Masami’s physical health began to break down in 2010, eventually resulting in a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis. Rather than utilizing pharmaceutical medications, Masami turned to significant dietary and lifestyle changes to heal. Today, she is back to hiking in the Rocky Mountains and now helps others rediscover their health as a Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (FNTP), Positive Neuroplasticity practitioner and Medical Intuitive.
Beginning in 2010, Masami’s physical health began to crumble. She was working 70 hours per week as a Yoga Therapist, seeing clients one-on-one. While her business was successful, Masami paid a heavy price. She worked so much that she failed to give her body ample opportunity to rest. Her busy lifestyle didn’t afford her time to properly eat during the day. When she returned home, she was so hungry that she ate whatever was easily available, typically cookies and cake, rather than nutritious meals. In addition, a home renovation consistently exposed Masami to harmful dust, asbestos, and black mold. Muscular aches and severe hip pain began to appear and wouldn’t go away.
Within a year, Masami began to experience sporadic, but very intense headaches, similar to migraines, and her hip pain became constant. Next, an extremely itchy rash appeared and spread from her lower torso to just below her ear lobes. Familiar with Eastern medicine, Masami hoped to heal her body with essential oils and herbs, but this remedy was not effective. So, Masami added meditation, breathing exercises, yoga, Ayurveda, energy and myofascial work to address these symptoms. Her personal treatment plan did provide temporary relief from the muscle aches, headaches and rash, but her overall condition did not improve.
Constantly itchy and sleep-deprived, Masami made the following lifestyle changes in hopes of bettering her health:
She began to research nutrition and healing. Together, she and her husband removed all sugar from their diets, including a nightly glass of wine. Instinctively, they replaced the sugary foods with an incredible amount of vegetables.
She started taking activated charcoal and clay, which she says would bind with toxins in her colon and remove them from her system.
Five times a week, she took Epsom salt baths with baking soda or apple cider vinegar.
She purchased an infrared sauna and used it regularly.
Because of her pain, Masami could barely move at times, but she continued seeing clients at her office while masking what was really happening.
Unfortunately, Masami’s symptoms continued to worsen. In June 2011, Masami lost the ability to stand or walk without crutches, and her headaches returned. Finally, at the insistence of her neighbor, who happened to be a doctor, Masami had an MRI. The results proved that she had multiple sclerosis (MS). Masami wasn’t afraid, and chose not to dwell on the diagnosis. For her, it was simply a confirmation that her body was out of balance. She says, “I wasn't going to let anybody label me, because believing in that label would negate my potential to heal myself and my potential to be who I can be.” Instead, she immediately shifted her thoughts to figuring out what else she could do, in addition to her current protocol, to heal her body and bring it back into balance.
Following Her Intuition
Even though the doctors recommended drug treatment, Masami knew intuitively that she would never take medication. Instead, she wanted time to sit with herself, get reacquainted with her body and hear what her inner self needed. To do that, she had to quiet down and learn to intuitively listen to her body. As she did this, she felt her body continuing to crave vegetables, especially greens, and occasionally some eggs. Looking back, she claims that her body was guiding her to cleanse itself of toxins through dietary and other lifestyle changes.
Masami says she was not on a crusade against Western medicine, but that she simply chose to listen to her body and trust her intuition. Before trying drug therapy, she wanted to be sure to exhaust all other possible treatment solutions.
Later that summer, Masami decided to plant a garden in her backyard. As she was still on crutches, she instructed her husband where to plant the flowers – one plant at a time. For her, the garden became a symbol of her journey to health and healing, which was happening one step at a time. The garden created a lot of joy as it was a place that she could go to slow down, rest and reconnect with nature.
The Gift of Laughter
Nearly six months after her diagnosis, finding it challenging to move and in constant pain, Masami and her husband realized they hadn’t laughed in a very long time. One night, they spontaneously turned on a comedy show (Mr. Bean) and laughed. Even though shaking from the laughter hurt, Masami felt better emotionally. Immediately, this became a nightly routine for the couple. Every night, they would watch comedy for 30 - 60 minutes during which time they could laugh and forget their troubles and pain. Laughing helped to relieve stress, which directly helped her healing.
Meanwhile, Masami’s pain still made it difficult to sit down, and she required crutches to walk. Her weight decreased to 95 lbs. and her muscles had atrophied from lack of exercise. However, to pay for the house renovation, Masami refused to lighten her workload. She maintained similar work hours as before the diagnosis, in addition to working on her house when she could.
In December 2011, Masami had a follow-up MRI on her brain. The results were quite a surprise. The plaque on her brain, indicating multiple sclerosis, had completely disappeared! The doctors were hesitant to declare her “cured” because she still had pain and needed crutches to walk, but her brain was clear of lesions. Masami was certain this good news resulted from her dietary and lifestyle changes. She was convinced that she COULD help herself through better nutrition. Looking back, she says the healthy diet and lifestyle helped to clean up the toxicity that had been accumulating in her system, wreaking havoc on her brain.
A year after her MS diagnosis, Masami was in an accident with an armored truck and totaled her car. The impact of the car accident elevated her chronic aches and pains. Her neck was severely injured with a reverse curvature, causing her excruciating pain that made it nearly impossible to sleep for months.
Five months later, in pain and working long hours, Masami knew something remained missing from her healing protocol. At a routine dental check-up, three cavities were discovered. This was a shock because she’d never had a single cavity in her life. The dentist wanted to fill them right away. However, Masami requested the dentist give her three months to try to treat the cavities with nutrition.
That same day, while researching how to heal her cavities, Masami discovered an oral health webinar given by Weston A. Price Foundation. In the webinar, she learned about daily dietary recommendations to heal cavities. The guidance included cod liver oil, cooking with butter and ghee and eating animal protein and fat – food items that had been missing from Masami’s diet for two years, since she began detoxing. Masami slowly started adding animal protein back into her diet. Three months later, on her return to the dentist, she learned that her cavities had healed.
Although Masami was studying to become an Ayurveda practitioner, she added information on the late Dr. Price’s healing methods to her reading list. According to Dr. Price (a dentist), the body needs animal fat and protein to thrive. Masami’s reintroduction of animal protein and healthy fats into her diet delivered a quick recovery. Within two months, her strength returned along with her confidence. Both increased until in 2014, 3 years following her diagnosis, she finally had energy to take a short hike with her husband. They both recall saying, “Oh my God! I can’t believe we’re hiking!” This small hike was a huge step in the right direction for her overall healing.
As for the crutches, Masami kept them near her as she regained her strength. Soon, the crutches became nothing more than a security blanket. Eventually, she put them in a closet. Finally, 3 1/2 years after she started using them, she donated the crutches to charity, convinced she would never need them again.
Masami says being mostly vegetarian/vegan for two years absolutely helped her heal. On this diet, she lowered the inflammation in her brain and gut, as well as supported much-needed detoxification. She ate so cleanly that she literally detoxed her body daily. However, she acknowledges that she hit a point (around 6 months after she got into the accident with the armored truck) where she had taken the vegan diet too far. At this point, she changed tactics to start rebuilding her tissues, and she learned another way to use nutrition to heal her body. The key was flexibility, being open to making adjustments as necessary and not remaining dogmatic with her daily diet.
While Masami credits her healing to nutritional and lifestyle changes, she also acknowledges the impact her strength of character played, allowing her to stand firmly in her beliefs when there was tremendous pressure to utilize pharmaceutical medication. Masami learned how to stand up for herself at an early age. She and her siblings grew up in Japan as the only half-Japanese, half-Caucasian kids in a city of one million people. She received taunts and stares her entire childhood because she was different. When she moved to the United States, she continued to feel the effects of racism in northern Minnesota. However, she never allowed the racial taunts to label her growing up, so she wasn’t about to let a disease such as MS label her or limit her emotionally, physically, and spiritually.
Even with the ultimate success of Masami’s healing program, there is one thing she would have done differently: She would have slowed down sooner. It took Masami a long time to decrease her work hours and really relax, giving her body the full rest that it needed. She believes this lack of rest delayed her ability to fully heal.
Masami has an extremely positive outlook on life. She’s become grateful for the gifts MS has given to her. She believes MS allowed her to get off the runaway train that she was on, avoiding a complete disaster. Masami refuses to say she “overcame” MS, as she believes it’s still in her body like deep scar tissue. Instead, she likes to say that she’s “learned to dance with MS.”
Even now, Masami’s body tells her when she’s pushing it too hard. With her knowledge of the body, nutrition and various healing modalities, Masami says that health is a constantly moving target. Everyday she is faced with environmental changes that directly impact her: stress, weather, seasonal transitions, unhealthy food, polluted air, electromagnetic radiation, etc., many of which she can’t control. Instead of focusing on what she can’t control, she has learned to ride the waves, dance a little differently when the music changes and support what she can with what she can control: nutrition, self care, self love, and sincerely listening to her body.
Masami says, “MS has become my true guiding teacher. It will always whisper to me in a very quiet, yet very determined way if I’m pushing too hard, not nourishing myself enough, not getting enough rest, or not being true to myself. MS is a partnership for me. I don't look at MS and feel like I need to curse it. I don't necessarily want to become best friends with it, and I don't want to invite it to my dinner party, but I have a healthy respect for it.”
Masami has continued to learn and educate herself about health and wellness. During her experience with multiple sclerosis, she learned so much about nutrition, biology and physiology that she decided to become a Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (FNTP), a certified Positive Neuroplasticity practitioner, and she has studied Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis to determine heavy metal burden and imbalances. She has embraced her intuitive abilities and now shares her gifts as a Medical Intuitive. Masami supports individuals and groups from all over the world by offering sessions and educational webinars through her website www.masamicovey.com She is also a contributing speaker at masterworkshealing.com.
Interested in hearing more from Masami? Join our FREE, interactive virtual event on Thursday, March 19th: Connect4Hope with Masami Covey on Boosting Your Immune System
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