Linda Scheele is certified in cancer yoga, and today we get personal in our interview and we talk about her loss of her two kids, her diagnosis, and how she healed. And with decades of experience, you have to hear what the 76-year-old health revolutionist has to say about how to Heal Better Fast! Please welcome Linda Scheele.
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Dr. P: Welcome to the show today. Linda.
LS: Well thank you so much. Dr. Pound for having me. I really appreciate it and look forward to this.
Dr. P: You and I met in New York and we talked a little bit about what your journey was like but for my listeners want to share with them a little bit about to how you got to where you are now okay.
LS: Actually I’ll go back to I’ve owned four businesses. I had three children and raised them by myself. And that you know when I got to be around 50 I decided I was they were gone and I could leave and start another business. So I moved to Florida. Everybody my family had moved to Florida. So I started a food brokerage company and that was very successful. And then I went to another company I’ve owned four companies. And then I during this time I owned an organic wine distributorship which was a lot of fun during this time. Both of my children passed away. My two older ones passed away. My daughter Kristen was addicted to alcohol and she was Billy make for over 20 years. And despite that, she was a fabulous chef. She was one of the top chefs at Disney. And thank God I was with her when this happened. And the last thing she said to me as I love you mom and I said I love you, honey. But she had done so much damage to her body that you know it was time. And my son David who is going through a very deep depression and he had gone to try and get help and they gave him five medications. And unfortunately the depression really got to him and he overdosed. So that was about 14 and 16 years ago. Well, that dramatically changed my life. As you can imagine I started becoming more. Well, you know what’s really important is what it came down to you know what is it all about him. What’s really important. It’s not a new dress and it’s not a trip here. It’s about caring becoming wiser. You know trauma has a way of really making you either go one way or the other and you can go into a depression and stay there. But I’m so so fortunate that I was able to move through it and I started doing yoga about eight years ago I was 68 at the time and I started teaching yoga at 73 and I’m 76 now. So then I started teaching yoga. Well as soon as I got certified in yoga that experience changed my life. And also in another direction you know I don’t know about you Dr. Pound but sometimes throughout your life, your intuition is always there at least is for me and it would say Go right go right and I go now I’m gone left I’m going left. Well sooner or later that caught up to me and I decided to go right and I got involved in teaching in addiction centers because of my past with my children too I started teaching in addiction centers and I taught there for about two and a half years and I learned a tremendous amount. It was very very satisfying for me to be able to help and I call them kids but they weren’t. Some of them were up in their 50s to ease their pain a little bit. And this is what yoga does and this is what meditation does and it was very very fulfilling for me because I couldn’t really help my children at that point in their lives. And I could help other people and I have to tell you a story about a fellow in his let’s call him John and John came into my class and now we’re usually 30 or 40 of them that came into this beautiful area that they had for yoga and he would sit up front and nobody sits up front near the teacher they’re all in the back and he would sit up front and he was covered from head to toe with tattoos and he had this spiky hairdo and he never took off his sunglasses. So towards the end, I knew it was coming time for him to leave because it’s normally 30 or 60 days and at the end of every class I teach yoga teacher meditation in all of my classes.
Now in all of the speeches, I give I do yoga. Nedra I did the meditation and everybody got up and they rolled up their mass and they left except for John and I thought maybe he’d fall asleep because that would happen during the meditation to several people. When I walked over to him and I knelt down and I tapped him on the shoulder and very slowly he started to get up and he took off his sunglasses and I didn’t want him to see the shock in my face but where his eye was there was a big hole and he looked at me and he said Do you know the part of the meditation where you say imagine a wave passing down through your body that carries away your fears and he started crying and he said I felt the weight. I felt that wave go through my body and tears are streaming down his face. So I knelt down next to him and I said John there are so many things that happen in our lives that we don’t understand. But one thing I do know if you lead with your heart good things will happen to you. When he got up and left and I never saw him again but that type of thing has a profound effect on me. Someone asked me one time why do you do what you do. What motivates you. Well, what is not to be motivated. I had another kid. He was 18. Like 6 foot 5 always smiling. And one day we’re doing our postures and we bend over and all of a sudden I hear. I did it I did it and he comes running at me picks me up twirls me around and he said I did it I touched my toes. I’ve been in physical therapy for five years. I could never do this and you helped me touch my toes so really dumb. During a class I said to him so do you want to learn how to stand on your head. I don’t know why I said that. Yes. He says I do. And I said OK and then I’m thinking Oh dear God if he falls on top of me I’ll probably crushed. But anyway he came up he got up there. He was so excited when you can give anybody because I have my own thinking about addictions and what causes them and what children need at a younger age. You know they need self-esteem. They need to feel really good about themselves. They need to feel self-worth and that’s what I do. I make them feel good. And when they feel good you know it’s like anytime you give somebody a gift. And you know they’re very excited about it. It affects you and your brain as much as it affects them. And the more you give the more you get back it just happens. And not only that you get more caring you become wiser. You are so much more grateful for the things you have not the things you don’t have. So right now I am also a member of Toastmasters and for those of your viewers that don’t know what that is. It’s a public speaking company. And so I’m learning how to do really really good at being a good speaker. And that’s what I’m aiming for. I do several yoga classes a week and then I go and talk on health and wellness and aging all those things. So I wanted to circle back to a point that you made about the solution which lies in the youth. And the reason I want to bring that up is that I’ve also seen I think I’ve got four boys and they’re all different ages.
Dr. P: Oftentimes you know when I talk to other parents or patients parents most of the parents the reason they’re working hard or stressing them out as they’re trying to provide a better future for their kids. They’re trying to decrease the amount of stress that their kids are going to go through maybe it’s because they had a lot of stress. Maybe they want more for their kids than they had when they were young. And so it drives them to basically put themselves through the stress to try and help their kids avoid that stress. And I like what you said about self-worth. I think that’s important. But in our quest for trying to build their self-esteem do we shield them too much or do we provide them too much and maybe hinder them because they’re not going through the struggles that make us who we are? Just like you said the struggles you went through make you feel you are. So where’s that balance in allowing our children to be able to suffer as well as trying to protect them?
LS: Well, I think the basis for all of that Dr. Pound is love everything goes back to what it does. I think it is so so important that your children know all the time you have to discipline them. You can’t let them do whatever they want. And you know I learned through trial and error as most parents do. There’s no book out there that tells you what to do or how to do it. But you have to discipline them to give them structure giving them everything they need or want or every eyepatch or every thing that comes on. And today it’s expensive to give these kids what they want.
Dr. P: Yes it is. But you know I think education is extremely important. But you know you can have two or three children in one family and they all think differently. They all have different goals.
LS: And I think one of the things that I learned with my children was that I didn’t appreciate them for the goals they were going after. And I thought well I knew better. Well, that’s not right. You know I didn’t know better. And I looked back and I think maybe I should have done this. Not that it would ever have changed the outcome. It’s not about that. It’s not that I’m looking back saying Oh God I wish I’d done this instead of that. It’s not about that. It’s just that you learn as you grow. But I think if these kids today know that they’re loved in your new discipline and most of them really need that not only that I think they want it. They want structure in their life. But giving them every single thing that they want when they want it it’s not the answer. I mean I think a great education is great. But if they don’t go to Stanford or Harvard that’s OK. Maybe if you can’t afford to do that but then you send them to a local college. There are lots of grants and things out there for kids today to where I know I worked my way through college. You know my dad didn’t have any money. My sister did. My brother contributed to his. You know we were lucky that we could do that. But I think today’s kids are I think their brightest heck. Oh my God, these teenagers are so smart and I think they’re great kids. I really do. But I do think that possibly there are certain things that you could do a little bit different to give them a little more structure and you know to ask them to volunteer on Christmas dinner for someplace or do something give something back.
Dr. P: Right yeah. And I think that’s where that self-worth comes in as being able to think outside of oneself and be able to use it to do that. So I appreciate that. Let’s shift gears a little bit. You’re certified in fighting cancer yoga, correct?
Dr. P: So you talk about how that differs from maybe your standard yoga class and obviously that benefits people who are going through that. But when would you use it. Right, and what benefits does it have.
LS: Well the benefits. First of all the reason, I got into cancer yoga was because when I got certified I found out within a couple of months that my sister had just been diagnosed with breast cancer. And I thought wow that would be a good thing to do and I looked it up and there was and I live in Florida. There was a school up in Long Island. So I flew up there and it wasn’t a long thing it was you know five or six days to become certified in cancer because I already had my 200 hours for teaching and I was chair yoga and restorative. And I got certified and then I started working with South Florida radiation oncology which is a huge organization. I think it’s pretty much all over the country. I met a doctor there and I started teaching a lot of patients and it wasn’t just breast cancer. It was brain cancer and prostate cancer and little by little. There are so many benefits. First of all when you’re doing it some of the things are it clears out your toxins with the positions they call him us and as you know it stimulates not just your muscles but it increases your blood flow so that you’re getting more blood flow so it helps get rid of a lot of the toxins from the treatments. It certainly reduces your stress and anxiety in everybody you know today has it but when you’re diagnosed with cancer that’s like wow in your stress level is so high. So it teaches you how to go from your sympathetic nervous system which is your fight or flight down to your parasympathetic nervous system of course which is low anxiety less stress that in itself is worth tons. And I know we’re breeding and we’ll probably get into this a little bit later when you start breathing through your nose and I say correctly through your nose and out your nose if you did the yoga breathing you do it 10 times in an hour. It’s less than a minute. It reduces your stress by 40 percent. That’s absolutely huge. And there have been so many studies done by hospitals all over the country on cancer younger. You’ve got what you’ve got. Oh my God. Harvard M.D. Anderson there is a doctor at M.D. Anderson. His name is Dr. Leonard Lorenzo Cohen.I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of him or not but he’s head of the integrative medical program at M.D. Anderson. And he did a study a few years ago on breast cancer patients and it was a controlled study. There were 191 people in the class. And the first group did yoga. The second group did stretching and the third group didn’t really do anything in the decrease in their cortisol and their mental health was huge. So from there I think a lot of other institutions hospitals started picking it up and started teaching you know cancer yoga. I know I still run into down here when I’m teaching I’ll have some gals that I’ll meet that have cancer and they’ll say My doctor told me not to move I can’t move while I’m going through treatment which I’m sorry that’s that’s so now proven true you know. And they need to move. They need to relax. They need to meditate. Meditation brings them into another place. And it’s it’s kinder and they get a sense of self. They get their life back and it’s really phenomenal. Cancer yoga is a really really good thing. Now what’s a daily practice that you do that maybe you can guide us through that helps with healing that keeps you functioning that keeps you feeling young. Well I will share with something with you and I’m kind of in the middle of this about and I’m really in really good shape. I mean for you know my age et cetera and about four or five months ago I started getting weakness in my back and I have a I have degenerative disease but that doesn’t mean anything everybody’s soul has that right and I have some cancer and I had you like this. I had fallen through the ceiling and my roof about 15 years ago and broke the ball on my hip and half. So yeah I know how bad was that. Right. That was really dumb. And anyway all of these things so I’ve got some little osteopenia in my other hip because of that but I at that time I don’t go on any medications. I just do natural things like flax oil or tart cherry juice or all of these things that to me ourself healing. So to go back to the start of this I started getting this in August I went to my doctor for my checkup and he found uveitis in my eye. Are you familiar with uveitis?
Dr. P: Yes.
LS: I figured you would be it’s an inflammation in the cornea. I’m pretty sure of your eye and he said to me Do you have rheumatoid arthritis. And I went No. Would you have Lyme disease. No. And I said Why are you asking me this. Well he said sometimes it’s sort of a precursor to an autoimmune disease. And I said Oh OK. So I decided to go to my doctor and have all the blood work done. And I came up positive on the bloodwork OK for term. And first thing she said to me you’ll appreciate this is don’t go looking this up on the internet because you don’t need to know what’s top. OK but I did decide. I have a fellow who I call on my energy doctor. So a doctor of acupuncture and other things and he treats me with energy and I take supplements that he gets from standard processing. You’re probably familiar with that. They do supplements. They’ve been in business since 1928 and they’re basically food pills. They made all of these supplements out of food. And so I went to him and he said Yeah you’re coming up positive food. And I said OK. So he said Let me get you all these. This is the protocol for that. OK that’s fine. But what I also decided to do was to go on the diet that they suggest when you get an autoimmune disease. So I went down and I stopped having sugar which shouldn’t really have that much of that anyway. I know I’m gluten sensitive I didn’t pay much attention to it but now I do know gluten and no dairy. I do almond milk and I know this sounds a little stringent. But you know no alcohol so I owned a wine company but unfortunately no alcohol yes or no caffeine. Right. Right. Yeah. Really to fix it. And so I went really full force on this. Now it got my back had gotten so bad that I couldn’t really stand up when I got out of bed. I had to turn over in the bed and slide off of it and then sort of walk with my hands on my knees into the shower and I would go into a hot shower and then I would come out and I would lay down on my mat and I did this yoga exercise called the Five Tibetans. Now I’d been doing it every single day for the last I think I started last January. I had just learned about this. Most people in yoga don’t even know about this exercise but it’s it can be pretty strenuous. But if you work your way up to it it’s an incredible exercise because it works with the energy systems in your body. You do. There’s only five exercises you do each one 21 times and it only takes less than eight minutes so you can do it anyway. Right. It’s called a five to that. So I started I kept doing that. I was able to do that for some reason that heat from the shower helped me move a little bit and then I stood up because I have yoga classes to teach and I’m thinking oh god what am I going to do you know if I can’t stand up this is not good. So I once I started moving everything was fine. And I went on and I could teach my classes the pain went away. Next morning same thing and this went on for I would say at least three to four months. And when I went on this diet and this has only been the last three weeks. And on this protocol all of a sudden I can stand up in the morning and I still have some sensitivity no doubt. I do the UVA ideas has gone and that’s done three months. So I am now. I had not gone to a rheumatologist because I couldn’t find one. Originally they took my insurance so I made an appointment because I am very high in the Cleveland Clinic because of their functional medicine. And I decided I would get the best doctor I could find. And I went and got the head of the rheumatology department at Cleveland Clinic who of course was very busy so my appointment is not to the 19th of December but I had gone to my dermatologist and he and I told him about this and he checked me out. So then there’s not one sign that you may have something else going on in your body but I don’t think it’s that. So you know I think to me there are so many things we can do to help ourselves really. They don’t you know have you go into a lot of medications and I’m not saying that that don’t get me wrong medications or are needed. They definitely are. But I think there are other ways to approach different things that happen in your life. And I also do think there’s one company that I know of in the United States you might know this. It’s called Kunal and they do liquid to minerals you turn and I drink those and flax soil and territory juice every day. So I’m constantly feeding my body the good stuff you know my shakes got avocado in it and protein powder and blah blah blah. So that’s kind of what I do every day is that five Tibetans mainly because it doesn’t take much time.
Dr. P: The boy is a powerful I’m familiar with uveitis because I have a son with juvenile arthritis and so we kind of went through the same thing where we did the screening and found out that you know he had this thing that he’s dealing with and he’s been able to overcome it. Now a couple of things that you said. First of all I just have to say as I have this couple of patients that came in yesterday they’re well into their 70s and the woman is working on her neck and ask her you know do you have any history of a disc problem she says not they know that will have you ever had an exercise. No, I don’t want to look and it’s kind of the same idea with sounds like with you as right. Everyone’s kind of got this stuff going on but the less I know you know I just focus on being healthy and doing what I need to do to stay mobile. And that was kind of her liking. Now I just have to say I’m impressed in your 70s you’re on the roof of your house that you fell and then that you recovered.
LS: That’s impressive although you know I was hit I was in my attic I still on a ladder in my attic. That’s not impressive see you have because you’re young. You know we better even want to go into the attic. OK. Now see I I just don’t think there isn’t anything. I’m still standing on my head in yoga. I couldn’t stand on my head when I was a kid and I can stand on my head now. So I just kind of embrace these things don’t get me wrong I’ll never jump out of an airplane. There isn’t an airplane that I would ever want to jump out of but I love to do new things. I think that’s what keeps people young. You know challenges your brain in your body in your mind. I mean there are so many things people can do today and it starts with really being grateful for what you have.
Dr. P: It really does. And I appreciate that. Now if people want to learn more about you or you’ve also got a C.D. and a DVD if you want to get this information where would you direct them to?
LS: I Do I have chair yoga DVD. Actually, I teach five chair yoga classes and this is not just for people that are older Although believe me it’s great. I had two women 101 years old. Each of them and in a yoga class they were great to my chair yoga CB or downloaded is on my Web site which is www.myrestorativeyoga.com and I have two Web sites. The other one is www.aginginreverse.net and that’s my yoga and then my meditation is yoga Nedra and this is really really a fantastic meditation. It’s probably about 45 minutes long. And this can be found on Amazon. It can be found on Spotify. iTunes all of these places in the name of it is yoga and Nedra with when they share them. And my last name is spelled SCHEELE. So if anybody wants to get a nice meditation. Thank you and a chair yoga is chair of yoga within this year and that’s on my Web site.
Dr. P: And thank you for mentioning that. I’ll include links to your Web site as well and the posts in the show notes. And by the way, thank you all my listeners. Go check out a website because you will be stunned that she is in her 70s and she’s got a great quote on there. “People don’t grow old when they stop growing they become old” and so can really appreciate your youthful vibe and essentially the drive that you have to keep people young and functioning. That’s that’s terrific. Thank you.
LS: Thank you I appreciate your saying that. Thank you and thank you for taking the time out to be on our show and wish you the best. Thank you so much for that. I appreciate it. You have a great day.