Taking Back Control: Black Women and Alternative Medicine

It’s funny how suddenly your world can be flipped upside down. Life as you knew it gone in a flash as if you have just been a victim of some natural disaster tragedy. Only there was no tornado, hurricane, earthquake or flood reported on the evening news. That’s exactly what happened to me in the winter of 2003. After countless visits to the doctor and several MRI’s, the outcome was that somehow, a chronic illness Multiple Sclerosis (MS) had invaded my body.

I was devastated, the only thing I knew about this disease was that a few celebrities’ actress Lola Falana, Talk Show Host Montel Williams, singer Tamia, and comedian Richard Pryor had all publically announced that they had been diagnosed with MS. And all the doctors were able to tell me was that “We don’t know the cause, and there is no cure, but we’re going to put you on this drug. It’s a shot that you will have to take everyday for the rest of your life…Or, until a cure is found. It will help you to manage your symptoms and pain.” Only it didn’t. What it did was pacify my symptoms and pain until the next exacerbation, which after a few years starting to come more and more frequently.

I took the drugs for awhile and tried to maintain my life as normally as possible considering I was often times weak and in a lot of pain. There was a brief period when I was even dependent on a cane. However, I continued work my 9 to 5 job, traveled whenever I could, publish my first book of poetry “The Evolution Beyond Words & Poetry” and founded a non-profit called W.O.R.T.H. “Women’s Organization of Rebirth Through Healing” which is an advocacy group for women and children survivors of war in the Congo. I guess you could say I was getting along fairly well considering.

In the late winter of 2010, I began feeling the onset of a new flare up coming on. And due to circumstances beyond my control, I had to seek a new neurologist and he told me after meeting me for all of 20 minutes during my first visit with him that he didn’t think my current medication was continuing to help me and suggested I try a new drug. Then he casually said to me, “Oh, and 1 out of 1000 people could develop a brain infection." He gave me an information packet to read over about all of the wonderful ways this drug could and would improve my life.

There were also testimonies from people who have supposedly chosen to take this drug and how their life had changed. Since I didn’t know those people and had not been apart of their journey. I was skeptical. That’s when I read the words. “Brain infection that could result in severe disability or death.” Those were my only two options? It was precisely at that moment that I decided that spending the rest of my life dependent on drugs was no longer an option for me. That is not my idea of living.

I began an intensive search both on and offline and decided that natural alternative healing was/is my best chance at living my life on my terms. I began seeking care and guidance from a Naturopathic Physician who designed a program specifically to treat the cause of my illness and not just the symptoms I was having. For the first time in a long time, I felt like a whole person again and not like MS!

We started with ridding my body and system of all the nasty toxins that were making me sick in the first place. My detoxification consisted of getting regular colonics, infrared sauna sessions and natural detoxifying supplements for my specific needs. Acupuncture and massages were also apart of my program. I started doing yoga on a regular basis and I became 90% vegan and 80% raw vegan. I bought 2 juicers one for home and one for the office, so that I could increase my daily intake of organic raw fruits and veggies.

All of the information I found during my online research and in the many, many books that I read on how to eradicate MS -- information that the medical doctors never told me about nor do they support -- suggest that those simple life adjustments were all it took to reverse my MS symptoms. Having done and continuing to do those things, I am no longer on medication. Now my food is my medicine, and I feel better than I have felt in years! I have a lot more energy and stamina. I’m also a lot stronger physically and mentally than I was before I started living a healthier lifestyle. And now when someone ask me how I’m feeling. I can honestly say to them, “I feel WONDERFUL” and mean it!

Often times we, especially women of color, are so caught up in our day to day lives. We want the quick fix miracle drug, and we put all of our faith and trust in the hands of Medical doctors who in my opinion are legalized drug dealers. The miracle drug cannot be found in any doctor’s and/or pharmaceutical drug company’s prescription. I believe, based on my experience that the miracle is in God, raw foods and in faith that you can beat the odds and win with any hand that you’ve been dealt.

The MIRACLE is in trusting and believing that no matter what, when it comes to your life. You are the only one who can take back control.

Aria Nicole is a published Author, Poet, and Human Rights Activist. You may learn more about her artistic and humanitarian efforts by visiting her @ www.arianicole.com and www.youreworthit.org
www.facebook.com/arianicole or www.twitter.com/mahoganielove

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