Naturally? Maybe.

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In my continued effort to live as well as possible, I recently went to see a naturopath. Nobody’s more surprised about that than me.

In general, I’m in favor of drugs. I believe a lot of good research and hard work has gone into the creation of medications that often help us to live and feel better. Tomorrow I’ll go up to Burlington and spend an hour getting drugs injected directly into my arm. Some people strongly prefer not to take drugs and that’s fine. We all have to find our own path here. But as for me:  I have no qualms about it whatsoever.

On the flip side, I know that there are people who believe that they’re controlling MS with reflexology or a super-strict diet, or things like that. (And yes, I’ve seen Dr. Wahl’s video. Amazing.) But when it comes to these kind of approaches, I’m still a skeptic. I accept that there is mystery in the world and anything’s possible, but for now I’m unconvinced.

In visiting a naturopath, I’m like a non-believer who goes to church just in case. I’m still taking drugs, but I want to make sure that all my bases are covered.

I have also come to understand that people who live well with MS do so at least in part because they live healthy and well-balanced lives. If there are things that I can do — physical therapy, changes to my diet — to help make me one of those people, I’m willing to give it a try. I’m not saying this is going to alter the course of my MS. But living well is about more than just the activity in my brain.

Anyhow, the naturopath asked me tons of questions about everything you can think of: diet, digestion, history, sleep habits, family, stress, etc. She asked me to keep a food journal for a week, which I am doing now, and mentioned that we might do an eight week alcohol-free period, which I am less thrilled about. I guess the idea is to try to map how I’m feeling to how I’m eating or drinking or the way I’m behaving. Then I’ll do more of the good stuff.

This seems to be a long term approach – small changes possibly over years – and all about healthy living. I like bacon, pancakes, pound cake and bourbon, so it’s hard for me to consider permanent changes that will likely take things like that largely off the table. But, for the moment, I’m choosing to set my skepticism aside and keep an open mind.

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