In this interview:
- About Scott Forsgren
- Q & A
- Dr. Christine Schaffner
WELCOME TO THE PRACTITIONER INTERVIEW SERIES
“HEALING COMPLEX ILLNESS”
People with Lyme disease (alternatively named MSIDS or Multi Systemic Infectious Disease Syndrome) frequently spend years researching before and after their diagnosis. When patients with chronic illness are tasked with the responsibility to forge a new and non-traditional path to save their own life, a path that is still unfortunately marginalized and often met with skepticism, many are led to take part in an ever-growing online community for learning and support. This campaign is dedicated to those still seeking health and the amazing and dedicated practitioners that refuse to give up on those patients. For my own part, I will dedicate this to the doctors at the Sophia Health Institute who saved my life.
Many respected practitioners now recognize noted environmental issues as a rising threat to our health, and correlate the large number of cases of Autism, Lyme, autoimmunity, food allergies, and chronic ailments to the increasingly toxic environment we are exposed to daily. Even otherwise “healthy” individuals are beginning to show signs of a burdened system with more mild symptoms, like fatigue, headaches and indigestion.
The people that show the stress first are the ones that reveal where we have gone astray in our environment. An awareness is already emerging as we identify issues like pollution, mold, electromagnetic fields (EMFs), genetically modified organisms (GMOs), toxic dentistry practices and unaddressed infectious disease.
Join us as we explore these complex rising health concerns with our nations leading holistic physicians and healthcare practitioners.
MY NAME IS STACY SHUMAN AND I AM THE CEO AND FOUNDER OF WELL SCENT. I HAVE BEEN PERSONALLY AFFECTED BY MSIDS/LYME DISEASE AND HAVE SHARED MY STORY IN THE LYME COMMUNITY. I AM JOINED IN THIS INTERVIEW SERIES BY TWO AMAZING PEOPLE THAT ARE SIMILARLY AFFECTED; CANDICE MITCHELL, THE MANAGER FOR SOCIAL MEDIA FOR WELL SCENT AND BLOGGER FOR INFECTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC AND KRISTINA CARLTON OF NO JUNQUE SKINCARE.
PLEASE WELCOME THE THIRD INTERVIEWEE:
Scott Forsgren is a health writer, advocate, and coach. He is the editor and founder of BetterHealthGuy.com where he shares his now 17 year journey through the world of Lyme disease and the myriad of factors that it often entails. He has been fortunate to have written for publications such as the Public Health Alert, Townsend Letter, Explore!, and the Bolen Report.
While not a licensed healthcare provider, Scott works with clients as a health coach using tools such as Autonomic Response Testing (a system of energetic testing developed by Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt MD PhD) and ZYTO (a computer-based biocommunication and decision-support technology) in support of referring primary care practitioners.The information he shares below is his opinion and is based on his personal experience and is not intended to serve as medical advice or to be a recommendation of any kind. Please review any options you may wish to consider with your licensed health care provider. Always seek the advice of your doctor before making any treatment decisions.Scott can be reached through his web site or via his Facebook Page.
RESOURCES BEING EQUAL, WHY AREN’T SOME PEOPLE GETTING BETTER?
When people aren’t getting better, it is often helpful to look to the home environment. At times, a client may be living in an environment with ongoing mold exposure which adds to the body’s toxic burden and may create significant overall disregulation.
I personally lived in an apartment for almost 10 years where black mold was later discovered. Finding a safe living environment was an important part of my healing journey, and when present, this is often an important part of the puzzle for others as well.
Additionally, reducing EMFs in the home, especially while sleeping, is often a key step. I use an EMF-reducing sleep canopy to minimize exposure while sleeping and to empower my body to restore and heal to its optimal potential. These are available from www.LittleTreeGroup.com.
In order for healing to take place, one has to ensure that the environment is conducive to the end goal. Ignoring environmental factors such as ongoing mold exposure and health-negating effect of EMFs can be a significant reason that explains why some people don’t make the progress they desire. Both of these are common issues that many either don’t understand the importance of or feel overwhelming and, as a result, often ignore.
Lastly, emotional factors are often significant in chronic illness. At times, they are at the foundation of what led to the illness, or they may also be the result of the struggles that one with chronic Lyme often endures. In either case, this is an area that often requires exploration in order to optimize healing potential. One must feel worthy of wellness and resonate with the knowing that they deserve to be well. For some, the emotional conflicts and traumas of the past are at the root of the condition; whereas for others, these may be less significant though still important to explore.
CAN YOU TALK MORE ABOUT ADDRESSING THE EMOTIONAL FACTORS INVOLVED IN ILLNESS?
My primary mentor, Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt MD PhD helped me to understand the importance of emotions on health early in my journey. He employs two powerful tools in this arena: Applied Psycho-Neurobiology and Family Constellations. Emotions are one of three aspects of his “Klinghardt Axiom” which is explained in more detail in an article here.
Gilbert Renaud PhD, the creator of Recall Healing, believes that behind every condition, there is a conflict or unresolved emotional trauma. He has suggested that people with lives of joy generally don’t become ill. In Lyme disease, the primary conflict is often one of feeling separate from the family clan and feeling as if “I have no clan”.
One has to believe at their core that they deserve to be well and that they are worthy of wellness and optimal health. In my own personal journey, feeling that I deserved wellness was important self-work and a prerequisite for recovery. It is important that beliefs such as “I don’t matter” or “It is not safe for me to be well” are addressed on an energetic level so that one can resonate with health and healing.
It is often insightful to look at what the disease process may give someone that the body may on some level perceive as a benefit. If at some level the disease itself is something the body sees as an asset, it may be more difficult to let it go. This often is not at the conscious level. The less “connected” that one is to the disease and to the consensus reality that surrounds it, the better the chances of recovery may be.
There are many approaches for mitigating the negative effects of emotional stressors on one’s health including Applied Psycho-Neurobiology, Recall Healing, EVOX, EMDR, flower essences, Ask and Receive, Emotional Freedom Technique, Emotion Code, NET and others.
Two of my favorite energy practitioners in this space that blend several techniques are Amy B. Scher and Tami Duncan.
WHAT IS THE MOST EXCITING THING YOU HAVE LEARNED THIS YEAR?
Personally, the most important thing I learned this year was the importance of addressing dental issues in my own recovery. While I had hoped to never need to consider the possibility of dental cavitations, this became a part of my journey recently as I had two cavitations removed which were later confirmed to be osteomyelitis (infection of the bone). A cavitation is a hole where a previously extracted tooth has not completely healed and, as a result, infection can occur. This was another stressor that my body was dealing with daily that needed to be tackled.
Dental infections, amalgams, root canals, and cavitations are often important items to consider and explore to remove roadblocks to healing. My experience suggests that dental stressors are another often overlooked factor that can weigh down the system and keep it in a state of “dis-ease”. The microbes that live in the mouth are an important part of the systemic body burden of infection. Treponema denticola is a common oral spirochete that has been found in the brains of those with Alzheimer’s. I use Well Scent’s Watch Your Mouth as part of my personal dental health program.
For those with chronic illness, a thorough dental evaluation with a biological dentist may bring important information to the table the may lead to an even higher level of health.
I recently shared my own cavitation journey on my blog.
WHO ARE YOUR PRIMARY MENTORS?
The most significant mentor whom I have learned from throughout this journey has been Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt MD, PhD in Seattle, Washington. I express infinite gratitude to Dr. Klinghardt for having impacted my life on several levels. It was his “Klinghardt Axiom” and “5 Levels of Healing” models that became the blueprints for my recovery. I do not think I would be where I am today without the tools that Dr. Klinghardt provided me to navigate this often difficult journey.
Others that have served as mentors and teachers throughout my recovery include Amy Derksen ND, Claire Riendeau ND, Susan McCamish CTN, Lee Cowden MD, Steve Harris MD, Raj Patel MD, Ann Corson MD, Simon Yu MD, Garry Gordon MD DO, Ritchie Shoemaker MD, and several other gifted practitioners. I am eternally grateful to these wonderful healers for having provided so much of their knowledge and compassion to help people struggling to regain their lives. I have benefited from each of them and feel blessed to have been a recipient of their wisdom and compassion.
In dealing with something as complex as Lyme disease, it takes someone with a unique perception of the underlying issues and a broad toolbox in order to be successful. No one tool works for everyone, and as a result, finding those practitioners that are skilled with a number of different tools is often important. The biggest challenge is in matching the right tool to the right patient at the right time.
NAME YOUR TOP THREE TIPS FOR DETOXIFICATION.
It is difficult to select only three of my favorite detoxification options since I think this is arguably the most important area to focus on in order to regain balance and health.
Some of my personal favorites include Takesumi Supreme, glutathione, Beyond Balance herbal detoxification blends, and coffee enemas.
Takesumi Supreme is carbonized bamboo and may be helpful for supporting detoxification of many substances such as heavy metals, chemicals, mycotoxins, biotoxins, and radiation. It is from Supreme Nutrition, and has consistently been one of my favorite detoxification options for past several years.
Glutathione is a master detoxifier in the body and has shown efficacy with heavy metals and mycotoxins. I like an oral version called S-Acetyl Glutathione as well as several of the liposomal glutathione products. Quality liposomal glutathione products are available from Researched Nutritionals, Quicksilver Scientific, Bulletproof Executive, and ReadiSorb. Liposomal glutathione can also be very helpful when one is experiencing a Herxheimer reaction in addition to its overall detoxification properties.
I like the detoxification options from Beyond Balance including TOX-EASE, TOX-EASE II, TOX-EASE GL, and CLA-K Detox. Additionally, I find several of the Pekana products useful in support of detoxification; namely RENELIX for kidney drainage and ITIRES for lymphatic drainage. I have found NutraMedix Burbur, Parsley, and Pinella to be helpful. Chlorella is another excellent detoxification option that goes a long way in helping the body to deal with its toxic burden.
Coffee enemas were one of my primary tools when I was at my worst and struggling through inflammation and pain. They are often very helpful for supporting and unburdening the liver. I spoke with one lady recently who said that the idea of doing an enema was something she would never have considered, but that she had recently tried a coffee enema and cannot believe that she was missing out all these years given how much better she felt after starting them. A great resource for more information and organic coffee for enema use can be found at www.sawilsons.com.
Movement is another important detoxification tool. The lymphatics are often in need of support in order to move out toxins and microbial debris. Something as simple as walking can be a critical tool in keep the body fluids moving. Movement is the opposite of stagnation and, within an individual’s tolerance, is an important part of a health recovery program.
FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE STRUGGLING FINANCIALLY AND MUST BE SELECTIVE ABOUT WHERE THEY SPEND THEIR RESOURCES, WHAT ARE THE TOP FEW THINGS THAT YOU RECOMMEND THEY CONSIDER FOR THEIR HEALTH?
Dr. Lee Cowden created the “Cowden Support Program” which does an excellent job considering the many aspects of chronic illness such as detoxification, antimicrobial support, and emotional balance. For someone who may not be able to access multiple doctors and needs a program that is well-designed, the Cowden Protocol may be worth exploration. Many people have very significantly benefited from it.
I’ve also found Supreme Nutrition to have a number of products that are reasonably priced and are often very useful options. I particularly like their Morinda Supreme and Golden Thread Supreme which may help to balance microbial dysbiosis and Takesumi Supreme which is an excellent binder in support of detoxification. They have a number of other high quality options as well.
Lastly, I would consider options that may have broad spectrum benefits including herbs, essential oils, and the use of silver and zeolite. Silver may help to manage microbial burden while zeolite may support detoxification. I like Silver Support and ZeoLife from Healthy World Celebrations as well as ACS 200 and ACZ nano from Longevity Plus.
Meditation, connecting with friends, walking, and finding joy among the difficulty are all very inexpensive options that move the body in the right direction.
Of course, any of these options should be reviewed with your practitioner before implementing. Lyme disease is definitely not a do-it-yourself condition, and it is important to have a skilled practitioner to serve as a guide.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE TOOLS?
Ozone is supportive of both microbial and toxic burdens and has been one of my favorite tools. With appropriate guidance from an ozone expert, insufflation techniques are often very powerful and may support the body on several levels. For the numerous benefits that ozone may provide, it is often a very cost effective therapeutic option.
Biomat is a tool that I have used for over a year for overall balancing and support. Many have reported finding it helpful for detoxification as well. I feel that it helps to shift my system into more of a parasympathetic or healing state as opposed to a sympathetic dominant stressed state which is not conducive to healing. My current regimen includes 45 minutes 3-4 times a week, and I look forward to continuing to incorporate this into my own health program. I’ve been very excited about some of the feedback from those using the mat including one lady that went from sleeping 2 hours a night to sleeping over 7 hours a night.
I just recently started exploring more regular use of a vibrational trainer with a personal goal of improving lymphatic flow, supporting detoxification, increasing circulation, and supporting bone density. I’m working with the BulletProof Vibe and am excited about the benefits I expect to realize with this tool over time.
WHY DO YOU FEEL THAT DETOXIFICATION IS CRUCIAL IN THE HEALING PROCESS?
Having observed the journey of many people through Lyme disease, it has become clear to me that toxicity is at the core of the disease process and detoxification is a key to one’s ability to recover from it. In most cases, there are likely underlying genetic predispositions to poor detoxification. More specifically, it is common to see issues with HLA haplotypes as originally suggested by Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker MD as well as with methylation as made known through the work of Dr. Amy Yasko PhD. It is rare to find someone struggling with Lyme disease that has optimal HLA and methylation status. As a result of a predisposition to poor detoxification, a terrain is established that is supportive of microbial overgrowth.
It is my belief that there are many people in the world that carry the same microbial burden as those that have “dis-ease” but if they are more naturally able to detoxify, they may not present with symptoms and may not even identify as having an illness. A person with Lyme disease may be on the couch while someone with a similar microbial mix might be out playing soccer if they have a higher functioning detoxification system.
In a way, I see detoxification treatment as an indirect antimicrobial treatment. The less toxic we become, the less hospitable our terrain is for the microbes and the less likely we will be to become symptomatic as a result of the toxins produced by the microbes within us.
Toxicity is a key element of the triad of the “Klinghardt Axiom” and must be dealt with simultaneously with the infections that may also be present and the emotional traumas that may have either set the stage for illness or may be holding one back from optimized recovery.
At the start of my personal journey, I thought it was all about killing the bugs. The closer to the other side that I became, the more I realized it was more about the toxins than the microbes. I think that in many cases, a majority of the treatment focus should be on detoxification with a smaller component of the overall protocol that supports the body against the microbial stressors.
A recovery strategy from Lyme disease that has a primary focus on killing the microbes without consideration for detoxification and the other numerous factors involved in the illness is not likely to be a winning strategy long-term.
WHAT HAVE YOU FOUND TO BE THE MOST IMPORTANT TOOL IN NAVIGATING THE COMPLEXITIES OF LYME DISEASE?
For me, without a doubt, things changed as a result of energetic testing. I had been introduced to energetic testing years prior to having become ill, but at that time, never considered how important such a tool would be in navigating the challenges that would follow when later struggling with Lyme disease.
It was my work with Anna Manayan L.Ac. and a system of energetic testing that first suggested the possibility of Lyme disease and led me to pursuing further conventional testing which later confirmed the condition. This was eight years into my illness, and without these tools, it may have been much longer.
In January 2006 shortly after my diagnosis with Lyme in July 2005 that I was first introduced to Autonomic Response Testing (ART); a system of energetic evaluation that Dr. Klinghardt created and uses with his patients. I had the opportunity at my first Klinghardt conference to be evaluated, and the entire process resonated with me very deeply.
Initially, energetic testing was a bit of a stretch for my logical mind, but I have reaped the benefits of these tools now for many years, and I am very confident that for me and for many others, ART and similar energetic tools can be very useful guides in navigating an incredibly complex illness. I really do believe that ART has been the most important tool I have benefited from over the past 8 years since I first started using it. I would feel lost without it.
WHAT IS DIFFERENT ABOUT YOUR PROTOCOL?
Given that my role in working with clients as a coach is to bring the insights of the energetic testing, the overall protocol is always guided by their primary practitioner combining the information from the energetic testing with their broader plan for the patient. In my role, I am serving as a technician for the primary practitioner.
I don’t really believe in protocol medicine as each person is a unique being with unique stressors and different responses to potential interventions. This is where energetic testing can be such a powerful adjunct tool. Dr. Lee Cowden has mentioned that practitioners often have even higher levels of success with the “Cowden Support Program” when they can customize it further based on individualized energetic testing.
Lyme disease is arguably one of the most complex conditions of our time, and it will likely not be solved with a cookie-cutter protocol. This is part of the reason I have such respect for those doctors that work with people with Lyme disease. It is hard work and requires a tremendous amount of individualized care. Lyme-Literate practitioners are the heroes of our time in my opinion.
DO YOU THINK THAT ONE CAN BE CURED FROM LYME DISEASE?
The question here is what one defines as “cure”. If by “cure”, ones means an absence of significant symptoms and a return to a healthy, happy, and balanced life, then I absolutely believe that one can be cured from Lyme disease.
If by “cure” one means that every last microbe has been eradicated from the system and they can go back to their former poor diet, high levels of stress, and not taking care of themselves and still not have a risk of symptoms returning, then I think this is less likely.
When a child is young and gets Chickenpox, they don’t express symptoms of the disease for their entire life. However, as an adult, they may become stressed and experience Shingles. This is the same virus that was in their system from when they had Chickenpox, and yet, it did not cause ongoing illness. I think of Lyme and its co-infections in much the same way.
Lyme disease is a messenger for many and the process of going through it is life changing. While it is the biggest challenge many will ever face, something beautiful often happens as a result of the experience.
HOW MUCH OF AN IMPACT DO YOU FEEL PARASITES HAVE ON OVERALL HEALTH, THE ABILITY TO HEAL? DO YOU FEEL PARASITES CAN BE ERADICATED WITHOUT MEDICATIONS?
I think parasites are often a very real issue in many with chronic Lyme and related diseases. We like to think that we are a clean society and that parasites don’t exist in the United States. Unfortunately, there is no border patrol for parasites that checks to see if they have passports to enter the country.
In my personal recovery journey, parasites were definitely uncovered and needed to be treated at several different points along the way. Dr. Simon Yu MD talks about parasites in his book Accidental Cure which I highly recommend. Dr. Klinghardt makes parasite treatment a focus of his work as well.
Dr. Klinghardt has suggested that parasites are like garbage collectors and are more prevalent in bodies that are toxic with heavy metals. Again, it comes full circle to detoxification.
While I do think that natural remedies can be very effective with parasite treatment, both Dr. Yu and Dr. Klinghardt have suggested that this is an area where pharmaceutical options are often the most effective. I have used both in my own journey.
It is also important to remember that we are likely exposed to parasites on a regular basis. Parasites have been found in water, salad bars, sushi, undercooked meats, pork, and shell fish. Pets are another source of exposure to parasites. It may also be important to ensure that one has adequate levels of hydrochloric acid which is a first line defense against ingested parasites. Too much alkaline water or drinking too much water with meals could also be a factor in raising the pH in the stomach and predisposing one to parasites.
HOW IMPORTANT IS DIET IN EACH INDIVIDUAL’S TREATMENT PLAN AND IS THERE ONE DIET YOU RECOMMEND MORE THAN OTHERS?
Diet is area where an individualized program may be the best option as there is no perfect diet for everyone. With Lyme, the first step is often to avoid all gluten and dairy. Restricting sugar is important. Reducing processed foods and eating high quality, organic foods where possible is often helpful. When consuming meats, look for options that are antibiotic and hormone free. With fruits and vegetables, look for options that will minimize exposure to pesticides.
Some do well on low fat diets as it has been suggested that fat may feed some protozoan organisms. Reducing fat in the diet can lead to significant symptom reduction for some people. Others need healthy fats such as avocado, coconut oil, seed oils, and fish oils. Some may need to experiment with different options to see what makes them feel the best.
Energetic testing can often be used as a guide. More conventional food allergy tests such as the LEAP MRT, ALCAT, or other similar testing is often helpful. In addition to gluten and dairy, avoidance of any foods that are highly stressing energetically and those that are significant responders in the blood tests may be important.
Avoiding genetically modified foods is another consideration that some have found important. It isn’t always easy to do this when food labels do not require disclosure of GMOs, but eating as much organic food as possible and avoiding the foods known to be high in GMOs is a good start.
Blood type diets and genetic typing diets such as those popularized by Peter D’Adamo are worth exploration.
A trial of an anti-inflammatory diet is a worthwhile investment. The Lyme Diet: Nutritional Strategies for Healing from Lyme Disease is an excellent book by Nicola McFadzean ND.
I am particularly excited about new technology coming in 2014 that will help us to analyze what is in specific foods real-time on a smart phone so you can truly see what it is that you are eating.
DO YOU FEEL THAT ENVIRONMENT PLAYS A ROLE IN AN INDIVIDUAL’S ABILITY TO HEAL?
Most definitely. There are numerous environmental factors that must be considered to set the stage for recovery.
Mold and EMFs have already been mentioned, and the importance of these cannot be overstated. Mold and EMFs may work hand in hand in that EMFs may make molds and other organisms feel threatened resulting in more aggressive behavior and outpouring of toxins. This has been discussed in Dr. Klinghardt’s work.
It is my belief that everyone struggling with chronic Lyme should investigate the mold issue. HLA testing to look at one’s genetic predisposition to mold illness is a very useful first step. Mycometrics ERMI is a good tool to evaluate the environment. RealTime Laboratories urinary mycotoxin testing is another powerful tool. If one is excreting mycotoxins, the source of the mycotoxins needs to be evaluated, whether internal or external, in order to reduce the systemic mycotoxin burden.
Being in a supportive environment emotionally is another important factor. Surrounding yourself with friends and family that support your recovery can be very powerful. Conversely, minimizing interactions with people that may detract from your ability to recover is an important consideration.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE PRODUCT COMPANIES THAT YOU HAVE FOUND THE MOST HELPFUL?
I have personally benefited from Beyond Balance, BioPure, Healthy World Celebrations, Maypa Herbals, NutraMedix, Pekana, Researched Nutritionals, Supreme Nutrition, Well Scent and others.
FROM WELL SCENT:
We are incredibly honored to share this opportunity with Scott Forsgren. We know this community will similarly be appreciative of Scott’s contribution. Thank you Scott for sharing your wisdom with this community. We appreciate your work and generous contribution to this project.
With gratitude, Stacy and The Well Scent Team
WHO IS THE NEXT INTERVIEWEE?
DR. CHRISTINE SCHAFFNER
Dr. Christine Schaffner is a board certified Naturopathic physician who graduated from Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington. She completed her undergraduate studies in Pre-medicine and Psychology at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia.Dr. Schaffner’s style of practice is strongly rooted in traditional Naturopathic principles. She believes in the importance of establishing a strong health foundation in order to achieve optimal health. Dr. Schaffner combines both Naturopathic and Conventional therapies to develop individualized treatment plans that focus on addressing the underlying cause of complex chronic illness.Dr. Schaffner listens to her patient’s story and actively involves them in their health plan. She enjoys educating her patients so that they feel empowered in making decisions in their health journey.Dr. Schaffner has trained extensively with Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt, MD, PhD. She has also completed Dr. Robert Rowen’s Oxidation Therapy Course, Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker’s Biotoxin Illness Course, Advanced Classes in Biotherapeutic Drainage, and recently attended Medicine Week in Baden-Baden, Germany. She thoroughly enjoys staying current with the latest developments in chronic illness so she can better serve her patients.
- Well Scent will be a sponsor for two special events in March, The Physician’s Roundtable and The Morgellon’s Conference.
- Well Scent will be a sponsor for PaleoFX in April.
- Well Scent dental lines receives endorsement from biological dentist office Healthy Smiles for Life HERE.
- Recent Press from energy-therapist Amy B. Scher HERE and yogi Jenna Jasso HERE.
- Well Scent first T-Shirt “Aromatherapy is Love” HERE.
- Well Scent now offering SINGLE OILS. More will be added ASAP. See HERE