Interview with Janette Hillis-Jaffe

Why is your approach to healing so different from and more effective than other approaches?
My formal education gave me some nifty skills and knowledge. But, most of what I needed to know to heal, I learned when I was sick; during the thousands of hours I spent talking with health care providers, researching alternative and conventional treatments, interpreting lab results, talking with others navigating the health care maze, and managing the complex emotional and logistical puzzle of creating a healing lifestyle, all while raising small children.

It is the treating and support of the whole person that makes this approach so unique. Nurturing the emotional side, providing additional resources to support the physical health quest and delivering tools to manage the patient's whole life that continues around them is what excels at.
Can you elaborate further on why this topic is so personal to you?
In the fall of 2002, I got sick when I was pregnant with my second son and was pretty much completely debilitated for the next six years. I never got a clear diagnosis. Depending on who I asked, it was either Chronic Lyme Disease, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, or an undiagnoseable autoimmune disorder. All I knew was that I went from being a very high energy, athletic person to someone who often had a hard time making a fist or sitting upright for too long. My body ached all over. Muscle aches, weakness and crippling exhaustion turned the simplest daily activities into Herculean feats of will. It was terrifying.
What was your journey to health?
Here is a partial list of the health care providers I saw over those six years in my never-ending search for a diagnosis and cure. Many are in the plural because I saw two or three of them:

Physicians specializing in Chronic Lyme Disease
Physicians specializing in Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia
Infectious Disease Specialists
Aryuvedic health counselor
Craniosacral Healers
Massage Therapists
Medical Intuitive

And here is a partial list of treatments I tried:
Anti-candida diet​
Body ecology diet​
Aryuvedic diet​
Low dose steroids/hormones
Asthma medication​
A gazillion supplements
Many different herbs
Homeopathic remedies
Magnesium/Vitamin C and other vitamins – weekly IV drip ​
Cognitive behavioral therapy
High-dose long-term antibiotics

How I Healed:
In January of 2008, the two doctors whom I most trusted recommended that I take a potent cocktail of an antibiotic, an anti-parasite drug and an anti-malarial drug, possibly for months and likely with many side effects, as my best treatment option. I filled the prescription and put the medicine on my shelf, prepared to start the meds, when finally, I decided that I had had enough. I decided to let go of any excuses and make complete health on my terms the highest priority and organizing principle in my life.

I resolved not to try another herb, supplement, drug, diet, or alternative or conventional treatment unless I could speak to two people who had used that method to fully heal, and were still well and active two years later. I also decided that I was willing to make whatever changes in my life were required to get completely well and get my life back.

In two months, I found several people who had healed from Chronic Fatigue and Chronic Lyme Disease using a plant-based, living foods (mainly raw) diet. Along with that diet and a commitment to regular exercise, I adopted a fierce confidence in my ability to heal and took on a number of detoxifying, healing self-care practices. After years of trying everything under the sun, I thank God every day for the miracle of finally returning to full health! I am also forever grateful to my family, friends, and the staff at Hippocrates Health Institute for the support they gave me to heal.
What is the hardest thing you have ever done?
Finding and committing to my healing path was by far the hardest thing I have ever done. Using what I learned to make it easier for others to heal is a passion as well as a real pleasure for me!
What are some other tidbits of info we should know about you?
* I spent most of my career as an activist; advocating for access to health care and food support for low-income families, or for peace and security in the Middle East.
* I played leadership roles in major public health projects in Tokyo; Northern Pakistan; Jerusalem; and Boston, Massachusetts.
* I completed the Relaxation Response Resiliency Program at the Benson-Henry Mind Body Institute in Boston, affiliated with Harvard Medical School.
* The Life Change Program at the Hippocrates Health Institute in West Palm Beach, Florida really did change my life.
* I completed the Stress Reduction and Qi Gong training at the Marino Center for Progressive Health in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
* I was trained in emergency counseling and worked as a phone counselor for the Mi-Lev Crisis Hotline in Jerusalem, Israel.
* I am married and raising two fabulous sons in Sharon, Massachusetts and in Jerusalem, Israel!
Published 2014-06-10.
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