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Dr Phil Startin

Stress Management and Mental Health

Overcoming MS Facilitators Yasmin Neves and Dr Phil Startin talk to community members Melanie Lown and Bill Morgan about their experiences of stress management and mental health.

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Webinar summary:

In this webinar, Overcoming MS Facilitators, Yasmin Neves and Dr Phil Startin chat with community members Bill Morgan and Melanie Lown about their personal experience of stress management and mental health in regards to MS.

Key highlights:

00:17 Stress management and mental health for people with MS.

04:41 The fight or flight response and its impact on the body.

10:16 Managing stress and anxiety for people with MS, including meditation and journaling.

17:09 Stress management in the Overcoming MS Program.

26:11 Mindfulness and gratitude .

34:29 Supporting people with MS through stress and mental health.

39:44 Meditation and mindfulness practices for stress relief and calming the mind.

46:53 Mindfulness practices to manage stress and anxiety.

52:25 Meditation, useful apps and the benefits.

59:50 Top tips for stress management and mental health

Speaker bios:

Yasmin Neves

Yasmin is a coach, speaker, and successful entrepreneur who is passionate about the mind-body connection.

Yas is a true people person and is often told that she doesn’t seem very HR-y. Through her diagnosis of MS, she became obsessed with the mind-body connection and began her education in personal and professional coaching. Yas learned more about how our thoughts and feelings impact our lives and how to implement changes on an unconscious level.

Today, she is a coach, speaker, and successful entrepreneur, running a multi award winning HR Consultancy, Healthy HR and working the land of her smallholding. Yas is proud to sit on the tribunal for employment claims in England and Wales. She is passionate about creating workplaces where people can bring their whole selves to work and take full responsibility for their actions, beliefs, patterns, and behaviours. Imagine a culture free from judgment where people can increase their self-awareness and work on healing themselves through self-awareness and emotional regulation.

Dr Phil Startin

After a DPhil in Quantum Physics, Phil left his academic roots for a more peripatetic career in management consulting, initially with Price Waterhouse. After travelling the world for both work and pleasure, including a two-year assignment in Geneva, Phil was diagnosed with Primary Progressive MS in 2007.

In 2011, Phil discovered the Overcoming MS Program, and coupled with his earlier discovery of mindfulness meditation, this awakened a whole new area of his life. With training and supervision from Bangor University, he now teaches the eight-week mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) course to people with MS and to the general community on a pro-bono basis, and delivers the mind-body component of the Overcoming MS UK retreats.

Phil is a trustee for MS-UK and wrote an article on the first Overcoming MS UK retreat in 2013, which he attended, for their New Pathways magazine. Phil is completely convinced that the Overcoming MS Program and mindfulness have positively affected the trajectory of his MS.

Melanie Lown

After journeying through a life-changing diagnosis of MS, Melanie became acutely aware that discomfort can serve as a gateway to equanimity and prosperity through mind, body and spiritual engagement.

Melanie holds an MA in Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University. While at Columbia, she trained in the Spirituality, Mind, Body Institute and was a colleague in the Spirituality and Psychology Research Lab. Before her time at Columbia, Melanie was the Lab Manager for the Imagination and Cognition Lab in the Department of Psychology at The University of Texas at Austin. She has also studied at the Centre for Mindful Self-Compassion and is a certified mindfulness-meditation teacher.

Bill Morgan

Bill Morgan is from New York, USA. Bill was diagnosed with Primary Progressive MS in 2023 and soon after adopted the Overcoming MS Program. As well as his own personal experience of being diagnosed with MS, Bill’s mother and two sisters were also diagnosed with Relapsing Remitting MS early on in life.

Bill is a father to 4 grown adults and grandpa to 5 beautiful grandchildren. Outside of working full-time, Bill’s hobbies include travelling, motorcycle riding, woodworking, yardwork, handy-man chores and reading, as well as spending time with his family and friends. Bill is also a former drummer and long distance marathon runner.

 

Read the episode transcript here.

This transcript was created with the help of a volunteer.

Yasmin Neves  00:17

Hello, everyone, I can see the numbers going up. We’ve got lots of people attending today’s webinar, which is really exciting. So I’m just going to let the numbers go up and let the people come in a little bit longer before I start. But you’re in for a really good hour. I know we’ve got some fantastic speakers coming to talk about this really important topic when that I’m truly passionate about. numbers are going up still, which is good to see. So let’s start. So welcome, everyone to today’s webinar, living well with MS Season Five. We’re so pleased to be talking about this really important topic tonight stress management and mental health. And we’re bringing to life the Overcoming MS Handbook, the Roadmap to Good Health with the help of two of our community members who have MS. And following the Overcoming MS. Overcoming MS. program. Dr. Phil Startin, who’s just a wonderful facilitator, and teaches mindfulness meditation. So I’m Yasmin, I’m based here in sunny south Wales in the UK. I’m a facilitator for Overcoming MS. I’m an HR professional by trade. And I’m truly passionate about the Overcoming MS program, having lived and breathed it for the last five or six years, I can’t actually remember how long it’s been now. So today’s webinar, as I mentioned, is all about stress management and mental health, one of the pillars to the Overcoming MS program, and in my opinion, one that probably isn’t spoken about enough, and one that probably a lot of us struggle with in everyday life. So we’ve got Dr. Phil, tonight, we’ve got Mel and Bill, who are two community members who have lived experience of MS. And are both truly passionate about mental health and stress management. And between us all, we’re hopefully going to have a conversation about our past experiences, give some tips and tools, and then it’s going to be over to live q&a. So if you’ve got a burning question or something you’re struggling with, or something you want to know, you should be able to see the chat function and within his webinar, so feel free to put in a question that is specific to tonight’s topic. And normally, when we do these webinars that everyone’s always asking about the food, I know that’s important, but tonight is all about stress management and mental health. So you’ve got a question, pop it in that chat, and towards the halfway through this webinar, we will come to those questions and we’ll start getting through them. But before we start, I just need to do some housekeeping. I’ve got a list here that I need to go through. So you will notice that the session is being recorded. And you’ll have a link to the recording and via Zoom link next week, once the webinar has finished you. It’s an interactive session. So although you can’t see anyone else, you can just see me at the moment the other guests will become a little bit you can’t see each other. It is interactive. So please get involved. Use the q&a function to ask any questions that you got. If there’s any technical issues, this is really easy. This is what it always say just turn it off and turn it back on again. And it should be fine. Anything more than that, is beyond my level of expertise. You’ll see that there should be some live transcript or audio captures and what I’m saying you should be able to turn these on or off at the bottom of your screen wherever you want them on or want them off. That’s completely up to you. We’re hoping this webinar is going to be one hour may run over ever so slightly, but it’s going to be one hour. And then the at the end, you should see a survey pop up asking you for your feedback in terms of how the webinar has been for you. Please fill it in because it’ll make any future webinars even better, just to make sure that we are meeting the needs of what you want in our community. So that’s all the housekeeping them. I think I just ticked it off to make sure I was going getting through it all. But I think that’s all the housekeeping done. So today’s webinar is all about stress management and mental health. One of the key pillars to the Overcoming MS program. And without me going on even longer. I want to welcome to this virtual stage. Phil, are you there? Do you want to come in and join me?

 

Phil Startin  04:41

I am indeed Yes. Yep.

 

Yasmin Neves  04:44

How are you doing today?

 

Phil Startin  04:46

I’m good. I’m good. And yeah, just really looking forward to this webinar. Because I think I think you’re absolutely right. Stress management is such an important part of the program, and sometimes a pillar that we perhaps we don’t give enough attention to but yeah, I’m sure we’ll discuss all of that, today as part of this webinar.

 

Yasmin Neves  05:01

Brilliant. So I’m sure most of our community know who you are, you’re very familiar face on the Overcoming MS scene. But for anyone who is new to the program, or maybe they haven’t heard you speak before Do you want to tell us a little bit about you, what you’re about what you do.

 

Phil Startin  05:16

Of course, of course, yes, yes. So, yeah, about myself, I guess, like pretty much everyone else here on this webinar today. I’ve got MS. I was diagnosed way back in 2007. I’ve got Primary Progressive MS. And I’ve been following the program really quite strictly since about 2010. So for about 14 years now. And I was originally in kind of science and business and sort of consultancy. And yeah, over the years, mindfulness for me has become really, really, really important part of my life. So I now teach mindfulness and particularly the the MBSR course, to different different audience groups, but in particular to people with with MS. And I just find it just such a profoundly important part of my life. And yeah, perhaps that’s what touch a little bit on that today as part of this webinar, as well. So yeah, just it’s just a brief talk about myself. And it’s, and it’s so nice guys that you want to join the facilitator team, as well, because we have sort of been one of the few facilitators for many years now. And it’s been a, it’s such a privilege to go along to these sessions, and to go along to the different retreats. But to have more and more people join us is absolutely fantastic. So great. We’ve got yourself here, and two community members from from a different continent. So yeah, tremendous.

 

Yasmin Neves  06:36

I think we’ve got a good good team here today. And let me just blow my own trumpet and yours as well. But someone’s got to do it. And thank you so much, Phil, for sharing a little bit about you. And so you wrote one of the chapters in the handbook recently, didn’t you? Can you tell us more about that and what it involves and tell us about the chapter bring it to life for us, if you could.

 

Phil Startin  06:58

Yeah, I’m going to talk to my chapter was actually more around progressive MS. And what we can do for people with progressive MS, as apposed to stress stress management. But what I’ll do because this session, this webinar is really about stress management, or perhaps just talk a bit more about that. Is that Is that okay? Yes.

 

Yasmin Neves  07:17

Yeah, absolutely. Please do.

 

Phil Startin  07:19

Yes. So I mean, just coming kind of into stress management a bit more. And it’s, I mean, it’s an interesting one. I mean, actually ask yourself, yes. Have you ever seen, has stress ever affected your symptoms?

 

07:29

Yes, I think over everything, actually, stress is one of the biggest things that impacts my symptoms.

 

Phil Startin  07:37

Yeah. And you are absolutely not alone. In that seminar. I’ve run a number of courses, random member retreats, on on the program. I always asked that question. And pretty much generally every time most people put up their hands when they ask how stress impacted your condition for you. And I’m sure I asked today, I’m sure the gosh, 170 people. So we’ve got this webinar today, which is amazing. I’m sure most people were sticking their hand up and say, yes, yes, stress does affect my symptoms. And it’s yes, it can both both exacerbate symptoms, they can also cause relapses, possibly even cause the onset of the condition itself. And as we know, the the program itself, is absolutely evidence based. And there’s a huge amount of evidence now that clearly shows there’s a causal relationship between stress and exacerbation of MS symptoms. And this research has been published for years. And there was there was a paper published actually last year, which was the first meta analysis, which is absolutely the top of the tree in terms of research output, because it’s a collection looking over and many different randomized control studies. That said, yes, absolutely. Conclusively, there was a link between stress and exacerbation of MS symptoms, and relapses, and possibly even the onset of the condition itself. So really, really important that we do what we can do to manage stress and work out how we can respond more, more successfully and wisely to stressful situations. I mean, how that actually works, and what’s the what is the link? What is that causal link is pretty well understood, understood. And I’m sure again, most people on this webinar today will have heard of the fight or flight response, which is that link between acute stress and causes that physiological response change in our bodies. So it’s mediated by the sympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system, and it finds things like adrenaline causes the heart to go faster, creates that tightness and tightness in the chest, but it’s an inflammatory response. Chronic stress that actually connects to the body again, a physiological link via a different roots of our by the HPA axis that links into the endocrine system, which causes you to produce a whole lot of different hormones, including things like the stress hormone cortisol, which again, most people will have heard of, but all these kind of inflammatory both both these pathways and other ones as well. stress causes an inflammatory response in our bodies. MS, as we all know, is an inflammatory degenerative condition. So actually, by going through stress and being in that stressful environment, you’re effectively just throwing additional fuel onto the MS fire, making the condition much, much worse. And it is, and it’s stress levels. Now, worldwide, just massively high levels, with some research published fairly recently by the World Health Organization, that they now estimates that at any one point worldwide, the number of people with anxiety, and chronic stress is round about half a billion people. It’s absolutely huge numbers of people. And the majority of those people are in the in the Western world. So not only are we living with this kind of much, much more increased levels of stress worldwide, where we’ve got to deal with this condition. And all the unpredictability that comes from this condition that can be again, generate huge amounts of stress and anxiety in its own right. So many effects. I mean, for those of those of us who have got relapsing remitting MS. I don’t know, do you know when the next relapse is going to happen? How bad is it going to be? Will you recover? Will you recover the function? You just don’t know. And you know, it’s great. There are now so many different drugs available. But again, we have to face difficult decisions. Which one do we take? Would you even be eligible? Will they work? What were the side effects? So there’s all these unknowns? We don’t even know what’s going to happen as the condition progresses, which which it will do for some people? What’s going to be the physical impact the cognitive impact of that? And how’s that going to affect you as a person? How’s it going to fit your relationships with your family, with your friends, with your work colleagues with work itself? Are you going to be able to keep working? What about what about money and income, perhaps your hobbies and all the things that perhaps are really, really important to you might be impacted. So we’ve so living with MS just adds this all this additional complexity onto originally a stress environment, stress world. And psychologists now talk about something called fear of progression, which they’ve actually observed in a number of different degenerative conditions, including MS. So this is this is a tangible, real fear, that causes absolute stress and anxiety that we have to live with. And they found what psychologists have found that actually, regardless of how long we’ve had the condition, or the type of MS, we have, it’s similar levels, this exists. Now fortunately for us, all of us 25 years ago, was there abouts. When George first put together the Overcoming MS program, he realized this, and he realized just how important stress management was, which is why he recommends that actually, we should try and do about 30 minutes meditation a day, really take care of that of that that strict stress response. And I’ve been really been sort of nice first started meditating, I was really guided by George, and by Craig Hassad as well. So I’ve been practicing for about for about 14 years now and teach the program. But I think as you kind of mentioned, it’s sometimes viewed as a really hard pillar to adopt, can be quite quite difficult to get to, to get going with it with with meditation. And perhaps some of the reasons that I think there’s various reasons for that, perhaps Perhaps some, it’s just dumps, I think a lot of misconceptions as to what is mindfulness all about. And also say a bit more about that that in a moment. But looking after, after our mental health in general is vitally important to say I suspect we’re going to explore some of that, as part of part of this, this webinar. Well, there’s lots of things we can do. And in addition to the mindfulness, some of us might have seen some of the readings that George is doing from his journals at the moment, available through the Hub, which are wonderful. And again, journaling can be can be really, really effective. A great way of managing our own mental mental health, even just getting outside getting into nature. Having hobbies, hobbies, that we really enjoy playing musical instruments, just reading, doing some arts can all have a positive impact on mental health, and really, really, really make a difference. And I suspect we’ll explore some of that some of those with Bill and Melanie this evening. Yeah, which can come back to mindfulness in particular, like you just keep this really quite short. Now, I think just the the two of the big misconceptions I’ve noticed over the years. first misconception is that a lot of people assume that when you meditate when you practice, you’re supposed to stop thoughts. And if you don’t stop thoughts, then you failed. And if you can’t stop the thoughts were you just may as well give up because you’re a rubbish meditator and it’ll never work. So what so why even bother? Sue Tibbles also one at one of the newly qualified facilitators put some of that to life, in a recent study published a master’s thesis. But minds will always wander, you’ll always get thoughts coming into your mind. So the purpose and the goal when you practice is not to stop the thoughts. What we’re really practicing is actually what we do with those thoughts. When those thoughts arise, how do we engage with them, and making that choice not to engage with them, so the mind will always have thoughts on it. So if you’re convinced that you need to stop thoughts, when you practice, please put that to one side, it will not it will never never ever, ever happen. Which kind of comes on to think the second misconception about mindfulness. And that’s that it’s passive, that you just kind of sit, sit down and go lalala. And isn’t everything wonderful, and it’s all very relaxing, it’s all very nice. It’s not, it’s really, it’s really active. See, what I was just describing the fact that you we need to, actually, these thoughts arise, do something about it, that takes energy takes energy not to engage with the thoughts, it takes energy, and effort, when your mind does wander off, to bring it back again, to bring it back again, to the practice. So it is it’s really can be sometimes with like quite, quite hard work. And actually, when we even practice itself, you’re literally building up the attention muscle, and developing that. So we’re we’re into then the into real life. And we’re actually in in a real stressful situation, we can actually then learn how to respond more wisely and more skillfully to those stressful situations. Because what we’ll never ever going to be able to do is avoid completely avoid stressful situations. At some point during our lives, we will end up in a stressful situation. Absolutely. And what we need is to have the skill and the techniques to be able to manage that. So that’s that’s really all I wants to say on that. And yes, back back over to you. Yeah,

 

17:09

I mean, just to pick up on that last point, like stress is part of our life. It’s part of the human experience. And, you know, stress isn’t always bad. We can you we need stress to get as motivated. But the problem is when we stay in that stress response too long, and we don’t know how to then come back out into that parasympathetic nervous system. And sometimes you’re not always aware of when when that stress response. And maybe we can pick up some of these sorts of topics when we come to the live q&a, because I definitely we you’ve got so much knowledge, Phil, that we just need to get it out and share it with with this community.

 

Phil Startin  17:45

There’s so much experience here, I think in this this session as well. Yes, it’s going to be great. Yeah. Well, thank you, Phil. And I just want to we’ll bring you back on screen and a little bit for the live q&a, I can see some questions coming in already. So if anyone sees my eyes wandering, it’s because I’ve got many screens open, and lots of questions coming at me. So thank you, Phil. And Bill and Mel. Melanie, if you’re happy to turn your cameras and microphones on, come on to the screen. Welcome, welcome both. So, Bill, you’re on mute. I think you’re gonna go second. Melanie, thank you so much for coming on today’s webinar, and really, really great to meet you. Do you want to just start the same as what Phil there, just tell us a little bit about yourself your journey, what’s brought you here today? Introduce yourself.

 

Melanie Lown  18:33

Wonderful. Thank you so much. I’m so excited to be here. And this conversation has just started already started off so rich. So thank you so much, Phil, I was taking notes during your all of your insights that you shared. So very excited to share about my journey as a community member too, with OMS. I was diagnosed in 2018 and immediately jumped in just looking for different ways that I could participate in this experience as an individual with MS. I noticed a lot of you know, just interactions with Western medicine like where’s my where’s my role? Where’s my participation when working with doctors. And that’s one reason that I really gravitated to OMS is it had this full picture of a way that I could participate with you know, diet, exercise, stress management, being outside being involved with my family and with the community in this experience. So I immediately kind of jumped in with this program soon after my diagnosis and have been following it ever since. And one thing a kind of a different take. I want to looking at this conversation with stress management is sometimes when we participate in our experience, the conversation about stress can induce stress, you know, like, Oh, I’m, I’m not supposed to be stressed out, okay, oh my gosh, I’m stressed out not supposed to be to be stressed right now. And that in and of itself can kind of make the pendulum swing and have a stress response. And I think that’s really where mindfulness and meditation and even self compassion, which is really just kind of creating this balance and softness can can come into the conversation. And I became really interested in mindfulness and meditation actually went back and studied psychology after my diagnosis, and recently finished my masters and now teach mindfulness meditation also. And it’s I’m really, really passionate about what kind of taking this lens into all aspects of the OMS program can do, being mindful about our participation in all of the pillars of the program, I think can kind of make us aware of when that pendulum is swinging, especially different personality types, I can be a perfectionist, and I’m like, Okay, today, I’m going to follow the diet to a T, and I’m going to exercise and I’m going to do all these things perfectly. And then I get to the end of the day, and I realized I’m so stressed out because they didn’t do everything perfectly. And it kind of has this like, counterintuitive response. So I think bringing mindfulness into that, too, we can become aware and the more we practice, by sitting in our meditation practice, the more we can bring that out into our life and see that play out, becoming mindfully aware of, oh, I’m noticing this, like, tightening in my chest, when I think about how perfectly I need to follow the diet aspect. Or I’m noticing my this like, turning in my stomach, when I’m thinking about oh, wait, I didn’t do my physical exercise, you know, as much as I wanted to this past week. And that’s just bringing that mindful awareness into how we’re, you know, kind of interacting with the program as a whole. That’s something I’ve found as a community member. And in some ways, it almost feels cyclical, it’s like, okay, I’m starting with my participation here. And now I’m being mindfully aware that, okay, I’m actually now having this counterintuitive stress response, as I’m trying to follow the program perfectly. And I can bring in this, you know, balanced, more soft approach to it. And now I can participate in my experience, again, with a little bit more of a human approach. And that’s kind of what I’ve found. With my experience in the program. And with mindfulness and meditation. I took a few notes. While Phil was talking, I just wanted to make these last two little comments. And then so excited to pass it over to Bill. Two of the attitudes that I’ve found to be so helpful to me mindful attitudes from Jon Kabat, Zinn, non striving, which can be so difficult, especially when we’re working with the OMS pillars wanting to be an active participant in our experience, that if we can bring that down, and remember why we are actively participating to, you know, be the the most healthy and active member that we can be in our MS journey. But then just more broadly, as a human living this life, if we can try to soften that striving energy. And just remember that we’re doing this to be as healthy as we can be, that can really help and has helped me. And then also just this attitude of beginning again, it goes with that cyclical pattern. But then it also goes just when we’re sitting in our sitting meditation and just remembering Oh, I have thoughts that are starting to come, I’m noticing those thoughts. And now I can begin again, coming back to my breath. I don’t need to get caught up in a I didn’t do this perfectly. scrap it done with the meditation move on with the day. It’s just Oh, okay. I’m thinking I’m coming back. And I’m going to begin again. And so it applies to both that applies to that sitting meditation and then applies to that, you know, cyclical pattern of doesn’t have to be perfect. I’m going to participate. I’m going to notice and then I’m going to bring the softness and now has been my experience. It’s been so helpful and I’m just so grateful for OMS. In general, it’s dramatically impacted my overall experience in participation. So thank you so much. I’m so excited to hear from Bill, fellow community member as well.

 

Yasmin Neves  25:16

Just want to pick up on something you said there, Melanie, thank you so much for sharing that as well. I love what you’re saying in terms of just noticing your thoughts and coming back to them. And I kind of want to just summarize it in terms of kind of having a real non judgmental approach to your thoughts and your life and just allowing things to be without them being right or wrong, good or bad. They just are. And that in itself can help reduce stress massively. And I’ve got so much to pick on everything, all of you have said so far, especially about what you should have around the food. And so many people in our community are so stressed about what they’re eating, it kind of maybe isn’t always helping like or the amount of effort they’re putting into what they eat and the stress they then assigned to it. Maybe it’s counterintuitive to what we’re trying to do here. So very, very important point. But I’ll be quiet Bill, let’s hear from you. Tell us about yourself.

 

Bill Morgan  26:11

And thank you. Yes, and thank you to the co-panelists, Phil and Melanie also very, I’m humbled and honored and grateful, who to join this esteemed group here, who have probably a little bit more experience at this by me from me, or from my experience. I’ve just begun this journey. I was diagnosed a year ago this month, at 61 years old, I’m 62. Now scary, very, very scary. I think I’d like to approach my five minutes here to help more of the people that are just joining OMS. I am just like Melanie said, I am so grateful for finding this, I found it soon after diagnosis. I was in a very, very bad place. Mentally, physically, just not knowing what in the world was going on. And how this happened to me. And I have since learned the damaging effects of stress and what it can do. I never knew that. I never knew that before I just went about my daily life, busy as it can be to everybody. Job is taking its toll on me I was heavy traveling, never seeing my friends and family that can be stressful on it on and so on. But in behind the scenes, my family has been riddled with them us, my mom 50 years ago, was diagnosed with MS has since passed away. But two of my sisters also have MS and 30 years into that. Unfortunately, they just never had the tools that we have today, the medicines and these types of programs that we can follow. So unfortunately, the disease took them. And when I got my diagnosis, it it just leveled me, leveled me. And the reason why this came about, and this is what I wanted to share is those stressors, the person closest to me in life, who lived here with me, passed away from cancer. And that took me down a very, very dark, dark place for months, if not a couple of years. So the diagnosis was like, there you go. That’s what the damaging effects can do. So I had a choice, I could either let this take me. Or I could dive into some research and see what I can do. So this is what I want it to relate to you and literally I’m learning from Phil and Melanie’s experiences and listening to what they say. And wow, that is exactly right. It’s not exactly perfect, or it’s not easy to be perfect and all the pillars and those little, you know, sways back and forth. Don’t beat yourself up over those that you can’t. We’re all human. So when I looked at the whole meditation, mindfulness aspect of this, I had never done that before in my life. And I was trying to think okay, how do I do it? Do I have to sit in a chair, do I have to close my eyes? You know, what is this supposed to be? No, it’s not any of that. And it’s all of that. It’s whatever you can put into it. I liked what Phil said about all the thoughts jumping into my head. I can’t stop them. And he’s right. I can’t stop them. They’re there. I just let them drift. And it’s amazing to me how I can control that I can control that drift.

 

Phil Startin  30:36

And you can actually control how you interact with those thoughts. And you can choose, it’s phenomenal, isn’t it? Absolutely phenomenal?

 

Bill Morgan  30:46

Yeah, that’s exactly. And so I start my day, and this is what I want to relate to everybody, I start my day, just with the healthy input, I found these things. And I’d like to share them, I think I posted them, a couple of them on the on the Hub, reflections of life, these are these little snippet videos that are on YouTube. And they’re just so wonderful. They’re they’re human, they bring us all together as one, and it’s just calming. And it gives you a great frame of mind or anywhere from six minutes to maybe 12 max. So I start my day with one or two of those, it just puts a smile on my face. It’s everything I’m inputting, I’m reading things that here’s one, you know, positive thoughts, I or positive thinking, have that by my bed stand, I literally I’ll read it before I go to bed, just a couple little pages just to get healthy input. And I’ve, I’ve told other people that are listened to me because I can talk off the storm. Garbage in, garbage out. And it’s that saying right there, the more positivity you can bring in to your life, the more benefits you’re going to receive on the other end. So I’m always grabbing things that will uplift me. So when it comes to my mindfulness and my time to just be quiet. It’s amazing how my mind journeys into good thoughts. And now the thoughts that drift into my head, that seems stressful, don’t seem so stressful anymore. And they just roll off. So for me, and this journey with OMS, I think and literally, I did write this part down because I wanted to make sure I said it. I’m grateful, I think I’m at the best place I’ve ever been in my life. I literally, I’m grateful that’s just experiences happen to me, I’m volunteering more than I ever have. I’m involved with my community, I’m just inputting so many good things. That diet has made me feel great. I’ve never felt this good. So I just say to all of you stick with the pillars, one little tiny bit at a time. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Like Melanie said, Just do what you can as you can, but keep going. Stay positive.

 

Yasmin Neves  33:37

I absolutely love that bit where you just said I’m truly grateful. Because as you said it, I could, see you feeling it. And that’s a really, really practical example for everyone listening here today. Gratitude, that feeling of gratitude is a really good emotion to counteract stress. And only when you truly feel it, that’s when you can, you know, slow your heart rate down. That reduces cortisol levels in your body. And when you when you felt it, I was like I can really feel that. So thank you for sharing some of the questions that are coming in. I can see live as you were speaking, we’ve got loads. So when I don’t know how we’re gonna start this, because we’ve got so many questions to get through. But thank you so much, Bill. Thank you so much, Melanie, for sharing your stories. I’m sure there’s a lot of people here who can really resonate with what you’re saying, Phil, and you got anything you want to add to that.

 

Phil Startin  34:29

Yeah, that was that was beautiful Bill and Melanie as well. I mean, that was that was just really profound for both of us. So thank you. Thank you both so much. And yet again, a bit a bit like you said, Melanie I made a few notes and you guys there’s so much I just wanted to respond to and interact with and I agree with you that all the different parts of the program that they interact together, don’t they? And they support each other. There’s there’s they’re really symbiotic in many different and the research shows this. You showed the research shows that people with a mindfulnes practice, eat eat better, better diets, and it’s linked into exercise as well. So even if we don’t do, actually, there’s always encouragement for us to do all of the pillars, because they do they do make such such such a difference together. And again, Bill, I love what you say about doing that that gratitude, then Yasmin, what you built, you built on that as well, that so often we just ignore these things that, that just even just little things, sometimes just being grateful for those every day. Some of that something that one of the things I suggested building my course, is that yeah, perhaps just at the end of the day, when you’re going to bed, just just think about three little things for which you were grateful. Just just it could have been it was a nice day, it was sunny, and the Yas said it was sunny where you are today. Yeah, just be grateful for that, or a nice cup of tea, or you don’t need to win the lotto or anything like that. It’s just even little things. And just think about the three things every day, the end of the day can just be just be so powerful. But yeah, but no, thank you both perfect.

 

Yasmin Neves  36:00

We’ve got so many questions in the chat. And we’ve also had some pre submitted questions. So what I’m currently doing is kind of reading through all of the questions and seeing if I can summarize some of them, because some of them are quite complex and quite long. So we’ve had quite a few questions around. How do we as caregivers support people with MS. So I know we’re all here with MS. So we need to put a different hat on here. If we’re trying to support someone with MS in terms of stress and mental health, we’ve got a tools and techniques and tips of how we can do that Bill. I mean, you might have some good examples, considering you just share that, you know, a lot of your family had MS. How did you support them with their mental health and stress management?

 

Bill Morgan  36:46

From that aspect, it was a whole different world because it was before my diagnosis. So it was just everyday encouragement to keep going keep trying. And you go back 40 years when my mom was still, you know, early on. In her diagnosis, we didn’t know as much. So it was exercise, we heard the benefits of exercise, we heard the benefits of diet, and it was just encouraging every single day of doing those types of things. But the medications weren’t there back then. My sisters, also, you know, that was going back starting 30 years ago, early diagnosis, and they you know, and here’s the thing, everybody, and maybe this is a good thing to say and not a bad thing, don’t take it. They had their hand up, I got this, I got this. And you know, as a family, it’s tough to take when you have a family member who’s hurting, and they’re not letting you in. And that hurts the other family member to we want to help we want to be there. But it’s about being there for whatever they might need any encouragement at all, but I don’t have a specific answer for them. Because it was just so long ago. All I can do is go by what is currently available to us and going forward. So I want to encourage everybody here today, from what we know. And what we can do.

 

Phil Startin  38:35

Just as the last retreat, we actually had quite a lot of discussion about the role of carers and what we can do and should we even set something that’s different for them? Because I think you’re right, it’s at times they’re almost under supported. It’s sometimes a little bit but through through through Overcoming MS themselves. So I think we’ve talked about the might even be a carers circle that’s been set up. And if not, and that might be something that actually somebody can set up and actually get some support from that community in the way that we get support from, from our circles in terms of people with MS. But but the carers and supporters and partners need need that support as well. Absolutely.

 

Yasmin Neves  39:15

Thank you. Thank you. See if I can summarize another question. Maybe Melanie might be coming to you for this next one. So heads up. And anyone who’s got their hand up by the way, please feel free to put your question in the chat. Rather than raising your hand, put it put in the chat so that we can put in the q&a bits and we can answer it. So someone has asked very specifically, I don’t understand what meditation is. So can you tell us what is meditation?

 

Melanie Lown  39:44

That’s such a great question. So meditation is kind of we can think of it as like an umbrella. And different things can live under that umbrella. Like mindfulness can live under that umbrella. Yoga could live under that umbrella. Meditation is the training of our minds to concentrate on something. So for mindful meditation, which is what I teach, we’re training our minds to come back to the present moment and concentrate, whether we’re concentrating on our breath, or thoughts or emmotions or body, there’s different objects of attention that we can, you know, continually come back to. So living mindfully, is different than a meditation practice, but they go hand in hand. So what I was kind of talking about taking our practice, which is sharpening this ability to concentrate and bring our attention back into our object of attention. And then we can kind of project that out into our living mindfully, and noticing, and having that sharper awareness. kind of interplay with how we live, I can notice the sun shining more readily, because I’ve sharpened my mind and my meditation practice, to focus on, you know, an object of attention to take in more of my surroundings. And meditation, like I know, Dr. Phil was saying, meditation is going to soften that sympathetic response and allow us to more readily call on that parasympathetic, which is going to bring us soften the fight and flight, bring us down into a calmer state release, like those good feel good hormones like oxytocin. And meditations can allow us to do that more readily. So I hope that answers the question the difference kind of between meditation and mindfulness, you can meditate on lots of different things. It’s our object of attention. Generally, we think of it as a sitting meditation, sitting down, a great way to start is with our breath, noticing our breath, focusing on our breath, and returning to our breath, you know, again, and again. And then as this thoughts wander, I noticed them, you know, I think Bill so perfectly illustrated, I let those thoughts just drift by like clouds or bubbles, and I returned to my breath again, beginning again, non judgmental, and just allow yourself to be and sit, and it’s so much easier said than done. And then sometimes it’s so simple, you know, let it be both let it be simple. Let it be complex, just let it be all the things and yeah, just beginning, again, and again. I hope that answers.

 

Yasmin Neves  42:54

Someone in my early days, when I first started to meditate, someone said, you know, if you’re going to run a marathon, you’re not going to get it one day and just run it, you have to train you have to do 5k or 10k. And I was like, oh, yeah, that’s a really good example. I’m just gonna sit down and master overnight. Phil, there’s a question here directly to you. So you’re in firing line now excited for this? So does it matter if you meditate? 15 minutes twice a day? Or you’re going to benefit more? If you meditate for 30 minutes? At one solid block?

 

Phil Startin  43:26

Yeah, interesting question. And then this, this question does come up a lot. Where even taking it further? Could I do 3 10-minute meditations? Or six, five-minute meditations? Would that be okay? And I guess the Yes, that’s absolutely fine. So doing some practice during the day is great. And sometimes really short practices, even just a minutes practice, actually, 10 seconds practice can be really, really powerful, can be that short, and it can make a difference. Particularly if you’re, let’s say in the throes of some sort of stressful situation that’s going on, I know, maybe you’re your boss has just come in, and it’s just shouting and raging. Even just taking a moment, two or three seconds, just to come back to the breath, and do a really short meditation can make a difference. So short meditations can be very, very powerful. And Melanie will know this, that as teachers, we talk about informal practices, which can be those very, very short practices, and longer formal practices. For the formal practice, does length matter? Yes and no. Particularly if you’re starting a new one, I absolutely suggest start with shorter meditation practices, and build them up, get some some guided meditations and build build them up. But then going up to something like 30 minutes is a good thing to aim for. And there is actually a difference between a 15 minute meditation and a 30 minute meditation and when you actually sit down and do practice, you feel it you just sense that you get to a different level. You won’t come to a slightly different place if you sit for a longer period of time. So 30 minute meditation when you can do it. If that works, then brilliant. But if you don’t have time, think as we’re walking, saying, don’t beat yourself up. And we’ve all got busy lives, we’re all trying to squeeze in all these different these different pillars into our lives. We’ve got a family, we’ve got work, we’ve got all these things going on. If you can only do five minutes one day, then do five minutes. That’s great. I can do 30 minutes, then fantastic. So there is difference. Just just don’t give yourself a hard time. Yeah, brings bring some some compassion. I think I mean, to me. I mean, Melanie mentioned it briefly, this compassion word, that kindness really is at the heart of mindfulness. If you haven’t got the compassion there, you haven’t got the kindness there, then then it’s not really mindfulness. You got to bring that to it. Absolutely key part of it. So yeah, so yes, yes, yes and no is the answer to the question.

 

Yasmin Neves  45:54

They’re both I’d say they both have for different reasons, like you said, And, Bill, you’ve got a bit of a fan here. Someone I was diagnosed at a similarl age, at 60, similar to Bill, they want to basically they want to be in direct contact with you. I wondered if we could share your details so you can connect with them and hopefully share and help stories?

 

Bill Morgan  46:15

Absolutely no problem at all.

 

Yasmin Neves  46:20

That’s a nice and easy one. Okay. Oh, this is a very, very good question. And the fact that this person is aware enough to notice what state they’re in is, is impressive, so well done to you. So when I’m stressed, I find it hard to tap in and getting the benefits of mindfulness, I get stuck in the freeze response. So do the panelists have any advice on how to move out of the freeze response? And so then putting these practices in place? Melanie, do you want to try and give us an answer as to that one?

 

Melanie Lown  46:55

Sure. I think if you notice, and first of all, as you said yes, like incredible awareness to know that and to be able to recognize that and I think you’re so far ahead. And so definitely, you know, bring in that kindness and that warmth to yourself for just noticing that. I think it’s really hard to try and sit and have a formal practice, if you know you’re in the sympathetic response. My advice would be to maybe try to have mindful movement practice and that not to that exact time, when you know that you’re in a freeze response, try and get out and physically move, or try and get out and just change your scenery. I know for me, I will sometimes get in that place. When I’m like working a lot. I’m at my desk, just like not able to change my train of thought. So if you can get out and try and get physical activity, or if you can’t get physical activity, just changing your scenery. And then try and come down into the parasympathetic as Phil said, you know, just taking deep breaths, noticing, noticing the breath, noticing all the qualities of the breath, like how does your breath feel? Is it cold? Is it warm? Can you notice any sounds around you? Can you count the furniture in your room? Can you just bring yourself down into the into this space? Because that softening is going to really help the actual biological and physical response to where you’ll be able to kind of get down into that parasympathetic a little easier. So those would be my two biggest, my two biggest pieces of advice. I don’t know if Phil or Bill if you have anything to add.

 

Phil Startin  48:52

Yeah, no, I totally agree with you, Melanie. And yes, so I agree with the going outside, doing some movement as part of the practice again, particularly if you’re if you’re feeling perhaps really quite low, or you’re you’re stuck in that that freeze response. And mindful movement, exercise, doing some some  yoga, some mindful walking can be can be really, really powerful. And it’s just as good. It’s still it’s still a form of meditation, it’s still a practice. So you can you can really, really do that. But also agree with you that perhaps if you’re in the moment, and there’s something going on, and you just noticed that response, agree. Top marksman listing the response in the first place, which is, which is the first part that’s absolutely it’s awareness. This is really what we’re trying to develop with it with a mindfulness practice is that awareness. But even then, just as you say, coming back to the breath, and just being aware of the breath, even just for a couple of minutes. So cortisol, the stress hormone we’ve all heard about, there’s only got a half life about two and a half minutes in the body. So even if you can just breathe for a minute, a couple of minutes, actually the levels or the stress hormones and inflammatory chemicals in your body will go out just naturally, and you’ll be able to recover much more naturally from it. So So yeah, yeah, absolutely. And Bill I see your hand up too.

 

Bill Morgan  50:10

Yeah, what I’m listening to both of you, and I’m learning. And the question, I had this happen, I didn’t even know what it was. So when I first started, I was running into this block this this freeze, I’m gonna, like, go on, what how do I get past this? How do I go beyond, I had been hearing all of these good things. And I just, I don’t think I planned it on purpose. But I’m a heavy walker, I used to be a former marathon runner. But now I walk extensively, and I want to keep walking. All of a sudden, all the healthy input that had been trying to do and you know, you know, stuck with the OMS pillars. Well, my walks have become, oh my God, I’ve never heard that bird call before. And look at those leaves and look at how the sky is juxtaposed against the trees. I mean, it was just so everything was coming at me in these minut little phases that I’ve never seen before. So then when I came back to the breathing and the meditating, it became easier. And I can actually go to a place where I call it actually euphoric. I can drift through my bloodstream. I know, this sounds really weird to maybe a lot of you. But I can actually pinpoint my lesions in my brain. It it. I know, crazy. But I’m trying to heal them. So I’m literally thinking good things. And I’m able to just go to them and start this healing process. And it’s, I’ve gotten way past that block. And here I am one year in, never meditating before. So it can be done what they’re both saying. I’m, I’m kind of living proof, I guess. In a way, it’s I didn’t know what that freeze was. But now I do.

 

52:25

Bill you’re in safe hands here, you definitely don’t sound crazy. Well, we’re fully on board have everything that you say.

 

Phil Startin  52:33

Maybe a little bit crazy, but but not too crazy. But no, Bill, actually, and I agree with you. And sometimes people may talk about mindfulness meditation, you can actually it’s not just a practice about observing, you can actually use the practice to nurture certain feelings, and nurture a sense of, of healing, of well being of joy, can actually can be part of the practice, too, and can be very, very powerful. So it’s not just passively observing. So you can nurture these things. And if you can find the practice that where he works for you that can do that, then brilliant. No, absolutely.

 

53:11

We’ve got a wonderful, it’s not a question, there’s a comment from someone here. And it’s just something that I think we need to just bring out. So there’s no such thing as a bad meditation. Because you know, when you think you’re not doing it properly, the fact that you’ve noticed that your mind has wandered or maybe aren’t doing what you think you should be doing is actually you’re increasing that muscle in your brain. And that’s the whole point of it, you’re first of all, acknowledging it and bring yourself back. And I think that’s such a good point. There is no such thing as a bad meditation, the fact you’ve got the intention you sat down you can go is is is fantastic in itself. I think that’s such a good point. Some of the questions that we’ll get through here is any good apps that we can recommend if someone’s new to this, or maybe someone’s tried some apps in the past? Maybe they’re looking for to new experiences? Where can we point them?

 

Phil Startin  54:02

Well, we recommend the Overcoming MS website, of course, but there’s lots of guided recordings on that. I mean, and there really are lots and you can select by duration and type. So that’s actually a very good place and that there’s there’s loads on there would be would be my guess. Yes. A little a little bit keep it keeping in the in the family call. But yeah, plug there fell. There we go.

 

Yasmin Neves  54:31

Go on Bill.

 

Bill Morgan  54:32

I’m going to add to that, because the the OMS Hub, and all the groups share those types of things. You can always post those comments. And that’s where I picked up Insight Timer. That was another member who posted that, and I didn’t know about that app. It’s a fabulous app. And it’s got a just a giant catalog of all sorts of meditations and affirmations that you can use. So there is another one.

 

Yasmin Neves  55:03

I am doing my best to capture as many questions as possible. There are just so many coming in. So if we haven’t answered yours yet, I’m really really sorry. I do my best to kind of bring them all into one on one umbrella. There’s been quite a few questions about walking meditation, and, and whether it is as beneficial as though as though compared to sitting down and meditating. Anyone want to have a good answer on that one?

 

Phil Startin  55:32

Yeah, I think I’m the only one would speak right at the moment we have we did a group just really quickly and be really itching to see what the others feel as well. But to say absolutely, yes. So walking meditation practice, it’s still a meditation. And there are many different types of meditation practice that you would typically learn doing when you’re doing a mindfulness meditation sort, of course, or learning more about it. And walking meditation is it’s absolutely one at one of those mindful movement, sort of Hatha Yoga, gentle moving and stretching, would be another example. So no completely, um, it’s sometimes not the easiest thing to do. And it’s not the same as going for a 10 mile run, or anything like that. It really I think, is very much as Bill described, just bringing your awareness to the present moment. What’s coming in through your different sense organs, what you’re seeing what you’re, what you’re smelling, that how you’re moving. Just even the strike of the of the heel of your foot on the ground, and the movement of your body through the air. Just bringing real awareness to beat to that can be a very, very powerful meditation. So absolutely, yes.

 

Yasmin Neves  56:38

Who would like to answer this next question in 30 seconds? Is it okay if I sleep during meditation?

 

Melanie Lown  56:50

Yeah, so sleeping is not meditating. I don’t know how to say it any. Yeah. So lying down is a formal posture for meditation, you can have a lying down meditation. But I think it’s important that you become aware of your mind state. And if you’re sleepy, I wouldn’t recommend a lying down meditation, although I have I hosted a late night, sit weekly. And a lot of people do comment that they come because they want to sleep better. And I understand that, it is you I mean, you’re getting into different wavelengths in your brain. So I get that, but no, sleeping is not meditating. And I do think, you know, actually, in more formal training, you know, it’s recommended that you don’t meditate while you’re sleepy, because really, the practice is training the mind to concentrate. So there is this kind of soft alertness that’s recommended in meditation. So lying down, meditation is perfectly acceptable and a proper position to meditate in but, or a proper posture, I should say, but yeah, sleeping is, is different. And it’s a different state of relaxation.

 

58:31

I think you kind of set but both me and Phil will probably say,

 

Phil Startin  58:36

yeah, now I just wanna say, so doing a lying down meditation late at night, if you’ve had a cup of hot chocolate and you when you’re when it’s yes, you feeling quite sleepy? It’s probably not a good idea. No, no, but I couldn’t agree more with Melanie. Absolutely.

 

Bill Morgan  58:51

And I agree with both of them. I’ve tried both ends of the day, trying to meditate and I find morning to be my favorite time. I’m definitely wide awake. And I just love that sensation of the breathing and the meditating in the morning. And I’ll go back to the walking question. That just happened naturally, I used to walk and get stressed, because my mind was dwelling on all the things going on in my life. Now, my walk is just absolutely just awareness. Like Phil was saying, it’s, I’m seeing much more of the surroundings. And so I drift while I’m walking. So it’s like meditation in a way but never do I try meditating at night because I’ll just nod right off.

 

Yasmin Neves  59:48

Oh, there are still so many questions come over. I think we could continue the conversation for another hour or so but I’m very mindful of time. What I would love from all have us one at a time is if we can all give someone a practical tip, because it’s very good talking about this stuff, but sometimes implementing it is a whole other story. So I’ll go first just your time to think, what is one thing that you do as as a person when you are in the stress response? And how do you bring yourself out of it. So, for me, when I noticed that I’m in the stress response, and I’m very good at going into it, stress is a very addictive emotion, which my body quite likes, it will actively seek it out. When I noticed that I’m in the stress response, one thing that I do is I slow my breathing down ever so slightly slower than my normal rhythm. And I will connect to my heart. And that small practice in its own will just calm my nervous system down so slightly enough to bring myself out to the stress response. And you may have noticed, I’ve actually been doing it during this webinar. But this is the moment on my Oh, so many questions. And I don’t know how to when I need to stop people from walking and bring everyone in together, or take a moment or slow myself down and just connect to my heart. That’s a really simple tool that anyone can use, and no one really knows that you’re doing it. That’s my tip. Phil, I’m going to pick on you next, what’s your one tip when you’re in the stress response?

 

Phil Startin  1:01:16

Or when you’re in the stress response? Oh, yeah, it is. I agree with you that much as you can do other than just slow it down. And just taking it taking a moment. And even sometimes, and often with these stress responses will be in relation to somebody else, often. And it could be that say, a difficult situation. And I think there’s nothing wrong in saying, Sorry, would you mind just, if I just had 10 seconds, please. And turn away for 10 seconds, and brief and go back. And not only will you notice a change in yourself, I’d suspect you’ll notice a change in the other person as well. So sometimes just forcing that pause, commit can make a huge difference. So yeah, that’d be my suggestion

 

1:02:01

Beautiful Bill, Melanie, who would like to come next?

 

Melanie Lown  1:02:07

And happy to share, I have a few that I’ll just offer rather quickly. I think if you can, perhaps trying this in formal practice first might be helpful. If you can identify someone that you know is going to give you that oxytocin release, which is that connection to you know, either it’s often described as a mother figure, but it could be a partner or a loved one, anyone, if you can just imagine them giving you a hug. That’s that can actually release oxytocin, which is going to help bring down that sympathetic response. So just imagining that imagining that hug, it could even be an imaginary person that you’ve had some type of response to, but that you know, is going to give you that response. That’s number one. Number two, of course, I mentioned earlier, if you can change your scenery, get outside and do any type of physical activity that helps me almost every single time. Yeah, and then I think, again, just if you can return to that breath, sharpening your awareness over time over time, so you can understand exactly what it is that’s causing you to feel that way. Because sometimes we think it’s one thing and then as you peel the onion back, you realize it’s something completely different. that’s causing you to have that response. Yeah, and I’m not a big mantra person. But if you just have some words that can offer that same oxytocin response. For me, it was actually an MS nurse. That was one of the first people I got to interact with in clinic. And as I was leaving, she said, You’re gonna be okay. And sometimes I just say that to myself. You’re okay, you’re gonna be okay. And that saying that and knowing that will release oxytocin in my body will bring that back in the parasympathetic. So those are my offerings. I hope you find that helpful, even if those nuggets lead you to something else.

 

Yasmin Neves  1:04:19

Bill

 

Bill Morgan  1:04:23

Hey, Melanie does a dog count because that’s, that’s all it’s living here in the house with me right now and my dog and I are close. So he comes over for Smooches and hugs all the time. So I hopefully that works too. But I go to the breathing similar to what Yas and Dr. Phil said, I have a way that I like yes, it’s better though. I’m going to try that to go to the heart. Mine. I literally tried to pull that breath and picture it going up to the brain. Oxygen into the brain, right? So I’m taking deep, slow breaths. And I usually count to, you know, 10, maybe even 20 Sometimes, and I just take those deep breaths, and, wow, I just, everything goes away. It just de stresses me. So that’s, that’s, it would be my tip, or everybody, just some deep, slow breaths.

 

Yasmin Neves  1:05:24

The power, the breath is so powerful, isn’t it? There’s some amazing tips there. And like I said, a moment ago, I feel like we could potentially talk all evening, this is such a big topic, and we’ve just just scratched the surface. So hopefully, we can do more of these. But thank you so much, Phil, Melanie, Bill, thank you so much for your time this evening. It’s been wonderful talking to you wonderful to hearing your stories. Wonderful. Just listen to your tips and your wisdom and your expertise. And I’m really, I’m sure that from some of the questions that we’ve had, and some of the comments that we’ve had, you’ve given some really valuable insight and wisdom and, and hope to a lot of our community. And that’s what this is all about just spreading this hope and positivity to others who, who who may need it at different points in time. So thank you, honestly, so much for your time is really valued.

 

Phil Startin  1:06:16

Like, oh, thank you. Thank you, too. And thank you for hosting it so beautifully. And holding us also so gently as part as part of this special session today. And going through the questions now you did a great job. Thank you. Thank you. Yes, thank you.

 

Yasmin Neves  1:06:31

I wish we could get some more there’s been so many we haven’t been able to answer. And there are more coming in now. But I just need to finish just by thanking everyone who’s attended today. Thank you for taking the time out. And whatever time it is in the world for you. This is recorded. So if you do want to watch it again, the Zoom link will be coming out to you within the next week or so you can access it. There is a survey that’s going to pop up at the end of the webinar, please, please, please fill it in. If we don’t get your feedback, we can’t make improvements. We can’t change these webinar formats. And your feedback is really important to us. And finally, there is a short break in terms of these webinars that we’ve been running. And they’re going to be back in September. We’re not sure what they’re going to be yet but there’s definitely going to be more in September. So if you’ve enjoyed it, then please come along and sign up for the next ones. But thank you very much. And thank you again to all of our panelists and we will see you again soon.

 

Phil Startin  1:07:26

Thanks. Bye.

This webinar was recorded on 7th May 2024 as part of our Living Well with MS Webinar Series, where we bring together a panel of expert guests and community members who bring to life the Overcoming MS Handbook – Roadmap to Good Health.

Watch other webinars by Dr Phil Startin:

May 2023

February 2022