There’s a story out there, one that involves people being diagnosed, as they say, with this thing called ALS. “You have ALS,” they are told, a so called incurable disease with no known cause. The only thing is there’s a big problem with this story. There’s no such thing as ALS.
“Hey, but wait.” you might say. “People are getting weaker, and what about the genes that people say cause ALS to run in families? Surely there must be something going on.”
Yup, something is going on. People are getting weaker and genes are doing things. The thing is that ALS is not doing it. ALS cannot do anything. There is no ALS attacking people or striking randomly. There is nothing called ALS that one can find using a microscope. People do not “have” ALS. ALS does not really exist.
Here’s what’s really going on.
People have nerve health problems and those nerve health problems look similar. The people’s nervous systems are deteriorating in a cascading fashion, often rather quickly. So someone came up with a name for those nerve problems that look similar, the name ALS. So that’s all ALS is, a name.
So this ALS, this name, is not causing anything. Rather, people’s nerves are deteriorating for many reasons and each story is a little different.
Some people’s nerves go partly because they never give themselves a break, instead choosing to keep going and going, using caffeine and whatever else to keep up the pace until their systems break down. Lou Gehrig’s case is a good example of this. Others have been exposed to substances or have been eating things that somehow figure into the destruction of their nerves. Maybe that’s why there seems to be a link between smoking and neurodegeneration. Certain types of ideas and mental patterns tend to figure in, people repress emotional stuff to the point where their systems no longer function and relationship issues and other forms of stress tend to be involved as well. Generally, there is some combination of things going on.
So there is not really a fast paced form or slower paced form of ALS. There is no ALS for there to be a form of. The reason some people’s nerves degenerate faster than do others’ is that the factors in and patterns of their lives are making their nerves degenerate faster.
Genes, proteins, mitochondria or other little biological things are not causing ALS. Sure biology is involved whenever something happens to a person’s body. That does not mean that these things are causing it. All that’s going on is that biological things are happening because of the stress and other factors and patterns which truly underlie the neurodegeneration.
While people may be struggling or feel that they are fighting various forces to stay well, they are not exactly fighting ALS. There is not really any such entity to fight. Similarly, while people may be surviving through all kinds of problems, there are not exactly ALS survivors. There is not exactly ALS to survive.
What is really going on is that people so called diagnosed with so called ALS just have nerve health problems that are created by the way they and those around them have been living, and that’s good news.
It’s very good news, because what people can create, they can change, and so people directly or interpersonally experiencing so called ALS can change things for the better. By changing what they do, how they think, what they eat, how they handle emotional issues and in general by changing how they live, they can change things so that they heal.