MS, lesions, also known as plaques, are patches of inflammation in the central nervous system in which the nerve cells have been striped of their protective myelin or insulating cover. These demyelinated neurons do not function properly and it is these lesions that give rise to the symptoms of MS.

In relapsing-remitting MS, their is significant recovery as the inflammation dies down. Special maintenance cells called glial cells are responsible for the repair of the damaged nerves. One type of glial cell, called an oligodendrocyte, lays down new myelin and another type, called an astrocyte lays down SCAR tissue.

A STAR is defined as a heavenly body, champion, headliner or a virtuoso. Another definition of a Star is defined as a network whose components are connected to a hub.

My faith in God is my connection and that is how I am "Turning Those MS Scars Into Stars." I am striving to experience the challenge of living with MS as a Blessing, an opportunity to grow in compassion, patience, grace, and love, all of which are blessings - Multiple Blessings Not Multiple Sclerosis!

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Perfect Ending!

My report on my first time Dahn Yoga class experience is almost at the end. But I did promise to be candid in my experience and express my thoughts about the event, and I want to try to convey the support that the other participants gave to help each other. This was very clear to me when I attempted to get off the floor, but more about that later. I was of course unable to stand on my own and I was sitting in the middle of the floor. So with the help of my husband and others I was pulled to the nearest wall for support. As I sat with my “back against the wall” I thought to myself; that is what the phrase means, “Got your back against the wall.” It was very supportive and solidly reassuring, although I knew I wasn’t going anywhere without help. Then strangely, everyone else sat down on the floor in a circle around me. We were asked if we would like some hot tea by our instructor. After serving us all a cup of tea, she sat on the floor and giving each person her attention asked each of us individually “How did you feel about the exercises?” How has the routine helped you? Everyone shared their thoughts in a group therapy style atmosphere quietly sharing their accomplishments. After, the tea and sharing was finished everyone was ready to leave the session.
Now it was time for me to stand up, everyone offered eagerly to assist me. But the smallest lady in the class affirmed she could help me stand very confidently. I thought, sure this attempt would be human folly. After all I had warned them that they would need a crane to get me off the floor. But, she looked me over and asked if I was ready, and before I could reply with “I don’t think you can…” I was standing. That was as big of a highlight to my day as getting on the floor. I am by no means recommending this be tried by everyone because, she later stated that she had worked in a hospital and had some formal training and experience with people who have trouble walking and standing.
The class was over and I felt great, lots of energy but relaxed! I highly recommend trying Dahn Yoga. I will continue the training and will report with another blog on my next visit.
The End

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

I'm On The Floor?

I can’ believe I’m on the floor! Trust me if I can do it you can do it. My legs have very little movement and are very weak at this time. But, the standing exercises helped me to be able to sit up-right on the floor. Stiffness in my legs would not allow me to get in a relaxed Lotus position. So, I moved myself as close as I could without falling over. My body was working hard to do just the basic position of sitting and breathing. I could do very little of the stretching but I reached out my hand and visualized myself doing the poises. I was so excited just to be able to sit on the matted floor. (The entire floor of the room is one large comfortable mat). Then we were told to lie back on our backs. I was sure that my back would hurt but to my surprise it did not.
The relaxation part of the routine was starting. The sound of the music is more noticeable. We are instructed to close our eyes and concentrate on our deep breathing, in through the noise and out through the mouth making a ah sound with each exhale. I later found out these exercises in breathing is a part of the Dahn Yoga routine basics called Jung-Choong Breathing. Everything is focused on moving energy.
I have another great reading suggestion called “Dahn Yoga Basics, by Dahn Yoga Education” Dahn Yoga Education is an institution which researches and develops educational material for Dahn Yoga practitioners with the help and support of Dahn Yoga professionals.
Back to the relaxation – now your mind work and visualization starts in earnest, because you may be tempted to drift off to sleep. But this was my first experience. Now that I know more about the practice, I’m sure I will get more out of the relaxation exercises.
There is one more thing I will share about this part of the experience and that is a pressure is applied to the arms and chest while in this relaxed state by the instructor. I know now that this was done to improve the flow of the Ki or Chi.
I am sure I will learn more about this on my next visit to class.
In my next blog, I’ll explain getting off the floor and what happened next on my first visit.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Brain Wave Vibration

BRAIN WAVE VIBRATION - what is it and what has it got to do with Dahn Yoga? OK, here goes my interpretation of what it means; “Shake it off!”
This might seem over simplified but, in the African American culture we have heard this before from our elders. When you fell or injured yourself playing around as a child, you were told to “shake it off”, and it worked.
The intricacy of the tapping and bouncing and shaking in Dahn Yoga is much more refined then what I have compared it, and far more effective. This may be “the best part” of the exercise routine.
I am currently reading Brain Wave Vibration by Llchi Lee the originator of Dahn Yoga, and it refers to “Getting Back into the Rhythm of a Happy, Healthy Life.” As I mentioned before in an earlier blog the experience is like a dance and the tapping is like the sound of a drum very rhythmic. In our class soft music was played also. The music stimulates in a different way and is very relaxing. Some people may fall asleep listening to the music alone, and that’s OK if you do, your body needs rest. But, if you fall asleep, you would miss out on another great part of the experience; the breathing and stretching.
Some of the exercises required my getting on the floor, that sounds easy, but I had not been on the floor (on purpose) in over 10 years. I had experience in falling when I was alone and I could not get up. You know the commercial “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” well that was me. So, for me it was a major breakthrough just to trust myself to get on the floor. I kept telling everyone they would need a crane to get me up, but they encouraged me to try anyway. Which brings up another great thing I noticed about the class and that is everybody encourages the other person to try and move the best way they can.
Well I’ll tell you what happened once I got down on the floor next time.
You can purchase the book I’m reading “Brain Wave Vibration” by Llchi Lee, in the MSLSC Store on our website through Amazon or here on this blog!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


We started by bending our knees slightly, tucking in our tail bone and relaxing the shoulders then bouncing from the waste, shaking our arms gently. The routine got started with tapping to a count like a drum the lower abdomen which stimulates the digestive system. We faced each other in a circle. The circle grows as people enter in the group taking their turn at counting the repetitions as we tap. In a strange way this helps your mind to relax and enjoy the sound of the cadence as each person calls out numbers from 1 to 10, one person after another, taking their turn, 1 through 10, or 20, 30, 40, keeping up with the total taps. Before you knew it you have done 100 or more repetitions. Afterwards you rub you stomach in a clockwise motion. The next routine focused on the same lower digestion system, by contracting and releasing the lower abdomen in and out. You must do this while maintaining the posture and taking your turn at keeping the count. The best thing about group exercises is the feeling that you are a part of the team, like a dance.
I also soon realized that I would become aware of where my internal organs were and how to energize them to clean out the toxins. This is a very open and honest approach to exercising. I can say I did feel energized.
The next part of the routine involves stretching to relieve stress and tension. But right now, it’s the end of the day, and that sounds good to me. So I’ll finish the report tomorrow. The best part is yet to come.
I found out that the creator of Dahn Yoga was a stroke survivor and used these exercises for his healing and recovery.
Again please visit the MSLSC Store Books and DVD’s on our website to find the Dahn Yoda and MS DVD. You can get started with the lessons, they are similar to what I experienced.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


Most Yoga focuses on the physical and more complicated movement and poises. Dahn Yoga is unique type of yoga that features simple exercises for the conditioning of the body and mind, starting with the core, suitable for people of all body types and ages.
My first experience with Dahn Yoga was a video I found online called Dahn Yoga for Multiple Sclerosis and Similar Conditions. I thought this would be a great tool to have in resources for my Self Help Group meetings. After briefly viewing some of the video in one of our meetings, a group member said she had been to a local gym and enjoyed it very much. I contacted the instructor and scheduled a visit to our support group.
After a great demonstration by instructor Lee, I wanted to experience a full lesson. So, I scheduled a visit and attended my first class with my husband. We both were familiar with the benefits of yoga and stress management so we decided to take the class together and encourage each other.
We arrived at the gym Sunday Evening dressed in workout clothing T-shirts and soft pants. In the studio you must remove your shoes because the entire floor is a soft mat. The class initially was started with some simple warm up routines and learning the proper way to stand.
Dahn Yoga is simple and easy to learn. We were able to understand each movement and participate at first try. I will describe more about the rest of the session in tomorrow’s blog.

In the picture above is Master Jung Lee with 2 of her students, myself and two of our group members.

Monday, February 1, 2010


I will chronicle my story over the next 6 weeks of the classes that I am taking with my husband at a Dahn Yoga gym here in Houston. I will start by learning about Dahn Yoga and how it works. I will post the Books and DVD’s on the website that I am reading as well as any other articles that I find on the topic of Dahn Yoga. So, please follow my journey on MS Lone Star Classified website in our News Section, Meet Up Forum and here on this Google blog “MS Scars to Stars”, Dahn Yoga and Me.
I will be very open and honest about my journey. I will also try to give 100% to the program and attempt to follow all the instructions to the best of my ability. So, you have my word that I am following the program as instructed. If I fall off the wagon or if I can not physically do some of the exercises I will make note of it as well as those things that seem to be easy and helpful. I should let you know that my physical condition is Ambulatory but just barely. I use a walker for balance, when I walk short distances. I also have Drop Foot which causes difficulty in walking. I was initially diagnosed 20 years ago with MS. I have had difficulty walking many years and have used a wheelchair since 1999 for assistance.
After each sessions I will enter a post about my experience. Our first introductory session was Sunday, January 31st. We were able to attend a Free workout class. I will describe this experience fully in my next post, after I have fully view the Dahn Yoga DVD to compare our session with others lessons.
I welcome your thought and experiences as feedback . Thanks.