Even if you’re not a fan of basketball and could care less about the teams playing, it seems there’s something in the air that just pulls you in and makes you want to be a part of all the madness. To be honest, I was never much of a basketball fan simply because I didn’t know anyone that played the game. Ask me anything about football, swimming or dance and I’m your girl, but basketball was definitely a weak conversation piece for me. Thankfully I now have a family member involved in that ball dribbling, basket shooting game, so I can be a part of the March Madness fun and sound very convincing when talking about it!
Along with all the sports fun is another reason why I enjoy the month of March. It is National Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month. Multiple Sclerosis is a cause very dear to my heart. I had a close family member pass away in January of this year due to the progression of the disease. If you are unfamiliar with the disease of M.S. please read through the list below.
The symptoms are individual to each person’s case and no two cases are alike:
Anxiety or depression
Bladder dysfunction or bowel problems
Dizziness or vertigo
Mobility and walking issues
Numbness, stiffness, pain or weakness
There have been new medical advancements as far as treatment goes, and receiving a diagnosis of M.S., is by no means a death sentence or a reason to stop living life! Each person has an individualized care and treatment plan tailored to their needs, whether they are dealing with symptoms or recovering from a relapse. Treatments can include over the counter or prescription medications, physical or occupational therapies and changes in diet. Exercise plays an extremely important role in helping a person with M.S. to stay healthy or gain back what they have lost during a relapse.
Many patients are finding great luck with yoga and Tai Chi. Yoga helps them with strength and flexibility and Tai Chi helps them with balance issues. Yoga and Tai Chi are activities that I am involved in and both are fantastic for helping with not only feeling better physically, but also mentally and emotionally. These exercises/practices promote mindfulness via shifting focus from external environment and its distractions to the center/core/true-self. This is a cheap and effective stress reliever.
I am definitely an advocate when it comes to trying holistic or nontraditional treatments for wellness. I especially love when traditional medicine is complemented by an alternative therapy, Traditional medicine does not have all the answers, all of the time and ironically, it has it roots in holistic a.k.a. “nontraditional medicine.”
As I became more experienced in the ways that M.S. patients were treated, I began to realize that there were some interesting alternatives on the horizon. Some patients were finding relief from symptoms through the use of herbal supplements, vitamins, acupuncture and even something as strange sounding as bee pollen. Unfortunately, my loved one was not a good candidate for alternative therapies due to the extremely progressive nature of her type of the disease, but the alternative approaches have been viable options for other patients. If you have been diagnosed and are interested in trying an alternative therapy please discuss it with your physician first. Many traditional medications can be less effective or have adverse reactions when combined with herbal supplements or certain vitamins. Talk to your doctor, your pharmacist or naturopath. Everyone needs to have a say, especially you. A balanced approach provides options, rather than focusing on limitations
As I move through March and get excited about basketball, warmer weather and the possibility of breaking out my convertible, I am also reminded of my mother-in-law, Karin. She always had a smile on her face and hope in her heart. Although the disease stole her mind over the years, and her body from us in January, I know that it did not take her soul. I rest easy knowing she has moved on to a far better place than here. Her absence has made me realize more than ever, the need for awareness about the disease of Multiple Sclerosis. Awareness can lead to a cure and eventually we can put an end to this disease. If you are looking for a great cause to support please think about donating to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. It is a very worthwhile cause and your financial donation or donation of time would be very much welcomed. Have a great March and good luck with your basketball brackets!
Yours in health,