Dr. Sheli (Karen Michelle) Ricci is a Doctor of Traditional Naturopathy, Biblical Wellness Counselor, and author who has endured a lifelong struggle with auto-immune disease which led to an 8-month long paralysis (transverse myelitis). This struggle prompted her to seek out natural healing methods. Her approach is simply to look at the person as a whole: mind, body and spirit, and point them back to the natural things Yahweh has created to help them on their healing journey.
So you’ve just been diagnosed with an auto-immune disease…or maybe you’ve been diagnosed for a while and are wondering what exactly this means for your life. You’ve probably been counseled to take prescription medications. You may have been told that what you’re facing is “incurable”. You may be grieving. You may even be afraid.
However you may be feeling, please know that fear, anger, and grief are valid. The physical pain and uncertainty that so often comes with autoimmunity can be overwhelming. The process of getting a correct diagnosis can even last years and be exhausting.
I’ve been down this road before and have three things that I’d like to encourage you with.
#1: You are NOT a diagnosis. A diagnosis can help shine light on which area, of your health, needs attention. BUT it is not telling you who you are. It doesn’t have to become your identity. It is not condemning you to a future of limitations. Medical professionals, although well-meaning, do not know exactly what your future holds.
#2: You ARE powerful. As one of my favorite mentors used to always say: “If you weren’t born with it, then you don’t have to live with it.” (Roby Mitchell) When it comes to addressing auto-immunity, there are options out there that go beyond allopathic medicine’s “answers”. By getting to the root cause of auto-immunity via proper nutrition, lifestyle changes, and proper supplementation, there is a very good possibility that your symptoms may lessen and the disease process may even be halted.
#3: You are NOT alone. It may feel a bit lonely, right now, but you are never alone. Many people have traversed this path. Find the support you need. I am cheering you on! And remember that GOD is not surprised by your present health struggle. He has solutions for your health and wellness. You are always on His heart and He is always there for you.
Auto-immunity is a serious situation. Your body is sending you a message that things must change. But it doesn’t have to be a life sentence. You can switch the disease/diagnosis narrative by putting your energy into making the necessary changes that will place your body in healing mode. You got this!
Spring is such an exciting time for a Hebraic Yeshua follower – Passover followed up by the Feast of Unleavened Bread gives us ample opportunity to draw closer to our Messiah, as well as to our family. I love walking out a faith that requires physical, do-able displays like getting the leaven out of our homes, eating unleavened bread, and getting the table ready. In addition, we are to go about preparing our hearts to get rid of anything that is not of GOD and seek more of our Messiah.
It is all too easy, however, to get caught up in traditions of men rather than biblical instruction. In an attempt to get everything “right”, we often get tripped up by things that are not required by our Heavenly Father. This truly is the antithesis of the shalom that HE will provide when we humbly seek Him and celebrate His Ways with His Spirit as our guide. It is my desire to encourage you to keep things simple and keep the main thing (Yeshua) the main thing.
Below, is a simple, but meaningful, Passover Service that I have written. Feel free to download it and/or print it out. There are a few supplies that you will need to gather ahead of time and it is encouraged to share in a meal, after this service has been completed.
The innate healing capabilities, built into our bodies, goes far beyond what we have been led to believe. GOD, Himself, placed within us the ability to ward off sickness and disease. But it is up to each one of us to keep our bodies’ functioning at an optimal level. It is not up to anyone but YOU to keep you (and your family) healthy.
Henry David Thoreau, American writer, poet, and philosopher, once said, “The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.”
How much money do you put towards health care? Even more than that, how much faith and trust have you put in the allopathic health care community? Has all that money and trust been worth it?
Please understand that I do not mean any disrespect for those who work in the allopathic health field. There are many well meaning, hard working people within it. There are also times when there may be a need for a surgeon to intervene in an emergency situation. There are people who have benefited from allopathic medical treatments.
However, the answer for many health problems requires a more holistic approach – seeing the person as a whole: mind, body, and spirit. Many people are waking up to the fact they need out of the box ideas, and solutions, for their health.
There are times when a person may benefit more from natural redirection, and balancing their body systems, than from harsh pharmaceuticals that carry, with them, potentially dangerous side effects.
Our bodies were made from the dust of the earth and it is things, from the earth, that our bodies recognize as being agents of healing. Sadly, chemicals, radiation and toxins are used to pummel our bodies into a state of submission. This may seem to help to an extent by reducing some of the side effects that come with dis-”ease”, however, pharmaceuticals seldom address the root cause of the problem.
In addition, pharmaceuticals often have a more dangerous effect than a healing one – if not seen short term than definitely in the long term. The root causes of dis-”ease” must be properly addressed in order for true, lasting healing to occur. We must dig up those unhealthy roots rather than skirt around them – which only allows more disease to take root and grow.
This habit that the Church has of taking the toxins, drinking the poison, radiation, taking the drugs, receiving injections, etc and then praying that GOD will override the deadly effects and heal us is insanity! We must stop living like hell and then asking GOD to “bless” it.
Listen, I’ve been there and am not coming from a place of condemnation. The only reason that I even considered natural healing, in the first place, was because the allopathic health community had damaged my own health since childhood and I had run out of pharmaceutical “solutions” to even try. I had to find out if there was a better way. I had to find out if GOD had answers beyond what doctors were telling me. We are all doing our best with what we know. But what if there was more?
I implore you, friend – at the very least, let’s make Creator GOD our Ultimate Consultant…before the doctors, before pharma, before fear or worry, before anyone or anything else. Let’s seek His Word (did you know the Bible is FULL of amazing instructions for mental, physical, AND spiritual health?) and find out what His heart is …on ALL MATTERS!
There are times when the particular mindset of a person, and/or what they may be facing spiritually, is actually playing a role in what they are experiencing physically. These things are very rarely, if ever, taken into consideration by allopathic medicine.
Modern living requires more from us – physically, mentally, spiritually – and creative solutions are being sought after!
In the end, it is up to us – with Creator leading the way – to change our lifestyles. We must learn how to make better choices, for our overall health, by living Creator’s Ways. After all, wouldn’t the One who gave us life be the best One to teach us how to live? If HE made us in HIS Image, then wouldn’t He know best when it comes to how to maintain health?
If you find yourself feeling disenchanted with the current state of your health (mental, physical, or spiritual), please know you do have options. If you find yourself feeling helpless with the current state of your health, please know that you CAN make changes that WILL make a difference.
Viruses would not be fear inducing if we knew the truth about THE POWER WE POSSESS TO GET WELL AND STAY WELL!
Disease would be seen as optional, rather than inevitable, if we knew THE POWER WE POSSESS TO GET WELL AND STAY WELL!
Do not despair. Do not lose hope. There IS a better way! You are more powerful than you have been led to believe and your ability to heal is real!
Has anyone ever referred to you as a worrier or said that you over-think? It’s true that people who tend to worry also tend to be “over thinkers”. Now, I’m not a fan of the term ‘over thinker’ (or ‘worrier’). However, I do believe that this terminology points out a general truth: the truth being that those who worry are usually people who have amazing thinking capabilities.
After all, in order to begin the worry process (in regards to a situation) one must think over different (frightening) scenarios that could possibly go wrong. It’s a vicious cycle. But the point I want to make is that due to your amazingly strong thinking capabilities — it may be thinking that will help get you out of that vicious cycle of worry.
Below, is an exercise that I like to refer to as “The Thinking Solution”.
The goals of this exercise are: to choose a (positive truth) thought over a (negative) thought; to give all cares and worries over to GOD; and to stop the habit of worry and to begin the habit of inner peace.
Step 1: When you feel worry coming over you, STOP, and ask yourself….
Step 2: What are you worried about? Name “it” (bills, the future, physical health, etc) and then ask yourself….
Step 3: Is there anything that I can DO to help improve “it” right now? If there is, then do what you can today. Then tell yourself that you have done all you can, for now, and then let “it” go. If there is nothing that you can do today, then tell yourself that and then let “it” go.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.“ – Philippians 4:6-7
Step 4: Invite GOD to be part of your decision to “let it go” …tell Him your concerns and picture yourself placing your cares in His arms …leaving them with Him. You can trust Him. He is FULLY capable!
“Cast your burden on the Lord, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.” – Psalm 55:22
Step 5: If the negative thought/worry pops up again, ask yourself something along the lines of: “what if ‘it” goes well instead of goes wrong?”. Remind yourself that you’ve placed your cares into the arms of GOD and choose to “let it go” again.
“Now may the Lord of shalom himself give you shalom always in all ways.The Lord be with all of you.” – 2 Thessalonians 3:16
Decide to enlist your amazing thinking capabilities to work for you rather than against you. The habitual thought pattern, of worry, usually does not happen overnight to an individual. It may take years to cultivate the worry-fear loop that so many of us get stuck in.
So be patient with yourself as your begin the new thought pattern of peace and trust. It may take time. But it will most certainly be worth it. When you choose shalom over worry and fear, your mind, body & spirit will thank you!
For those who feel they’ve been holding their breath due to present circumstances….a Divine Release is coming.
For those still mourning past circumstances…a Divine Release is coming.
For those who are afraid of what the future may hold…a Divine Release is coming.
For those who’ve felt bound by relational fears, and unholy ties….a Divine Release is coming.
For those who are waiting alone, in the secret place….a Divine Release is coming.
For those who feel as though life has them in a holding pattern….a Divine Release is coming.
For those who have been rejected by those who you treated with nothing but kindness and even showed restraint towards….a Divine Release is coming.
For those who have shed tears, cried out, and grieved over the current state of your family/nation/other nations/the church…a Divine Release is coming.
For those who have been stung by those who preach against stinging, judged by those who preach against judging, or rejected by those who preach inclusion….a Divine Release is coming.
For those who have a heavy heart and may not even know why….a Divine Release is coming.
Just as Noah sent out a raven, and then a dove, to find a dry, resting place, you have lovingly sent out your shalom to others. With great depth of sadness, your “raven” and your “dove” returned to you as there were very few – and perhaps none – that would receive the shalom that you offered. (see Genesis 8:6-11)
Many have no room for the shalom that GOD offers because they are too busy leaning on their own understanding. As a result, their hearts and minds have been left unguarded and open to the spirits of manipulation and control. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)
But just as Noah – once again- sent out another dove to find a dry, resting place, there will be a time when you too will – once again- send out your shalom and it will be received by others. (Genesis 8:12)
Until then, do not be grieved when others refuse the shalom you offer. Freewill is given to all and just as the shalom of YHWH is freely given, it can freely be refused. GOD, Himself, will see that you, yourself, will receive that which you so lovingly attempted to share with others.
The painful scenarios you have experienced may cause you to feel that you have lost out. But the truth is – you have lost nothing and those things you feel you’ve lost will return to you! “Whenever you enter a house, first say, ‘Shalom!’ to the household. If a seeker of shalom is there, your ‘Shalom!’ will find its rest with him; and if there isn’t, it will return to you.” (Luke 10:5-6)
Just as YHWH commands all debts to be forgiven, and released every 7 years (known as the Jubilee Year) you, too, have a personal “Jubilee” just around the corner. A time that will astonish even the greatest of skeptics and scoffers.
Things may appear to get worse sooner than later. But remember, appearances can be deceiving.
As the winds of change blow, the spiritual atmosphere may become more tense because (after all) you’re in the midst of a spiritual battle.
Do not give into despair. Hold on, dear friends, and praise YHWH ahead of time for the good things that are on their way….a Divine Release is coming!
For many of us, healing seems far out of reach..whether it is mental, physical, or spiritual healing needed.
The extent of the damage can be overwhelming and our needs appear innumerable. I’d like to suggest, however, that perhaps the “answer” is not so far away. Perhaps it is not as complicated as it seems to be.
Yes, there may be several elements that need to be in place in order to heal and what you need will most likely look different than the next person. But it all boils down to this – what I like to refer to as the “ABC’s of healing”:
A – Acknowledge the pain
B – Bring the pain to GOD and
C – take small steps to Carry on
A: Pain loses some of its power once you acknowledge it. Recognize that yes, “it” hurt you deeply. But also choose to walk, out of it. This helps you regain power over the pain.
B: Bringing the pain to GOD is the safest, most effective way to put pain in perspective. GOD is most certainly bigger than any painful situation and it is HE who has the answers to health and healing.
C: Although it is very possible to experience a complete healing at once, for many of us, it is something we may have to walk out. Be patient with yourself by taking small steps to carry on. Remember, small steps will lead to big progress.
Don’t get bogged down by assuming your healing journey will be as difficult as the pains you’ve endured in life.
Sometimes all it takes is a few tweaks, determination, and choosing to walk in the right direction.
There are many things in life that are beyond our control. Pain, loss, and difficult circumstances come to us all. That old adage of how “you can’t control others, but you can control how you respond to others” is very true. This can be applied, not only to people, but to other areas of our lives, as well.
The year 2020 is a perfect example. Oh yes, this year will go down in the history books as being one of the most difficult years – world wide! With bad news seemingly coming at us from every angle, sadly, it is no wonder that suicide and depression is on the rise.
However, it doesn’t always take catastrophic news, hitting us from every angle, to lose our joy. In fact, for many, joy seems to have been out of reach for the majority of our lives. There are people who only experience joy on “special occasions” like when they’re vacationing, spending money, eating, etc. This will cause the person to go to great lengths to seek the next “high”. Of course, this isn’t authentic joy…this is a temporary happiness caused by external pleasure.
The truth is that joy comes from the inside and not from ideal circumstances or external pleasures.
If you’re not sure how to lean into a life of joy then there is good news! You don’t have to wait for joy to jump on you – you can activate it! Being joyful is just like everything else – it takes practice and being purposeful in order to achieve it.
Below are 3 Simple Ways to Activate JOY:
(1) Look for the Simple Beauty in Life. No matter how ugly you may feel things are, there is always something beautiful to celebrate. Remember when you used to pick wildflowers, or draw pictures, as a child? You thought they were so pretty and couldn’t wait to share them with someone else! Well, you don’t need a dozen roses and a picture to post, on social media, in order to find joy in beauty.
Beauty isn’t always this enormous (or expensive) display. It can be found almost anywhere including within the mundane of routine. Tap into the wonderment of seeing beauty in the simple things, of life, again…..and joy will follow.
(2) Be Present. It’s easy to get distracted when you are facing difficult circumstances. In fact, you could be sitting in a comfortable room, surrounded by people who love you, but if your mind is focused elsewhere then you will miss the moment. Allow your body to feel the comfort of the room. Look your loved ones in the eye and listen to them, share with them, and appreciate the time you have.
Sadly, we don’t all have the gift of a comfortable room or a bunch of loved ones, in our lives. But we can all partake in cozy occasions. Make space, in your life, for those things that bring you comfort (a favorite meal, a cup of tea, a soft blanket, a nap, etc.) and thoroughly relish the time spent with those things. Life may not be a constant laugh fest but it can be full of wonderful moments. You can decide what to focus on, choose to be present…and joy will follow.
(3) Focus on Strength Rather than “Happiness”. As strange as it may sound, being happy is overrated. I’m not saying that sadness is better by any means. But know this: happiness is temporary and is usually dependent on external circumstances. Happiness is a butterfly that flits here and there but never stays. Rather than placing so much attention on being “happy”, focus more on being a person of inner strength.
Please don’t misunderstand me here. I am not saying that if you lack joy, then you’re “weak”. What I’m saying is that chasing after happiness is a pursuit in folly because, once found, it will not last.
The root of JOY is STRENGTH, not happiness.
It is strength that determines what your focus in life will be. It is a person of strong character that refuses to give up. When outward circumstances turn sour, you can always tap into strength to keep you going. In fact. Nehemiah 8:10 tells us that the joy of the LORD is our strength!
If you feel lacking in the inner strength department, do not despair. All good things come from our Heavenly Father and it is His strength, working through us, that we lean into.
“Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.“– 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
The above verse points out that our bodies are a temple for the Holy Spirit. In addition, we are to use our bodies to glorify GOD.
If we believe this to be true, then shouldn’t we be thoughtful of how we treat our bodies? If “yes” then this must include what we eat. After all, what we eat is the foundation of health and is often the determining factor in whether our health will be good or bad.
Vanity and an unhealthy focus on our bodies is, of course, to be avoided. Even exercise can get out of control when we place a greater emphasis on it, than on spiritual matters.
“For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.” – 1 Timothy 4:8
However, if our bodies are the “temple” which the Holy Spirit resides in,then we ought to care for our bodies accordingly – not in an obsessive way that would place a higher importance on physical care than on our spiritual needs. But in a way that is proper and pleasing to Creator God.
When we consume GMOs (genetically modified foods), junk food, food that is laden with chemicals/antibiotics, and copious amounts of sugar, then our bodies respond with inflammation, pain, and the beginning stages of dis-EASE and dis-ORDERS. In fact, many of the items being consumed, today, shouldn’t be thought of as food.
The book of Genesis explains that Adam was made from the dust of the earth…and it is things that grow from the earth that our bodies respond best to.
One of the simplest ways that we can honor Creator, in our bodies, is by consuming food that He approves of. But where do we begin? What does God think about food? Does He really care about what we eat? In the Genesis account, Adam was given the following instructions:
“And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of the earth, and every tree, in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed;to you it shall be for meat.” – Genesis 1:29 (KJV)
Creator God was even very specific about what the animals would be permitted to consume:
“And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to everything that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb formeat: and it was so.” – Genesis 1:30 (KJV)
From the very beginning, God points out what IS for eating and what is NOT for eating. Can you imagine living in paradise, surrounded by myriads of beautiful, delicious, eating options? Adam, and his wife, were given an endless supply of perfectly created food.
Although we cannot, and will not be able to, recreate the conditions needed for a Garden of Eden we can honor Creator God by doing our best to eat food that is as pure as possible. Avoiding genetically modified food (GMO’s) is one of the ways we can do this.
It should go without saying, although sadly it must be said, that “organic” is also the way to go when choosing foods as well.
Health, and wellness, begins with proper nutrition. What we eat not only feeds our stomachs – it also feeds our cells. When our nutritional choices go against what we need, our bodies suffer at a cellular level.
Our bodies were created to heal naturally. Eating things that were never intended to be food, leaves our bodies unable to respond correctly to illness. In fact, oftentimes, our bodily systems go into dis-EASE mode due to a lack of nutrients and an inflammatory environment produced by incorrect nutrition.
Embrace the fact that your body is a temple by making healthy, healing, nutritional choices. Small choices now, will help build a foundation of health for life.
“RejoiceintheLordalways: and again I say, Rejoice!” -Philippians 4:4
It can be difficult to live out the above verse, but only because we tend to think of joy as something that comes and goes according to the circumstances in our lives. The truth is that joy is always with us…but it is up to us to cultivate it.
I dont mean “fake it till you make it”. I also am not suggesting we live in some stick your head in the sand bubble that ignores the troubles we are going through.
No matter how dark, no matter how difficult..there is always something to rejoice about. Rejoice even in the simplest of things: and again I say, Rejoice!
Be brave. One of the bravest things you can do, when living in a world full of bad news, is not only to remain prayerful but to remain joyful…and hopeful. Anyone can report the (bad) news but a true intercessor will go a step further and see God’s Hand working in, and thru, all things.
“I have said these things to you so that, united with me, you may have shalom. In the world, you have tsuris (persecution, tribulation, trouble). But be brave! I have conquered the world!” – -John 16:33 (CJV)
Joy is a Weapon. We ought to remain joyful as a sign that we are trusting in GOD’s Hand and plan. Not only that but we should remain joyful because joy is a spiritual weapon. Have you ever thought of it in that way?
1 Kings 1:40 says, “And all the people came up after him, and the people piped with pipes, and rejoiced with great joy, so that the earth rent with the sound of them.”
The hebrew word for ‘rent’, used in the above passage, is “baqa”, meaning: to cleave; generally, to rend, break, rip or open — make a breach, break forth (into, out, in pieces, through, up), be ready to burst, cleave (asunder), cut out, divide, hatch, rend (asunder), rip up, tear, win (see https://biblehub.com/hebrew/1234.htm).
Can you imagine making a sound that was so loud…so powerful….SO JOYFUL that the ground, nearby, responded by bursting open? That’s supernatural!
Making a joyful noise sends a message out into the atmosphere – both physical and spiritual – that says you are not afraid, that you are placing your hope in the King of all Kings, and that you will not give into despair or be overtaken by doubt!
Joy is a Reminder. Making a joyful noise is a powerful reminder, to yourself, of the Kingdom you belong to.
It is a reminder to the enemy that we belong to GOD Almighty and that we will not give in to his (the enemy’s) schemes.
It is also a great way to worship GOD…reminding Him that we love and trust Him!
Psalm 100 says:
“Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.
Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.”
During these uncertain times, one thing is certain – we serve a mighty GOD and He is worthy to be praised. Make joy a lifestyle rather than an occasional moment. Join in the band of warring worshipers by making a joyful noise unto the LORD. Together, let’s see if we can rend the earth!
The steady rise of autoimmune diseases should be quite alarming. However, they certainly don’t get the attention they should for many reasons. First among these reasons is the fact that it is so difficult to get a correct diagnosis. Many sufferers will go through multiple doctors before being diagnosed and it is even more difficult to find treatment that actually helps.
Second, autoimmune disorders are often looked at like they are a mystery. Questions like “Why do I have an autoimmune disease?”, “How did this start?”, and “Is there anything I can do besides medication?” rarely get answered. Not addressing the root cause places the patient in a cycle of trying different medications but rarely finding something that arrests the auto immune activity. .
I’d like to interject, however, that autoimmune issues are not the mystery we’ve been led to believe they are. Below are a few things that should strongly be considered when looking into possible root causes. The following should also be considered when addressing areas that may need some healing solutions – in regards to all dis-ORDERS and dis-EASES.
(1) Faulty Nutrition. When our bodies don’t receive the nutrition they need, free radicals can form. This often causes a crisis of inflammation within our bodies as well as vitamin deficiencies. Our immune systems receive the wrong message (to “fight”) and then will attack things that they shouldn’t like joints, myelin, stomach lining, the colon, etc.
(2) Vitamin Deficiencies. Like mentioned above, when our bodies are in a state of vitamin deficiency, our immune systems receive the wrong messaging and may end up attacking our bodies. The type of deficiencies a person has may even play a role in what type of autoimmune issue they’re dealing with.
(3) Toxins. The world we live in certainly isn’t the world our great grandparents lived in. Pollution, radiation exposure from tech devices, vaccination, medication, and chemicals in cleaning products just barely scratch the surface. Some people seem to be more sensitive to the aforementioned or, at the very least, feel the effects more rapidly. Toxins wreak havoc on an immune system and can play a role in autoimmunity.
(4) Weakened Gut Health. Up to 80% of our immune system is housed in our gut (stomach, intestines = everything gastrointestinal related). Proper gut health is key for proper immune system activity and is linked to all other bodily systems. When gut health is ignored, or becomes weakened, then the way is paved for illness and disease.
If you are looking into natural ways to combat autoimmunity, then the above may seem a bit overwhelming. However, rather than looking at these things like problems, look at them as opportunities. After all, once the light of truth shines on a problem, the solution is not far behind!
I’d like to encourage you to do your own research, and self assessment, in these areas.
(As always, this information is for educational purposes. Medication decisions are between you and your doctor.)
Shalom to you all – Dr. Karen Michelle Ricci, N.D.