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Testimonials

 

Please read the following testimonials about people who have recovered from various illnesses by regularly practicing Bikram Yoga. Their stories tell us that only Bikram Yoga brings us new hopes in our life.

If you like to share your own healing story amongst millions of people around the world. Submit your testimonial to info@yoga360.ca 

 

Tranquility

 

High Blood Pressure/Cholesterol

Bikram yoga has changed my life. I am a 41 year old man and have always considered myself to be a healthy, active man. In the fall of 2007 I had a routine physical exam that revealed I had high blood pressure and high cholesterol. I had also gained weight. My physician recommended that I lose 10 pounds and return for a follow up visit in six months. Considering a family history of heart disease and cancer, he was very concerned. We discussed medications I may need if I did not take this seriously. He did state though that even losing a few pounds may help me a great deal. My wife was also worried about me and suggested that I try a Bikram yoga class. Yoga for a guy, “no way” I thought.

 

After some gentle nudging from my wife, I started taking Bikram yoga classes in November of 2007. What I found immediately was that this 90 minute Bikram Yoga class was extremely challenging, and I considered this the hardest workout I had ever done. I also found dedicated instructors and fellow students and friends who supported me and provided needed encouragement during this life changing transition. I have committed myself to practicing Bikram Yoga at least three times per week and have been sticking with it for over a year and a half. I have found the challenge to be a bit addictive. Yes, it is a hard workout, but it is also a 90 minute break from everything else. Putting this time aside for myself actually allows me to give more of myself to others in my life now. You can do more when you feel great. I feel great.

 

Prior to Bikram Yoga I was also experiencing lower back pain, upper back pain, and loss of flexibility. My spine was hunched over. I could not touch my toes without bending my knees. My back hurt if I tried to bend down, and especially hurt after doing regular household chores such as raking leaves or mowing the lawn. It even hurt during my sleep – and kept me awake many nights. I had inflammation of the temporomandibular joint which was probably related to all of these stresses I was feeling. I also have a long history of environmental allergies.

 

Currently I am in very good physical and mental condition. I have gained incredible physical strength and ability, and my core is stronger. My physical appearance and muscular definition have improved. BP is normal and cholesterol is down 40 points with no meds, regardless of family history. I have lost and am maintaining 40 pounds of weight loss without starving or neglecting myself. I can keep up with my children. I am much more flexible and rarely experience back pain. My spine is much straighter and I notice improvements and more movement in this area all of the time. Temporomandibular joint issues are gone. My allergies have even improved.

 

Most important - I am happy. I feel like I can do anything again. I intend to still be skiing at 80. Hope to see you there. The choice is yours!"

 

To Bikram and Rajashree, I thank you. To everyone at Burlington Bikram I say thank you. Without Bikram's expertise in designing the Bikram series, Bikram's and Rajashree's leadership and skill in training and certifying teachers and the dedication of these teacher upon graduation to helping each student excel, I would be just another bad medical statistic.

 


Chuck G,
Wethersfield CT
To end, I am forever greatful to Bikram Yoga Glastonbury, and the instructors there, who have provided a positive, accepting, friendly atmosphere to heal in. Sincerely, Chuck Gardon-Wethersfield CT

 

  

High Blood Pressure

Problem During 2000,2001, and 2002, my doctor noticed that my blood pressure had begun to 'Drift' upwards. The results of my last blood pressure test in 2002 were 140/90. My doctor said this was border line and that if it continued medication would be in order.

 

Doctor Advice Life-Time medication if there was no improvement. The long-term result was that my elevated blood pressure was greatly increasing my risk of a heart attack and/or heart disease.

 

Benefit Description

1. My blood pressure slowly decreased over the last three years that I have been attending Bikram Yoga. To me it really seemed to go in stages. First, I got a hold of my breath in Bikram and this enabled me to be calmer during the classes. Then as this calm became more automated it spread to other areas of my life therefore making me calmer in general. -BP:135/88

2. Then, after the breath, I became better able to attain the positions which seemed to bring me to the second phase. A more lifted chest (with an increased air flow capacity), increased stamina and calmer more relaxed personality. -BP:128/87

3. Finally, through the patient efforts (and it required patience) of the Bikram trained instructors at Bikram Burlington - Kelly, Mindy, Mandy, Marla, Betsey, Adam, and Mary, I began to be able to 'flow' with the yoga and quiet my sometimes excitable mind. I am now at the beginning of the path but I am squarely on the path. This is the final BP testing I will talk about. It occurred in December, 2005. To set the stage I will explain a little about myself. I am a busy executive at a software company. As part of my agreement with shareholders I am required to purchase 'key man' insurance. This million dollar policy is to insure that the company will not collapse if I die. Now, to get this insurance you must submit to a lengthy medical exam and, as you can image, insurance companies are not in the business of insuring border line healthy people. This exam involves a medical technician, an EKG machine, Blood Pressure Tester and several other blood assay tests. The insurance company's technician took my blood pressure three times and then looked at me with a quizzical gaze and said "you don't have much stress in your life." I asked him why he said this since the exact opposite is true. He said the three reading of my blood pressure were: BP: 114/78, 114/77, 116/77.

 

No one with stress in their life would get readings this consistent and this low. Then he took my standing pulse which was 64. Then my resting pulse on the floor: 46. He then hooked up the EKG machine to me and put sensors from my feet to my neck and read the difference between the pressures at these various parts of my body. All readings were exactly the same and all excellent.

 

In science, there is the concept of 'hold everything else equal'. This is a powerful concept because it enables a scientist to watch the changes caused just by the agent that is being added to, modified or deleted from the process. Well, I want to add this concept to my testimonial. In other words, the changes I listed were only due to Bikram Yoga because I changed nothing else in my daily processes. I held all other things in my life equal to their state at the starting of my practice.

 

Kelly, this is additional information: Today, my insurance agent, Jim Handy with National Life of Vermont called. He said that he had some great news for me but that he was puzzled. The great news was that he often quotes executives on what Prudential calls their Preferred Best rate. This Preferred Best rate is the highest health category for an individual and therefore the individuals that achieve this rating get the lowest cost for the insurance. Jim said that no one he has underwritten (submitted) passed the health tests required to achieve this rating. That is until today when he received the underwriter's approval for my application. The savings between what it would have cost given a lower health score and my 'Preferred Best' rating has paid for my Bikram classes this year. (Thanks, Kelly ofBikram Yoga of Burlington, Vermont, where I practice: I owe you a debt that will be impossible to pay back.) Jim Handy is no longer puzzled about how I achieved this health. I told him - Bikram Yoga.

 

To Bikram and Rajashree, I thank you. To everyone at Burlington Bikram I say thank you. Without Bikram's expertise in designing the Bikram series, Bikram's and Rajashree's leadership and skill in training and certifying teachers and the dedication of these teacher upon graduation to helping each student excel, I would be just another bad medical statistic.


Regards, 
Jim Smith 
President 
EQ2,Incorporated
Phone: 888-312-HEMS Alt:802-865-0920
Fax: 802-865-0928 www.eq2.com www.medtester.com

 

  

Peace of the Mind

On September 10th, 2001 I worked what I thought would be my last tour of duty as a New York City Fire Lieutenant. The next day, the man who replaced me was killed along with 342 co-workers and good friends. I went back to work and retired a second time in January 2002. By then I was a changed man. Along with the rest of my Fire Department brothers and sisters, I was filled with anger, sadness and grief.

 

I took my first Bikram Yoga class in January 2002 while visiting Maui. The practice of Bikram’s Hatha Yoga has guided me to a place of peace that I never could have envisioned nearly four years ago. I am still unsure why spending 90 minutes in a hot room doing Yoga produces such stillness of mind for me. I just know that it does.

 

In the spring of 2005, I took the Bikram Yoga Teacher Training course. During the nine weeks of intensive teacher training training practice I experienced an amazing catharsis. A lot of old anger and sadness arose at the beginning, but toward the end of the nine-week course, a sense of serenity, peace and forgiveness overtook me.

 

I spent twenty years of my life doing something that I felt was important—being a Fireman. I worked at the busiest fire companies on the planet, and I absolutely adored my job. But for the past four years, any time I talked, or even thought about my beloved vocation, I would think of someone I loved who was no longer here and become grief stricken. I resolved to avoid thinking and talking about my past. I tried to bury twenty years of my life.

 

My experience with Bikram Yoga, especially the Bikram Yoga Teacher Training, has brought me to a place of forgiveness and acceptance. Bikram Yoga has given me back my stories.

 

In the six years since I attended Bikram Yoga teacher training I have owned two Bikram Studios in Massachusetts and now travel the world teaching Bikram Yoga. Frequent practice has deepened my experience of life and increased my compassion for and understanding of world culture.

Bikram Yoga is a worldwide phenomenon with over six hundred studios around the globe. On any given day more than fifty thousand people step into a hot yoga room and experience our fundamental human similarities, a somatic heritage that unites us all.

 

This Yoga changes lives.

 

Please feel to contact me through my blog: charliehub.blogspot.com

Sincerely,
Charlie Hubbard

 

   

  

Stress Relief

I've got to tell you the effects I've felt in 3 weeks of doing this beautiful practice. I arrived at your class on a Monday morning when my physical and emotional health were not what they could be, exhausted and stressed from my busy NHS job, four stone overweight, tired, miserable, super-stressed - my body needed emergency love badly.

I needed a real solution. And so I put my fears on silent and almost feel as if the universe scooped me up and carried me to your studio that day.

Three weeks on, my chronic psoriasis is 90% improved, my skin looks like I've spent the last month on holiday in the Caribbean! My huge varicose veins have almost gone overnight, I've lost a stone in weight, I'm sleeping more easily and more deeply, I'm an inch taller, a dress size smaller, have finally getting control of my lower abdomen which as a belly-dancer, is a gift. I'm calmer, more 'able to deal' and am feeling so much more centered and loving to the world, I've stopped smoking! And am feeling so much braver and present again in my life. I just can't believe what on earth has happened for me in such a short space of time.

One by one I've been telling all those I love and all those that will listen about your centre. Three have signed up and are loving it and three more are on their way to you when they return from their holidays.

Your staff are a credit and I am loving the energy which you have used to create this space for us all to enjoy. I know already my life is changed and I already know one day I will teach this yoga too. I am so inspired and so grateful. Really. And I needed to share all this with you.

 

Cardiovascular

 

Arteriosclerosis

Arteriosclerosis is the buildup of fatty deposits called plaque on the inside walls of arteries. ... called "hardening of the arteries". A chronic disease in which thickening, hardening, and loss of elasticity of the arterial walls result in impaired blood circulation. It develops with aging, and in hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, and other conditions.

 

On October 30, 1986 at 27 years old I was admitted to Oregon Health Sciences University Hospital in Portland, Oregon for surgery. As I was walking into the hospital I was using a cane, limping severely. I could barely walk. The surgeons told me that they were going to perform popliteal bypass surgery--not only on my right leg, but also on my left.

 

Because of the progression of the disease there was the possibility that they would have to amputate my right foot. They performed surgery on both legs without amputation. In December I was re-admitted into the hospital due to superficial thrombophlebitis – blood clots. I stayed in bed for the next six days and was released a week later. Six months later I was once again hospitalized. The doctors performed another angiography and I was diagnosed with stenosis of the proximal popliteal graft site.

 

Essentially the popliteal artery in my left leg was becoming re-blocked. The surgeons recommended another bypass graft surgery.

 

I was told that if I did not have the surgery there was a high likelihood that I would lose the leg within six months. I don’t know what it was. I declined the surgery and left the hospital ‘against medical advice’.

 

Several months later I visited with doctors at the Pritikin Longevity Center in Santa Monica, California. When I arrived I was unable to walk without some type of assistance. They essentially told me to get up and walk.

 

And that I needed to walk through the pain. They said that this would help to build new blood vessels in my legs. Within just two weeks of walking, I was able to go nearly two miles.

 

I continued this regiment for several more years. I felt better and I was still in a great deal of pain. In 1991 I started yoga. Initially I went to a general hatha yoga class. This did seem to help. As I continued my yoga practice I began to feel better. But at the same time I was still living with daily pain in my legs.

 

Eventually I began doing Bikram’s Yoga on a regular basis in 1997. Within a month I noticed that there seemed to be a reduction in the level of pain. In spring of 1998 I committed to a three month teacher training program with Bikram. My main purpose was to heal my body – not to be a teacher. Within several weeks of intensive daily practice the pain virtually disappeared. As much as I wanted to, Bikram would not let me give up.

 

I did become a teacher and now own a Bikram Yoga studio.

 

As a side note, in 1971 I was in a water skiing accident. I had 60% of my liver removed, my gull bladder, six cracked ribs and a collapsed lung. I was not expected to live. The original reason I stopped practicing other forms of yoga was a diagnosis of superspinitis tendonitis with arthritis/bursitis in my left shoulder. This was the first thing to go away when I began practicing Bikram Yoga.

 

Today, December 2002 I continue to live pain free with both legs intact and a smiling happy face. This yoga has given me a better life!!! Michael Harris

 

michaelb@spiritone.com

  

Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a steroid lipid, found in the cell membranes of all body tissues, and transported in the blood plasma of all animals. Most cholesterol is not dietary in origin, it is synthesized internally. It is present in higher concentrations in tissues which either produce more or have more densely packed membranes; for example the liver, spinal cord, brain and atheroma. Cholesterol plays a central role in many biochemical processes, but is best known for the association of cardiovascular disease with various lipoprotein cholesterol transport patterns in the blood.

 

This information is regarding my husband, S.R. He began attending a Bikram's Yoga class in Montpelier, Vermont with Cindy Litchman to help him with carpal tunnel syndrome. Needless to say, it did help him a lot, but also, he just had his cholesterol checked and was shocked - his good cholestorol level went up 15 points, and his bad cholestorol level went down 60 points! - Amy amy.

 

rast@state.vt.us

  

Heart Disease

I had a heart attack in 1985. Blood thinners were not as safe as now. I had it the old fashioned way--I went to the emergency room, they gave morphine. The doctors said I had been doing all of the right things, it was just in my genes. I thought, "Damn, if I had known that I would have been buying Gucchi's or a better quality of Wranglers." My health improved with my aerobic exercise, but more when I started practicing hatha yoga in 1989 at the age of 67. My greatest improvement was when I started practicing Bikram yoga in 1994 with one of my best teachers, Patricia Gray.

 

The amazing thing to me was the changes in bone structure and body alignment and the increase in energy and the calming effect on my mind. I did not think these changes were possible at my age.

 

I became a firm believer in Bikram's 26 yoga postures. At the age of 77, I spent a lot of money and nine weeks in his torture chamber in Beverly Hills studio to become a certified teacher. 
I owe Bikram for improving my health and for saving my life. In March of 2002 my heart beat increased to 200 beats per minute. The electrical current in my heart malfunctioned due to the scar tissue from my 1985 heart attack. My good health from practicing Bikram yoga kept me alive.

 

Since 1985 my ejection rate from left ventrical has been 30%, which is about 20% below averatge. By doing Bikram yoga and moderate aerobic exercise at St. Luke's Cardiac Institute. I have been able to maintain a work load, as monitored by St. Luke Hospital, that is 110 to 120% of tested people my age who have never had a heart attack. As Bikram says, his copyright 26 posture series is the best thing you can do for your health.

 

I am a WWII veteran. I spent 3 years in the South Pacific aboard the USS Louisville. I was in 12 campaigns, a major sea battle, and survived three suicide planes crashing on the deck of our ship. The combat taught me at the age of 19 and in my 20s that in order to survive you have to get off your butt and to have a sense of humor. Courage and humor are twin sisters.

 

I tell you this to let you know. Day after day for three years I lived in a stressful environment and survived. We now live in a time when terrorist threats will be with us day after day, preying upon our nerves and mind and sapping our energy. Bikram yoga is an excellent way to survive with a sound mind and a sense of humor and calm spirit.

   

Small Arteries & Poor Circulation

I have, in the past 4 years, gone through two arterial bypass surgeries to help supply more blood to my legs, since my arteries are abnormally small. I can no longer maintain a good workout running, stairmaster, most aerobic activity. I found Bikram Yoga and I am able to maintain, keep up, enjoy and reap the benefits of improved circulation.

 

My doctors believed I had something similar to carpul tunnel syndrome or tendinitous. Never did they suspect at my age that it was circulatory. There was no treatment. They basically thought there was nothing wrong. Finally, a doctor tried to take a pulse in my foot and found none. That then began a series of test to discover the lack of circulation. To this day, the only explanation is small arteries.

 

It was no a noticeable improvement physically at first. It was a JOY that I could participate in something and not have to stop because I couldn't feel my legs. The combination of heat and postures over the past six months has strengthened me and therefore helped my condition.

 

 

Digestive

 

Anorexia Bulimia

The United States is a fat-phobic society, and from an early age, girls are taught to believe that thin is better. The famous writer and theater critic Dorothy Parker once said "no woman can be too rich or too thin," a catchphrase that is still referred to today. Many people associate fat with ugliness and failure. Advertisements feature thinner-than-normal models that are often more than 15% below the expected weight for their height and age, a criterion for anorexia according to the American Psychiatric Association's DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition).

 

Social pressure to stay unhealthfully thin is a primary cause of anorexia and bulimia. The clinical course of these disorders usually begins with self-dissatisfaction.

 

Many healthy children of normal weight are concerned about their weight and are afraid becoming too fat. An increasing number of girls who have not reached puberty are showing signs of anorexia. In one study, 45% of third through sixth graders said they wanted to be thinner, 40% of them had tried to lose weight, and 7% of them scored in the high risk range on an "eating attitude" test that detects or predicts eating disorders.

 

I was diagnosed with Anorexia and Bulimia when I was 21 years old. However, I had been concealing the illness for over 8 years prior. At the age of twenty-one I was hospitalized in California in one of their first eating disorder units. The doctors promised me no success rate at that time. Many of the girls in the unit dies of heart attacks or starvation during or later in life. I was then at the 6% percentile. I went from 60 lbs at 21 to always hovering around 90 lbs.

 

The illness continued to plague me until recently. Over the last year I am at a "whopping" 110 lbs. I attribute a lot of it to my Bikram Yoga classes with Bonnie K. in Tucson. I had heard that Yoga had been known to have positive affects on people with eating disorders. I only wish I would have started long ago - but I was most likely not ready then.

 

The classes at first were very difficult for me to stare at myself in the mirror - body image being at stake. But I have come to listen to my Yoga instructors' gentle and firm coaching to love myself more - to be forgiving - to persevere in a healthy way. I still have days and moments that are difficult but I don't go to the place of hurting myself anymore. How? I experience the upset, feelings of control, and then breathe. I'm indebted for this. My life has blossomed beautifully with my loved ones. I have always been extremely successful by worldly standards but not by a healthy glow, body shape, an aura of happiness. Thank you, Bikram, thank you Bonnie Kuykendall.

 

Specific improvements: 
Within several weeks, I noticed a toning of my body that was different than my extensive runs to keep body fat and weight low. I mentally saw improvement right away. I began to feel whole and balanced - my thoughts became clearer.

  • Weight gain and maintenance
  • Toned Body
  • Less Obsessive
  • People interaction improved
  • Being in charge of my life
  • The ending of starving and purging

 

EscrowFNT@aol.com

  

Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia is an abnormally low level of glucose in the blood.

 

Love Bikram Yoga. Cured my long term chronic hypoglocemia inside of 5 practices. Has significantly reduced my vata excess.

 

Karen Williams

   

Eating Disorder

My name is Molly and about 2 years ago I dared myself to take my first Bikram yoga class. See, I had been struggling with an eating disorder for over 10 years, and at 92 lbs my body gave out. I lost complete control of myself and I no longer could function in my daily life. I was sad, I was scared and I was so fragile. After being recommended for an out patient treatment program I fell even deeper into my sickness. I was starving my self daily and any calorie I did intake I purged. I was practically daring death to come find me. I knew that recovery scared me and that I would fight it tooth and nail if it wasn't on my own terms. at my own pace, and done in the most natural way, so I made a deal. I made a deal with my mother that I would recover on my own, I would find and support my own team of doctors who would teach me nutrition, help me explore my real issues and take my weekly vitals to make sure I wasn't slipping. I was dedicated to being better and although it was unbelievably hard I finally reached a point when my primary care physician told me I could start to be a bit more physically active. No running or spinning, and no beating my self against a machine, I just had to find something to make my body strong and feel better again. And so, by chance, I found Bikram Yoga. After 90 minutes I was high. I was hooked. Bikram Yoga helped me to find peace with in my self, appreciation of my body, and the ability to smell, taste, feel and love again (all things I had lost). With this new found peace I found so much. In a year in a half I was in love with a fellow yogi, so much in so we bought a house and a puppy and play with her each day. My life was finally full because I had found my spiritual self through this practice. But that's not it.

 

After a few months of yoga, I went for my first bone density scan. My doctor gave me the bad news. At 25 I had osteoporosis in my spine and hips. I was devastated, but driven to keep pushing my self to become a better version of myself, even if it was just a heir's breath. A year after hearing the news of my diagnosis, and staring at little old ladies who were hunched in pain, I went for my second dexi-scan. My doctor warned me, "Molly, bone density takes a long time to build, we are looking for no movement, it will take years for your bones to re-grow." With anxiety, I waited for my results.

 

"Ok, Molly, so I have some news for you." Beth was about to run down all of my test results, including my dexi-scan."Your cholesterol, is the lowest I have ever seen, 95, I credit that to your hard work and yoga, your estrogen is over 50, when I met you it was under 20, that of a 90 year old and the grand finally, your bone density. You have had an 11 percent increase in your spine and a 5 percent increase in your hips. Be very proud, your hard work is paying off." Rajashree, this yoga is saving my life. I will never be hunched over and I will have opportunities to have babies with the man that I love. Bikram's yoga has taught me that health is a life style and it is one that is to be embraced in what you eat, what you do, and how you behave through out the day. I thank both of you for all of your inspiration!

 

My dream is to help other people like me. To use nutrition and Bikram yoga to help struggling women and men to adopt a life style that is fulfilling inside and out. I am strong because of all of the hard work I have done inside of 90 minutes and I want to share my strength with others. I will come to yoga training. I want to be a teacher. At this point in my life, I am still crawling out of the whole I dug while healing, doctors bills were expensive and not covered, but I am ready to spread my love of this practice and my knowledge of the good life. Thank you both for bringing this yoga to me, for saving my life, and helping me realize my dream

   

Indigestion

Bikram's yoga practice has changed my life! I have been practicing regularly for 6 months now and suffered from major indigestion and nothing helped for a long time, and just a week into bikram yoga has turned it around I now enjoy a really healthy stomach and digestive system .

 

other than the improved physical condition my mental and emotional stability has drastically improved my crazy levels of high anxiety are in control now i am in control now!!

 

A whole lot of antibiotics and diet control since i had a weak digestive system which could lead to acidic peptic disease.

 

My digestion saw improvements in just one week!!

 

Thank you Bikram Yoga.

 

Endocrine

 

Diabetes

Diabetes kills more than 350,000 Americans every year, while slowly ravaging the bodies of its surviving victims. This year alone approximately 700,000 Americans will fall victim to their diabetic onset. For 90 percent of the roughly 14 million people who are Type II diabetics, the onset will have occurred in the prime of their lives. Diabetes causes complications such as blindness, kidney failure, stroke, heart disease, hypertension and circulatory disorders leading to amputation of toes, feet and legs -- ultimately causing premature death.

 

But are diabetes victims or perpetrators living lifestyles that beg for this malady to manifest itself? Having diabetes for over 28 years has given me some insight. But not until I discovered how to reverse this chronic disease did it become clear that I was not a victim of diabetes, but rather a casualty of my own lack of knowledge of how to care for my physical system properly.

 

You might ask, "Didn't you go to the doctor and have regular physical checkups?"Certainly, I did. Sadly, it's not until something specific arises, a manifest symptom or negative test result, that medical science steps in. Our doctors are the best in the world when it comes to treating trauma, and curing and preventing infectious disease. Chronic diseases like diabetes, however, have everyone stumped. Our doctors are able to keep us alive only with insulin and anti-diabetic medications. Continued long-term use of these medicines, unfortunately, creates complications of their own. But what if there was a way not only to reverse diabetes, but prevent its manifestation as well?

 

There is a Way to Reverse Diabetes I tripped over a treatment quite by accident after having suffered a herniated disc in my lower back. Three doctors proclaimed, "Surgery!" This is a risky alternative in any case, but even more so because of my diabetes. Then I heard that regular practice of hatha yoga may help my back problem.

 

Of far greater benefit, I soon learned, was that performing the yoga postures daily for five months eliminated my need to take insulin or any other anti-diabetic medications! I had required 75 units of insulin daily. Insulin kept me alive, but not healthy. Hatha yoga put me back on the road to good health.

 

This method is a therapeutic form developed by Bikram Choudhury, a yoga master from India and my teacher. His method consists primarily of two pranayamas (breathing exercises) and 26 asanas (postures). How can yoga reverse diabetes? Isn't it just another form of exercise? Well, yes--and no. All diabetics know that daily aerobic exercise helps control blood sugar and improve circulation (poor circulation is a major complication of diabetes). Though the exact mechanics are not precisely known, exercise reduces the amount of insulin required to maintain normal blood sugar levels. For some adult onset diabetics, proper diet and exercise are all that's required to regulate normal blood sugar. But for the vast majority, oral medication or insulin injection is necessary to maintain life. Many who at first can control blood sugar with diet and exercise find that, in later years, they also require medication.

 

What does hatha yoga offer that ordinary exercise doesn't? Certain postures have a therapeutic effect upon various organs and glands. Those postures that benefit the pancreas and its functions are of the greatest interest to diabetics and pre-diabetics. It is the correct application of these postures that can reverse diabetes.

 

Among these are the backward bending postures such as the Ardha Chandrasana (Half-Moon pose), Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose), Salabhasana (Locust Pose), Poorna Salabhasana (Full Locust Pose), Dhanurasana (Bow Pose) and Ustrasana (Camel Pose). These postures bring stimulation to the pancreas, as they exercise the erector spinae, latissimus dorsi, obliques, deep intertransversarii and posterior abdominal wall. Also, most of these postures cause the internal viscera to stretch, bringing stimulation to the pancreas and other glands and organs that otherwise receive no stimulation.

 

Other postures such as Dandayamana-Bibbaktapada Pashimotthanasana (Standing Separate Leg Head-to-Knee Pose), Ardha Kurmasana (Half Tortoise Pose), Sasangasana (Rabbit Pose) and Janushirasana with Pashimotthanasana (Head-to-Knee with Stretching Pose) provide stimulation and rejuvenation to the cells of the pancreas and other endocrine glands by way of compression. Compression of these glands, followed by relaxation, causes an increased volume of highly oxygenated blood to reach the cells, bringing nourishment that rejuvenates atrophied cells.

 

Diabetes appears to be primarily a deficiency of the pancreas. Yet our body's internal feedback system is so complex that, when modern allopathic medicine prescribes a drug for one problem, it causes a myriad of other complications, some worse than the original symptoms. Hatha yoga is a body balancing system. Its therapeutic application utilizes the body's power to generate its own medicines that have no negative side effects. Therapeutic hatha yoga may be considered as complementary medicine, adjunctive to modern allopathic medicine.

 

Since stress further complicates diabetes, the calmative effects of performing hatha yoga and the specific practice of Savasana (Dead Body Pose) at correct intervals also contributes to the reversal of this so-called chronic, incurable disease. And when certain other postures, such as Trikanasana (Triangle Pose), or Tuladandasana (Balancing Stick Pose) are applied in the therapeutic manner, aerobic conditioning occurs, eliminating the need for other exercise forms as therapy. Since hatha yoga improves flexibility and overall muscle tone, however, most everyone finds their overall athleticism improved. Additionally, age is no barrier. Though many diabetics find it difficult, if not almost impossible, to maintain a regular exercise regimen as they grow older, they are still able to maintain an effective therapeutic hatha yoga regimen.

 

The application of therapeutic hatha yoga to reverse "incurable" disease is relatively unknown in the West, but that is changing.Dr. Deepak Chopra, the famous endocrinologist and author of Quantum Healing, combines Western medical technology with ayurvedic medicine. A significant part of his patients' treatment includes this form of yoga. Dr. Dean Ornish, who is famous for his radical techniques for reversing heart disease, states, "Increasing evidence indicates that medications to lower blood pressure and cholesterol prevent or reverse heart disease in only a small percentage of people. These drugs sometimes make people worse." Therapeutic hatha yoga, diet and meditation form the major part of his treatment.

 

If heart disease can be "reversed," "cured," "controlled," "managed without medications," etc., then why not diabetes? Dr. Phulgenda Sinha, director of the Institute of Yoga in Patna, India, and Washington D.C., and author of Yogic Cures for Chronic Diseases, states, "The yogic treatment restores the normal functioning of the pancreas and other glands of the endocrinal system. When these glands begin to function properly, the individual is fully cured of the diabetic disorders and his health is restored to normal level." Is a cure for diabetes too much to hope for? Diabetes is an age-old disease that has been treated successfully in the Eastern world by methods we in the West are just beginning to try, let alone understand. Amazing as it may seem, therapeutic hatha yoga has been shown to:

  1. Control diabetes at significantly reduced insulin levels for Type I diabetics;
  2. Control diabetes without any external medication for Type II diabetics;
  3. Prevent and heal the ravages of the complications caused by diabetes with the body's own medicine.

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Bose, Buddha,
    Key to the Kingdom of Health, Calcutta, India, Statesman Press, 1938.

Chopra, Deepak, M.D.,
    Quantum Healing: Exploring the Frontiers of Mind/Body Medicine, New York, Bantam Books, 1989

Choudhury, Bikram,
    Bikram's Beginning Yoga Class, New York, Putnam Publishing Group, 1978

Funderburk, James, Ph.D.,
    Science Studies Yoga, A Review of Physiological Data, Glenview, IL, Himalayan International Institute of Yoga Science & Philosophy of USA, 1977

Jain, Suresh C., et al.,
    "A Study of response pattern of non-insulin dependent diabetics to yoga therapy," Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, 1993, 19, 69--74

Mishra, S.K.,
    "Diabetes mellitus in Indian medicine and its management by yoga," Excerpta Medica ICS, 1979, 454, 373-378

Monro, Robin, et al.,
    "Yoga Therapy for NIDDM: A controlled trial," Complementary Medical Research, 1992, 6/1, 66-68

Ornish, Dean, M.D.,
    Dr. Dean Ornish's Program for Reversing Heart Disease, New York, Ballantine Books.

Sinha, Phulgenda,
    Yogic Cure for Common Diseases, New Delhi, India, Orient Paperbacks, 1976.

Julian Goldstein, B.S., M.S., CYT, and member of the International Association of Yoga Therapists, was a certified yoga therapist who had taught therapeutic hatha yoga to diabetics at the Yoga College of India in Encino, California. He published a support group newsletter for diabetics called Diabetic Backtalk and was the author of the book Diabetic Always -- Insulin no More! Or Any Other Darn Pills! He was also the founder of the non-profit Diabetes Alternatives Foundation.

(Mr. Julian Goldstein, who assisted Bikram in the publication of the Revised Edition of the Bikram's Beginning Yoga Class book, passed away in the summer of 2004 after teaching Bikram Yoga and assisting others with similar diabetic conditions for almost 20 years.)

 

RESULTS FOR DIABETES

I have had type I diabetes since I was 25 years old. I have had been on intensive insulin injection therapy since that time. My blood sugars have always wildly varied from highs of over 300 to less than 30 mg/dL. My hemoglobin H1AC results were over 8.0 (normal is 5.0 to 7.0). I experienced insulin shock 3 times a month on average. Some of these resulted in trips to the hospital. My weight had increased to over 220lbs and I had lost a great deal of flexibility in my upper torso and legs.

My doctors plan involved intensive insulin therapy through multiple daily injections of Lispro insulin, and a rigorous and difficult to maintain diet that involved carbohydrate counting. The risk of long term complications such as blindness, neuropathy, and amputation was probable if the disease is not managed through tight control of blood glucose ranges.

I started Bikram yoga in April 2000 and since that time my HA1C level has dropped to 7.1, I have lost 15 lbs. I have had only one insulin shock incident. My flexibility and muscle tone have increased remarkably in only 3 months of practicing three times a week. My blood glucose now ranges from 60 to 200 mg/dL and my insulin dosage has decreased by 20%. I look forward to continued improvement in my glucose control. This really works.

 

Hearing

 

Tinnitus

Tinnitus is a ringing, swishing, or other type of noise that seems to originate in the ear or head. Most tinnitus comes from damage to the microscopic endings of the hearing nerve in the inner ear. The health of these nerve endings is important for acute hearing, and any injury to them brings on hearing loss and often tinnitus.

 

Christine Jammes shares her experience

 

Already, an MD removed from both my two ears, some wax that was packed there since a long time (10 to 15 years, believe it or not) and my earring have improved quite a bit since that treatment. Why? The MD does not understand that, she was sure I would be hard of earring or even deaf because of the situation she found me in

 

I am very sure that my good earring was preserved, among other health practice I have (good food, vitamins, etc) because of my practice of Bikram Yoga since those past months and I will continue to practice Bikram Yoga, that is for sure!

 

I still have a light tinnitus in the right ear but it is quite bearable. I take the opportunity to share with you the others incredible improvements I had since I practice Bikram Yoga

 

My urinary track problem is gone! Once, taking a long walk, I stopped out of amazements, remembering that for a long time, I could not take long walks anymore because of urine drops. They say that menopaused women like me (52) must wear feminine diapers because of this embarrassing problem. I was not taking long walks anymore, since a few weeks, because I did not accepts to wear those diapers but this day and since then, (quite a few month since then) I went outside after my practice of Bikram Yoga, feeling so good, having, for that moment, forgot about my urinary impediment and then, I walked, walked and walked as I used to do in the past,not embarrassed anymore by the urge to urinate that had became painful and not embarrassed by urinary drops! Just a few weeks, not more than 2 month of practicing Bikram yoga regularily cured me of that problem! I confirm that my urinary track is now normal and perfect, enough time and pleasant long walks have passed for making me sure of that! What a relief!

 

My blood pressure has always been low, since birth. Recently, the MD told me that my blood pressure is normal, for the first time of my life!

 

All those miracles happened in my life since the past 4 month that I practice regularly Bikram Yoga. When I will have some other improvements, I will share with you

 

Christine Jammes from France

   

Meniers disease

I have had Meniers disease for 42 years (inner ear disorder). This disease consists of a constant roar in my left ear and vertigo and vomiting at times. I have had both, mostly the roar. Each year I get the roar in my left ear which lasts between 7-9 months than goes away for a few months and returns the following year and every year for 42 years. In the year of 2010 the roar appeared again and did not go away as it usually does. I was convinced that because of my age 70 years young that it was here to stay. My ear nose and throat doctor suggested yoga after trying different medications which I tried many times over these past 42 years. At first I thought this is silly I'm 70 years young there is no cure for Meniers disease I would have heard of it (yoga) before. Out of desperation I tried Bikram Yoga (3 times a week) in 2 months time the roar is gone I’m convinced that the yoga has done the trick. Great instructors have gone the extra mile in helping me.

 

Various medications, along with a restricted use of salt, alcohol, coffee, tea, and soft drinks which I do follow. There is no cure for Meniers disease and they figure (doctors) this is something a person has to live with. But we must keep trying.

 

Sometime in early September the roar that I’ve had all these years is gone, thanks to bikram yoga and great instructors.

 

Sam Pizzo

 

Immune Defense

 

Auto immunity

Autoimmune disease can affect almost any part of the body. Examples are Hashimoto's Thyroiditis and Graves Disease which both affect the Thyroid while Rheumatoid Arthritis affects the joints. Some autoimmune diseases can affect many parts of the body at once. Symptoms can be debilitating making you much more dependant on other people and you sometimes feel that you’re a burden on your friends and family. Simple tasks become difficult or impossible, and normal employment literally becomes a thing of the past.

 

January 2005 - I am 38 years old. That in itself is nothing short of a miracle. I have been struggling with a rare autoimmune disease for nearly 20 years. Here is a snapshot of my journey……

 

Born the middle child of seven, and the older sister of a retarded emotionally disturbed brother, I knew early on that I must have discipline in my life to maintain a sense of peace in a chaotic world. I studied Jazz, Ballet, and Tap, all through middle school and high school. The summer before my junior year, I lived in Chicago with another Dancer and studied with Gus Giordano. While there, being young and brave, I choreographed a Jazz piece after seeing a flyer for auditions, some how found my way to this place, despite being terrified of the city, and auditioned for the “fame” school in Chicago. I didn’t give it any further thought, but continued to study at Gus’s studio six classes a day.

 

When I was Dancing, I thought of nothing else. It was simply me, the music, the rhythm, and my wild expressive spirit, swiping the oxygen from the air with every movement. I found my “center”, the place where balance lives inside your soul, and no one could take that away from me.

 

You can imagine my surprise and dismay when my parents received an acceptance letter from the school in Chicago. I failed to mention that I had auditioned; they failed to share my enthusiasm. They had no intention of letting their 16 year old leave the state while still in high school.

 

I returned to my home town studio in Newton Ma, and was chosen to demonstrate for many of the younger beginner classes and became sort of a dancing teacher’s aid. I also taught creative movement for the community schools. I became very bored very quickly, and the pressure for college and career choices was apron me before I knew it. I was told becoming a dancer was not a practical thing to do. I would have to choose a field of study that would enable me to gain independence, career, and focus on a “real job”. This was the beginning of a long confused journey, where I became completely lost in my own body.

 

Following a procedure to have impacted wisdom teeth removed, I got Hepatitis “B” from a dirty dentist needle. From there, my immune system became off balance. It was trying so hard to fight the hepatitis; it did not know when to stop. My immune system could no longer recognize “good cells” from “bad cells”, and began attacking my body from the inside out.

 

One year following college graduation, I was barely making it. I had still maintained a strong discipline in athletics, Crew, Swimming, Running, Aerobics and water aerobics. However, my body was not responding to the workouts in a normal way. I would swell up, but I did not know that it was inflammation. I thought I was getting fat. I thought I had to be more disciplined and work harder and eat smarter, but nothing seemed to work.

 

I began having difficulty with the simplest things. I could not lift the hair brush to do my hair. I could barely get in and out of chairs. Stairs became a full blown workout complete with sweat and tears. I could not swallow solid foods without the aid of fluid. I had no clue what was happening to me. Still I thought it was me. I thought I had to try harder. But the day came where no amount of effort would prevail. I could not get up out of bed. I rolled myself off the bed and crawled to the phone. My mother took me to the emergency room where blood was taken and I was told I probably had mononucleosis and sent home.

 

I had to stay on my parents couch because I could not even dress myself. Within a few days I knew this was not mono. After seeing my primary care Physician, he noticed a distinct rash on my face, chest and hands. He called the hospital and ordered several additional tests with the blood they had on file. Soon we learned that there is a muscle enzyme called CPK that was out of whack. A normal CPK count is about 50-60. Mine was in the thousands. He made the initial diagnosis of Dermatomyocitis. It is a rare autoimmune disease that affects only one in every million. I was told it was a connective tissue disease that was attacking my skeletal muscles and my vascular system. Later they also diagnosed me with Polyarteritis-Nodosa or PAN, another autoimmune disorder.

 

Within a few more days I was brought to the hospital where things declined rapidly over the course of three weeks. My cpk elevated to 8000. What had been 120LB shapely feminine frame grew to 180Lb blob of a body I no longer recognized. I completely lost the ability to swallow. I could not even hold my own head up off my shoulders. My neck muscles were too weak. I was padded with towels and pillows to keep my body supported. I began to choke on my own saliva. I could not urinate, or perform any muscle actions. My face became “flat” from lack of muscle movement and my voice box, being composed of muscle tissue was inaudible.

 

I did not know it then, but I would not escape that place for another year. My apartment would be rented out from under me, and my car would be sold. I was replaced at work within days.

 

Since the doctors did not know exactly how to go about treating me, an NG Tube was run up my nose and down the back of my throat into my stomach for feeding. It gagged me constantly. A catheter was put in for urine output. A suction tube was used every 5 minutes or so to keep me from choking on my own saliva and a morphine pump was connected to the IV for pain management. I did not know it then but it would be six months before I would become stable enough for them to put in a stomach tube, and several more before they finally put in a “Central Line” avoiding the digestive tract altogether, providing nutrition solely through the veins. They had to do this because by then it had become a multi-system disorder and other autoimmune diseases had set in. After an arteriogram, it became evident that my abdominal region was full of aneurysms and I could not digest any food.

 

The pain was excruciating. No one could touch me. They had to put boards on the end of the bed to hold the sheets up because the pressure of the covers was too painful. Soon I had tubes everywhere, and doctors from all over visiting to witness the strange one in a million phenomena.

 

Having little to no familiarity with the disease, the doctors did not know the most efficient way to deal with it. Since I was at a teaching hospital I was the proverbial “rat” for all to poke, experiment with, and observe. Suggestions for medications and treatments came from Interns, visiting Doctors, even Pharmaceutical sales Reps. Anyone and everyone. Although side affects from all these chemical cocktails where mentioned, they were not a priority because the condition had become “life threatening. However, negative drug reactions would soon prove to be an even greater challenge than the disease itself. After receiving massive doses of IV steroids, Solumedrol, (IV Prednizone), Immunosuppressive therapy, Immunogamagobulin, chemotherapy, (IV Cytoxan), and Methotrexate, I became psychotic. It is one thing to loose your bodily functions, but entirely another to loose your mind. This was perhaps the greatest challenge of all.

 

It was a year of trial and error. I was no longer the captain of my vessel. I could hardly recognize my own ship, and the disease had taken over the helm. I was a prisoner in my own body and there was no way of escaping the treacherous waters ahead. My usual positive attitude was drowning in a chemical sea of ambiguity. I could feel my spirit leaking from my physical structure. There were terrible hallucinations, and several attempts to de-tube myself. I was bruised from my biceps to my wrists from daily blood draws. Most of my veins collapsed and they had to use my fingers for IVs.

 

After several months, they began to identify what the body would respond to and what just didn’t work. They began to tame the swelling with more specific targeted cocktails. Then there was a breakthrough. Two days of immunogamagobulin IV, and something popped. All the poisonous fluid my cells were bathing in flowed to the attention of this drug.

 

They had to keep the catheter in a bucket because the Blood colored fluid was flowing out of me by the gallons, at a pace that was too fast for the nurses to attend to. I must have lost forty to fifty LBS. of this strange fluid within three days. Strangely, as the fluid flowed out, it seemed to make space for some of my spirit to come back in. Or else I just reached a point where I was able to sense it again. Soon after, the enclosed video was taken.

 

Within a couple of months I was transferred to Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston. I knew no one. I could not speak. The “rules” were different, but I had no way to switch gears. I had grown accustom to the schedule in the hospital, the aids, the nurses, the medication schedule. Despite how messed up I was I knew all 17 medications and when they where to be administered. I had grown used to hitting the morphine pump every ten minutes. For several months my parents split up the 24 hour day and took turns staying overnight to hit the morphine pump for me, and suction the saliva so I could get some sleep with minimal pain or choking. But now the “rules” had changed. The morphine pump was discontinued, and I was told to ask for percasett. The problem was I was not speaking. I was psychotic. I was also allergic to the percasett. I went cold turkey and sweat it out for the next three weeks, loosing 14 lbs, of sweat and detoxification.

 

The pain was so intolerable; I retreated into the fetal position. My hands curled into fists, shoulders clenched, legs, arms and neck bent, my stomach contracted. I had daily visits with a Speech therapist who used metal tools soaked in ice to gag me and instigate the swallowing muscles to perform. The physical therapy and occupational therapy was excruciating, and I often threw up in the middle of the sessions.

 

One day, I had had it. Somehow I managed to get myself into a wheelchair, push with my feet down the hall, down several flights on the elevator. I got outside and tried like hell to hurl myself over the railing abutting the Charles River into the water. I thought if I could do that there would be no way for my muscles to keep me afloat, and I would drown down there in the slimy waters. No such luck. A nurse spotted me struggling at the railing, and I was placed under 24 Hr. surveillance and labeled a “suicidal patient”.

 

Then things got worse for me. The aids would wheel me on this donut chair into this huge tile room with all these shower heads in it. They would squirt tepid water up under the chair and randomly at me. This was called a shower. Then they would leave me in there with a towel no bigger than a dishcloth, naked and freezing cold. I sat there with my head bobbed on my collar bone, forcing my eyeballs up toward my forehead to see. I cried like a baby, but no one would come. It seemed like hours before anyone would come. I would be blue from the cold, yet burning with anger and despair.

 

Finally a stomach tube was surgically implanted. I was soon discharged and placed in outpatient Physical therapy, Occupational therapy, Speech therapy and out patient chemotherapy with immunosuppressive maintenance drug therapy.

 

Only a few months passed, and I had to be readmitted because the pain in my abdominal region was so bad. I could not digest anything. While the muscles were starting to come back, the vasculitis was running full course ahead, taking its’ toll. I had to have a Central line with three ports surgically implanted just under my left collar bone. This way there was a port for receiving meds directly into the veins, a port for nutrition, and a port for blood draws. Why they did not try this to begin with will never cease to amaze me.

 

It would take months of a custom designed series of casts to train my body to unfold. I slept with my arms in these contraptions that forced my fists open, and my elbows to straighten. Every few weeks they would make new ones that stretched me further. Suffice it to say, it was a long grueling experience.

 

It was about this time, I received a phone call telling me very matter of fact, that I was post menopausal, and would never be able to have children. I was bald, skinny, with flesh hanging from my bones. I had started to die, before I ever got the chance to truly blossom. I felt like an un-blossomed rose, a dead bud with only thorns to show.

 

I continued all of the therapies outpatient for three years. It took another two before I was once again in command of my body. For the next 8 years I was on a quest for knowledge. I read everything I could get my hands on regarding health and alternative therapies. I struggled with the cognitive issues of years of steroid use.

 

I had no job to go back to, although I did try to return to the field several times, selling mortgages was not the “stress free” career the doctor ordered. I tried so many different things in an attempt to make a living, while managing chronic illness. It was years of tiny accomplishments, and big failures.

 

By 1996 I was working pretty much full time, but barely making it. I was going blind from the cataracts in my eyes caused by the constant steroid use. My cousin took me to a Red sox game, and was concerned when I did not react to any of the plays he could clearly see from our front row seats. The next week he took me to an ophthalmologist who promptly told us although I still had some vision; I was legally blind from the cataracts and would require immediate surgery. Since he was a friend of my cousins, he allowed me to keep my license under the promise that I only go directly to work, and directly home.

 

Within a few weeks I had a surgery known as complete phacoemulsification. This is when they cut out the lens that is covered with cataracts and replace it with a silicon lens. You have to stay awake for the procedure and they can only do one eye at a time. This leaves you lopsided for a month which makes everything that much more difficult. You have no depth perception.

 

Soon after my surgery my sister in Florida lost her husband. She was terribly alone, and I was dying for a break. I left and went to live with her. There I enrolled in Massage therapy school. I learned more about my body and myself than I did the entire time in College. I became licensed and went on to study complete decongestive physiotherapy with Doctor Robert Learner. CDP involves manual lymph drainage, nutrition, exercise, and the use of compression garments to aid people with lymph edema.

 

My sister remarried and moved back to the Boston area. I joined a Holistic clinic as an LMT. Here I began practicing Yoga and participated in Detoxification, fasting, juicing and colonics. Although I went through several “healing crisis” and experienced some relief from being clogged with chemicals, I still was not well enough to make a living. I moved back to my parent’s house when I just couldn’t make it on my own.

 

The September 11th happened. I was devastated. I felt every cell in my body melt as I watched the towers come down. By New Years I had a full blown relapse and was back in the hospital. My CPK once again in the thousands, my body swelling out of control, and my ability to swallow slipping away once again. But this time things were different. This time I was different. I had an arsenal of weapons in my war chest. I had a brand new tool box filled with tools for managing illness. All my studying and searching was pulled into action. I knew how to meditate, and stretch the pain out of my body. I remembered to breathe through the pain. I remained able to make prudent decisions regarding drug therapies. I still knew more about the disease than the staff, and it was their turn to listen to me. I had a living will. There would be no tubes.

 

This time I was out of the hospital in 14 days. I coordinated home care for PT’s OT’s and Speech therapists. Since I knew what was happening, I was treated early enough to arrest total loss of swallowing. With the guidance of a very patient speech therapist I learned how to manipulate my neck, chin, and breathe to get purred foods down. I still could not do liquids or solids, for they would either come out my nose or choke me. But I was elated not to have any tubes. I learned to love squished canned peaches and cottage cheese, and “thick it” in just about everything to get the foods to a consistency where I would not choke.

 

This time I did yoga in bed, preventing my body from curling into the fetal position. I was bedridden for only 5 months. I started pool therapy immediately after, and did yoga in the pool. I was able to get a job selling residential mortgages 5 months later, but had to let it go after only a few months. It seems the disease was following the same course as it did the first time, but on a much smaller scale. Once again, although my muscles were improving, the vasculitis was out of control. I would go through 9 outpatient IV chemotherapy treatments. One treatment every six weeks. Barely enough time to get back on my feet before they would hit me with it again.

 

After six treatments I was starting to come around, and my sister dragged my tired ass to a Bikram class. It was very hard at the beginning. My sister would pick me up and drop me off. The first month I would shake furiously with muscle twitches, and break out in rashes. By the third month I was driving there on my own. At this point the doctor decided to discontinue the chemotherapy for a while to give my bone marrow a chance to recover.

 

Now it has been just over six months and I am like a new person. There has been no mention of anymore chemotherapy. The doctors and I have decided to lower the steroids as well. I am closer than ever to being completely drug free. I have no pain on the days I go to Practice. My teacher Kelley Mara has given me the gift of a free month which has enabled me to go much deeper in my practice. For the first time in 20 years I am not constipated. I have more energy than ever. I am starting to actually feel that I may be able to have a full life and blossom after all. I have been in emergency mode just trying to survive for so long. I had long since given up my dreams of being a Dancer/teacher. Now I am starting to dream again.

 

I want to get off all these drugs once and for all. My whole adult life has been centered on managing chronic illness. I believe participating in a Bikram certification program would help me cross the bridge to total wellness. I know in my heart I can do it if given the opportunity.

 

I want to teach other people how to help and heal themselves. I feel my unique experiences combined with my skills in massage and lymphatic drainage would make me an excellent teacher because I have walked the journey. I know what it is like to loose everything, body, mind and spirit. I know how difficult it is to come back. But I also know that it is possible.

  

Auto immune Hepatitis

I have Autoimmune hepatitis, arthritis, an irritable bowel, and asthma. Since I have been practicing Bikram's yoga, I have noticed many changes in my life.

 

I can still feel pain in my liver, but I have not been taking my perscribed meds for almost two years now. My bowels and digestion have improved (no more "regular" runs or constipation). My joints and muscles, that were all so tight before, have loosened up and feel much better. I have learned and felt what it feels like to be focused and totally concentrated on improving my health and, therefore, my life through my practice.

 

My lungs have expanded and I have learned to focus on my breath and try to calm myself before reaching for my inhaler. The humidity HELPS SO MUCH!!!

 

I felt better right away. An energy I never felt before. I have been troubled by asthma for so long, that it had tightened its grip on my life. I have found an excercise that has completely changed my mental and physical well being. It is the only thing i've found that doesn't hurt me as long as I am truthful with myself. I feel healthier and my physical body is what i've always wanted it to be but, I feel like I have had a true awakening in my mind and soul. This is my greatest improvement thus far.

 

tammy@saber.net

 

   

Dengue Fever

Dengue and dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) are acute febrile diseases, found in the tropics, with a geographical spread similar to malaria. Caused by one of four closely related virus serotypes of the genus Flavivirus, family Flaviviridae, each serotype is sufficiently different that there is no cross-protection and epidemics caused by multiple serotypes (hyperendemicity) can occur. Dengue is transmitted to humans by the mosquito Aedes aegypti (rarely Aedes albopictus).

 

"While traveling in Southeast Asia in 1994 at the age of 20, I contracted Dengue Fever. I had a rather severe type which affected most of the major joints in my body: knees, shoulders, elbows, hips. The symptoms of joint pain were supposed to disappear with time, but I unfortunately have experienced arthritis-like symptoms and bursitis which have failed to disappear from my knees.

 

"When returning to the U.S., I bewildered doctors because none of them had experienced treating dengue fever. I was referred to a rheumatologist and an infectious disease specialist. They each gave me anti-inflammatory meds and hoped the pain would eventually fade with time. During the three months after contracting the disease, I had a hard time walking, standing up, and sitting down. My joints would throb and become stiff and swollen when I was sedentary, but the pain of movement hurt just as bad, so I stayed immobile for fear of injuring myself further.

 

I had cortizone shots in both knees, but after a few months, gave up on medical treatment because it didn't seem to be helping and I didn't like putting so many drugs into my body with no positive results. For the first three years I modified my diet, took vitamin supplements, tried several anti-inflammatories, and took steriods. Some things would ease the pain temporarily, but the residual pain never left. I wanted the strength back in my knees to allow me to explore the world with the youth and vigor my age alone should allow me.

 

"My housemate introduced me to Bikram's yoga, and amazingly, it has helped my constant knee pain dissipate. I saw immediate improvement, as in, following class one, and have been practicing for six months so far. I notice a significant difference in my pain level when I go to yoga. My leg strength has improved so much. I found instant results with yoga which months of physical therapy failed to provide.

 

I was amazed at what I was able to accomplish at yoga...I just listened to the instructor and followed her directions. My knees didn't give up on me!!

 

kelring@u.washington.edu

   

Hepatitis C

I have Hepatitis C antibodies. Although I am asymptomatic, since beginning Bikram study 2 years ago, I have found that I have an amazing new energy and vitality. While antibodies are still present in my blood, my liver functions are above normal. I have great skin, flexiblity and a youthfulness not found even in normal folks in my age group. I rarely get colds or flu. My sleep improved. I attribute it to good genes & my practice.

 

The antibodies were found 9/2000. I first sought treatment 9/2000.

 

The doctors recommended interferon therapy which I decided against. I've been practicing 2 years.

   

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