Regular readers of this blog will know I am a big fan of the Overcoming MS lifestyle, presented by www.overcomingms.org. This weekend was the first UK one-day workshop by the OMS charity which was held in Bedfordshire. When the dates were advertised, I quickly signed myself up to attend and I found the experience of the day extremely empowering and inspiring. As someone who has already adopted the OMS lifestyle it was great to meet with other people with MS who were dealing with the same issues. These individuals have all had the same conversation with their neurologist at their initial diagnosis and would have experienced the same concerns and worries. It was nice to just talk to people on the same level, allowing your guard to be lowered and enjoying some respite from the busy world in which we go about our day to day lives. The demographic of the attendees reminded me how widespread MS is across society and that the condition is indiscriminate on who it touches.
The course facilitators consisted of MS Nurse Miranda Olding, who maintains a blog here: mirandasmsblog.com , Phil Startin a meditation teacher and OMS lifestyle follower and Gary McMahon, CEO of OMS.
The structure of the day went through the the history of the recovery programme and the ground breaking work by Professor George Jelinek. This was followed up by an overview of the recovery program and then an OMS friendly lunch. In the afternoon we were given and introduction to meditation and the importance of Vitamin D and exercise.
I found it refreshing that an MS nurse was actually supportive of the programme, the attitude I have encountered so far from both my neurologist and MS nurse I have found to be defeatist. Both seem to dismiss all things holistic, thinking it more as a strand of witchcraft. I found on the day that I was not alone in my experience and this was standard stance from the medical profession. The OMS charity have now sent to the majority of MS Nurses Professor Jelinek’s book on Overcoming MS – hopefully a few of them will read it!
The biggest takeaways from the session for me were the reinforcement that the OMS lifestyle works. One of the facilitators, Phil Startin was diagnosed with Primary Progressive MS (PPMS) and told us how he required the use of a walking stick. Now after adopting the OMS life style he is able to walk unassisted and is feeling healthier and stronger as time goes on – this is the complete opposite of what is expected to happen when in the stages of PPMS. On leaving we were given copies of Recovering from Multiple Sclerosis: Real Life Stories of Hope and Inspiration
Meeting people at the early stages of transitioning to the OMS diet, reminded me of my first weeks of adopting the change. I remember living off a basic diet of fish and steamed vegetables and it made me realise how lucky I am to have a wife who has dedicated alot of her spare time to researching and inventing OMS friendly dishes.
Searching for cure is somewhat futile in the sense that it is not an infectious diseases or caused by a foreign body. Instead MS is caused by your own body and so the answer is not to fight it but understand and overcome it. There are certain things in life, in a world of quick consumerism which can be cured by taking a quick pill, in my view, MS will never be one of these. Instead an understanding of the body and mind is required in order for the healing process to occur.
I would recommend to all to attend these events if you get the opportunity to do so. Whether you are new to the concept, or if like me already on the programme, I think anyone could benefit from an “OMS MOT” to reinforce the lifestyle and the chance to meet fellow likeminded individuals. Details of future events can be found here.