Multiple Sclerosis – a story of loss and awakening…

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attitude is everythingThis is such an amazing and inspiring story of courage by Amanda Campbell, who, at the tender age of 24, was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Her shear determination turned her life around and now she shares her knowledge, passion and purpose with others to help them do the same…this is Amanda’s story…

Looking back, I realise I really did spend most of my teens and 20’s ‘asleep’.

Life sprung a massive lesson on me that was not only going to turn my life upside down, but it was going to be the best thing that ever happened to me. Why? Because it woke me up.

Diagnosis at age 24, paralysis at age 29

In 2004 I was 24 years old. I was enjoying life in every way possible, working in the fashion industry – a career that I loved. This was the year I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). I was a determined, career driven young woman, so understandably I was shocked and devastated.

I had a few minor symptoms over the next few years, including numbness, balance issues, and weakness on the left hand side of my body. But they were often years apart, so this allowed me to live in denial of my diagnosis.

In 2009 I lost my ability to walk following a big MS attack that paralysed the entire left hand side of my body. I lost my career and the use of my body. Simple little things like the ability to wash and feed myself became the most difficult tasks of the day. I lost my big fashion career and life as I knew it.

I went from running around, enjoying my life, to standing still and paralysed. I was living life to its fullest, and suddenly found myself in turmoil and darkness. I went from feeling in complete control of my future, to feeling totally helpless.

In less than ten days my whole world had crumbled, as my body slowly, day by day, became paralysed. I could not feel or move the left hand side of my body. It became dead and heavy. My sister literally had to drag me, on her back, up and down stairs along the carpet, to see my doctor.

They checked me into hospital at the beginning of January 2009, and I knew going in, that I wasn’t going to be leaving any time soon. They started me on the standard MS therapy, a high dose of steroids for 3 days. I was not responding, so they continued for a total of 5 days. But I still could not move. I was transferred into rehabilitation at Epworth Richmond in Melbourne – and the work began. I stayed for 2 months.

Rock bottom and only one way to go

I hit rock bottom. I had to ask myself, “Am I ever going to walk again”? I was stretched to my limits emotionally and physically, beyond normal comprehension, and everything stopped.

One day, I remember sitting in my wheelchair in my rehab session, working hard, trying to make my fingers open and close, with tears running down my face, because it was so hard! In that moment I just decided. I was either going to give up now. Or I was going to tackle this head on!

So I did what I knew – I worked hard. I was first in at Physiotherapy and the last to leave. I was a woman on a mission – 3 sessions a day 5 times a week. I had to learn how to use my hand again. I was taught all over again how to pick things up. I had to learn how to walk again.

You don’t know what you are capable of in times like this. This is the moment that I awakened.

A switched turned on inside of me, and I transformed my rock bottom moment into a passionate drive to overcome this battle. I was determined to leave hospital, not only walking, but running!

And I left there running. It wasn’t the most graceful of runs. I won’t win medals for it. It definitely was an awkward looking run. But I did it. It wasn’t just me, far from it. I had an amazing team of people who helped me. These people made me believe that I could do it. They stood by me when I couldn’t stand and helped me get to where I am today.

Amazing help and support

I was blessed. I had Physio’s, Speech Therapists, Counsellors, Occupational Therapists, Neurologists, and Kinesiologists, family and friends. I could not have come through this with the courage and determination that I had, if it had not have been for my loving supportive family friends, in particular my twin sister Nicole.

Amanda and Nicole

Amanda and Nicole

She was there every day and night. Some nights, even sleeping next to me in my single hospital bed. I cannot begin to explain how much I appreciate her and count my lucky stars for her kindness and unconditional love through the hardest time of my life.

Week by week I started to get movement back in my toes and fingers, then arm and leg and my face. I started to walk with a foot brace. Then I progressed to walking with my knee taped up, to walking on my own.

And those first few steps to freedom were… indescribable.

Applied Kinesiology and nutrition gave me my life back

As horrific as it was, the experience of paralysis, it was equally as joyful taking those first few steps to walking again. I will forever be indebted to the exceptional Neuro-Physiotherapists at Epworth Richmond, especially Gavin Williams. It was in my sessions that I met and spent every day with other patients that were going through similar things following car accidents and strokes. So many stories, so much suffering.

I found that I had re-evaluated my life, and I was grateful to finally be getting better. This kind of experience changes you, it humbles you.

Another man that got me walking again, in conjunction with the Physiotherapists, was an Applied Kinesiologist, Dr. Michael Bay. The Kinesiology sessions woke the nerve pathways up from my muscles, back up to my brain, as they are connected via the nervous system.

At the start the Physiotherapists warned me that it would take time to learn how to walk again, pick things up, drive a car, and get back to normal life. And it was going to be work and luck, if it came back at all. I ran in 6 weeks. One year on I now had full function back in my body. This inspired me to go back to study.

Kinesiology, and addressing my nutritional needs helped me restore my mobility back so well, that I returned to college to study for a Diploma in Sports Kinesiology. This in turn helped me to unravel the complexities of autoimmune disease and inflammation.

I believe that a number of things (in combination) have helped keep my MS dormant for the past 6 years now. I have now dedicated my life to teach others how I achieved this, through my consulting clinic and public speaking. I am currently writing a book about my journey to wellness.

So what is Kinesiology?

The best way to describe Kinesiology is it’s like physical psychology. Think of acupuncture and counselling in one session without the needles!

90% of our brain capacity stems from the subconscious part of the brain, which is in charge of our memories, and past experiences. It is from these memories and experiences that our core beliefs, behaviours and habits and formed, usually from age 0-6 years old.

It is this subconscious part of the brain that we access as Kinesiologists, via the integrity of the muscles when muscle testing. This allows us to connect with your entire human system, your mind and body.

Rather than someone else telling you what they think is wrong, and what they think the solution is, a Kinesiologist will use muscle testing to connect with you, consulting your system for the right answers and the right questions. This avoids a trial-and-error approach with your health and wellness. Your system shows us what is actually happening, and guides us in developing the best solution.

It also works because the whole of you (thoughts, emotions, muscles, organs, hormones, nutrition and energy) is considered as we find a solution. Your muscles are connected to your brain via the central nervous system and run through multiple meridians according to Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Kinesiology can help you to access blocked emotions, blocked Qi and fear-based beliefs that can limit you, ultimately causing physical symptoms and illness. As a last resort these blocks appear physically in the body if they are not addressed, dealt with and resolved. The results for me have been truly astounding.

MS has given me a new purpose

I still have MS, but you wouldn’t think so now. My journey to wellness has inspired me. I now share my knowledge, provide coaching and give Kinesiology sessions at my clinic in Prahran, Melbourne called Bend Like Bamboo. I am also looking at expanding the clinic to LA.

I consult with people with all types of autoimmune disease; symptoms of bladder urgency and frequency, depression and anxiety, fatigue, fertility and hormone imbalances, pain, sports injuries, fascia and gait rehabilitation.

My book will be finished in 2015.

I hope I have given you an insight about MS, what it is and how it has affected me, my life and my family. I hope that by sharing with you my story of loss and triumph, that you come away feeling inspired. I hope I have sparked some motivation, to start your own discovery of disease prevention and wellness.

I am grateful for the little things in life. Like being able to go out for dinner, and pick up my glass that I’m drinking. To feed myself with two hands and to wear heels if I so desire. Because I can!

This is the space where healing occurs and manifestation becomes possible. When your subconscious core beliefs are aligned with what you actually desire for yourself, in your reality around you – then it will be so.

Find your passion, live it every day and express it to all that cross your path.

I wished for good health again and I found a way to express that desire through the roles I now have and in being of service to others. This brings me so much joy, everyday. In doing so, I stumbled on a very valuable life lesson: that wish you truly want for yourself, whether it be love, health, money – find a way to give it out to others that cross your path – and it will come back tenfold to you.

Kinesiology helped me walk again, helped me fight my MS attack and brought me back to myself, after so much loss and change, and I cannot recommend it enough.

Take time to stop and smell the roses

Having MS has not stopped me from doing things in life. I have to slow down and look after myself. But I am so glad that I discovered, that purely by slowing down, stripping it all back, and focusing on the simple pleasures we all have the luxury to enjoy every day… is the recipe to happiness.

Amanda CampbellToday I work in my new career, being of service to others. This includes my volunteer position as an Ambassador for MS Australia. I am a MS Coach, Sports Kinesiologist and motivational speaker.

I love my life; I truly feel that every day I get to ‘walk my talk’. I am more fulfilled than I have ever been.

I feel like I am attracting my desires in life, finally. True love, career, health, abundance, and I believe that I have discovered the recipe for manifesting this into reality.

With the assistance of Kinesiology therapy and adopting Dr Terry Wahls’ nutrition protocol, I have made a full recovery, and wish to share my journey back to wellness.

Kinesiology taught me the skills that helped me achieve this and gave me the tools to make this important transition for myself. It is in this better state of mind, that I learned how to control it and got my life back again, and ultimately my health.

As a MS Ambassador, motivational speaker with a Diploma in Sports Kinesiology, I now hope to make a difference in people’s lives and help others deal with managing the symptoms of MS.

I speak at various events, with the hope to inspire people with my story of loss and triumph, spreading my message of disease prevention by living a happier and healthy life. I share my lessons learned along the way and educate others about my research and my journey back to wellness.

If you would like some more information about Kinesiology, the nutrition or information discussed, or book me for a speaking event, please email me at Amanda@bendlikebamboo.com or via my website.

Bend Like Bamboo

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Comments

  1. Jan Reeves says:

    I can identify with your story too Amanda. I was diagnosed with MS when I was 30, (32 years ago), shortly after having surgery for the relief of trigeminal neuralgia and the subsequent permanent loss of sight in one eye. I remember it was August and I envisaged myself in a wheelchair by Christmas. Gradually I found the path to natural therapies and over time learnt the benefits of good nutrition (definitely no dairy for me) and homeopathy. I too can remember being totally numb head to foot on one side for about 6 weeks in one instance. After consulting with Dr Sandra Cabot, I was 80% better in 2 days by following a total vegetarian diet. I often think she saved my life at that time. Since then I started a business, built if over 15 years and sold it to an ASX listed company. I now ‘follow the sun’, living between France and Australia. I’m so pleased to hear that you are an MS Ambassador and sharing your story. When I approached them 10 years ago with my story they were’t at all interested in hearing about natural solutions. The fact that they have embraced that concept now is marvellous news for MS sufferers everywhere. I hardly ever share my story but hope in this instance it adds to your cause – best wishes and well done 🙂

    • Wow Jan that’s so amazing – thank you so much for sharing your story! We feel totally privileged that you have felt comfortable to do it here given that you said you hardly ever do – THANK YOU. Good nutrition plays such an important part in many ailments but people just don’t get the connection…hopefully with messages from inspirational people like you and Amanda, that will change!
      Good on you for now ‘following the sun’ – fantastic! You so deserve it! All the very best fabulous lady 🙂 xx

    • So lovely to hear your story too Jan
      All of you here!
      Wow what a response – I am flattered.
      This is just my story and how it all unfolded and so I tell it from the heart. I have learned so much and just wish to share that being connected again, and learning one’s value and purpose is truly the secret to re-alignment and the return of health. I love your story so much Jan thanks for telling it – and good on you yes you deserve it!
      PS My new exciting venture is my organic food range delivery http://www.nourissh.com and I can’t wait to share it with everyone!
      Stay amazing – Amanda x

  2. What a great story! I love that you have that turning point when you decided to take control of your life. I remember that moment myself when I was 16. It is a hugely powerful thing to realise and it is life changing! I have never tried kinesiology but have always been interested in the idea of it – this has inspired me to check it out!

    • Thanks Serena – so glad you enjoyed Amanda’s story and that you’re now inspired to try Kinesiology! I’ve used it many times (through a naturopath) and it’s amazing what your body has to say!

  3. Hi Paula,

    What an incredible story and amazing awakening. it’s almost like a gift to the rest of us so we can share the experience. A very strong lady indeed. I have a few friends with MS and they struggle a lot and have tried a lot of things. I will share this post with them.

    Thanks for sharing this inspiring story.

    Kind regards Ulrike

    • Yes, Amanda is pretty special alright…to have such insight and strength at such a young age is incredible! She’s such an inspiration – I hope the people you pass this onto are touched by it enough to seek her out for help – that’s what she does best and she certainly walks the talk – such an amazing woman. Thanks for sharing Ulrike x

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