What made you seek out Integrative Medicine?
I received a diagnosis of a chronic disease, multiple sclerosis, which I knew little about, and was told there was no cure. I was shocked, in denial and confused about how that could happen. I didn’t know anyone else with MS, I was scared of my symptoms getting worse. I was realizing my symptoms, some I had been feeling for years already, all of which I had perfectly logical explanations/excuses for, were in fact symptoms of this invisible illness, I had no clue was stirring inside. I was told things like “[you’ll] need a mobility aid in 10 years or less,” “starting intense treatment [with horrible side effects] immediately was the best and only option,” my scans [test results] all show my “disease activity is moderate to severe” and my relapses are “aggressive.”
All of these key words and phrases fed the fear, I was scared of things getting worse, I felt pressured. I didn’t want any of it. I was offered conventional drugs, but my body did not feel at peace with that option at the time. I would cry out at the mere thought of it. I wanted to better understand my system and find any other things I didn’t know about, I wanted to reverse as much as I could before accepting anything. I was beyond emotionally fragile.
I knew that stress was the spark that started off my symptoms so I dove into calmer, healthier lifestyle habits and started yoga. The Divine Universe was conspiring on my behalf when it guided my path to overlap with Dagmara at the perfect time, I was learning yoga at the same shala she practiced. She was growing her clinic at the same time I was searching for a practitioner, so I got her number. I had met with other integrative medicine practitioners, but none measured up to my experiences with Dagmara. We clicked, she felt my uncertainty and unstable emotions and immediately offered her graceful support. She was ready to have my back no matter what I decided with my neurologist, she understood and appreciated there being a balance between conventional and integrative medicine. I was so unsure about what to do, she was able to settle my nerves and reconnect me with my power to choose how I want to steer my health. It was a relief to know that she was willing to look into the unknown, find answers I was looking for and to be a team player no matter what I decide or who I already had on my team. She was willing to dig in to find the root causes of my “dis-ease” (a gentler term she prefers to use) to see where my body needed more support.
How has Zuza’s Way helped you along your healing journey?
Zuza’s Way has been a complete game changer in my healing journey! Working with Dagmara gave me my confidence back and helped direct daily choices to create a healing lifestyle. I began with just knowing about my MS diagnosis, symptoms and pain but not knowing how to make anything better. She got right into it and through thorough blood work, we discovered multiple nutrient deficiencies, gene mutations, viruses, and bacteria.
For the first time I felt like there was actually a way to determine what was happening with my body and try out solutions to feel better. During the discovery phase we also focused on my lifestyle as a whole, every aspect of my day, sleep habits, self talk etc. Dagmara gave me her time, advice, book recommendations and more which helped me realize each thought I tell myself has an impact on my reality. That having hope and believing that we can heal ourselves is a foundational pillar in our healing journey, of which we need to remain patient and positive, as there is no quick fix.
I have adopted her suggestions and been so much happier and better off in my improved day to day life! She provided a lot of supplements needed to help balance my overall health, then we retest to stay current with where my levels are at and we adjust as needed. For the bigger identified needs, she explained her treatment suggestions for me and let me make the choice to act on the protocols when I felt ready. If there was a treatment that I was not comfortable with, she provided an alternative starting point or protocol.
I needed time to find acceptance, to strengthen my will, to save financially for the investments. They completely understood, waited patiently and embraced me with smiles and hope when I felt ready. For the uncovered chronic lyme, bartonella and other co-infections, I started on the recommended protocol of chinese herbs along with ozone therapy and I am approaching the finish line. I am confident when we retest for those unique bacteria, they will be gone. The variety of supplements, vitamin injections and myers cocktail IVs have helped my body function better than before and show improved numbers in my blood work. I still experience my MS symptoms, and I had a relapse that brought me to make peace with the decision to start conventional medicine (in conjunction with my integrative treatments). However, Dagmara was there for me through that difficult decision, without judgement, and was ready to get me started with the IVs to help better support my body as I go through it. I am no longer scared, I am empowered. I also received my first ever stable MRI this year, a visual validation that everything I am doing is working.
Now I hear the neurologist say things like: “ You’re beating the odds” “Your scans don’t match the able person I see in front of me” and “Keep doing what you are doing”! Whenever symptoms flare or new side effects, like hair loss come up, I go back to Dagmara and she gets my body what it needs to now be back into a growth/healing pattern. This goes for more than just hair, when something feels off and in need, Dagamara is there to help me find it and get it back on track. After finding acceptance for the variety of things discovered so far, I have recently done more testing to see what else is lingering, potentially affecting my ongoing symptoms. I am ready to leave no stone left unturned, to discover all that I need to heal from and Zuza’s Way is the best team to help me identify and teach me how to respond to the results with an achievable healing plan.
I say I have a Jackpot status, not only because the majority of my tests coming back revealing something else, but because I have the Zuza’s Way team. A team of women who are truly there to educate, work with me, go at my own pace, and want to see me thrive! They help their patients feel better physically, mentally and emotionally and they do a fantastic job of it all. I am grateful to have found them, the all stars on my team!
What therapies at Zuza’s Way have been most beneficial?
They have provided such a well rounded approach of support for my health. The Radiant Heart program with Dagmara was eye and heart opening, it came at the perfect time for my fragile emotions in a phase of denial. It helped me see more clearly, find balance and recenter my soul; that is truly where my healing journey began. She is the one who told me about the meditation apps I use and influenced me to start meditating, which makes a substantial difference. Having a daily practice of conscious intentions and a grateful mindset is crucial when living with a chronic illness.
Dagmara’s perspective, morals and advice are in the right place. It is up to us to implement all of the toxic-free, healthy choices and let them become our new habits forming our desired lifestyle. With every new healing lifestyle choice I make, I take time to absorb it, practice it and let it become a part of my routine. Once it feels natural and is a part of the groove, space is created for something new. I continued my clean living, yoga and meditation. I improved my insomnia by improving sleep hygiene, taking melatonin along with another medication called LDN to help my autoimmune symptoms and I have been sleeping much better ever since. LDN (low dose naltrexone) made a noticeable difference in my fatigue and cognitive function too, after the adjustment period.
I’ve had bilateral knee pain for my entire adult life. I had a previous surgery on one and tried a variety of injections through my orthopedic Drs/surgeons for both, but they didn’t help. I was told I would need a donor transplant surgery since the amount of patella damage was too large for common surgeries and I am too young for plastic replacements. Dagmara had me try prolozone injections and I was pleasantly surprised to find they helped cut the burning edge off the pain like nothing else I had tried.
Dagmara helped me heal my leaky gut with supplements and food sensitivity eliminations. I honed in on maximizing my nutrition when I met with Maria Viall, the wonderful nutritionist Dagmara recommended to me. I started drinking a glass of lemon water in the mornings, adjusted to anti-inflammatory diet and began intermittent fasting.
I invested in an infrared sauna, which Dagmara taught me about, for detoxing. Myers cocktail IVs gives a much needed vitamin, mineral and nutrient boost and helped my hair start growing back. The 10 pass ozone therapy brings a much appreciated energy and mental clarity swing. In addition, it is working at the molecular level to kill the lyme, co-infections and viruses identified from previous bloodwork. All of the supplements, herbs, injections, nutrient IVs and ozone therapy etc Zuza’s Way makes available for me, to help replenish and/or cleanse my blood and overall body, is making a positive and noticeable improvement in my life. It all works together!
What has been the hardest part of your journey?
The unpredictable nature of chronic illness is difficult. Everyday is different, one day I feel great and the next can sit me right down. When relapses or flares hit, I have no clue how long it will last. Having an invisible illness brings challenges, committing to a healing lifestyle will have obstacles, healing is not linear and healing can feel lonely at times. Finding acceptance was hard, but I have finally gotten to the point where I can honestly thank illness for coming into my life. It has made me healthier, wiser, an advocate, a grateful focused healing lifestyle guru and a more understanding and patient human. I get daily reminders from my body to value self care, slow down and be present. There are consistent internal reminders to give myself grace when my body is spazzing out. I am patiently patching the pieces together until one day the seams will be smooth and I will discover I have become the Healer of my dreams. And then a new challenge is sure to arrive, this is life, we have to navigate through it. Dagmara is my compass as I travel the journey, manifesting through my thoughts and actions. I try to focus on finding the little mile markers to celebrate along this long healing journey.
What do you wish to share with others that are on a similar journey?
Find a mantra and affirmations that speak to you and repeat them to yourself often. Get out into nature and tap into your intuition! Allow illness to make you more inspired, passionate, motivated and hopeful than ever before. So much has inspired and helped me along my journey…find what motivates and resonates with you. Here is a rambling of things I wrote in different journals, which I like to reread now and then: Stay positive, even when it feels like your life is falling apart. Be patient, everything comes to you in the right moment. You are the placebo effect, allow yourself to believe you are the placebo and choose tomorrow, with intention. Clear your mind, your heart is trying to tell you something. Dare to conjure up dreams! Thoughts become things, so direct them to support your goals. The way you are describing your life is the way it’s manifesting. Retrain your brain. Believe you can heal and keep practicing through conscious action until healing becomes beyond a possibility and into the probability. If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.
“Change is inevitable, but transformation is by conscious choice.” – Heather Ash Amara
“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all the darkness.” – Desmond Tutu
“Adopt the pace of nature, her secret is patience.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson