It’s December 21, 2018, and in a few days we will be celebrating the greatest gift of love that has ever been given -- God’s Son, the King, born in a manger amongst barnyard animals, as well as angels, to an undeserving world. While one of the purposes of this advertorial is to let you know there are a number of last minute gifts that are unusual as well as health-building available at the new Herbs & More location, its deeper intent is to celebrate what can happen when a mom and dad with an autistic son are on a mission to do all they can, so that he can be all he can.
Josh Moudy is 25, and until last spring when this story began, rarely had conversations of any length while looking you in the eye, and spent every waking minute playing video games. He engaged in numerous repetitive behaviors, had little interest in maintaining engaging friendships, and dealing with it all was a challenge for Josh, as well as his family. That began to change through the introduction of three services which are available at Herbs & More: use of the Bio-Electro-Magnetic-Energy-Regulation mat, the Whole Body Vibration (WBV) machine, and the infrared sauna. Mind you, it is necessary at this point to insert the usual disclaimers as to guaranteed outcomes, but what cannot be argued against is that a young man, for whom everything under the sun had been done when it comes to standard medical care and modalities, is measurably improved on a number of fronts. The only thing that is different is that his parents exposed him to the three above-mentioned types of technologies which wonderfully converged to make a radical improvement in his physical health as well as his social well-being and functioning.
We are going to talk about the three services, and finish with Josh’s triumphs, which in this season of miracles can only be considered to be miraculous.The Bio-Electro-Magnetic-Energy-Regulation Mat
Don’t be put off by something that perhaps sounds “out there.” The technology was developed in Germany in 1998, is used throughout Europe by numbers of doctors of various specialties, as well as by the Swiss Olympic team. NASA is currently working on putting energy-field capabilities in the next generation of space suits for astronauts. The body is wonderfully designed to emit and receive low-level electro-magnetic energy (as does the earth) and humans need exposure to the right kind of that energy in order to help cells with circulation, absorption of nutrients, regeneration, and waste disposal. The mat helps with the production of adenosine triphosphate, or ATP. ATP is a highly complex compound that provides energy for everything from muscle contraction to chemical synthesis. We mess up our levels of ATP through our diets, lifestyles, and overexposure to electronic devices.
The Bio-Electro-Magnetic-Energy-Regulation mat is used once or twice a day for only 8 minutes. You lay on it, and I can say from experience that I have become so quickly relaxed that I fell asleep for a re-invigorating mini-power nap. That was the first thing Josh tried, and he did a treatment once a day for eight minutes each time. The result that first caught his mom’s attention was how much calmer Josh was. He was also sleeping better. One time when they were caught in traffic, Josh was getting agitated and started complaining, getting angrier as they went on. Josh stopped, looked at his Mom, and said, “Listen to me and all this negativity. I need to be more positive.” Gwen told me that this was BIG because he had recognized and controlled the anxiety. Incidentally, this magnetic-energy field technology is cleared for use by the FDA, and one of the things it is also used for is grief. People who have lost loved ones or have experienced trauma report feeling less “trashed” after a series of treatments.Whole Body Vibration Machines (WBV)
The WBV machines were developed for the purpose of restoring lost bone and muscle mass for cosmonauts and astronauts after long stints in space. They are also approved for use by the FDA. As is the case with the energy-field technology, the WBV devices first gained extensive exposure, refinement, and acceptance in Europe and then made their way here. Herbs & More has two machines, and I use them often. I always make sure I have a session after I finish a 5K race because the difference in post-race stiffness and soreness is huge. I also find that if I hop on the WBV for about 10 minutes in the late afternoon, I experience an energy boost.
Josh, in the years that he spent in front of a video game screen, got virtually no exercise of any kind. The use of the WBV machines was the second step in his transformation. One of the surprising benefits was that he found he was much less interested in playing video games by the hour, and began on his own to get more exercise naturally. Kaitlon, an Herbs & More employee who began working at the shop earlier this year, is a strong young woman who does discus, shot put, and javelin. She has made a significant step in building her health by giving up drinking sodas. She loves the WBV machine, and told me that her clothes are looser.Infrared Sauna
This was the last service Josh added to his routine, and it is one I have used for a long time in my own battle with Lyme’s disease. When Gwen Williams, co-owner of Herbs & More, told me that Josh was using the sauna, I was surprised. Sitting still, as well as getting hot and sweating, is not something that someone struggling with autism is going to readily do. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Several studies have looked at using infrared saunas in the treatment of chronic health problems, such as high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, dementia and Alzheimer's disease, headache, type 2 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis, and found some evidence of benefit.” Understandably cautious, the Mayo Clinic also said that more and larger population studies on infrared saunas need to be conducted, and that there have been no adverse effects reported.
So, what kinds of things has Josh started to do after having been given new ways to build his health? He got in the pool and spent time for three hours with people who had come over to see his family, rather than scoot away to his video games. He successfully planned his own birthday party, figured out the guest list as well as the decorations, and the only thing that he requested was that they not sing Happy Birthday. (Often people who battle autism are super sensitive to elevated levels of sound.) He has also helped film a video ad for the store, recorded a radio intro for the new Herbs & More show, and greets people when they come in the store. Recently, he went into the kitchen at the shop and made popcorn, something which 9 months ago would have been unthinkable. Their words were: “Josh never wanted to leave the house; he loved his safe space. Now, he has become very social, he goes to Herbs & More every day. Everyone there is open to Josh. Many days he actually wants to go somewhere else after his time on the magnetic field pad, Vibe machine and infrared sauna. Prior to these activities he wanted to stay home.”
Josh’s parents want other parents that have children with autism to know what a positive experience this could be for their child.”We don’t want our children to only reach a certain level, we want them to soar like eagles,” they said. As parents that have been willing to move mountains and search the world for anything to help Josh progress, they didn’t know that one of the answers would be found right here in Athens.
Gwen told me that Josh’s parents call the changes in him “miraculous,” and as she told me their story, her misty eyes said it all. Consider giving the gift of health to someone you love this Christmas. Your story will be different, but you will have one to tell! Merry Christmas from everyone at Herbs & More!
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner