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October 22, 2012

Breast Cancer Radiation BOOP- Epler Pneumonia Alert

Gary R. Epler, M.D.

Breast Cancer Awareness: A strange lung disease called BOOP [bronchiolitis obliterans organizing pneumonia] may develop in some women who have had radiation treatment for breast cancer. It may be a funny sounding name, but I discovered this disease several years ago, and it can be serious or even lethal if not diagnosed and treated with the right medicine. 

BOOP is inflammation of the lungs. The BO in BOOP is “bronchiolitis obliterans” which means the small bronchiole airways are filled with inflammation. The OP in BOOP is “organizing pneumonia” which means the lungs are filled with inflammation. BOOP is often called Epler’s pneumonia.

In most situations, the cause is unknown, but sometimes BOOP occurs among women who have had radiation treatment for breast cancer. This type of BOOP usually occurs from three months to six months after the radiation treatment is completed. There may be no symptoms, but cough, fever, and shortness of breath are common. The lung examination is usually normal. The chest x-ray or computer scan shows hazy shadows, and surprisingly, usually in the lower lungs away from the radiation field. This type of BOOP is almost always curable with the powerful anti-inflammatory corticosteroid medication, or “steroids.” Fortunately, in some women, this type of BOOP can be closely monitored without medication and resolves over time. In conclusion, if pneumonia occurs during the first year after radiation treatment, it could be BOOP.

"BOOP: You’re the Boss" in paperback and eBook

August 20, 2012

Level-10 Energy Day: Feel Your Best Now

Do you want to know about an amazing discovery that will change your life? It’s Level-10 Energy. It’s the energy of the universe. I discovered this through years of research looking for a way people can improve their lives. Level-10 Energy is fuel for life! Start with a Level-10 Energy day.

What's a Level-10 Energy day? It's an amazing day. It’s one of those days you love to have – everything goes well, you’re on top of the world, nothing bothers you, and you can accomplish anything! You're alive with energy. Your mind is generating positive energy. Nothing goes wrong. Annoying problems don't develop. You talk to people and people talk to you. You listen to people and people listen to you. You help people. People help you. Your work creates energy. You’re forgiving. You’re grateful. You’re creative. You enjoy life.

How do you have a Level-10 Energy Day? The sources of energy are everywhere. You just need to know how to use them. Five steps will provide a good start. Eight hours of sleep. One hour of vigorous exercise to the best of your ability. Eat the right foods for energy including lean protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and slow-burn carbohydrates. Learn something new every day. Use the power of the mind to create unlimited energy. There are sources of energy you use every day and don't even know it, finding out what they are will give you a huge amount of Level-10 Energy. 

What is Level-10 Energy? It’s the hologram energy of the universe that is expanding every day. It's subatomic packets of energy containing the whole of the universe, and each energy packet is identical melding together creating Level-10 Energy. 

Let's hear about your Level-10 Energy Day!

Gary Epler





August 13, 2012

Broken foot on Mother’s Day and a 10K on Father’s Day

That’s me. How’d I do it? I followed the instructions in my book, You’re the Boss!

It was a perfect spring day. We had our annual Mother’s Day basketball game in the driveway with my sons and uncles. I recall giving pre-game safety instructions that included, “No one’s going to the ER. Let’s concentrate on offense, and keep defensive contact to a minimum.” 

During the third game tie-breaker, I came down with a rebound and landed on the left side of my left foot. There was a distinctive snapping sound as the metatarsal bone broke like a chicken wishbone. For anyone who has snapped a bone, you remember that sudden mild nauseated feeling in the pit of your stomach. I knew I would have a 15-minute window before reality sets in.

I was angry with myself for such a stupid move, but quickly dismissed this feeling because it wouldn’t help. I was able to finish the last ten minutes of the game in a semi-state of distress by staying clear of the action. I faked my way into the house holding onto the car, garage wall, anything allowing me not to put weight on my left foot. When I got there, I put up my left leg for relief.

It was time to apply the five steps – first, I needed to learn everything I could about a broken metatarsal. There was no bone sticking out of the skin and no misalignment, so immediate ER action wasn’t needed. Second, I remembered the diagnostic process. It’s usually an x-ray, and sometimes an MRI. Third, the treatment. In the past it was an ankle cast up to the knee. Now it’s an improved soft “boot”, and sometimes metal pins. Fourth, monitor the progress, noting the amount of swelling, amount of blue discoloration, and amount of pain. Fifth, I was going to approach the situation with a positive approach. Treating it at home had some risk and was slightly against the rules, but I was confident I would succeed.

The first 48 hours were the hardest. I kept the weight off my left foot by hobbling around the house holding onto chairs, tables and walls. Otherwise I kept my foot elevated and iced either with ice cubes or by freezing a paper cup of water and using the paper as a handle. The area needing ice was obvious, it was a big bump above the broken bone and 15 minutes of icing turned the area numb. The first night was especially difficult because the swelling had spread to the entire left foot and the toes became indistinguishable, like an extended foot without spaces. The black and blue areas also spread from the left side of the foot to the toes. Yet, I survived the night without too much anguish. The second day and night were similar – hobbling around lots of pain, but bearable pain. The swelling and blue-tinged foot didn’t change but didn’t worsen.

After the first 48 hours, it was time to get back to the fast-paced life. I returned to my daily workout, very slowly with no lower extremity work, and a big swollen left foot with a non-tied sneaker. It was difficult getting around keeping the foot straight, but not impossible. I was able to work with the foot propped up all day. The swelling and blueness had not worsened.  

This is the timeframe for a broken metatarsal: two days of pain and swelling, three weeks to knit the bone, two additional weeks for hardening, and one additional week for safe measure. I followed that timeframe like it was a formula – and took special care not to reverse the situation during week four.

But during those initial three to four days, negative thoughts assailed me. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like just to be able to go one-half block to the end of the street. The thoughts were so powerful, it actually felt like I could never do it again! I positively told myself I could, and, by the end of the first week, I was making the trip – albeit with an awful hobble. I expanded the distance little by little during the next two to three weeks at a walking pace and continued my daily strength-training workouts. 

At the end of week three, I did a low-key spin class without the left-peddle stirrup, and sometimes hanging my left foot in the air. I also started walking on the treadmill and holding on to the hand rails. Then I gradually increased the pace until week five when I was able to have a reasonably good run. On Father’s Day I had a wonderful 10K run through the tree-covered Wellesley/Westin roads, between the ponds, with my beautiful wife Joan. We completed the Boston Athletic Association 10K medley race the next Sunday. 

My left foot sometimes reminds me of the broken bone with an ache while running, but overall the broken bone is quickly becoming a forgotten memory. Two months later, Jerry asked, “How’s the foot?” I answered, “It’s a hundred percent, and even stronger now because the bone is twice as thick.”

Editorial note: This story is for information and to show an alternative management option. This has risk. Although this situation was successful for me, individuals who have this type of injury should seek medical attention and physician-directed management. 

August 13, 2012

Back Pain # 2: Attack of the Hip Flexors

 Back Pain? Attack of the Hip Flexors 

By Gary R. Epler M.D. 

I know the pain.

Two weeks ago I slept on a soft mattress and had the morning low back pain that disappeared after an hour, not an unusual occurrence and caused by the prolonged contraction of the lower back hip flexors from a slumped back.

One week later, the same pain occurred after an eight-hour plane ride, but this time it was a vicious harbinger of things to come! 

The muscle spasms did not go away and spread to both sides of my lower back, the right worse than the left, and lasted throughout the day and night without let-up. Sleep was difficult, no position was pain free, but somehow, from pure exhaustion, I managed to get some sleep. The next morning was brutal – every turn to get out of bed was a sharp, level ten pain, only a few seconds but intense. Fortunately, a level ten pain doesn’t last long because our pain system has nerve endings firing the pain response, and within a few seconds, it sends anti-pain response neutralizing the pain. So these level ten pain episodes are tolerable because they only last a few seconds.

I then began 30 minutes of very slow and painful stretching. I started on my back with legs curled toward my stomach and then turned over onto my stomach to do “cobras”, with my arms out and my chin back, pulling up my head. For the morning workout, I was able to do upper body work and ten minutes on the treadmill at a snail’s pace. This was worth it as I was able to get through the day, but only to repeat the same painful experience at night and the next morning.

Day three worsened –  something I didn’t think was possible because of duration and intensity of the back pain. New episodes developed – brief, intense lower back muscle spasms so intense, I couldn’t move. These occurred during the day while walking, sometimes after stepping on a small stone or tiny incline. They lasted 15 seconds, and I moved on. There were about six to eight of these over a 48-hour period. 

That night was just about unbearable, with level ten pain at every turn and in the morning, it took me 15 minutes to get out of bed and stand up straight enough to walk. I did my 30 minutes of stretching. It was during this time that I thought I might have had a compression fracture on the right side, as the pain was so intense and continual. I could not do the treadmill, not even at a walking pace. Now the negative power of my mind began taking over – thoughts of never being able to move fast or run again. I continually dismissed these thoughts and moved on – that decision would become a turning point. I had a five-hour car ride in front of me. It was no problem, and my back spasms improved. The ordeal had ended. The next day wasn’t bad, and by the 17th, seven days later, life had returned to its baseline.

I had followed the five-step directions in the You’re the Boss book. Ten days later, the low back pain was level two to three, so low that it didn’t exist unless I thought about it or if someone asked me about it. I had an occasional spasm to level five pain, but nothing to interfere with an action-packed day. By day 20, the pain and spasm were completely gone.

Editorial note: I learned several lessons. First, I had not realized how long the intensity of the pain persisted when those posterior (low back) hip flexors go into spasm. I had thought it would last a few hours or one day at the most, but it can continue every day and night for one week or more. Second, it’s tempting to give in and let the negative power of the mind take over because of the relentless and prolonged intensity of the pain. I almost did, which would have interfered with my enjoyable time, prolonged the problem, and potentially sent me to a medical facility for complex diagnostic studies and unpredictable treatment. Third, slow, deliberate stretches saved the day, and deep muscle therapy can ease the spasms. Finally, stay with the five-step plan. It works.

August 13, 2012

Back Pain? It's the Hip Flexors!

There are two big muscles that you’ve never heard about until you develop excruciating, throbbing, and wicked low back pain. They let you know about their existence immediately. They’re called the hip flexors. They’re two big muscle groups located deep behind the lower abdomen. The top of the muscles are attached to the lumbar spine and the bottom of the muscles are attached all the way to the femur below the hip. They’re huge muscles. Their sole purpose is to support your back and keep you upright. As we evolved from four-legged crawling creatures to two-legged human beings, the hip flexors became the muscles of choice to keep us upright.

The problem is that we sit all day in front of a desk doing computer work or watching TV or whatever, and the hip flexors become tight and contracted. So when we bend over to pick something up or twist in the wrong way, we develop sudden onset pain in the lower back shooting down the leg and sometimes all the way to the big toe. We can’t get up and can’t sit down, but surprisingly we can walk standing straight and tall. It’s not the spine or the lumbar vertebra – they’re solid. It’s those pesky hip flexors. They were tight and suddenly became tight to the extreme by going into uncontrolled spasm. And, they don’t let up. They cause all types of collateral damage – firing peripheral muscle groups, and worse, pulling and inflaming nearby spinal nerves causing the local back pain and the referred lower leg pain. Stretching, deep muscle therapy, and physical therapy can help by gradually relieving the muscle spasm. You must be patient as there are many muscles and nerves involved so it will take several days. And it will recur again because sitting all day will result in the tight hip flexors that go into spasmodic contraction at the smallest hint of stress. Prevention is the ultimate answer. Keep the back straight. Keep those hip flexors loose and strong. This is done by taking standing and walking breaks and a ceiling stretch at least once an hour or preferable every half hour.

There are several hip flexor body core exercises that you can do, and it can be part of your routine daily work out. Manage those hip flexors properly, and you can banish low back pain from your life.

Gary Epler

Best selling author of Fuel for Live: Level-10 Energy

June 14, 2012

Put Food To Work For You

Dave and Kate were talking about diets and food during their lunch break. “I need your advice,” Dave said. “I’ve got to lose this extra 20 pounds around my belly. What should I do?”

“Whoa, you’re asking me?” Kate asked jokingly.

“Yup. You look trim and healthy, so I’m sure you can help me. I’ve tried pills and diets. The pills are too dangerous. The diets are too confusing and too many rules, and I was annoying everyone and myself by always talking about being on a diet. Besides, I couldn’t follow any of them long enough to help. What’d you do?”

“It’s hard work,” Kate said, “but not impossible. I put in the work and the food works for me. I learned everything I could about nutrition. This is what I found: eat the right food in the right amount at the right time, and it’ll take care of you forever!”

“That sounds exciting. But what does it all mean?”

“Eat the right foods – carbohydrates like vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and fiber, fats like omega-3 foods, and lean protein.” Kate said. “Eat the right amount, too – learn the food thresholds. All foods are good. It’s going over the threshold amount that’s bad – eat over the threshold and some foods will cause inflamed arteries and fat bellies.” 

“What’s a food threshold?” Dave asked.

“At a certain low level no food is dangerous, even the toxic puffer fish, but above that level, that puffer fish can kill you,” Kate said dramatically. “Many types of common carbohydrates and foods containing saturated fats have low threshold levels, especially processed foods and sugary drinks. Try eating one french fry or one potato chip, or one sip of a smoothie?” Kate shook her head. “It’s so easy to go over the quantity threshold with these foods that I just try to avoid them most days, and that strategy works for me. Fortunately, there are many healthy foods – like spinach, vegetables, and omega-3 foods – that have such high thresholds you can eat much more of them and be safe.

“So, you’re saying to keep healthy,” Dave said, “I should eat the right foods in the right amounts, and they will protect my blood vessels, my heart, and provide the high energy I need to have an exciting, productive day.”

“You got it! That’s it,” Kate said as they returned to work.

There are five steps for successful nutrition management. Dave’s lunch with Karen illustrates the first one: learn everything you can about foods and continue to learn because new information about healthy foods becomes available every day. Learn about the good carbohydrates like vegetables, legumes, fruits, whole grains, and fiber. Learn about the carbohydrates that in low amounts can cause an insulin surge and cortisol release, which leads to increased fat deposition and to high triglycerides, which in turn causes inflamed arteries. This is the so-called glycemic effect of foods. Saturated fats at high levels cause inflamed arteries, which contribute to heart attacks and strokes. Learn about healthy proteins like quinoa and whey isolate, and be careful about the company some proteins keep like the fatty fried skin with the chicken or the darkened portion of fish. Learn to eat to your high-energy level, when you just start to feel full, rather than to your over-stuffed, low-energy level.

Second, understand your nutrition inventory and diagnostic process. Body weight is the easiest, but when you add weight circumference and percent body fat measurements, you’ll have a more complete picture about your health-risk zone. Understand the diagnostic process for the diagnosis of weight-related complications such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease. Third, know your management and treatment options. There are many approaches for weight loss including pills, diets, and weight-loss programs. Know the benefits and the risks, including the long-term, 20-year risk. Know the benefits and risks of medications used for treatment of overweight-related illnesses.

Fourth, monitor your nutrition status. Use weight, waist circumference, and percent fat measurements. Write them down or keep track of them with a computer. Ask yourself three questions. 1.) Are you improving? If so, stay the course. 2.) Are you the same? If so, give it time and repeat the question. 3.) Are you worse? If so, meet with your nutritionist to find out why, or if you have a medical condition, you may need to go see a doctor, even go to the emergency room.

Fifth, create a healthy and empowering environment for healing by healthy eating, regular exercise, and a regular sleeping schedule. Use the power of your mind. Approach the situation in a positive way. Use visualization, compassion toward yourself and your body, and controlled breathing. Your mind has a powerful influence on your health, and your body has an almost unlimited ability to heal itself. You need to learn how to let this happen. You can manage your nutrition better than anyone else. Your chance of success is unlimited.

There are more stories like this one in the new “Boss” book by Dr. Epler: Food: You’re the Boss.

June 14, 2012

Exercise Saved My Life

“I’d be dead if I didn’t exercise!” John said.

“John, I wouldn’t know you ever had pancreatic cancer,” the doctor told John after his recent set of x-ray studies in June 2012. This is what John told me this morning after our spin class at the sports club near Boston. According to his doctors, John Diarbakerly shouldn’t be alive today. Not only is he alive, but this almost-60-year old defies anyone to out-spin him.

John took up the popular indoor cycling exercise after his 2002 operation, when a cancerous kidney tumor was removed. It took a full year for John to get his diagnosis. After complaining of extreme fatigue, his internist declared him healthy and suggested he take a multivitamin. “He just said take it easy and everything will be okay,” John recalls. But John persisted, making multiple phone calls and searching for an answer. A visit with another physician yielded a shocking diagnosis: John had a large tumor on his kidney. Subsequent surgery, which removed the kidney, left John feeling exhausted and weak and facing a six-month recovery.

Undeterred, when he was finally able, he heeded his doctor’s advice to get himself to a gym and exercise his way to health.

“He said if I didn’t push myself to get my heart pumping, I’d die,” John said. And exercise he did. John began with slow stair-climbing, and then worked himself up to pedaling on a stationary bicycle for a few minutes, increasing the time and intensity slowly. Each day, except for Sunday, when he attended church, John pushed himself a little harder at the gym. His healthy glow returned. His diet changed from fast food to freshly-cooked fish, poultry and vegetables. John was on the road to recovery.

But six years later, he again found himself having difficulty keeping up with his schedule. “I began to feel weak once more. I went back to my doctor and this time the tests revealed a golf ball-sized tumor in my pancreas.”

The surgery successfully excised the tumor, but one week later, a stubborn infection left John with a persistently high fever, landing him in the intensive care unit for almost 40 days.

It was a slow recovery. But John remembered his doctor’s message from years ago. “Exercise, exercise, exercise. It will save you.”

Just a week after leaving the hospital in December 2008, John walked back into the gym. He has been there ever since. He’s there when the doors open, at 5:30 a.m., attending daily challenging spin classes and pumping iron. At 9 a.m., John bounces out, ready to keep on living. “The doctors told me that three out of five either die during the operation or in six months, but here I am,” he says, his voice giddy with excitement.

When he visits his doctor every six months for follow-ups, he gets a big hug and words that warm his heart: ‘You look like a brand new person.’

“And I feel great,” John declares. “Now, I tell everybody to exercise. It saved my life.”

Editorial comment: John’s story shows how therapeutic exercise can be. He started slowly, enough to give him energy, but not too much to cause injury or discourage him, and he eventually worked his way up to a daily program that provided a high-energy level to do everything he wanted to do. In addition, John’s attitude was phenomenal. He had a positive approach to his illness, which provided additional energy to manage his disease. He used compassion for himself and others. He has a wonderful laugh and always a good word for everyone. John was relentlessly persistent. He was in charge. The cancers were banished from his mind as he exercised himself back to health.

Pancreas cancer isn’t always a killer. 

Pancreas cancer? Challenge it! 

Is there life after pancreas cancer? You bet! 

How one cancer survivor went from his death bed to exercise workout king. 

Pancreas cancer survivor secrets revealed.  

Imagine eliminating pancreas cancer from your life. See John’s amazing story!

Gary R. Epler, M.D.

March 30, 2012

Office Air ... Is it healthy??

Air in the officeDave asked Kate if she thought something was wrong with the air in the office. “It’s like smelly socks!” she exclaimed holding her nose. Dave and Kate had just moved to a newly constructed downtown office building and were confronted with foul air. “Let’s call maintenance,” Dave said.

“We found the problem,” Scott, the building engineer replied, “it’s the ventilation system. One of the ventilation ducts wasn’t properly installed resulting in no air movement, but the condensation built up creating stagnant water, perfect for growing a nasty mold. We have completely eliminated the duct, replaced it, and intensely cleaned the entire duct system in the building. We also set up a five-step monitoring system to make sure the air is clean.”

“Are we going to get sick?” Kate asked.

“Very unlikely,” Scott said. “We contacted our occupational physician who investigated the situation. Sometimes people develop an allergic reaction in their lungs from these exposures, but it’s rare, and the problem was discovered early enough before someone developed the reaction.”

“That’s good,” Dave said. “Sounds like we can return to work breathing clean air.”

How do you manage your health at the workplace? It’s just like managing life. Use the five vital steps. First, learn everything you can about the situation. Second, understand the evaluation process. Third, know your solution options. Fourth, monitor the situation. Fifth, create a healing environment.

Take care of your body and mind outside of the workplace. If you have any chronic disorders such as hypertension, diabetes or asthma, learn everything you can about them, understand the diagnostic process, know the treatment options and monitor them. Importantly, create a healing environment at home and at work – exercise, nutrition and a good sleep hygiene program; and use the mind – visualize, compassion and controlled breathing. Eating at work should consist of eating high quality foods with low saturated fats, low sodium (salt), low sugar, small portions, and eat sitting down during a break. If you work in an office, get up and walk around at least once an hour and stretch – it’s good for the hip flexor group of muscles. Manage colds and flu by washing your hands and not touching your face.
Manage your environment at the workplace. Dave and Kate did the right thing, they contacted the maintenance department. There’s a term “sick building” syndrome that is used to describe unhealthy indoor air quality. Buildings are classified as healthy, average or poor – about one- third of the buildings fall into each of the categories, meaning that one-third of the buildings have poor indoor air quality.

There are five things that can be monitored to manage indoor air quality. That monitoring system set up by Scott is helpful. Here’s what it’s about. Temperature is the first component. It should remain at a constant, comfortable range. Humidity is the second component. The humidity in the room should be at a comfortable mid-range. Low humidity may cause excessive dryness, which can irritate your nose and throat, and may cause you to cough. The term “New England catarrh” was used for decades for the cough that occurred during the region’s winter months because of people breathing dry, inside air. If the humidity is too high, it’s uncomfortable, especially for people with asthma or emphysema. Insufficient management of temperature and humidity is the major reason that buildings are classified in the poor category.

The other three components require complex equipment. They are carbon-dioxide level, particulate level, and the number of room air exchanges per hour. If the carbon-dioxide level is high, it probably means there are too many people in the room and not enough circulating fresh air. The air in the room or the office should be replaced four to five times every hour, which is referred to as the room-air-exchange rate. If it’s too low, the air is stale and the carbon-dioxide levels may be high. If it’s too high, the room will be like a wind tunnel. Particulates are small particles in the air. The level of particulates reflects the amount of dust in the air. The particles are counted with a microscope. The causes of a high particulate level include an insufficient number of room air exchanges or the air filters are clogged. High particulate levels may cause discomfort and sometimes chest tightness in people with asthma. All five of these measures can be maintained at healthy levels with preventive management and system maintenance.

Finally, there are types of work that require special health management. Managing the mind is important in all settings. Managing the air quality is helpful in an office or retail setting. In an industrial setting, the most important part of managing health is knowing your exposures. Learn about the chemicals, dusts or fumes. What are their names? Are they hazardous? Be sure to ask for the material safety data sheets (MSDS) – they have all the information, review them and check the internet for more details. Know the best options for managing these exposures. Monitor the exposures. You’re the boss – you can manage your health at the workplace.

March 30, 2012

Mean Boss at Your Office? - Try This!

Start with managing your mind at work. Stress, anger, and worry top the list of unhealthy feelings. How do you deal with these issues? The single most important factor is to develop a positive approach to your workday, no matter what the conditions are. It’s a powerful way to eliminate these issues, and a bonus is that you will have more energy and will enjoy your work more. Look for the good in all things. Be grateful. Keep returning to a positive attitude – it’s healthy and clears your mind to solve problems and improve the situation. This will help you manage the stress, anger, worry, interpersonal relationships, and even help manage deadlines.

Now, for the bad boss. Try the neuropathway bypass.
One special mind-management technique needs to be reviewed for workplace stress. Do you have a cruel and spiteful boss, supervisor, or coworker? Use the neuropathway bypass. What is it? People develop a response pathway in the brain when they see this person, hear the person or even see the name on the pager or cell phone. It produces an automatic knot in the stomach, increased blood pressure, increased breathing, sweaty palms, and a rapid pulse. The stress level spirals out of control, and if left unchecked will lead to serious illness. Instead of using this unhealthy, ingrained neuropathway, create a healthier track by bypassing the negative pathway. The method is simple, and can be applied to all types of unpleasant situations. It takes two to three minutes, twice daily, for two to three weeks.
Here’s how it works. In the morning, visualize the image of the feared or aversive person in your mind until it triggersanger-related feelings in the pit of your stomach. When this happens, say two soothing words to yourself repeatedly – “love and peace” or “peace and strength.” Say the words over and over until the feeling of anger subsides, usually in about two to three minutes. Repeat this in the evening. Think of the hostile image, allow the knot of anger to develop in the stomach, and again repeat the two words to yourself until the unpleasant feeling subsides. The next morning, visualize the image, experience the unpleasant response, and repeat the two words. Repeat this exercise each morning and evening for two or three weeks.

Sarah tried it. This is what happened. During her early-morning run, she triggered the knot in her stomach by visualizing her boss berating her. She started repeating “peace and strength” to herself over and over, and found, to her surprise, that after about two minutes, the feeling completely disappeared and was replaced by a soothing feeling. This calming feeling didn’t last long – the minute she saw the boss’s car in the parking lot, the anguish quickly returned. This is expected, the aberrant neuropathway had taken months to create, and it would take time to build a bypass. So, on the way home from work, Sarah repeated the exercise again in her car. The tightening in the stomach quickly returned as she visualized the boss, but again she was pleasantly surprised to find it replaced with a soothing feeling. She continued the exercise for several more days. Gradually, around the seventh day or so, she realized that, when she visualized her boss, she was having a hard time triggering the unpleasant feeling in her stomach. This was strange and she didn’t believe it at first, but after two to four more days, no matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t trigger the fear and anguish when she visualized her boss. It was an amazing experience. This new development gave her a renewed feeling of strength. After two weeks, Sarah realized that when she saw her boss or heard the name at work, it meant nothing to her. She had absolutely no fear and no stress. Her face appeared serene. She was no longer a victim. Several days passed, and the boss was about to begin the usual verbal public lashing during one of Sarah’s team meetings. She was standing about 12 inches away from her boss’s nose. She looked directly at the pupils of her boss’s eyes and smiled. At that moment, Sarah had an overwhelming feeling of calmness with no increased heart rate, anger, or fear. The boss blinked a couple of times, said nothing, and left the room. Months of hostility had come to an end. The boss later found someone else to torment. Sarah returned to her work full of energy and enjoyed her creative work. If you find yourself in this negative-feedback loop, learn the bypass method. You can use it in multiple situations. As time passes, it will take less than a few days to develop a bypass. You regain your strength. Your creativity returns. You are a stronger person.

March 07, 2012

5 Steps to Managing Your Disease

Dr. Epler's five-steps can be used for all diseases including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, and especially for rare, chronic diseases. The five-steps can also be used for depression, now recognized as the most common illness in the world.

The person who can manage both health and disease will be in control and able to lead an invigorating life filled with endless possibilities. Learn about your disease so you can understand the diuagnostic process and the treatment options. When you understand your disease, you can monitor it effectively and develop an environment in which to promote healing. You are in charge. You can manage your disease better than anyone else can. You just need to know how.

The Five Vital Steps:

Step 1: Learn everything you can about your disease. Ask your doctor? Ask your nurses? Go to the internet. It’s filled with information about almost every disease, and you can interact with people all over the globe. You’d be amazed at how much you can learn from other people. Don’t worry about finding the wrong information. Yes, be cautious, just because it’s on the internet doesn’t mean it’s true. But, trust yourself, you’ll find what’s best for you.

Step 2: Understand the diagnostic process. This consists of a battery of questions – how are you feeling? How long have you felt this way? A physical exam – looking into your eyes and listening to your lungs. And a series of tests – as simple as a blood test or as complex as a biopsy. The doctors ask their questions, but you also need to ask questions. What are the tests for? How do they help with my diagnosis? What are the risks?

Step 3: Know your treatment options. There are always options. First, find out the natural history of the disease. Some go away in days and some in months. What if you did nothing? Keep in mind, if you’re talking to an internist, medicines will be discussed. If you’re talking to a surgeon, surgery will be the solution. If you’re talking to an herbalist, herbs will be used. How effective are these treatments? What are the risks? What are the alternatives?

Step 4: Monitor your condition. Keep track of how you feel, write it down. Ask yourself three questions. Am I better? Good, stay the course. Am I the same? Give it 48 hours. Am I worse? It may be time to call your doctor or visit the emergency room.

Step 5: Create a healing environment. First of all, use the power of your own words and thoughts – think in a positive way. You can manage this disease. Use visualization. Use compassion. Use controlled breathing. You’ll have more energy to take charge of your treatment. Manage your nutrition and your sleeping schedule. Develop an exercise program. Your body has an amazing capacity to heal itself.

Don’t let your disease run your life. No matter what condition you have, the five vital steps in You’re The Boss: Manage Your Disease will teach you how to take control and live your life to the fullest.

You’re the boss. Control Your Health!