking. The therapy classifies the maladaptive cognitions used as triggers for the Internet to be used excessively. Some addicts, for example, suffer from skewed thoughts about themselves such as rumination (eg, they are continually thinking and stressing about the issues associated with their Internet use) and extreme self-concepts that serve their online accessibility (eg, we have no offline value; For example, Internet addicts encounter skewed thoughts about their environment, We don't like people because no one appreciates us and the Internet world is the only place where we are accepted and valued. These extreme thoughts are characterized by all or nothing thinking that intensifies and maintains customers' online addiction. The following example could illustrate this: in internet games, addicts who achieve their goals in these games could understand the offline environment as not desired, resulting in a psychological dependency on using the Internet to increase their self-esteem. In their virtual universe, online addicts have a cognitive prejudice that they are treated with dignity, but they experience unhappiness and lack of fulfillment with real lives. Such thoughts allow them to participate in the online world. You look at both and think, It can't possibly be $30 for this pair of jeans. Without hesitation or asking a store clerk, you walk away without actually knowing the real answer. Maybe that's the price and maybe not, but you gain no information at all by answering your own question. I always wanted to attend the University of Notre Dame, but I knew that it would be too academically competitive to go there right out of high school. Most people at this point would stop and think, If I can't get in my freshman year, I'll just go somewhere else. But I didn't do that. My question was, Could I transfer there and, if so, what was that process? Rather than asking and answering my own questions, I did the research and found out that, yes, I could transfer and learned about those requirements.

After completing my freshman year at the University of South Florida, I applied and was accepted into the University of Notre Dame. Leaders ask good questions and then sit back and listen. A stoic does not sink into stress. This is a difficult thing to avoid, especially if you are a person who is more prone to the sensation of anxiety. It might feel like you will not be able to overcome this feeling. When you are feeling overcome by stress, ground yourself. Part of accepting your current circumstances is to not burden yourself with more than what is really happening. This means don't worry about things that haven't happened yet. If your boss hasn't called your performance into question, do not worry about them firing you. If all seems to be going well in your romantic relationship and they haven't said anything that would hint at breaking up with you, trust that it is secure. To make a long story short, don't borrow trouble and create problems for yourself. This takes time away from doing something about the ones you actually have. And it's far easier to plug something else in than to leave the socket empty. In fact, it's necessary if we want to succeed. We have to reprogram our minds and our bodies to a new routine of behavior to fill the gap and the space and the time. Maybe something completely different, like taking a moonlight walk around the block or drinking herbal tea could work for us. Or maybe playing with a straw, chewing gum, or busying our hands with a project. These suggestions may seem like a far cry from our favorite cookies, but they will fill the void and distract us. Bringing about lasting change is a long process, not a quick fix, and it necessarily starts with a certain amount of discomfort. Getting through a whole week with a new habit is hard to do.

The second week is easier, and the third week easier still. And if we can stick with it, after only a few months, we hardly even miss the old pattern. It's important to remember that conventional pharmaceuticals can effectively slow progression of MS as well. If you're skeptical of drugs, I encourage you to suspend your doubts and try the pharmaceuticals your doctor recommends. Like herbs and other natural approaches, drugs play an important, and at times essential, role in managing the disease. As I've learned to live with MS, I've also learned to hold several truths at once. This article does not promise a miracle cure for multiple sclerosis; But it does offer adjunctive treatments and strategies that, when faithfully followed, can delay the disease process and radically improve quality of life. And it's as simple as following a few basic rules of nature to ensure a correctly balanced ecosystem for a healthy mind and body. Although the personal prescriptions I describe in this article are specific to MS, many of the strategies I discuss also apply to a broader range of autoimmune conditions. I encourage you or your loved one to become an active participant in your own care. Naturopathic practitioners focus on uncovering and understanding the underlying imbalances that lead to disease, and restoring the body to optimal health using a holistic, personalized treatment plan. You can call on him whenever you get scared or need protection. A few weeks later he came in with a jaunty smile and a battery-powered robot he was building himself. He told me he was feeling better. He had gone in for a check-up with the doctor and didn't get as upset as usual. It was still not great, he said. They still made me go in that little room with no windows and tried to make me think it was okay because there were some games in there. There's just so much they don't understand. Like that stupid sign when you go in that says, `Gate of Service.