Welcome to Living Well with MS. This is the second episode with Professor George Jelinek in our short series '10 minutes with George', which marks the 10th anniversary of the charity Overcoming MS.
Some people see the Overcoming MS Program, which Professor Jelinek created, as needing an 'all or nothing’ approach. George explains how and why some people make exceptions to following the program. You can also watch this episode here
Keep reading for the key episode takeaways and Professor Jelinek’s bio.
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You can listen to part one here.
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 a commitment to the right lifestyle changes, there is a 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:
What you do most of the time matters more than an occasional slip-up
(4:50) “Your health in 20 or 30 years’ time will reflect the whole range of things you've done and your daily activities over all that time. And that's true, in general, in any illness. The occasional slip up in that context is essentially mostly irrelevant.”
Look inward if you're struggling to stay on track with the Program
(7:10) “If there's an inner struggle going on around [sticking to the program], then trying to get some help and understand what that struggle is about is useful... Is it related to not valuing oneself, not valuing one's health? [Or] because of perhaps the way we've been brought up? There are all sorts of different reasons why not placing yourself and your own health as important in your life would manifest in not doing everything that you can to try and stay well.”
The support of a partner is crucial
(9:51) “When partners came to the retreats, we would often find that their highly sceptical attitude at the beginning of the retreat was replaced with a total commitment by the end. Not only to support their partner but to do everything they could for their own health, because they would come to realise how important it is to stay well for themselves.”
- Join Circles Online, OMS’s virtual support groups
- Sticking with the OMS program
- Tips and information for following the Overcoming MS diet
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