Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Natural Allergy Tips to Help You Survive this Season!


It’s allergy season and while others are enjoying the blooming flowers, fresh cut grass, flourishing tress…you are not! Here are some quick tips that I have found helpful that I have learned on my wellness journey from my doctors and nutritionist.
  1. Neti Pot—Some people think it’s disgusting to flush your nose out (nasal irrigation) and see water coming out of the other nostril but the benefits of a Neti Pot are priceless if used right. You can buy them at any drug store like CVS, Walgreem Rite Aid and even a Wal-Mart. Most come with saline packets and you must use distilled water or something of that nature. DO NOT use tap water. The benefits are great. It flushes out impurities, helps inflamed sinuses, clears out mucus and helps you breathe better.netipot300
  2. Air Filtration System—a lot suffer from dust mites, mold, recycled air through the vents at work, school or even an apartment building. Purchasing one of these helps clean the air of a certain space you’re in, a person can breathe better as they inhale and exhale the air that is coming out of one of these systems. Each one has instructions on how much square footage it can cover. They come as small as ones that plug into your car and large that can help filter the air on one level of a house. A lot of retailers sell them. Of course cleaning the space helps as well which you will see below.
  3. Cleaning Your Space—this is hard at places like work but you can request for the vents to be vacuumed at work, home or school. If you have a doctor’s note they must comply. Also dusting your counter tops, desks, shelves, kitchens, bathrooms, etc with organic cleaning supplies and also shampooing the rugs is very beneficial. Meyer’s, Green Works and Nature’s Promise are just a few good brands. Check out the Environmental Working Group for products that are useful and those that are hazardous. This way if you buy an air filtration system it’s really going to kick in because you have gotten a lot of impurities removed.GreenCleaningSupplies_02_rect540
  4. Supplement Usage—they are a variety of supplements and one should consult a nutritionist or their doctor to see which ones would help with seasonal allergies. I love Bromelain/Quercetin. Bromelain is also found in pineapples and it a natural anti-inflammatory. The same with Quercetin. Naturally the two help your system calm down and such things as eczema (which I use to suffer from) go away or the rashes calm down because your system is not as inflamed.
  5. Essential Oils—there are tons out there but I love Breathe by doTERRA, they are also other brands that carry Breathe. It has Eucalyptus, Peppermint oil and others in this blend that really open up your airways. You can add it topically or use a diffuser.
  6. Adopt a good diet—get rid of foods that inflame your system such as refined sugars, soda, juice like Hi-C, dairy, gluten, foods that aren’t organic, sweets and fried foods. Your body will thank you!organic_food
  7. Drink Lot’s of Water—water flushes out toxins, impurities and nasty gunk from your body. 64 ounces a day and if you are need of more you can intake more depending on your medical condition or if you are an athlete. You also want to drink spring, filtered, distilled or alkalized water. Make sure the bottles are BPA free.drinking-water
Using the above year round will help you a great deal. I’m not a doctor nor is this medical advice. The above has worked wonders for me but we are all uniquely built. Always consult your doctor, a health professional or nutritionist before starting any new regiment. Do your research as well. Hope you have a great season!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Subway Stories

Boom tap boom tap tap boom tap boom tap tap

Sounds of kids hitting the bottom of buckets with their drum sticks

Heads bobbing

Some are annoyed

By the art of motion on a subway platform

Guitar case opened to join

For the impromptu jam session

Waiting for the E train on 34th at Penn Station

Thankful for the sudden noise so I can listen

People throwing change, dollars and whatever other bills they could find

Watching these artists on their grind

Now we got the three drummers with a guitarist in unison

Creating instrumental fusion

Subway pulls up

Finally after waiting one whole hour

They all piled on and I followed

Sitting closely as they continued their show

Now we got a flutist that blended in her cosmic musicianship

My pen is steadily writing

Poetry flowing from my brain cells through my arms down to my hand to the pad

Brotha tapped me and said jump in

Feeling the energy of a late Saturday night

I swayed back and forth to music that was out of sight

Spitting those ill lyrics

Making people wonder

Where did this sudden voice come from

Peeps are feeling my vibrations and by the time we hit Times Square it was really sumthin

Break dancers now swung from poles

Some moved and some were glued to their seats

As we turned an ordinary subway ride into extraordinary

I saw my stop come and go

But I couldn’t stop my flow

As the amount of people on the train began grow

This isn’t strange

As it’s an average day

You see everything from b-boys dancing, music acts, magic and even the dude selling 2 DVD’s for $10

Subway stories

There are so many

From police chases, people cramping your style putting their extra bottom next to you to a sometimes musty smell or two

But their ain’t nuthin like public transportation blended with the arts to make your ride go faster

Finally we were at the end of the line and the dollars were many and I just shook it off and told the young kids

Keep it and go make some more

I stepped off one train and hopped back on another to ride home

Next day I waited for the A

And suddenly I heard the sounds of

Boom tap boom tap tap boom tap boom tap tap

Slightly turning my head I saw my drummers

Winked my eye and hopped on the train

As I joined in

Ready for another jam session

On the subway…
Written By: Serena Wills
All Rights Reserved
Fall 2009...waiting for a train...native New Yorker until the day I die!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Detoxification is Key to a Healthy Body: Part 1

I’ve always heard of juicing, working out, Bikram Yoga, eating healthy as ways to detox your body. All of those are good but there are other ways to help rid your body of toxins and to increase energy. These ways are becoming big on the health and wellness scene and for good reason. I was introduced to these methods as I’m recovering from Lyme Disease and a couple of coinfections which is a bacterial infection caused by a tic bite and other biting insects. I went to several doctors before I found the one that wanted to not only treat my symptoms but my entire body. I tell people before you make an appointment to do anything below to get medical clearance from your doctor or a health professional. A lot of times if you go to a medical spa they have a questionnaire to fill out to see if you would be able to receive these services. Also a lot of the medical spas and wellness centers offer great deals on www.groupon.com

Colon hydrotherapy:

People are naturally scared or shy away from this because of the nature of how you have to get the colon hydrotherapy or another word for it is colonics. The benefits however are amazing as it helps your body get rid of parasites, assists with leaky gut, constipation, rids your body of waste that has been sitting for weeks or even months. Other benefits include the healing of diarrhea, gas, bloating, hemorrhoids, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), colitis, skin conditions such as psoriasis, shingles, assists with the healing of certain chronic illnesses, eczema and inability to lose weight.

Colon hydrotherapy cleanses the colon, hydrates your body, reshapes the colon and exercises the colon muscles so it can perform better. A lot of people who fast for example will get a colonic during that period to help expel any waste. Also people who have chronic illnesses and are on a lot of medications will get one periodically to help get the dead bacteria out as it can cause toxins and bio films (which is the slime from dead bacteria).

Colon Hydrotherapy Bed

So you’re probably asking, “How does it work?”:

It’s quite simple.

·         You find a reputable health and wellness center or a doctor’s office that has a medical spa. A lot of integrative doctors now offer colon hydrotherapy. Also make sure there is a certified colon hydro therapist there and that the clinic or center is certified to even do colon hydro therapies.

·         Ask for the pre and post instructions as to what to eat and drink.

·         Go to the store and buy those grocery items if you don’t have them. If you are like me you might be worn out the first time you get one done.

·         Once you go to your appointment you will be lead to a private room. If it’s like the one at my doctors office in Washington, DC then it is dimly lit and quiet.

·         The equipment is shaped like a raised bed as you can see from the image above and the person will walk you through everything.

·         Once undressed from the bottom down you get on the reclined bed and place a sheet over you and slowly insert the piece (disposable speculum) that will expel water into your colon into your rectum. (Be cautious, it does not go all the way into your rectum). The colon hydro therapist will tell you how much to insert which is a little more than the tip of the speculum.

·         The colon hydro therapist will then enter the room when you are ready and turn the water on.

·         He/she will either leave and check on your periodically and also to add more water to the system or some stay with you and actually massage the area where your colon is (it’s up to your discretion). Some even offer Castor oil packs to place on your colon (helps with movement).

·         Most colon hydrotherapy sessions last for 30 minutes. It might seem long but the benefits are amazing. You will physically feel lighter after a session.

·         After your session you want to hydrate yourself with something like coconut water because it has electrolytes. Keep hydrating with it or something else that has natural sugar and electrolytes. Also as I stated before be gentle with your eating and drink decaffeinated herbal teas.

When you make your appointment they will tell you what to do pre and post getting a colonic such as drinking a lot water (but not two hours prior to appointment) you don’t want your bladder to be full and afterwards you want to hydrate your body again, not to eat processed foods (before or after), some don’t want you to eat raw foods afterwards like salads or nuts. Eating gentle foods like lentil soup, sweet potatoes or drink herbal teas afterwards for a few days. Your colon has just been cleaned out and you want to be kind to it after getting a colonic.

Next we have the Far Infrared Sauna:

A lot of people are buying these for their homes and they even have portable ones that are shaped like a bag on Amazon for as low as $200.00. It’s not like your average sauna. The difference between a sauna and a far infrared sauna is that an infrared sauna heats your body from the core (1.5-2 inches deep) and produces the body’s cellular detoxification. It makes you feel as if you have a fever and then after some time your body will sweat the toxins out. They come in a variety of models, one is pictured below where you can lay across the bench and some (which isn’t shown gives you just enough room to sit up). Some people can only do 20 minutes (which is good to start with and can go as long as 45 minutes).
Infrared Sauna

A lot of health and wellness centers have these, integrative doctors, chiropractic practices and now even some gyms have them. Again I would advise that you consult your doctor. Especially if you have neurological problems as your head is inside the wooden ones. If you get the portable one then your head sticks out also if you are claustrophobic then you might not want to use this for detoxification.

What are the other benefits of a Far Infrared Sauna?:

·         Relieves stress

·         Enhances immune system

·         Improves cardiovascular conditioning

·         Assist with weight management and lastly

·         Pain relief

I suffered from neuropathy in my right leg; it would go from weak to severe pain for weeks. A few sessions in the infrared sauna and aqua chi foot baths as well as other home remedies and my leg was back to normal.

Aqua Chi Foot Bath:

This is not your average foot bath when you just soak your feet in water so you feel good or to help take pain away. The benefits are far beyond that. The Aqua Chi Foot Bath combines water with a specialized electric charge. The negative ions created during your session are similar to ones found in hot springs or natural charged water sources. There is a piece of equipment (the module) that goes into the water first and after a few minutes you put your feet in. The equipment is what creates the negative ions (and don’t worry...you won’t get electrocuted). The module is attached to the power pack which is placed away from the water. Most set the timers between 20-30 minutes depending on if it is your first time. Some may give you more time if it is your first time and then less time as you return for more.
The key is the color the water turns. (Yes the water turns colors). Below describes what the different colors mean.

Color or Particle Material or Area of the Body Being Detoxified


Black Flecks--Heavy Metals

Brown--Liver, Tobacco, Cellular Debris

Dark Green--Gall Bladder


Red Flecks--Blood Clot Material

White Cheese-Like Particles Most Likely Yeast

White Foam Mucous from Lymph System

Yellow-Green Kidneys, Bladder, Urinary Tract, Female/Prostate Area

I was frightened at first because mine was a dark brown color with some white and black speckles. It means that I have a lot of cellular debris (between the herbs, supplements that caused the bacteria die off in my case) was coming out. I also dealt with Candida which were the white cheese like specks and the black are heavy metals or toxins. The more you go depending on your health, the water might change colors. Some people are on lifelong medications and may or may not see a huge difference in the water but they feel more energized afterwards. In my case I felt tired after my first couple of sessions and then by the third one I felt the energy throughout my whole body!
Some people choose to buy the aqua chi foot bath for their homes. Google and look for a good brand. Ask around to see what worked best for people or if you don’t want to buy one then you can always find a place that offers this service. Don’t worry about how many people have used the basin because with every session there is a liner placed inside and when you are done the liner is thrown away.
There are various massages that assist with the detoxification of your body. A massage will get the toxins to move around and eventually out of your body. The one that I needed the most was a Lymph Drain Massage to help with the assistance of my lymph system draining. Now some people have asked me what is your lymph system and how important is it?

It is very important to your body. The lymphatic system are vessels that move the fluid around your body and assist with keeping harmful things such as toxins away from your cells. You actually have more fluid in your body than blood so when a blockage appears it can cause a lot of problems. For example I could feel the head pressure, tremors in my jaw, stiff neck because the lymph nodes in my face and neck were not draining properly. I felt very heavy headed as if I had a bad head cold. Some people feel pain radiating through their body, stiffness, numbness, etc. Lymph drainage massage helps keep the lymph system happy and healthy. You don’t have to be sick in order to get this massage. Some people who are very healthy get this massage to keep their body performing at its best. You want to make sure the massage therapist knows how to do Lymph Drainage and some are even certified in this area.

Again before you do any of these things, do your research, figure out what is best for your health and if you have a medical condition then talk to your practitioner first or find a holistic/integrative doctor.

I hope I was able to shed some light on various ways you can stay healthy or if you are trying to get better holistically. Stay tuned for part 2 that discusses ways to detox at home. Here’s to a healthier new you!

Serena Wills is not a health practitioner and only sharing what worked for her, you should consult a medical practitioner/integrative doctor before trying these, especially if you have a medical condition.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Friday Inspiration

Today I started vestibular physical therapy. For those who don't know what that is or what  is vestibular then here is the simple definition, "The vestibular system, which contributes to balance in most mammals and to the sense of spatial orientation, is the sensory system that provides the leading contribution about movement and sense of balance." (Founded on Wikipedia).

When a person who has suffered from an illness or disorder depending on what the cause is a person can have an imbalance causing them to sway, feeling as if they are swaying, they can't stand still without feeling like they are going to fall, a big room feels like the size of the universe, causes anxiety, etc. That is me. Lyme Disease caused this system to be off balance in me so now I'm in PT to rectify it.

I'm writing about my first day because I was truly inspired. From the conversation about God in the waiting room with a woman who is regaining strength again to walk, to the disabled woman who hasn't walked but is determined that she will. She is also graduating in 6 weeks with her Master Degree despite her disabilities. There was a spirit and energy in the rehab room that I didn't expect. Everyone in there was working towards getting better, their attitudes were positive, there was laughter and smiles. I'm blessed to be able to go to this particular center and get PT.

Today I did exercises that were once easy for me...stuff I used to do with my eyes closed in African dance class that I now do slowly. My physical therapist is pushing me because she has faith in me and is confident that by the time my physical therapy is over I will be running again on the tread mill.

We are working on retraining my brain. I have faith and belief that I will fully recover from this disease. After having to walk backwards, walk forward (heel toe), walking side ways all with a bar in front of me I became more determined that in the next couple of months I will be doing all of these exercises without a bar in front of me.

The last thing I did today was ride on a stationary bike for 10 minutes. That might not sound like a lot to some...but when one has lost muscle mass like me and is in recovery it's a big deal. I almost cried as I rode the bike and could feel my legs come back to life!

I encourage anyone reading this that if there is an obstacle in the way...and it looks impossible. Don't give up! I no longer say, "I hope I'm going to get better." Instead I say, "Oh...I WILL get better, no doubt about it!"

Pray on it...center yourself...ask for what you want and you will receive it.

Blessings to all and stay tuned for more about my journey.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013


Drawing by Samax Amen
I decided to write a list of why I am so grateful. I look at life through a different lens between losing my mother in 2010, rocky relationships, having Lyme Disease and even through the best of times as I became a mother, have a closer relationship with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, finished writing books, being published in numerous anthologies and being loved by many. On this last day of 2013 I reflected on a lot of these areas and came up with this list. Maybe before the New Year rings in you too can write a list that consists of positivity so you can end the year on right note. Peace and blessings.

  • Having a closer relationship with God. I thought my relationship became closer after I lost my sister Ayana in 2007 and my Mom in 2010 but after the many trials I have faced I feel even closer to Him and more in line with all that He wants and needs me to do.

  • My son means the world to me and I thank God for him everyday. He has seen me through some great moments and some dark and dismal times. We went from running in the park, going to African dance class, open mics to being in an IV room twice a week. He was with me 95% of the time in regards to coming with me to various appointments and his smile is contagious. No matter how I felt...he would look over at me and his smile would shine like the sun. Children are walking angels and I could not imagine my life without him.

  • Surrounded by loving family and friends. Some went to many extremes to care for me and showed me that even in the darkest hour they would never leave me and I thank them for that always. I thank God for new friends that entered my life. He always plants people in your life when you need them and He will even remove folks who you don't need around. Their chapter in my book of life has ended and that is fine. Folks go down different paths and through prayer I have learned to accept it.

  • My medical team is dynamic and full of faith! It's one thing to have a good doctor...it's another to have great doctors that truly care about you. Ones that will email and call just to see if I am okay and have seen me in the deepst part of the woods and now helping me recover as I am exiting out of the wilderness. They are blessings and I love each of them.

  • Through these trying times I have had a job. Thankful for employment during this economy. I've been guilty of complaining but to have a job and great benefits is amazing during these times.

  • God does answer prayers...and He has and still is answering mine daily. I'm so grateful for His love and for my healing to take place and the restoration. It's only a matter of time before I am totally restored.

  • Call me Joseph from the bible. My dreams have been very vivid and to see some of them come to life or to see what is ahead for us in the future makes me excited. It's a gift...not everyone has the gift of sight through dreams or believes in it...well I do and God I say thank you. As my pastors said, "The best is yet to come."

  • My beautiful church home, Ebenezer AME in Ft. Washington, MD. There are not enough words to describe how much I love my church family. They are a praying church and every time I go, people are praying for us...make us feel welcome, have helped us financially, you name it...they were there. I can't wait to become a member of a couple of ministries so I can pay it forward and help others.

  • The Healing Well forum...that is a second family to me. We will all beat this horrid Lyme Disease. I'm grateful to have made friendships, met a few in person and we help each other out through advice, a shoulder to cry on, drive each other to appointments, doctor referrals and have done it all with love! I love the ones who are healed that come back to share their testimonies!!!! Y'all are awesome!

  • To my heavenly ancestors that have passed away and watch over us every minute of the day. I have a powerhouse ancestor team up there. My parents are always with us...next to us. They watch over my son when he is sleeping and when we are away from one another. All of my ancestors...I love you and as we say in the West African tradition, "Ase...Ase...Ase."
Everyone be blessed and have a great New Year! 2014 will be our year of recovery whether it is health, finances, love, jobs, whatever you lost...we will recover it ALL!

Monday, November 4, 2013

You Don't Know My Pain

You don't know my pain
Chronically ill for months
Feeling like I'm about to go insane
You don't know my pain
Crying out to God in the middle of the night
Asking Him to spare my life once again
Multiple issues clashing together
People not understanding brushing everything off
Family in denial because I'm always the health nut
Yet I feel so alone and in a rut
You don't know my pain
Suffering and in a financial strain
Waking up daily for months feeling drained
My circle of friends got smaller
Folks who I thought would be there bailed on a sister when I hollered
Neurological, physical to mental
This disease has wreaked harm on my body in an unfair way
I've cried out to God asking Him why am I going through
Relating to every word in the book of Job as he was tested too
Praying for a cure
A miracle
Not just for me but for many who are behind me
That will become sick with this devil disease called Lyme
People keep saying all in time
I will be healed
But when...
Whatever I need to do God please show the way
I'll do whatever you want but please have mercy on my soul and hear me as I pray
You don't know pain
I hope you will never know
As I became a victim to this disease
That hit me with a heavy blow
Live life while you have health
And don't be like me wondering...thinking...what if I had done this or that...
Remain prayerful despite your storms and never turn your back
On people like me
Because you never know if your number will be called
And if it is...trust me...you won't want to feel alone
You don't know my pain...

Written By: Serena T. Wills

June, 2013

Dedicated to Everyone Dealing and Healing from Lyme Disease and any Chronic Illness or Injury

Copyright 2013 (c) Serena Wills
All rights are reserved

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Parenting with An Illness

Taken weeks before the bite that lead to Lyme Disease last year.
Parenting is quite a task. You want your children to have the best in life. So what happens when the parent or both parents become very ill?

I was diagnosed with Lyme disease 10 months ago although my health started crashing a little over a year ago. My son had just turned 1. There were days when I didn't know how I was going to function yet take care of my son. Its one thing to be a parent but a whole other ballgame when you're a single parent.

There were moments when fear struck and I went to very dark places in my thoughts. Many days and nights I cried asking God to please heal me because I need to be there for my son. But every morning I was just trying to get out of bed in pain, fatigued, foggy, poor balance or whatever else struck me that day. But my son would look at me in his crib with those big brown eyes and he gave me the determination to get our day started. Even when he would cry out for me or when he was just simply giggling it gave me energy and hope.

When I reached out to other parents on the forum called The Healing Well I knew I was not alone. All of them like me had one thing on their mind and that was getting well for their children and spouses for those who are married. Whether they were/are bedridden, hospitalized or able to function but were still ill.

So what I did instead of thinking about a lot of dark thoughts was turn those into prayers and meditation. I won't lie there were challenging times when I wish my life was different and that I wasn't alone everyday with my son. But for some reason I believe that this illness is gonna make me so much stronger as a mother and a person. It's also preparing me for my future husband (whomever and where ever he is).

Dealing with an illness takes a lot of patience as well as raising a child. I've had to learn to grow my patience even more. Between waiting for my complete and total healing, numerous doctors appointments, maintaining my household and also raising my now two year old.

A few things I would like to tell other parents that are dealing with an illness is to try to remain positive, focus on other things besides your self such as your children, if you're married write down things you would like to do after you heal with your family and lastly don't be afraid to ask for help.
The last one was the toughest one for me. I was always so used to reaching out to my mother when I was in trouble but now that she is deceased I have to reach out to other family and even friends.

Also during this time I have become very close to quite a few single mothers who have tremendously stepped up and helped me out. We have created our own support group to lean on each other. They might not be physically ill but a few of them have some emotional stresses, financial challenges and we're there to really pray and support one another. There are also married couples who have embraced us and help us out, give advice, talk when needed and they are a glimmer of hope for me as well.

If you can reach out to other families like yourselves and whether its for help or you just want somebody to fellowship with it really does make a difference.

For those parents and loved ones who are not ill the one thing you can do for parents with illnesses is to reach out to them and ask them how can you be of service to them. Whether it is a phone call, a visit, even a letter goes really long way. I have a good friend in New York City who is like a sister to me and she got groceries sent to me because she knew I was low on cash and needed them. It meant so much to me to know how much people cared.

There is one parent on the forum I belong on who truly inspires me. Her kids are now grown but most of their childhood if not all of it she was very ill. She told parents on the forum that she was afraid that her kids would grow up to resent her. What she decided to do was home school her children. This effort took incredible strength and courage on her end. As they got older they told her how much they loved her and that they never resented her.

Also there is nothing like a kiss or a hug from your child or having them cuddle next to you when you're not feeling well. It's truly healing. My son plays a game with me. He will run into the bedroom and run under the covers and it's as if he is waiting for me to find him. Children are healing and beautiful angels sent from God and if you have a spouse please let them help you and also accept their love.

I will leave you with these few pointers that I found to be personally helpful:

  • Pray
  • Meditate
  • If you can move then do light workouts and have your family join you like yoga or stretches.
  • Do small activities with your kids like color, read a book to them OR they can read to you.
  • If you have older kids talk to them about their day and if they want to know how you are feeling tell them the truth. Teens want to know what's going on and are helpful.
  • If you can't attend school activities have someone record them or Skype.
  • Try to stay in a positive place mentally...you're allowed to go to dark places at time (we are human) but don't stay there.
  • Fellowship with other parents. Invite them over...they can be helpful.
  • Write in a journal (things you want to do with your family once you're well, dreams and goals for your family).
  • Try to do some of your favorite things that don't require a lot of energy (I know it's hard...trust me). I can't African dance yet but I can watch and get the energy.

I'm with you in this journey...love and light.

(This is part one of this article as I know some illnesses aren't temporary and are terminal, stay tuned for part two in the near future).