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Arteriosclerosis

Arteriosclerosis is the buildup of fatty deposits called plaque on the inside walls of arteries. ... called "hardening of the arteries". A chronic disease in which thickening, hardening, and loss of elasticity of the arterial walls result in impaired blood circulation. It develops with aging, and in hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, and other conditions.

On October 30, 1986 at 27 years old I was admitted to Oregon Health Sciences University Hospital in Portland, Oregon for surgery. As I was walking into the hospital I was using a cane, limping severely. I could barely walk. The surgeons told me that they were going to perform popliteal bypass surgery--not only on my right leg, but also on my left.

  Because of the progression of the disease there was the possibility that they would have to amputate my right foot. They performed surgery on both legs without amputation. In December I was re-admitted into the hospital due to superficial thrombophlebitis – blood clots. I stayed in bed for the next six days and was released a week later. Six months later I was once again hospitalized. The doctors performed another angiography and I was diagnosed with stenosis of the proximal popliteal graft site.

Essentially the popliteal artery in my left leg was becoming re-blocked. The surgeons recommended another bypass graft surgery.

I was told that if I did not have the surgery there was a high likelihood that I would lose the leg within six months. I don’t know what it was. I declined the surgery and left the hospital ‘against medical advice’.

Several months later I visited with doctors at the Pritikin Longevity Center in Santa Monica, California. When I arrived I was unable to walk without some type of assistance. They essentially told me to get up and walk.

And that I needed to walk through the pain. They said that this would help to build new blood vessels in my legs. Within just two weeks of walking, I was able to go nearly two miles.

I continued this regiment for several more years. I felt better and I was still in a great deal of pain. In 1991 I started yoga. Initially I went to a general hatha yoga class. This did seem to help. As I continued my yoga practice I began to feel better. But at the same time I was still living with daily pain in my legs.

Eventually I began doing Bikram’s Yoga on a regular basis in 1997. Within a month I noticed that there seemed to be a reduction in the level of pain. In spring of 1998 I committed to a three month teacher training program with Bikram. My main purpose was to heal my body – not to be a teacher. Within several weeks of intensive daily practice the pain virtually disappeared. As much as I wanted to, Bikram would not let me give up.

I did become a teacher and now own a Bikram Yoga studio.

As a side note, in 1971 I was in a water skiing accident. I had 60% of my liver removed, my gull bladder, six cracked ribs and a collapsed lung. I was not expected to live. The original reason I stopped practicing other forms of yoga was a diagnosis of superspinitis tendonitis with arthritis/bursitis in my left shoulder. This was the first thing to go away when I began practicing Bikram Yoga.

Today, December 2002 I continue to live pain free with both legs intact and a smiling happy face. This yoga has given me a better life!!! Michael Harris

michaelb@spiritone.com

 
In March of 2002 my heart beat increased to 200 beats per minute. The electrical current in my heart malfunctioned due to the scar tissue from my 1985 heart attack. My good health from practicing Bikram yoga kept me alive.
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This testimonial is the story of my personal recovery from debilitating pain from herniated discs through the practice of Bikram Yoga. This yoga gave me back my life.
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