Kathleen Bingen, Wisconsin, Diagnosed with MS
My name is Kathleen Bingen. In 1990 I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis two months before I was going to walk down the aisle and marry the man of my dreams. It was a devastating — and wonderful — time in my life.
My future husband accepted the responsibility without a second thought. We’ve now been married for 11 years and have two beautiful children.
However, his role of caretaker has increased in the last 4 years as my disease started to progress. Just last fall it became necessary for me to use a walker for assistance. Fatigue caused me to lower my 40-hour-a-week job as an administrative assistant to 12-15 hours. Each day the pain increased. I lived on pain-killers, fatigue medicines and nerve pain drugs. I was trying everything I could to put the disease in check, but nothing was working. My doctor told me I was in the stages of secondary progressive multiple sclerosis.
I created a personal website to help keep a positive spin on this not-so-positive disease. One day I found a new visitor to my site who posted a story about her experience at an Ayurveda health center called The Raj. At first, I shrugged off her “miracle recovery” from MS as some type of marketing ploy — but out of courtesy I sent her a note. The next day she responded with so much enthusiasm that I couldn’t help but feel she was telling a truthful story.
I started e-mailing The Raj, asking questions, and at some point I just knew that this was a place I needed to try for myself. Our arrival was mixed with emotions. Would this be worthwhile? Was I trying so desperately to find a cure that I would do anything? But I reminded myself of something my neurologist said. He said that everything he tries is experimental. He never knows if a certain drug or treatment will help me, but he has to try. Going to The Raj couldn’t hurt me more than the toxic prescriptions he’s had to give me over the years.
I felt progressively better after each daily treatment of herbal massage and other therapies designed to remove built-up toxins. It was truly amazing. My first relief of symptoms was an increase in energy
that was noticeable after the second treatment. Each day the pain decreased and by the end of the seventh day all that was left was the weakness in my legs — which meant I still needed my walker.
I left The Raj no longer on painkillers, fatigue medications, or nerve pain drugs. The Raj told me to give my legs time, and they would be stronger too. Two days later my son crashed on his bicycle, and I just took off running! My legs were back!! No pain, no fatigue and no more walker!! At The Raj, I learned to change my diet and behavioral patterns and was sent home with only three herbs to take as a supplement. I give myself massages each morning with herbalized oil to help remove additional toxins. It’s a wonderful feeling to wake up each day without the stiffness I have had for the past years. And this isn’t even half of what I learned. The Raj is an experience that everyone should try, even if you don’t have a chronic disease. I guarantee no one will leave without gaining something. As a matter of fact, anyone who wants to e-mail me directly with questions should feel free to do so. I will be happy to tell you more about my experience!
The following is an e-mail we received from Kathy Bingen six weeks after her visit to The Raj:
Thought I’d share with all of you what happened at my doctor’s appointment today!! He was very impressed. At first he was skeptical of my reported progress until he did the neurological tests and had me “walk” down the hallway. I was actually lifting my feet as I strolled down the hallway, spun and strolled on back!
He did notice my balance isn’t completely perfect when he had me walk with eyes closed, heel to toe, heel to toe. I guess I did wobble a little but heck, last time I was there in May I couldn’t do it without him holding my shoulder.
He wrote a work release that increases my hours from 12-15 a week to 20 hours a week for now. If I’m still good by my next appointment I can go back to 40 hours. Maybe this will get the disability company to realize I can get better… smile. Well, that’s my news!
During my stay at The Raj I noticed significant improvement in balance and feeling in my right side, which had previously been numb. During my week here I felt no fatigue and I now have better mobility. I can lift my right leg and am now able to grasp and carry a bag with my right hand, which was not possible when I arrived. I was very happy with everything and everyone during my stay at The Raj.
JL, diagnosed with MS
Linda Bradley, an antique dealer from Keokuk, Iowa, came to The Raj for relief from “severe fatigue, mental exhaustion and pain all over.” She had been diagnosed as having fibromyalgia. Doctors didn’t know what brought it on.
“I went to the Mayo clinic and spent $8,500 for them to tell me I had fibromyalgia and I had to learn to live with the pain.”
By March of 1998 Linda was getting worse. Her massage therapist researched alternative medicine. He decided to check out The Raj and was impressed by the depth of knowledge and professionalism he found. “He talked me into trying it.”
Linda’s friends tried to discourage her from coming. “Two friends thought I was going to be brainwashed, that I would come home and not believe in God. But I felt just the opposite. I thought that God gave me the opportunity to go.” She scheduled a seven-day package.
Linda arrived at The Raj on May 24, 1998. “I had been to spas in North Carolina and Texas, but this was totally different than what I had expected. When I arrived, Guest Services helped me in with my luggage, gave me a tour, and then I went to my room and relaxed until dinner.
“At dinner I met the other guests for the first time; some were just starting, and some had been there for several days. I heard all sorts of positive things. The next day before treatment I had an introductory lecture on the Transcendental Meditation program and decided to learn to meditate. It turned out to be much easier than I thought.”
“The first treatment was really wonderful — I can’t even put it into words. By the third day I felt so much better physically that I was able for the first time to walk down the stairs, then up the stairs; then I was able to cut my pain medication in half. Then I was able to take a walk down the road, a huge step for me. The rest of my visit just kept getting better. My mind began getting clearer.”
“When I got in my car to leave, I was actually singing to the radio. It had been years since I felt good enough to sing. When I got home my husband saw the change immediately. He said, ‘I have my wife back.'”
“Seeing was believing to him because he had seen how I had been for years. Now I was getting up at 5 a.m., ready to walk. He couldn’t understand how this change all happened in one week.
“On a scale of one to ten, my energy has gone from a two to an eight. With the increase in energy I was able to start a walking program. I began to lose weight and have lost 67 pounds to date. I’ve
never felt better.”
“My doctor said, ‘I wish I could say that it was something I did.’ She has so many people who take pills and medication which don’t help them, and she knows there is another way. She’s been very supportive of me taking the herbs which The Raj recommended.”
“The friends who were very skeptical about me going to The Raj see the weight loss; they see me more active, doing things I haven’t done in a long time. They see me back to my old self again. When I came home from The Raj the second time, one of the most skeptical friends called me on the phone. He said, ‘I cannot believe that you are the same person. If it worked for you, could it work for me?’ He’s now interested in coming to The Raj. When the other friend saw The Raj featured in Country Living’s Healthy Living, she called me for information.”
Linda and her husband are expanding their business, Spider Web Antiques. “I’m traveling a lot more in business because I feel better. Transcendental Meditation seems to help with fatigue. My husband is happier. I’ve seen a positive change in him because when I feel better he in turn feels better.
“The Raj saved my life. It really did. The total amount I spent at The Raj came to the very same amount I spent at Mayo. The difference is, The Raj gave me results and completely turned my health around — it was worth every penny. I know now there is hope. I’m just glad I found it.”
“I couldn’t be a happier client,” said Sue Mandel when we called her four months after her visit to The Raj. “I’ve never felt so well in my life.” And her insurance company is happy too. After seeing the results of her week long stay at The Raj, Blue Cross has agreed to reimburse Sue for most of her rejuvenation treatments.
A 54-year-old Fine Art dealer from California, Sue Mandel came to The Raj last fall suffering from chronic asthma, multiple digestive disorders, sinus problems, little to no thyroid functioning, migraines, and back pain from a traumatic injury that left her with two crushed discs.
“I had been sent from one specialist to another with little or no success, and no knowledge of how to help myself. I had MRIs and medicines of all kinds. My immune system was shot. I had been given every diagnosis from Hashimoto Syndrome to Rheumatoid arthritus and had been advised surgery was the only answer for my back. It was then that I began researching alternative wellness programs that could put me back in charge of my own health. After thoughtful deliberation, I decided to come to The Raj.
“I felt so great at the end of my stay at The Raj that I was determined to continue an Ayurveda lifestyle at home. Every morning I give myself an oil massage. I follow my diet recommendations, take my herbs and go to bed early. I cook for myself now the same way I learned in the kitchen at The Raj. I also follow an exercise program that includes Yoga exercises. The stretching really helps with the back pain. And of course I am regular with my practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique.
“At the time I came to The Raj I was taking 12 to 14 pills a day: asthma medication, pain pills, migraine medicine, muscle relaxants, thyroid hormones and sleeping pills. Today I’m down to two medications, for thyroid and migraines, and I’m hoping to be off the thyroid medicine very soon. When I went to my doctor recently we discovered my cholesterol had dropped from around 400 to 200 and my thyroid functioning was normal. My asthma has completely disappeared and I feel energetic and happy. And I’ve lost 35 pounds without even trying. I told Blue Cross that I was saving them thousands of dollars a day and they agreed!
“Everybody notices the change in me and asks, ‘What happened to you?’ Of course, I tell everyone about The Raj and about Maharishi’s Vedic Approach to Health. It turned my life around and put me back in charge of my wellness. I look forward to returning to The Raj next year and to continuing to feel better and better.”
Dr. Michael Borger is a physician in Nappanee, Indiana with a large Family practice plus an Industrial Medicine practice including laceration repair, fracture management, and other injuries. Add to this hands-on manipulative therapy for injury rehabilitation and there is no doubt that Dr. Borger is a busy man.
Fortunately, Dr. Borger was always blessed with nearly perfect health. But after twenty years in medical practice a growing weight problem took its toll. “I knew I was heading in the wrong direction but, try as I might, I could not change.”
During an 18-year period the five-foot-ten-inch doctor ballooned from 165 pounds to 298 pounds. This was serious obesity, not just a little weight gain. Suddenly, he found out that he was diabetic with sky high blood sugar.
“As a physician, I have treated hundreds of patients with diabetes. I was always objective and able to help patients regain their health — so long as they made the necessary effort.”
But it was different when Dr. Borger became the patient. “I found out that, like everyone else, I reacted emotionally — I was scared.”
With the onset of diabetes, Dr. Borger took action. “First I saw a specialist in Internal Medicine and Cardiology. He checked me out and found I was in good health, aside from diabetes and obesity.” Then, Dr. Borger received guidance from a Registered Dietitian for meal planning to help him reduce his weight. But even this was not enough.
“I know from experience that diet, medicine, and exercise can only help so much. For me, it was not enough to significantly lower my blood sugar.” That was when he booked a three-day evaluation and treatment program at The Raj.
“I found the facility to be the finest that I could imagine. I was especially impressed with the doctors. They are among the finest physicians that I have known. I was impressed with their professional excellence and intense interest in finding ways to help me. In addition, the room accommodations were so ideal that I felt better just checking in.”
The Evaluation by an Ayurveda Health Consultant was followed by three days of purification therapy and educational activities. “I learned so much while I was at The Raj. I benefited from the therapy that I received, but the knowledge that I gained will last a lifetime.”
How did all this affect Dr. Borger’s health? “Seven months later, I have lost sixty pounds. I now weigh 202 pounds and can’t remember the last time I looked or felt so good.
“When I was diagnosed diabetic, I was taking Glucophage 500 mg three times a day. Today, I take no medicine and have completely normal laboratory studies, including long and short term measure of blood sugar.”
Does this mean that Dr. Borger is no longer diabetic? “No, not at all. I will always have to watch my diet and weight and I will have to exercise. But I will say that the help that I received at The Raj made it possible for me to regain my health. For this I will always be grateful.”
Another outcome is that of sharing Maharishi Ayurveda with colleagues and patients. “Since I have been back from The Raj, everyone comments about how healthy I am. They want to know how I achieved such great progress in so short a time. I am sharing this knowledge with anyone who wants to hear it. I am also working toward learning more about Maharishi Ayurveda so I can use it to help my patients.”
Rheumatoid Arthritis, Chronic Disorder Case Study
A 17-year-old student had been suffering from rheumatoid arthritis since the age of nine, with pain and stiffness in the shoulders, elbows, knees, wrists, hands and ankles. She came to the chronic disorders program at The Raj Ayurveda Health Spa, twice, each time for a three-week stay.
The severity of the arthritis fluctuated and migrated from joint to joint and the fluctuations were often correlated with stress. The joints appeared swollen, warm, red and tender. She was dependent on steroids, and tapering this medication caused a rebound of pain. During the six months before her first visit to The Raj, she had difficulty with the simple daily activities of being a student, and had to stop all physical activities. She required several hours every morning after awakening, usually spent in hot baths, until the stiffness resolved enough to start her day.
She began an in-residence chronic disorders program in July 1997, during which the response was dramatic. Within several days, the pain and stiffness had begun to decrease and by the time she left The Raj, she was pain-free as well as on a reduced dose of steroids.
When she returned to her intense academic boarding school environment several weeks later she felt well, but with the stresses of her school work, including irregular hours, late nights and institutional meals, her arthritis subsequently flared. She was started on anti-inflammatory medicines, anti-depressants, muscle relaxants and sleeping pills.
Feeling drugged on so many medications, she requested to return to The Raj. The treatment was repeated in November 1997 with similarly impressive results and, within one week, she was off all her medications except the steroids. She continues to follow an out-patient follow-up program, and is back in school free of pain and stiffness.
A 61-year-old female physician, medical director of a large hospital in the Midwest, presented in March 1989 with a long history of steroid-dependent asthma. She was unable to reduce the dose of steroids because this would cause her asthma to worsen. As a side effect of steroids, she had severe dysplasia (erosion) of one hip which necessitated use of a wheelchair and eventually required surgical repair.
The patient underwent an in-residence treatment program consisting of a less intensive version of chronic disorders treatments currently used. Her symptoms began to improve immediately. After the in-residence portion of her treatment, she was prescribed a home follow-up program. She was initially maintained on her usual asthma medications; however, over the next two months, under medical supervision, she was able to decrease and eventually discontinue her steroids and other asthma medications without any worsening of her symptoms.
She was followed regularly over the ensuing nine years. During this time she had only one brief episode of asthma symptoms, in 1992. She was on no medications and was otherwise free of all asthma symptoms since 1989.
Mary Beth Shea is a senior vice-president for a clearing firm for professional traders in Chicago. Seven years ago she was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome. “I had a flu and cold that kept coming back. I was dragging to work — that’s all I could do. Weekends, I would spend resting so I could go back to work on Monday. By Wednesday I was thoroughly exhausted again. My life became very limited.”
When her doctor told her there was nothing that she could do to alleviate the symptoms, Mary Beth decided to take her own steps. She began reading books from her local health food store and stopped drinking alcohol and coffee, avoided sugar and took vitamins. Her condition continued.
Her first signs of improvement came when she began to investigate alternative health modalities. Acupuncture and herbs provided some relief from the constant flu and colds. After seeing a clinical nutritionist and participating in a six-month detoxification program, her energy levels improved. She learned biofeedback and meditation, which provided great relief. Yet, several years later she still suffered periods of fatigue and was almost bedridden by PMS. She lived a restricted life-style, centered primarily around staying rested.
In 1996, a bacteria picked up in a spa in Jamaica reversed some of the progress that had been made. “I couldn’t get better,” recalls Mary Beth. “My digestion was out of whack, and I was extremely fatigued. At that time I read a book on Ayurveda and had a strong feeling that I should do this.”
Mary Beth called The Raj and immediately booked a six-day rejuvenation package. “As soon as I walked in the door, I had a feeling of relaxation and comfort.” Her first surprise came from her consultation with the doctor. “I thought I was doing great things for myself by eating a healthy diet. And it was healthy — but not for me. It was very much the wrong diet for me. That’s what I like the best about Ayurveda. The recommendations are so specific for your needs.”
After six days of treatments and knowledge classes, Mary Beth returned to Chicago transformed. “The results were instantaneous. I had a significant increase in energy. I have not been sick since that first visit to The Raj over a year ago. Of course, I continue the routine at home that I was taught, of which meditation is an important part. I also was given herbs for digestion and to boost my immune system. I can tell when I go off my diet and routine; my digestion changes, and I start feeling fatigued. But I know how to get back on track. In other words, now I can control my health.”
Mary Beth says that she now watches other people in her office get sick and chides them for not taking care of their health. She can enjoy going out at night and, even after three client Christmas parties in one night, woke up the next morning feeling good. “Prior to The Raj I went to spas two to three times a year. I went to great spas and was treated well. And I’d feel great when I came back — for about a week. But then my symptoms would return. My visit to The Raj was a completely different experience. It permanently changed the way I felt. I plan to return every year.”
A 42-year-old teacher fell backward over a retaining wall of a swimming pool while supervising children. She sustained severe soft tissue trauma to the ankle and foot with contusions, avulsions of ligaments and tendons and internal bleeding. Eight months later the ankle and foot were still swollen, stiff and painful and she was not able to bear weight or wear her usual footwear. Her doctors told her that it was unrealistic for her to expect further improvement, and she should learn to live with the disability.
She enrolled in an in-residence chronic disorders program in December 1995. During this program, her pain diminished considerably and she was able to resume walking. Twenty-six months later, she was fully ambulatory and there was no residual pain.
A 55-year-old gentleman came for Maharishi Ayurvedic treatments on November 5, 1997 for a 21-day course of treatment for hypertension, Type II diabetes (non-insulin dependent) and depression. On admission to the program, he was taking medication for control of all three disorders. Following is a brief synopsis with respect to each disorder:
A 51-year-old housewife had a ten-year history of mixed tension and migraine headache. The headaches had been mild for several years, but two years prior to enrolling in the chronic disorders program, she experienced exacerbation of her condition. The headaches were occurring daily, often for a large part of the day and were relieved only by increasing doses of medications including salicylates, barbiturates, caffeine. She was warned that the headache pattern may have been worsened by her increasing dependence on the medications. This pattern had lasted for the preceding seven months.
She underwent a three-week chronic disease program beginning in October 1997. At the end of the treatment the frequency of headaches was reduced significantly to 1-2 times per week, with the duration of headaches limited to 10-15 minutes. In addition the overwhelming majority of these headaches (about 90%) were able to be relieved without recourse to medication. These improvements continued at least five months later.
A 47-year-old female patient underwent a 24-day Maharishi Ayurveda treatment program for treatment of hypertension due to kidney damage. The patient’s problem began at age 17 when she was admitted to the hospital for obstruction of the right kidney. She underwent surgery to relieve the obstruction; however, the kidney had been damaged. She was told this damage would be permanent and, as a result, she could expect to have elevated blood pressures for the rest of her life. For the following thirty years the patient had widely varying blood pressures, with most pressures being significantly elevated.
Blood pressure readings were obtained during the two months preceding treatment at The Center and averaged 146/97. (Blood pressure is considered high when the upper number, the systolic pressure, is 140 or higher, or when the lower number, the diastolic pressure, is 90 or higher.) During the 24-day Chronic Disorders Program, the patient received a multimodality in-residence program, including the use of the newly introduced Vedic Sound Therapy which the patient felt played a central role in her subsequent improvement.
Following in-residence treatment, the patient was placed on a home program including dietary recommendations and specific herbal preparations. Within a few days of leaving The Center, the patient’s blood pressure dropped significantly and became normal.
Two months later, they continued within the normal range, averaging 129/85. The patient reported that she had not had blood pressures this low since adolescence. In addition, an initial 24-hour creatinine clearance test (a sensitive measure of overall kidney function) was obtained at the beginning of the treatment program and repeated several weeks after its completion. The initial creatinine clearance was moderately diminished (67 ml/minute, with normal being between 80-120 ml/minute), indicating diminished overall kidney functioning. The follow-up was in the normal range at 85 ml/minute.
A 45-year-old female farm manager had a lifetime history of insomnia, with difficulty both falling asleep and with frequent awakening during the night. It had been felt that this was related to an underlying depression.
She had an initial improvement with an herbal program designed to prepare her for in-residence treatment. She subsequently attended an in-residence program, followed by a home program including dietary prescriptions and herbal preparations. Eighteen months following her in-residence program, she continued free of symptoms of depression and insomnia and experienced no further difficulty falling or staying asleep.
A 35-year-old secretary had diarrhea every time she would eat or undergo exertion. This affected her marriage because her husband was athletic, and her condition prevented her from skiing or going out at night.
She underwent a comprehensive treatment program which included modification of her eating habits and diet, herbal preparations, and other components of the Chronic Disorders Program. This program relieved her symptoms, and she continued to be symptom-free even without herbal preparations five years later.
A fifty-year-old woman with severe, incapacitating hot flashes had a contraindication to estrogen replacement therapy. She and her husband both became extremely irritable, because she would awaken frequently at night drenched in sweat and needed to change the sheets and bedclothes and then had difficulty falling asleep again.
She participated in a chronic disorders program. After completing that program, she still had an occasional hot flash, but got a good night’s sleep without the need for hormones.
A 35-year-old male presented with the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. He was admitted to a hospital in Florida three weeks prior to visiting The Raj with complaints of weakness and spasticity in the right leg, difficulties with balance, and fatigue and malaise. Tests performed at the Florida hospital revealed abnormalities in spinal fluid and MRI brain scan, which were consistent with a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis.
The patient complained of being severely depressed and anxious. One month prior to this he noticed aching and loss of vision in the left eye. Upon being discharged from the Florida hospital, his physician advised him that nutritional supplements and dietary approaches would not alter the course of the disease. He was discharged with a prescription for Xanax (a tranquilizer).
The patient arrived at our Ayurveda facility in a wheelchair. Initial examination revealed abnormalities of the left eye and optic nerve, abnormal reflexes in both legs, with weakness and lack of coordination in both legs and severe difficulty walking. The patient underwent a Maharishi Ayurveda program which included Ayurveda purification treatments, dietary changes, learning the Transcendental Meditation® technique, yoga, and specific herbal preparations. By the end of his stay, he could walk 800 yards unassisted.
Nearly twelve years after his in-residence program, he continues to follow our natural approach to MS, including diet, the Transcendental Meditation program and herbal preparations, and has not experienced any symptoms of relapse. He walks two miles daily, lifts weights and describes himself as having a positive attitude without depression or anxiety. His energy level is good and he is working full-time as a massage technician.