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Sarah Lysne: Alternative therapies allow me to live my life to the fullest

There is not a cure for ALS at the present time, but the medication I take helps improve the quality of my life.

I was fortunate to be in a stem cell trial therapy program at Mayo Clinic in Rochester. My own stem cells were used in hopes of slowing the progression of the disease.  The stem cell therapy was never promised as a cure, but the progression of my disease continues to be slow.

Alternative methods of therapy have given me options and hope.  My goal is to try to stop the progression of my ALS until a cure is found.

LAUGHTER: I’ve heard laughter is good for our immune systems.  I have a lot of people in my life who make me laugh, so  I am blessed with the healing gift of laughter.

AROMATHERAPY: I love the smell of eucalyptus leaves.  I like to put them in baskets or vases and decorate each room in my house with them.  They make your house smell like a floral shop.

MEDITATION: I love to sit outside with my eyes closed and listen to the sounds of nature.  If you focus on your breathing and calm your thoughts, then this can be a recharging experience for your mind and your body.

REIKI: I am just learning about reiki.  Reiki is an energy healing therapy that supports your emotional and physical health.  Reiki has enriched my spiritual life and given me a feeling of peace.

YOGA:  I love yoga.  I have learned so much about how to improve my balance and strength.  ALS has made it difficult for me to do many of the yoga poses, but I have adapted some of the poses so that I can do them safely.

HAND MASSAGE THERAPY: A few months ago, I realized I needed a walker for balance. Unfortunately, I was not able to grab the handles of the walker.  My hands and fingers were too stiff from ALS.  My mom learned how to do hand massage therapy.  Now I am able to securely grab onto the handles of my walker. Thank you Mom.

ART: My home is filled with pictures painted by friends and family.  I love being surrounded by the beauty that they have created.

MUSIC: I listen to a wide range of music artists, from Nat King Cole to the Electric Light Orchestra.  Music can change your mood in a minute.  If I ever feel down, I listen to any of the songs from Electric Light Orchestra.  My favorite song of theirs is,” Mr. Blue Sky.”

I have more alternative healing practices that I will share with you in my next column.

Peace.