Welcome to Living Well with MS. We are pleased to welcome Professor George Jelinek as part of a short series, '10 minutes with George’. These special episodes with the creator of the Overcoming MS Program mark the 10th anniversary of our charity, Overcoming MS.
In this first episode, George explains how to get started with the Overcoming MS program. You can also watch the episode here.
Keep reading for the key episode takeaways and Professor Jelinek’s bio.
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Professor George Jelinek developed the Overcoming MS Program and founded the Neuroepidemiology Unit at the University of Melbourne's School of Population and Global Health which continues to research its benefits.
When George was diagnosed with MS in 1999, he was determined to do something. His mother had died as a consequence of her MS, which spurred him on to sort through the medical literature on MS. His career as a Professor in Emergency Medicine and his background as Editor-in-Chief of a major medical journal gave him the tools to do this.
It became clear to George that remaining well after a diagnosis of MS is more than just a possibility. He found that with commitment to the right lifestyle changes, there is the real probability that many people with MS can live long, healthy lives, relatively free of the usual problems associated with the illness. These lifestyle recommendations are now referred to as the Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis (OMS) Program, which he detailed in his book Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis.
George has remained free of further relapses, as have many people who follow the OMS Program.
Selected Key Takeaways:
The Overcoming MS Program is evidence-based
(04:03) “The OMS book is obviously a must-read. And that gives you the credibility and the science behind the whole program. This isn't something that has just occurred to me in the middle of the night or anything like that. It's taken quite a bit of work and a fair bit of time, and the right sort of background to understand the science to really put it together.”
Overcoming MS is about choice
(09:24) “The whole basis of OMS isn't to tell people what to do. We've never, never sought to give rigid guidelines for people or anything like that. This is all about providing choices for people, choices [so] that they're able to look at the range of what's on offer and choose what's most appropriate for them. For some people, that's all of the program for some people, there will be parts that don't feel appropriate for them.”
Meditation can benefit all aspects of life
(11:55) “Quite apart from the health benefits, there are enormous benefits to one's whole life in terms of the insight aspect that comes with meditation practice, [and] the improvement in one's inner landscape and emotional life that that comes along with that. You develop and learn the skill of tolerating difficult thoughts and situations.”
- Books: Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis and The Overcoming MS Handbook
- The Overcoming MS program
- Try a guided meditation
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