Each day, Bay Area entrepreneur Beth Greer ate well, exercised and meditated. She was also co-owner and president of The Learning Annex, an adult alternative education company with locations in six cities.
Then at 49, intense pain showed up in one shoulder and her upper back. It grew so severe that it began impacting her daily life and sleep.
For help, she turned to her chiropractor, but treatments only intensified the pain.
Next, her doctor recommended an MRI for a suspected herniated disk.
As she laid in the MRI chamber, the technician indicated the scan showed a mass.
“I completely flipped out,” she says. “It was a Friday afternoon and doctors couldn’t read the MRI until Monday, but it looked like it was probably breast cancer. I thought, ‘This can’t be happening to me. I’m such a healthy person and there’s no cancer or tumors in my family.”
A Benign, But Life-Threatening Schwannoma Tumor
The following week, doctors sent Beth for a mammogram. They found the mass was not in her breast, but rather in the wall of her chest.
Doctors identified the tennis-ball-size mass as a schwannoma, a tumor of the nerve sheath. Despite the pain, Beth felt healthy.
“All my vital signs were great,” she says. “I was like this healthy sick person.”
A biopsy brought both good and bad news. The tumor wasn’t cancerous, but as a nerve root tumor, surgically removing it could leave Beth with permanent numbness and pain.
For help, she sought opinions from three surgeons. One wanted to operate under her collar bone, the second under her armpit and the third from behind. The latter would require removing ribs.
Unsure which route to take, Beth meditated and prayed for an answer.
“The word that came to me was ‘simplify,’” she says. “That’s when I decided to take charge of my own health. I knew I had some time. While it wasn’t cancerous, it could turn cancerous.”
For now, she would hold off on surgery.
The Pain Eases… with Detox
At the time, Beth’s life was far from simple. She led a growing company and was in the midst of the joy and chaos of parenting a five-year-old daughter. She often ate out and didn’t sleep enough.
Not long after her diagnosis, Beth coincidentally already had plans to attend a week-long detox retreat with a friend.
At the Optimal Health Institute near San Diego, the detox protocol included green-juicing, colonics, meditation, gentle exercise and rest. Within three days, Beth’s pain began unexpectedly easing.
“As the pain decreased, I knew I was on the right track,” she says. “It was transformational for me to realize the impact the food we eat has on our bodies.”
With the week completed, Beth returned home convinced in the power of food to nurture her body and went 100 percent raw and vegan. She invested in a dehydrator, food processor and juicer.
“I was very vigilant and 100 percent committed,” she says. “I didn’t want to have surgery and I wanted to live. I thought I was going to die.”
Cleaning House: No More Toxins
On a mission to simplify everything in her life, next Beth examined every label on the products going on her body and used in her home. She researched natural personal care products, and soon replaced her deodorant, makeup, shampoo, lotions, toothpaste and more with non-toxic alternatives.
She then tossed all cleaning products that were toxic to humans or animals. Instead, she swapped them for white vinegar and hydrogen peroxide, which she says kills 99.9 percent of all bacteria.
She also eliminated anything with artificial fragrance, including candles, as fragrances can contain neurotoxins.
For additional detox, Beth did colonics and sweated daily in a far infrared sauna. To move lymph fluid, she jumped on a rebounder trampoline, tried dry brushing and used a light beam generator.
“A naturopath I saw was convinced that stagnant lymph had allowed the mass to develop,” she says.
Leading her education company, she’d had the chance to meet spiritual leaders such as Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer and Ram Dass, whose wisdom she now tapped into for her own healing.
“I believed the body could be self-healing and I trusted in that,” she says. “I also really got in touch with my inner voice and guidance.”
One Year Later: Tumor Free
Through nearly a year, Beth continued to detox and the pain steadily eased until it was gone. She returned two more times that year to the Optimal Health Institute.
A year after her diagnosis, new scans showed the tumor had completely disappeared.
“They said, ‘Oh, you had spontaneous remission.’ But for me, it was really hard work. It was intense.”
After that year, Beth transitioned from raw to cooked foods. She now eats a 99 percent organic diet that includes pasture-raised meats.
After her health turnaround, Beth decided to sell her business and become a consumer advocate, dedicated to educating others about living a non-toxic lifestyle.
She started the site, Super Natural Mom, and published a bestselling book through Rodale, Super Natural Home: Improve Your Health, Home and Planet…One Room at a Time.
She also consults one-on-one with those looking to eliminate toxins in what goes in, on and around their bodies. And currently, she’s producing documentary films on the health impact of glyphosate and 5G internet in the relentless pursuit of educating the public about potential harms.
“I thought I was leading a healthy lifestyle,” she says. “I think a lot of people have that misconception. We have to look at what goes in us, on us and surrounds us.”
Beth’s Tips for a Non-Toxic Lifestyle
1. Eat organic – Choose foods not treated with pesticides or herbicides. Also avoid food additives such as MSG, trans fats (partially hydrogenated oils), and artificial sweeteners and artificial colors.
2. Clean up personal care products – Examine your personal care products, including shampoo, conditioner, soaps, toothpaste, deodorant, sunscreen, makeup, skin cream, lotions, perfume and more. Look for products formulated without phthalates, parabens, 1,4-Dioxane, Diethanolamine (DEA), and derivatives such as cocamide DEA/Lauramide DEA, and MEA.
Beth says, the Organic Consumer Association (OCA) urges consumers to search ingredient lists for words ending in the letters “eth” like “myreth,” “oleth,” “laureth,” “ceteareth.” Also, watch out for “PEG,” “polyethylene,” “polyethylene glycol,” “polyoxyethylene,” or “oxynol.”
She also adds: “One of the most important things to avoid is the word ‘fragrance’ on the label. It’s a manufacturer’s catchword that can mean there’s up to 100 synthetic chemicals in the product. Fragrances can contain neurotoxins and are among the top five allergens in the world.”
“What you put ON your body goes directly into your bloodstream, and many of the chemicals in these types of products have been linked to cancer, hormone imbalances and skin irritation,” Beth says.
3. Swap out toxic cleaning products – Replace conventional cleaners with white vinegar, baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. Stay away from chlorine bleach, strong solvents, ammonia, antibacterial products made with triclosan, and fragranced laundry detergents, air fresheners and dryer sheets.
Also avoid volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in rugs, paints and carpeting; and non-organic mattresses and bedding.
Beth also recommends replacing nonstick Teflon cookware with cast-iron, stainless steel, enamel or glass pots and pans.
4. Drink clean water – Beth recommends investing in a good water filter instead of drinking tap water or bottled water. The bottled water industry is largely unregulated, she says, and bottles can contain contaminants. Look for a filter that removes all contaminants, not just chlorine.
5. Disconnect at night – When possible, turn off the Wi-Fi router at night and switch your phone to airplane mode to avoid the electromagnetic fields from those devices.
For more information on avoiding the impact of these fields, check out Beth’s ebook, Simple Ways to Protect Yourself from EMFs and 5G Cellular Wireless.
What works for one person may not work for another. Consult your health practitioner for professional health advice before trying any new approaches.
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