March is MS Awareness Month: Wahls Warrior™—Part 2
To kick off MS awareness month, I am sharing a guest post from Wahls Warrior™ and Wahls Protocol® Health Practitioner Lisa Lovely:
In part I of this blog series, I briefly shared my experience with implementing The Wahls Protocol® as a patient and how a Wahls Protocol® Certified Health Practitioner would have greatly benefited my experience. In part II of this blog series, I will discuss my journey from patient to practitioner and how I use the Wahls Protocol® as a base in my practice. In part III of this blog series, as an ambassador for Dr. Terry Wahls message, I aim to share how I seek to be an ambassador of both the patient and practitioner perspective.
From Patient to Practitioner
During the first 6.5 years of my Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis, the concept of a therapeutic diet, lifestyle changes, and impact of these changes on autoimmunity were never discussed. I had absolutely no idea that my dietary and lifestyle choices were fueling the fire of my autoimmune disease. I genuinely believed there was absolutely nothing else I could do to stop the autoimmune cascade in my body outside of what I was already doing.
I truly felt like I was dying. It was a slow, terrifying death of my mind, body, and soul.
When I began the Wahls Protocol®, I felt life being breathed back inside me.
I became a Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (FNTP) and Wahls Protocol® Health Practitioner because I am exasperated that non-invasive, powerful, therapeutic diet and lifestyle changes were never discussed with me from onset of diagnosis.
Now I empower and guide those with Multiple Sclerosis in their journey to make the diet and lifestyle changes outlined in The Wahls Protocol®.
The Wahls Protocol® as my base
The Wahls Protocol® is the base protocol in my life and in my practice.
As a patient, the protocol had a vast impact on my health and vitality.
As a practitioner, I work with my clients to teach, guide, and adjust the protocol to their bio-individuality.
In my work with clients, I use my scope of practice as a Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (FNTP) to apply the protocol to bio-individuality. As an FNTP, I support my clients in balancing their body in the foundations I am trained in: digestion, blood sugar regulation, fatty acids, minerals, and hydration, with a nutrient-dense, whole food diet (The Wahls Protocol®) as our overarching base.
Let’s talk about base.
Autoimmunity is vastly complex, can be unpredictable, and impacts every single person differently regardless of their given diagnosis. As I travel down this patient/practitioner road, there is so much conflicting information about autoimmunity. It is hard to decipher it as a patient and as a practitioner. My current thinking about autoimmunity stems from one of my favorite research documents from Dr. Alessio Fasano. My take aways from this paper are the roles of intestinal permeability, epigenetics, and environmental exposure in autoimmunity. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16265432
This assists me when working with my clients on the autoimmune spectrum, as may be by tweaking one or more of these aspects that we know can create an autoimmune response, maybe we can alter the autoimmune response in the body through diet and lifestyle change. As an FNTP, I am trained in supporting diet and lifestyle changes which happens to coincide brilliantly with my training as a Wahls Protocol® Health Practitioner.
I choose to use The Wahls Protocol® as my base in my practice because I know how it felt to be robbed of my base figuratively and literally upon my Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis and during exacerbations. I felt like I was free-falling and I didn’t know if, when, or where I was going to land. I was constantly in a state of uncertainty. It felt daunting, stressful, frustrating, overwhelming, and terrifying.
I choose to use The Wahls Protocol® as my base in my practice because I know how it feels to have a base again figuratively and literally, 8+ years into my Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis. My intention is that through teaching and guiding my clients through the protocol, my clients have a base that they can return to for those times when autoimmunity becomes vastly complex and unpredictable. I hope that in having this base, my clients and I can partner to figure out why the foundation is shaking and how we can adjust their diet and lifestyle practices to interrupt the disruption.
Wahls Protocol® Health Practitioner
Director of Certification at Dr. Terry Wahls
Author of Seven Seasons