Empowered Healing – Saving Lives and Finding Cures
By Sandy Cowen
The body is a miraculous machine. I did not realize how miraculous it was until in 1981 when I broke it after years of a ridiculous lifestyle, massive amounts of stress, and no vacation for eight years. That’s when I was stricken with my first auto-immune illness, one of several to overtake me during the next 35 years. This diagnosis was rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and it hit with a vengeance. I immediately did what any terrified person would do; I ran to the best rheumatologist I could find who told me RA was a chronic condition, but conventional medicine could help relieve the symptoms with pharmaceuticals. He was right and for the next 18 months the condition did not get any better, my meds just got stronger.
When Methotrexate was prescribed, I walked away. I couldn’t face the thought of doing more damage to my body, which was already in a state of deterioration for being only 37-years old. My skin was thinner, so was my hair, my energy level was at zero, and the constant pain showed on my face, the way I walked, and even how I moved my limbs. I knew conventional medicine had no permanent answers for me so I couldn’t remain. I had no idea what I was going to do but I knew it wasn’t this. I was determined to get well.
Fueled by that determination and focus, answers simply began showing up. I didn’t search the Internet and try to figure out all this intellectually. I had a few meds left my doctor had prescribed, so I took my time to find more natural options that would truly help. Soon, unsolicited referrals popped-up, magazine articles drew my attention, and I was drawn to books I was compelled to read, mainly on mind-body-spirit medicine. This was all very new, and I was simply curious, not searching for the silver bullet. I had no expectations and was willing to be led.
The first angel in my life was a nutritionist who reminded me of the magic of my body and how every drug I ingested compromised my immune system – either by doing its work (rendering it helpless) or suppressing it, neither of which was well-suited to rebuilding my normal functioning immunity. She never asked me to stop my medicine, but I did. I was ready to begin my healing journey. I learned about food intolerances and identified and avoided those. I got enough sleep, finally. I ate healthier and taught myself to avoid stress – at least not over-react to it. I also continued to explore the new avenues that were presented to me, all by accident.
My lifestyle continued to change, I quit drinking and smoking since both weaken one’s immunity and learned to quiet my mind, which was also by accident, but helped mitigate my pain. I looked for natural solutions for inflammation, pain, and rebuilding my health. Over the next year or so, I tried a number of different alternatives and learned a huge lesson: holistic healing is a cumulative and progressive process. There was no silver bullet in this World, but many things helped a little. Those that worked, I kept doing, those that didn’t I stopped. Maybe I’d be 5% better with one thing and with another 10%. All of a sudden, I was 15% improved. If my body responded positively that supplement or treatment was added to my regimen. Soon 15% became 35% and eventually my progress grew to 100% and I was well.
My health routine was a combination of lifestyle modifications, supplements and treatments as well as emotional and spiritual healing. Always, I was drawn to them and they were not symptomatic fixes, like conventional medicine offered. They actually got to the root cause, sometimes emotional and sometimes my own unknowing self-abuse – you know, pushing the body to the breaking point a multitude of ways.
Once my health was restored, I dropped the pain-related and anti-inflammatory supplements and only used them, as needed. I was thrilled but my body wasn’t through with me yet. I honestly believe I was given this multi-year journey so I could write my first book, Get Well – Even When You’ve Been Told You Can’t, published in 2008. Although not a literary work of art, the material within was priceless. That book chronicled the success I had over the next twenty-years as my body quickly recovered from psoriasis, chronic allergies, Large Granular Lymphocytic Leukemia, (T-cell based), and hyperthyroidism (Graves’ Disease) all using different alternative methods, to which I was drawn or led. For example, for the leukemia I used only high-dose vitamin C, both oral and IV, along with emotional healing, and the leukemia is an interesting story all by itself.
Finally, disease-free, I made it until 2009 when my body contracted a massive viral infection that weakened my immune system to the point that the leukemia and rheumatoid arthritis also returned. By 2010, I had all three conditions and once again began one more holistic healing journey with confidence because of my history. Toward the end of this journey, neutropenia set-in and although by this time the virus was gone, the RA had disappeared and the leukemia was on its last leg, my immune system began failing and the neutropenia was pretty serious. Metrotrexate was suggested, again, to put the brakes on my immune system’s deterioration, but it wasn’t guaranteed. I rejected that route. By 2017, I was perfectly healthy, with normal bloodwork and my doctors were shocked. By the way, I was living a relatively normal life all the way through both journeys.
Yes, I kept a team of conventional medical doctors around to monitor me and to make family members happy, but I wouldn’t let them treat me. They were fine with that since they’d all seen my previous and ongoing bloodwork history so they could document my amazing progress. Each basically said, “Keep doing what you’re doing,” and just watched me since I also looked great for all I had been through.
Long story short, at 76, I look twenty years younger, have the energy of a 50-year-old, and have now written my second book.
The biggest lessons I learned throughout my three decades of overcoming serious illnesses I can boil down to eight key points:
1) First, when a physician tells you a condition is chronic, realize they have no cure for it and will only medicate you until the day you die. Your body will also suffer the consequences of those toxic drugs and your body, in that weakened state, will be prone to even more disease. When you’re faced with something chronic, look for other answers – answers which feel right to you and follow your intuition.
2) Second, your body is your partner in this process. If it responds positively, keep doing whatever it is. If your body responds negatively or doesn’t respond at all, quit. Your body is the most magnificent gift you were ever given, it’s wise and will guide you if you’ll just pay attention. When it needs sleep, it will ask. When it’s hungry, the same. When it’s tired and needs rest, don’t push it. It hates stress and will let you know. Meanwhile, your role is to listen to it and give it what it wants.
3) Third, learn what strengthens and what weakens the immune system. If you request a copy of that list from my website, I’ll be happy to email one to you. It also appears in my first book. I compiled the list myself from my history and I only do the things that strengthen my immune system and avoid things that weaken my immunity. That’s why I’m as healthy as I am.
4) Fourth, let your intuition guide you, not your intellect. Our heads get in the way of smart decisions. We talk ourselves out of great remedies or treatments that would have helped all because somebody told us, “Gee, Fred said it didn’t work for him.” Or they plant doubts in our minds by saying, “Well, that guy isn’t a real doctor.” Some of the remedies I used are out-of-the-box and others have been around from 2,000 to 5,000 years. They might not be scientifically proven but they’re still being used for a reason.
5) Fifth, be patient. It is not your timeline, it’s your body’s timeline and total healing may be slow, but it is because our bodies are complex. Your body will heal what is meant to be healed first before it goes on to the second. Your body knows.
6) Sixth, have faith; it does not matter what you have faith in: God, your body, yourself, a guardian angel, anything – but do not give up. People don’t get well because they quit too soon. This process is a marathon not a sprint.
7) Seventh, don’t look for the perfect healing guru with all the answers; there isn’t one. Seek guidance from whomever makes sense and multiple providers are fine – maybe a chiropractor, acupuncturist, naturopath, someone for colonics, a massage therapist – any blend of providers is great. Don’t ask one about what the other suggested, make your own decisions. Assemble providers that are best for whatever you’re treating. You’ll be led but don’t try to figure it out by yourself.
8) Finally, realize the power you have. With this COVID-19 panic, for example, I have felt totally unthreatened, even though at my age and with my health history I’d be categorized in the highest risk group. I’m fearless for a reason. I have a raft of natural anti-viral medications at my fingertips to help me knock out any virus within 24-36 hours. I have learned not to wait around for conventional medicine to save me. Besides, fear weakens our immune system, too – and the fear mongering with this particular virus is off-the-charts. Fear makes us all more vulnerable. My advice? Be safe and use common sense, look for natural resources to help, too, but don’t panic.
Through everything, I’ve learned what a gift my body is and how powerful it is, too. Clearing my mind for the pain management in early years, made it possible for gifts to develop within me, that today, I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world. With a clear mind, one can hear the ‘whispers’ and that gift, along with the recent passing of my adult son, my latest book was born. That book deals with how souls stay connected forever and the power of undying love. This is my most important work.
So, honor your body and allow yourself to be led to whatever answers are right for you. With surrender comes total empowerment.
Sandy Cowen has always been dedicated to the empowerment of others as an entrepreneur, community leader and expert on the holistic healing process. Now, an author and speaker, she shares her gift as a “reluctant medium” which she kept hidden for more than thirty-years. Prompted by her son’s passing, Sandy is coming forward with her stay to help others find peace and even joy in the face of profound loss.