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It is high time I made a list of my health improvements over the years.
Most of the changes were obviously directly due to my diet change. In fact, changes were already taking place before I consciously began veg’n as I had begun cutting down meat before turning veg’n. Many of the breakthroughs were possible due to having fasted, not simply by a change of diet. Do note that my overall ‘performance’ has not been consistent, since I have not been consistently strict with my diet either. Admittedly, to most people, I am a health freak. Something that I fail to understand, since to me, I am still a junkie. A vegan junkie. Some of my conditions were acquired since birth, some gradually over the years. Some improvements were due to some other factors, which I write below
By no means am I saying that I am now absolutely healthy, for I am far from my ideal of being healthy. I do, however, want to give myself a pat on the back for having come so far. Despite hitting forty soon, I feel so much younger and more vibrant than I was at fourteen.
I also want to highlight that I see no benefit in nor am I interested in comparing myself with others. The way I see it, the state of our health when we are born is akin to the abundance of (or lack of) financial wealth we are entitled to at birth. Some people are born wealthy and some poor. It is silly for me, someone born a pauper in health hanging on my last pennies, to compare myself with those born with princely genes. Perhaps not the best analogy, but you get the idea. A person from a wealthy family might be able to afford splurging on luxurious cars and diamonds without being negatively affected on the surface, but it does not negate the fact that he is wasting his resources.
We can’t change the chips we get at birth. We can, however, change our path in life by how we live it. Not everyone can achieve the same abundance, since I also believe in the power of karma. Yet there is a lot everyone CAN do, and SHOULD do, to better his lot. I compare my present state with my past, and benchmark myself against my optimal possible future.
1. Increased Stamina
One of the lessons I hated most during my teens was PE. Especially during secondary school and JC, when the sessions were often gruelling. How bad was I?
When we had to run around the school, one particular PE teacher would ask, “Who is the slowest in class?” That was me. I was supposed to lead my fellow classmates. Well, that was a good way to make sure I didn’t get lost, and also a sure way to make me feel thoroughly guilty that the rest of the class could not get back early. On other days when we had to just make our rounds within the basketball court, I would, again, be still panting and crawling while most of the rest had finished. One particular classmate was (overly) kind and helpful, and sometimes would run with me and literally pull me along. I was on the verge of dying from exhaustion, and there she was, grabbing and pulling me, not understanding my breath could be gone any minute. To still remember it so clearly today, back then I must have felt like killing her, if not for my complete exhaustion.
After graduation from university, once in a while I would make myself go
running jogging. Not because I loved it but because I thought I had better do some exercises now that there was no one to force me to. So once in a blue moon I would put on my running shoes. Strangely, somehow, it did not seem as tough as I had remembered it to be. I was still slow, but I did not feel like I was going to drop dead any time. I would wonder why, since as I said, I only ran once in a blue moon. I was exercising much less than I used to during school days, so my stamina should have dropped, not improved.
While I thought it was weird I could now jog with much ease, I merely attributed it to one of those things in life that are just unexplainable.
Until I read Diet For A New America, in which there is mention of how veg’n athletes fare better. Why, veg’ns DO have more stamina, contrary to popular belief! And then it all became clear to me. During my early twenties, I was already subconsciously wanting to be veg’n. I just was not fully aware of it. A friend commented that he hardly saw me eat meat, which made me realise that indeed, whenever I had a choice, I would choose vegetable dishes rather than meat. Apparently even merely cutting down on meat and not being entirely veg’n would also make a difference.
Later, I would occasionally go running with my husband, who is a marathon enthusiast. Well, I hadn’t picked up speed, but I could chat with him. What a far cry from the past when I was always hanging on my last breath! If not for how boring jogging was, and still is, to me, I would have gone longer distances, since I did not feel exhausted.
2. Stronger Teeth
Growing up, I always felt ashamed about my teeth. Not only have they never been pearly white, they were habitually decayed. As far as I could remember, I was always very thorough in brushing my teeth. At least two dentists had commented sympathetically that they could see I brushed my teeth very well, but they had no answer as to why I still had cavities. I had a friend who hardly brushed his teeth, always had a sweet or two in his pockets, yet every visit to the dentist was a relaxing trip which would only result in one thing – his sparkling white teeth seeing the light of day, after a brief and painless cleaning session to get rid of all the coffee stains.
I always dreaded going to the dentist. Apart from the pain associated with dental visits which obviously nobody likes, I dreaded visiting them because each visit always left me puzzled and betrayed. I brushed. I flossed. I cut down on sweets. I switched entirely to ‘no sugar’ sweets. I stopped snacking on them. Still, every visit I would be told I had one or two new cavities, or that some old cavity had become larger. I have done everything dentists say are necessary to keep your teeth healthy. Why are healthy teeth still beyond my grasp?
Not only have I not been blessed with perfect teeth since birth, I have also not been blessed with good dentists after birth. Well, they were either too harsh, unskilful, or too expensive for me to afford. And so I have seen countless dentists. Some I stayed with longer, some I visited only once. When for the first time one told me my teeth were all good and there were no cavities, I doubted him. For the second time, I still had doubts. Maybe they somehow missed it. But I think after a decade and a few different dentists, and I still have not been told I have new cavities, it is clear as daylight that something I have been doing is too right to be wrong. “Whatever you’re doing is very good. Keep it up.” That’s what my current dentist tells me. (This dentist, by the way, is the best I have ever met – not only skilful and oh so gentle you are never scared, but also charges reasonably, AND makes you feel he does care for your dental health, rather than your money.) Seems like some good karma has ripened huh. Whatever I did, I did not do it with the clear intention to not have new cavities. I did not know it would have this by-effect. Had I known, I would have turned veg’n much sooner.
I also have almost forgotten that I used to have very sensitive teeth. I always was looking out for ‘better’ toothpaste for sensitive teeth. Oral-B? Sensodyne? Now I only occasionally have some sensitivity. So awfully rare that well, I almost forgot this part of history.
(Just for the record, even though I have not had new cavities, I have had new fillings done, to replace old fillings.)
(12 Aug 2015 Update: Was told I had a new cavity during a visit some time ago. Really time to clamp down on junking. I’m still a junkie – a vegan junkie. Still, 1 new cavity in 10 years is a huge improvement from a few every year, isn’t it!)
(19 Feb 2016 Update: I insisted on not doing any dental work to the above mentioned cavity. I had felt some sensitivity whenever I flossed that particular tooth. I did a 21-day fast from Dec 2015 to Jan 2016. After the fast I no longer feel the slightest sensitivity on that tooth when I floss. Although this cannot be taken as proof that the tooth has healed completely, nevertheless I am very certain that the condition has definitely improved greatly.)
3. Regular and Pain-free Menstruation
As I wrote in this article, right from the first day I had my period, it was not regular. I visited a gynaecologist and took hormone pills to regulate my period. Except that back then, I had no idea what those pills were. And I took them for quite a few years. Fortunately though, I wasn’t that naive to think that those were good to take forever, and did try other alternatives.
I visited at least two TCM doctors (more I believe, but two I remember quite well). Still my period was not regulated. One even told me to go seek a gynaecologist. At the time, I still held TCM in very high regard, and when I heard him say that, in my heart, I totally despised him, thinking what a let-down you are!
As my menstruation had been too problematic, it took many stages for me to get better. After my first short fast in around 2007 (today I would not consider that a fast as we still consumed a little bit of juice, but it was a good start), I no longer had period pains. The only discomfort I felt was a sense of heaviness in my tummy on the day of the heaviest flow. After the long fast in 2008 that I mentioned in this article, for the first time in two decades, I had pure red blood flow from day one. No pain nor heaviness either throughout my periods. Unfortunately that did not last long. After resuming my not very healthy diet, I started again to have spotting a few days before and after real blood flow. And at times, heaviness. And very occasionally, when I junk really badly, spotting in between periods, and even slight pain.
Thankfully though, they are never as severe as they used to be. No unbearable pain. What I find more comforting is that, today, I can find direct co-relations between what I experience during my periods and my diet. This is a breakthrough which is absolutely due to the water fast. Before the fast, I was thoroughly loaded with toxins; there was no way to see any links.
The higher my dose of refined flours (white rice/ white flours, even if they are organic), the longer the days of spotting. This is the most spot-on co-relation (pun intended). And this is why when I am eating out, I hardly eat noodles, because even if the noodles are so-called ‘organic whole wheat noodles’, they are at most 50% whole wheat. Mostly, they are made from refined flour, mixed with a little whole wheat. As for the other symptoms, I have yet to be able to link them to exactly what I eat, but in essence, the more junk food I eat, the more I suffer during my period – spotting/ slower blood flow/ heaviness in tummy/ pain in tummy/ headaches. I have observed this for a long time, and have been amazed at what a good indicator my period is. And I always think my husband has it worse than me because he does not have monthly periods to tell him how well or how badly he is eating. Once, I made it a point to really be strict with my diet. The result? Five absolutely discomfort-free days of pure red blood flow. Otherwise? The above discomforts I stated, to varying degrees, and a period that could last between seven to ten days (including days of spotting). It is noteworthy though that even if I do experience any pain today, it lasts probably less than an hour, and it is so mild I could even dismiss it as some tummy discomfort due to maybe overeating. As for the feeling of heaviness – a typical bad bout of it would last maybe just a couple hours.
And oh, yes, for the record, now I am on 28-day monthly cycles, most of the time. In the past, my cycles could range from 20 plus days to 50 plus days. The longest period? I don’t remember, since it often had no beginning and no end.
Sometimes people get annoyed at me for being fussy. And I feel a little uneasy for being fussy. I have to keep reminding myself. Who suffers? Myself or them? Not to mention the additional cost of sanitary pads! Honestly though, why do I have to be apologetic to others for trying to better myself? A bad habit I am still working hard at.
4. Less Headaches
I don’t remember when, but it was probably during my teens that I started having regular headaches. I was a regular Panadol popper, always on the look-out for ‘stronger, improved, more effective’ formulas. If I had to give a figure, probably half the time I was having a headache. There were so many things that could trigger a headache in me. Hot weather (hint: tropical Singapore), cold temperatures (hint: full-blast air-con rooms in Singapore), heavy bags (hint: school bags were always super heavy), and many more. Not to forget my favourite: crying! If you’ve ever had a headache, you should know that it is almost equivalent to having a non-working CPU. You wish you could just have a change of head, just like how you could change a faulty light bulb. Imagine having to suffer that way half of your living days. Sometimes I don’t even understand how I managed to survive my days back then. I remember once it was so severe that as soon as I stood up, I had to sit down immediately as the pain was so intense I could hardly walk. Admittedly, some days the pain was less severe. Often though, the pain seemed to be gone, but I could still feel it somewhere, and I would shake my head just to be sure if it was still there. Most times, I was right – it was still lurking deep within.
Now, most of my headaches occur during my periods, and typically during the first day. Most times it is very bearable too. Perhaps, like a flickering monitor. Annoying. Disturbing. But not debilitating. Once in a while, I still have headaches ‘unexpectedly’. I would not be alarmed, as to me, they are just my junk coming out. Oh, and I get headaches too when I have just had a hard cry, though not as frequent and much less severe. I wonder if when I have cleansed my body completely, would I still have a headache after crying.
5. Subdued Gastric, Tamed Stomach
When I went travelling, the first thing I had to make sure I took along with me was of course my medication. Apart from Panadol tablets, I also always had to have 五塔散, for diarrhoea, as well as gastric tablets, well, for gastric attacks. I’ve always had stomach problems since a baby. I hardly poohed as a baby, which made me a very easy baby to take care of. But which we know today is a sign of bad digestion. During primary school, there was one place I was afraid to go – Cold Storage. Somehow that place always made me really cold, as the name suggests, and I would always need the toilet when I went there. As a child, I was always either constipated or having diarrhoea.
By my teens, to make things worse, I had also developed gastric problems. Once, I had a sudden attack as I was going home from university. I needed my medication badly. And immediately. The pain got so bad that I could not stand straight as I was squeezed in the crowded bus. I got off from the bus at the interchange and dragged my way to the pharmacy with my body bent forward. When I finally reached the pharmacy, before I could ask for the gastric tablets, I was crying aloud. It could get that bad.
Today I’m far from perfect yet. But definitely better than before, as I no longer get constipated for days. At my worst, it would be just one bowel movement a day. It gets really bad when I have to be out the whole day. I just would automatically hold it if I can’t find a toilet where I can feel relaxed. One that is clean enough, and where nobody is waiting for me. Which is why typically I would be hit by a headache when I reach Dharamsala on our annual India trip. The nearly 24-hour travel constipates me, even if there are toilets on the way, and even if we can find clean toilets. Driver is waiting/ travel mates are waiting/ destination is still far – default constipation mode activated.
As for gastric pains, I still get bloated if I am not careful with what I eat (I now know that cabbage and broccoli are some of the culprits, as well as overeating!). But I don’t get gastric attacks anymore. (Except for one particular incident, which perhaps I will share in another post.)
6. Improved Blood Circulation
I remember I feared going for piano examinations or recitals. Because my hands would be so cold that I could hardly play. Other examinations were no fun either, for I had to keep them warm under my thighs, which would mean having my writing disturbed all the time (to be honest, often I was simply staring into space wondering what to write.) But this solution was obviously not possible when playing the piano, and I always felt so disadvantaged. (For the uninitiated, examination rooms in Singapore are, like most air-conditioned rooms here, cold as freezers.) Sadly, today, I still get cold hands and feet whenever the weather turns cold (erm, rainy days in tropical Singapore) or when I am in air-conditioned rooms.
But how do I know my blood circulation has improved?
I used to have to get up real slowly from a squatting position. Or even sitting position. I would sometimes get near-blackouts. I would see nothing in front of me but blackness. Hmm, a prelude to fainting perhaps? Now I still occasionally feel dizzy, but a whole lot less frequently. As for the kind of near-blackouts I used to have, not once have I experienced it over the past years. I still have yet to discover under what circumstances I would get dizzy though.
And ultimately what I believe would help heal my cold hands and feet is this:
7. Vanished Leg Cramps
Sleeping was at times a fearful thing. I often was hit by cramps in the middle of the night, so much that I wondered if it was dangerous for me to go swimming. I no longer have any of those attacks today.
8. Manageable Hair
As a child, I had baby soft hair. Then it started to turn hay-wire during my teens. At the time, I attributed it to my love of swimming. Which was probably a cause too. However, even after I stopped dipping my hair into the pool while swimming, and later almost discontinued swimming, my hair was still a huge mess. It became so bad that for a while, I had to resort to tying my hair into a plait. It was a little hard for me. Even though I loved plaits, I was no longer a child. And even though I have never been fashion conscious, I was self-conscious enough to not want to look like I was living in the seventies. But it was still better than wearing a head of fried wires.
Then came the rebonding technology, which was a saviour. At the beginning, good salons charged at least two or three hundred dollars for each session. I just had to do it. And I loved the result. My baby soft hair! Oh how much I have missed you! But of course, very soon the burnt-like frizzy hair grew back, and I would have to re-do it again. It just was not feasible in the long run to spend a few hundred dollars every half a year or so, so I tried cheaper salons. And had my taste of a terribly flattened head.
Luckily though, those frenzied years were short-lived. I was already beginning to change my diet and had started reading up on getting healthy in and out. It just didn’t make sense to continue killing my hair with doses of chemicals for long hours on end. And as luck would have it, I had in fact started to notice that new hair that grew out was less and less frizzy. And so I stopped all the madness.
Today, my baby soft hair has not returned. But I don’t think anybody would think I have frizzy hair. In fact, to my pleasant surprise, someone told me she thought I did rebonding!
9. Healed Sinus
I started developing terrible sinus, well, again, during my teens. Sometimes, it would be so bad I would sneeze twenty odd times non-stop. Um, that would be probably about 20 odd times in less than a minute? Often, the sneezing was so violent it would bring about stomach pains and headaches. And oh, bleeding in the nose too.
Again, I had been to TCM doctors to try to treat it. Didn’t get any better as far as I could recall.
But as with my other problems, my sinus seemed to sometimes get worse, sometimes better, without me having the slightest idea why. But now I know. It’s been a long time since I’ve had unexplained constant sneezing. Occasionally when I do, it is when I am junking too much. Or when I have taken foods heavily doused with chemicals. Like peaches, grapes and soy.
10. Vanished Back Pains
I was so thankful when I first knew about Yoga poses that help relieve back pains. I had upper back pain since young, and developed lower back pain as I grew up. Luckily my waist didn’t give me any problems huh. My favourite was the child pose. I still like it today. But hardly do I remember to do it, because now I rarely have the kind of persistent back pains I used to have.
11. Less Colds and Flus
I grew up getting used to the process of catching a flu. Or a cold, whatever they should be called. I was the regular sickly girl, falling sick a few times a year. First you get non-stop sneezing with watery runny nose. Accompanied by fever, sore throat, headache, and pains all over. And of course, you get a persistent cough that might take quite a few weeks to completely go away. And be prepared to not be able to speak at all for a few days due to the severe sore throat. And I also got into the routine of visiting the GPs. Pack of antibiotics that you have to take x times a day, after meals. (And it is imperative to finish them.) Pack of painkillers, x times a day, after meals. Bottle of cough syrup, x times a day, after meals. Pack of lozenges, which I loved most, to ease the sore throat. I often thought the doctor should have given me more of those lozenges, as my sore throat was so bad I often completely lost my voice. The lozenges would be finished long before I got any better. It was not unusual that I would have to visit a second time. At times I would go to TCM doctors for a change, thinking that they would be less harsh on my system, even though TCM medicine would take a little longer to work, as we are all told.
During the beginning period when I switched to veg’n and started reading up and realising that veg’ns are supposed to be healthier, I was a little worried. I knew it would take time for the body to heal itself, but I was getting the flu bug quite often, and I felt that I was a very bad image as a veg’n. People around me were not very supportive. At work, I got scoffed at for refusing to take medication.
But things gradually improved. This particular morning, as I was teaching, I knew I had come down with a cold. I was sneezing with watery runny nose. I had lost my sense of taste. I felt aches settling into my body. I simply felt half dead. And since I had already begun to consciously cooperate with my body to help it heal, I knew that not only should I not take medication, I should also fast, and just let my body rest instead of continuing working. (Since young, I had the unhealthy habit of not taking medical leave as far as I could, even if I was sick.) And so I asked to take the day off, gave my lunch box that I had prepared to my colleagues, headed home and hit the sack.
Before I dropped dead in bed, I prayed earnestly to Guanyin to please help me become healthier so that I could become a good veg’n example. I kind of feel that the prayer helped, hah! The three-hour sleep that I had was rather extraordinary for me. Every hour, I would wake up from what felt like a coma. And each hour, I would distinctly feel that I had got better than the previous hour. At the end of the three-hour sleep which felt like a session of whizzing in and out of two different zones, I was again ready to face the world. And so I contacted the school, and said I could teach my night class after all, so they did not have to find a replacement teacher. I had overestimated my recovery though, and was dismayed to hear myself teaching in a nasal voice, but I was functioning remarkably well, considering that it was Day 1 of getting sick.
That was the first marked improvement.
The next breakthrough came on a Monday morning. Again, I was sneezing non-stop, and I knew it wasn’t a sinus attack, as it was watery and it was a different kind of discomfort. I decided that I had better rest for the day and therefore cancelled my evening class. I tried to sleep, but could only manage to lie down for half an hour. I just did not feel sleepy enough. I took a glass of hot ginger tea.* By the afternoon, I was totally back to normal again. I was bewildered. When my husband came home in the evening, and seeing me preparing dinner, he asked, “Didn’t you say you were sick?” I said, yeah, I was sick for one morning. Before, every time I got sick, the healing time would be at least 10 days to two weeks. Half a day? Incredible.
I should also mention that since I changed my diet, even if I do catch get the flu, I don’t lose my voice like I used to. I can remember only one instance when I did lose my voice. And I remember it because it made me remember that I used to lose my voice a few times a year. Another noteworthy thing is, at the school where I was teaching, while some teachers would have a sore throat after teaching for long hours, I never had that problem. I would only get tired mentally. As a hardcore introvert, I have never enjoyed talking, so having to meet so many different people and making mental adjustments to deal with different folks was what I found exhausting.
*Today I do not recommend ginger tea though. Ginger is not natural food for the body. It probably stopped my body from cleansing. Even though I do not recommend it, I might take it. Not because I think it is good, but because I am ‘too busy’ (read: excuse) to get rest – you never know how many days your body plans for you to rest in a detox routine. It is, however, best to just rest completely if your body is sick, and let it run its course of self-healing. See, I said I am far from a health freak. I am a bad student on the path of natural healing.
12. Eased Breathing
I used to have difficulty breathing as a child. I would be pushing my body forward as I tried to inhale as much air as possible. I just could not take in enough air to feel I was breathing enough. It got better after we visited a TCM doctor. Then the problem came back when I was in my teens. And it just sometimes got worse, sometimes better, like the other problems I had.
I don’t know what caused that problem. I’m just glad I don’t have it anymore.
13. Calmed Nerves
There were two incidences that have been etched deeply in me about this. First was when I was about ten years old. I was lying on my bed by the window, prone position, probably doing some casual reading and chatting with my sister. And then I accidentally made the discovery which I thought was funny. My thumb would tremble uncontrollably when I folded it down. I laughed and did it a few times, totally amused.
The second incident was when a university friend asked me to help take photos for them. I said sure, but my hands are shaky, is that ok? (Back then, there was no anti-shake feature in cameras.) To which he said, oh then I’ll ask someone else. Up till then, I was fully aware I had shaky hands, and that some people also had shaky hands, but weirdly enough it did not dawn on me that probably most people did not have this problem, or that this might be considered a problem at all. Perhaps being told not to help made me feel handicapped. And from then on, my eyes were always wide open to catch shaky hands. Well, I’ve discovered that some people do, but it doesn’t help me in anyway, of course. I have just ended up becoming very curious if others have this problem.
For me, I’ve noticed that the problem gets severe when I am feeling flustered. Hmm, not surprising. Especially considering that I become a nervous wreck quite easily. Most notably, when I meet strangers, and when I have to speak with them. In other words, public speaking.
But what about when I am my normal self? It does still sometimes cause some embarrassment. Like, when I need to pass something to someone. Somehow, my hands are weaker when they move in certain directions. Or when I lay a glass of water on the table – the glass would shake as though there was an earthquake. Not as severe now, but at times, it still happens.
This is hereditary, I believe. My memory of my maternal grandmother, who passed on when I was still very young, was that of her sitting in the armchair, her whole body shaking. My mother also started to have symptoms when she was in her forties. As I always say, each generation is worse than the previous. And so I started noticing symptoms in myself as early as ten years old.
I don’t believe that we are stuck with our hereditary traits though, of course. Otherwise there is no point in writing this blog. Neither am I upset that I have inherited this. NOT A SINGLE BIT. It is how it is, and I’m just curious how it can become better, and excited and thankful that it is becoming better.
Regrettably, I am not sure how much my diet has helped me directly on this, since it was not something that I could observe readily on an everyday basis. (No matter how fun, it did not occur to me to check myself by folding my fingers every day.) My diet seemed to have lessened the problem, but since I had not observed it on a regular basis, I am just not too sure to readily give credit to my diet. The first time I had a chance to notice changes on a more regular basis was when I started picking up Taiji. The first day we had class, it was embarrassing. My hands were shaking uncontrollably, very visibly. I hope people were busy keeping up with their movements to notice me. Fortunately though, the trembling was drastically reduced during subsequent lessons. However, it became a fun thing for me, because there was now a sure way to see how I was doing. I enjoyed watching how much or how less I trembled as I did the movements.
The breakthrough in this, I think, was when I used the earthing mat. About two weeks after using it, my trembling was reduced to a minimal. Today, I would see slight trembling only when I do a movement called 单鞭. (I know of very few movements; I am merely using what limited movements I know to observe my changes.)
I do want to add though, that I am very optimistic that if I do a few more times of proper water fasting, this problem would be gone. For the record, even though I have done a water fast before, I now know that it was far from a proper one. One other reason why I am optimistic that fasting would help is how it transformed my sister. Admittedly, as I see it, she has never been as easily nervous as I am, but nevertheless, we have similar traits. When we took part in a singing contest as young ladies, while the other contestants sang like the whole stage belonged to them, my sister and I were a pitiful sight, trembling and holding each other’s hands as we struggled to deliver the song without breaking down. Fast forward to twenty years later, soon after she did a long fast. She was asked to give a speech at a sharing session in Kampung Senang. I was there with her to show support. As her turn to speak was nearing, I could hear my heart beating faster and faster. And when she went up, I started trembling slightly. As she was delivering her speech, I realised I was such an idiotic sight. There she was, the one who was supposed to be nervous, talking with complete ease. Yet I, who was merely sitting among the audience, was shaking for her. Somehow I felt betrayed. Humph.
The next morning she sent me a text message saying she had just realised she had not felt nervous during her speech. Could it be that the recent long fast helped get her nerves in order? Sure sounded very possible to me.
14. Stabilised Vertigo
One night in around 2002 or 2003, I was caught by a huge monster who put me in a huge box and shook me vigorously like a die in a gambling den. I tried to save myself by turning to lie on my back. Peace resumed, for a while, as I regained my composure from the nightmare. But as I turned to my side again, the devil grabbed me and shook me up again. And so I fought him, by sleeping on my back till the day broke.
I sought my favourite doctor (a GP whom I greatly trusted, for her great sincerity in helping her patients) for advice on the strange phenomenon. She told me it was vertigo. For the rest of the day, I felt nauseous. For quite a few months following that nightmare, there was peace. But it returned, and it came more and more frequently.
As time went by, I gathered from the reading I had been doing, both online and offline, that the multiple mercury fillings that had been put into my mouth since young, were the cause of it. It made a lot of sense to me, since in my family, the only other person who also had this condition was my father, who also happened to have had amassed a lot of mercury fillings. By the time I came to the conclusion that we had been highly intoxicated with mercury, his mercury fillings had been removed, along with most of his teeth. And his vertigo which had hitherto been even more severe than mine, had also ‘suddenly’ disappeared. I made the links, and came to the conclusion that I had to remove all my mercury (amalgam) fillings. And so I had it done.
The night attacks which had gotten more and more frequent, were ‘suddenly’ gone. I only experienced them again, in milder fashion, when I did my fast (which would induce detox). After that, occasionally they would come again, but they would be so gentle that I did not have to change my sleeping position at all.
If anybody wants to remove their mercury fillings, please do a little research as to how to do it safely. I am sceptical if mine had been done safely. When I did it (some time around 2006 – 2008), ‘holistic’ dentistry was unheard of in Singapore.
There are still some minor conditions that have improved over the years, but I think the above is more than enough for a post. You can see that it is impossible to tell me that a veg’n diet is unhealthy, or unsuitable for someone with a weak and yin body constitution like me. Of course, as I have stated clearly, some of the improvements are due to other changes I have made rather than my diet. The point is, though, that being vegan has not made me weaker. Not only have I become healthier, I have become healthier by leaps and bounds. I have heard too many people telling me that their doctors (mostly TCM) tell them that wanting to be veg’n is admirable, but they are not strong enough to go veg’n. Whenever I hear of such cases, I have to tell myself, keep cool. I do not want to lie that my immediate reaction is anger towards the doctors. And disbelief that there are still so many people who yet to un-believe doctors. Do no harm and keep quiet, Doc. The weaker you are, the more you need to go vegan and keep the toxins at bay! (If you find this offensive, please read here and here.)
When people tell me they cannot go veg, or that they cannot take raw vegetables or fruit because they are too yin, I like to use my cold hands as a test. I have yet to meet any who gets cold as quickly as I do, or as cold as I get. Why, I am even more yin than them, yet I can persist and thrive as a vegan! And precisely because of taking raw fruit and vegetables, my health has improved so much. Well, I don’t let doctors bother me! Of course, I am not saying that having cold hands easily is a good thing. What I want to say is, if you really do want to be veg’n, obstacles don’t get in the way. Rather, you will find ways to get around them.
Have I become absolutely healthy after becoming vegan? No, absolutely not.
Have I ever had ‘unexplained’ negative conditions in the body in the course of being vegan? Yes, absolutely yes.
But never have I for a single second doubted that it was being vegan or eating raw fruit and vegetables that caused my ‘unexplained’ conditions. I was born sickly, and have loaded this sickly body with toxins over the years. How could I expect the path to better health to be a straight upward line? Not to mention I am still eating lots of what I shouldn’t be eating, and have not done what I should be doing – proper water fasting! Getting well comes in several guises. Sometimes, you have to fall deeper in order to rebound higher. Let’s stop misjudging veganism and raw fruit and vegetables.
It is not that being vegan has stopped me from becoming better than the way I am now. It is despite being not eating optimally and not having done proper fasting, that I still managed to have improved so much.
I have often been labeled stubborn. I would like to think that it can be a positive trait.