EPISODE 221: “The Psychology of Doing The Impossible”
Have you ever wondered how truly powerful your mind is?
We all hear different stories about the “Power of the Mind” but have you experienced that in your own life?
Personally, I used my “mind” to heal from a stroke and heart failure, all of which happened in a single year, 2020. And, as I was healing I was searching Youtube for inspirational videos and stories.
I had never even taken so much as a prescription until my ordeals and I was wondering and searching for, “How do I heal myself beyond what modern medicine says I can do?
I came across a video by a man named Bob Cafaro and it was titled, “The Psychology Of Beating An Incurable Disease.” The title sucked me in immediately and the video did not disappoint. As a far of matter, it was the single most impactful video that I watched.
Bob healed himself from an incurable disease, Multiple Sclerosis. You read that right. He headed himself 100% using the power of his mind.
I’m ecstatic because I’m visiting with Bob in this episode and he shares the specific activities that healed him. Before I talked to him, I was blown away because as we were talking, he shared how he “did the impossible,” literally.
So, how does the interview apply to you and help you live a better life? Easy, if you’re in any way physically ill listening to this podcast episode can do one of the most important things you ever do and if you’ve never been in such circumstances, Bob demonstrates the power of doing the impossible.
The only place where things are impossible is in your mind.
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You’re listening to the Transform your Life from the Inside Out podcast. This episode is titled the Psychology of Doing the Impossible. Now, I’m not sure how long you have listened or been around. But if you’ve been around for any amount of time, you know, that I had a stroke. And heart failure in 2020, about six months apart. And what I started doing because I had never been sick prior to that. I started scouring YouTube, looking for videos of people that had healed themselves of things that were really quite challenging. And I ran across a video, a Ted talk by a guy named Bob Cafaro.
No question about it. The most profound and impactful video for me. That I had ever watched. Bob had, and Bob was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. And he literally was going blind in both of his eyes. He was immobile, he couldn’t walk. He had all these lesions in his brain. And quite literally, the doctors wanted to give him a prescription for lifetime disability. And Bob said, absolutely not. He’s a celloist. And he said, I’m going back to work in six weeks. And the doctor said, well, how are you going to do that? Well, I want to share Bob story with you because Bob is my guest. In this episode. And he’s going to tell you how he healed himself from an incurable disease in under six months. I mean, his disease was devastating, and he healed himself. Now, how does this apply to you? One of two ways. If you are in any way, physically ill or, you know, someone physically ill, this will be one of the most important podcasts you’ve ever listened to. Because Bob tells you his secret to healing, literally. A disastrous disease. And if you’ve never needed healing. And the reason you want to listen is because this man did what science, what medicine, what the world deemed to be impossible. And this man did it. And if he, did it, you can do it. I really enjoyed this episode and I think you’re going to enjoy it also.
Hi, I’m Jim Fortin, and you’re about to start Transforming your Life from the Inside Out with this podcast. I’m widely considered the leader in Subconscious Transformation. And I’ve coached super achievers all around the world for over 25 years. Here, you’re going to find no rah-rah motivation, and no hype. Because this podcast is a combination of Brain Science, Transformational Psychology, and Ancient Wisdom, all rolled into one to take your life to levels, you’ve never thought possible. If you’re wanting a lot more in life, to feel better, to heal, to have peace of mind, to feel powerful and alive, and to bring more abundance and prosperity into your life. And this podcast is for you. Because you’re going to start learning how to master your mind and evolve your consciousness. And when you do that, anything you want, then becomes possible for you. I’m glad you’re here.
Jim Fortin: Okay. So, let’s just dig it here and we’ll start. So, I ran across you on YouTube. And I watched your Ted Talk, which just blew me away. And what pulled me in was whoever titled that video, it said basically I think curing an uncurable illness. And I was I’m like, because I’m always interested in the power of the mind and energy and we’re all energetic beings, as you know, and, you know, you’ve alluded to in different things, and he pulled me in, and I watched them. I just want to synopsize here really quickly. Then we can dig in. You are a professional celloist, you play at the orchestra in Philadelphia, right? Yeah. And what you started experiencing is, and I read your book and I’ve watched the video, obviously, as you started having numbness in your body, and then you had the loss of vision. And basically, a little later doctors told you, you have MS. Multiple Sclerosis. And I laughed when you said you basically, and then the doctor wanted the right you a prescription for disability, and you basically were thinking he could take the prescription and stuff it, because you didn’t want it. Exactly.
Bob: Those were my words, but a little more substandard, then I told him he could use this note as a suppository.
Jim Fortin: Yeah, you mentioned that. And you know, it’s interesting is when I had heart failure, um, in 2020, uh, one of the neurologists gave me this really bad prognosis. Another one gave me a decent prognosis. And the one who gave me the bad prognosis, I pretty much said what you said. I don’t really care what you’re saying. I don’t want to hear it. That’s not true for me. And today it’s not true for me. So, you, you had this long path of healing, but you told the doctor I’m going to be playing cello again in, was it six weeks, right?
Bob: Six weeks. Right. So, give it a little chronological, a synopsis of what took place. December of 1998, I had just turned 40 years old, and I started getting that numbness in my right leg. And I actually started limping at one point, became a concern, doctors, surmised, just a pinched nerve, nothing to worry about. Uh, let’s kind of healed up on its own and then February of 1999. So, we’re just all short time later, I started losing peripheral vision in my left eye, which is Optic Neuritis. And, you know, areas of peripheral vision are actually disappearing from view. Uh, it took a week to get. An appointment with the neurologist. I never seen one in my life. No reason to. And I saw a neurosurgeon was able to get an appointment with, and he, I could tell right away, because I’d been doing my own research on, you know, with the back then with the, the Mayo Health Clinic, things like that. So, he sends me to a neurologist who was an Epilepsy Specialist. He does an MRI, the brain comes up clean, but he tells me, you have MS. Which to me was something of a death sentence. Cause all I knew was the British cellist Jacqueline Du Pré, right when he passed away at the age of 22 but stopped playing at the age of 26. And as a Professional Cellist to be told that I had, MS was really a death sentence psychologically. So, I was on this mission to prove I was misdiagnosed. I saw, I got two months later I saw Fred Lublin who is head of MS at Mount Sinai in New York. And he confirmed it was MS. Cause three lesions in the spinal cord showed up.
Jim Fortin: Just to people know what is MS?
Bob: MS. Multiple sclerosis is it’s a very mysterious disease still. And it’s basically what they theorized most of all is that it’s the central nervous system, the immune system attacking the body, namely the myelin sheath of the central nervous system. And there’s so much unknown about it still to this day. You know, it’s different than a cancer where you do a blood test and say, here it is. And we know this drug will kill the cancer cells. It’s not like that with MS. You know, the complexities of the, the human central nervous system and namely the optic nerve, which has a million layers. It’s just, it’s beyond comprehension, how complex the system is, and it’s based on, you know, intricate electrical signals and it doesn’t take much to throw it off.
Jim Fortin: Let’s go here, for a moment. Yeah, no let’s go here for a moment. Is what was your initial reaction when the doctors told you, you have MS. What was your nanosecond? What hit you? Where did you go with that? Emotionally and mentally?
Bob: Oh, I was devastated, you know, because that was my only knowledge was the British Cellist Jacqueline du Pré. And I just couldn’t believe I was being told this. And you know, at that point I just decided that, you know, that saying denial is a river in Egypt that I was misdiagnosed. This Neurologist was an Epilepsy Specialist. Therefore, he’s obviously mistaken, doesn’t know anything. And, when I got the definitive diagnosis from Fred Lublin, two months later, it was, you know, I, I. We’re still on this mission to prove I was misdiagnosed.
Jim Fortin: Where you did you view it as a death sentence when they told you you had MS?
Bob: That’s the way I saw it.
Jim Fortin: I’m out of here or according to them, I’m outta here. They’re telling me that I’m going to be dead in a decade or so.
Bob: Yeah. And that, you know, everything my life that I could no longer play the Cello that I would, you know, I would be in a wheelchair that, you know, this. That was just about it now.
Jim Fortin: When I read that, and I won’t want to read the book and I watched your videos. Like I can’t even comprehend. I mean, with what I’ve been through, I can’t comprehend what you must have experienced when they told you that, because I got a good laugh. Here’s where I stopped this. Before we, we started talking is I got a good laugh out of the Ted Talk video at the beginning. There’s a disclaimer. And it says something like these views are not medically endorsed or something like that. And I’m curious about your thought process because my thought process is whatever the mass in science says go beyond that because they don’t know. And they’re the ones I have students that are doctors that will tell you it can be the medical diagnosis with doctors who don’t know a whole lot about the mental aspect of the human body and human spirit that keep people sick. What’s your thought about that because you got a lot of prognosis and diagnosis?
Bob: Right? Well, I, I think that, uh, you know, the medical profession, it’s, uh, I mean, if you want, I hate to be a,
Jim Fortin: Say whatever you want,
Bob: But you know, if you look at the medical industry, you know, there’s so much profit to be made in anything from, you know, drug companies, device makers, you know, we, we have salaries, we have, uh, you know, doctors, nurses, hospitals make a lot of money, they cry poor, but then they keep buying up all these other hospitals and urgent care facilities. Right. And if you think that, you know, the biggest beneficiary from the medical industry is the government in terms of taxation, therefore they don’t want to see lower healthcare costs. You know, and that’s why, you know, they’re really, they’re afraid they’re adverse to anyone that thinks outside the box. And if you think that doctors are trained in a very narrow path, so to speak that, you know, this is your diagnosis, this is the drug or the surgical procedure to correct that illness.
Jim Fortin: I just had Bruce Lipton on the podcast. You know, who Bruce Lipton is. You would like him a lot. He’s a, a PhD taught a medical school, and he bucks the entire traditional medical system. He said, I say it, what you just said. The medical system is a for-profit system. Yeah. And I tell people, if you got trauma, you’re in a car accident, you get your butt to the hospital. If you’ve got long-term diagnosis of MS or a Stroke or the different things, the best healing is what I think you’ve done. We’ll talk about is inside. It’s the food and it’s what we put in our minds. That’s what you’ve experienced. Correct?
Bob: Yeah, absolutely. So, let’s get back to the chronological thing where I was so February of 99, optic neuritis in the left eye. And then a week later I was able to see our neurologist. He, and then the, uh, this was the neuro ophthalmologist at Wills Eye Hospital. I saw him, they put me on intravenous steroids for the first time, which is a thousand milligrams of methyl prednisone alone, dripped into your veins for three days. A thousand per day, which is the equivalent of 62 and a half prednisone tablets. So, the massive dose, and then you go with six weeks of tapering, starting with a hundred milligrams, go down to 20 or 10, whatever. So, um, basically the stabilize things I optic neuritis to my left died, the permanent nerve damage never recovered. So, I still have slight peripheral vision loss. You get used to it and I was doing fine. And here I was that summer. And I’m on this mission to prove I was misdiagnosed doing these, you know, 30-mile bike rides in the intense heat, July of 99. I start losing peripheral vision in my right eye, which was scary left. I never recovered hustled back home. I was upstate New York hustled back home to South Jersey. I get on intravenous steroids for the second time. The three days stabilizes things for about a week, and then things go off the edge of the cliff. I start vomiting and I didn’t know why, but it wouldn’t go away. That stomach bug that always clears up in a day. This one didn’t and it was going on for almost a week. I wind up hospitalized for severe dehydration. After three days they put me on an anti-motion sickness medication that stops the sickness. I get out of the hospital. I can’t move my hands. I can’t write, I can’t hold a phone. I can’t feel anything. I’d have almost no vision out of my eyes. I can see silhouettes of people and that’s it. I’m incontinent. I can’t hold my urine. I can hardly walk. I’m very shaky on my feet and my body feels like it’s getting electrical current. It’s, you know, it’s like I’m being zapped with electrical current. That’s the way the whole central nervous system was up in smoke.
Jim Fortin: Let’s keep going there, but with the Crow chronology, but let’s back up here. One interjection. Where were you mentally when this was going on, physically, what was going on inside your head?
Bob: It’s hard to explain because everything was gone. I mean, you know, I got out of the hospital, I tried playing the cello. It was just hopeless completely. I was like trying to explain to a three-year-old how to play. And they had no concept of what you were talking about. I knew what to do, but I had no control over my muscles, and everything was gone. And I remember thinking that my life was over, and I did think about suicide at that point. I didn’t want to; I didn’t want to live like this. I didn’t want to have my kids pushing me around in a wheelchair.
Jim Fortin: Okay. So, let’s, let’s go back to the chronology. So, then you had all this happen and that’s when the hands and everything else went. So, let’s keep going from there.
Bob: Right? So, I had been on this mission. I was a neurology hopping. I, so I, I, you know, with the orchestra or big doc sets me up an appointment with someone, I wasn’t able to get ahold of Fred Lublin. While I’m in the hospital. I didn’t know. He was transferring from Honamin and Philly to taking the position of Mount Sinai. Three days, I couldn’t get ahold of him. So, he sets me up with a neurologist that university of Pennsylvania, very esteemed neurologist, Clyde Markowitz. He, I go to see him. I’m I’m in a wheelchair at this point. I can hardly walk and I’m so sick. And he does an MRI in my brain and spinal cord. And I had over 50 lesions in my brain. And my spinal cord had at least one that was three and a half centimeters. I have these, I just put a few up on the website, but I actually did a whole video slideshow on YouTube. If you a Cafaro MRI, 1999, Cafaro MRI 2003, and you can see what the difference in those 14 years. So, he puts me on intravenous steroids for 10 days, and that was just wild. You know, that was like a completely radical dose. And that was when I went back to see Robert Sergott, the Neuro Ophthalmologist at Wills Eye Hospital. And he gives me a basic vision test. I can’t see the largest letters on the chart. Can’t even see the, then he gives me a visual field test where, you know, you look at a central point and every time a light flash in the periphery you click. And I sat there. Each eye is frozen. I couldn’t see a thing stopped at the test. And that’s when he said, I’ll write you a note for permanent disability. And that was, that was worse than the diagnosis of MS to be told that would be on permanent disability. You know that I would be basically in someone who no longer contributes to society, I would be a bottom feeder of society. That was, these were the thoughts going through my mind.
Jim Fortin: I’ve been there. I understand in my own way, you said something in your book. That was very powerful for me. And I think a lot of people will find power in this. You talk about the army, a full training manual, and you say something in there that I think is profound is that with the position you took, which is what, see, most people are gonna fight MS. Or they’re gonna fight this group, or they’re going to fight the cancer. And that’s why we always see t-shirts winning the fight against cancer and all this stuff. And you said, do not fight the illness. It’s a fight for survival. And after I had the heart failure, I was worse than what I told people. And my whole mindset was I’ve got to survive. I’ve got things to do on this planet. It wasn’t about fighting the heart failure, healing the heart. It was about surviving. Was that a big thing for you and shifting your mindset?
Bob: Right. So, I mean, I had basically, basically when I was given that diagnosis, you know, I had been on, oh, so backing up in April of 99 and I started on the drug Avonex, which was one of the ABC drugs at the time, it was Avonex Betaseron and Copaxone. Those were the big drugs. And the Avonex was a big intramuscular injection once a week of interferon and that drug, you don’t make me brutally sick one day a week. Just an intense case to the flu. And here I was doing this drug and just continuing on this downhill slope. And at that point, I just decided I’m not going to do this. I’m not going to go out on permanent disability. I’m going to find my own answers that, you know, doctors in medicine haven’t found and, you know, I just decided to use everything available to me, every experience of my life, that I would find answers to this disease. So, uh, one of them was, I had read that book alive, but at the end, these plane crash, right? There’s a great video. If people want to look at it, it’s just goo get on YouTube and do alive. I am alive Andes and it’s it’s, it’s about an hour and a half, but it’s, it’s really an awakening about Nanda Perato in 1972, when the plane crashed at 11,500 feet above the tree line, he was thrown from row nine into the bulkhead. His skull was fractured in four places. He was given up for dead. They couldn’t detect a pulse on him, and they put them in the cold with the bodies of people who perished in the crash. And that’s probably what saved his life, putting a nice pack on his head, but he awakens three days later from this coma and 72 days after the crash, he shows up in the foothills and he had gone 37 and a half miles through this mountain range. He had never seen snow. He had no survival training. He had no equipment, no boots, ice ax ropes. He had no food. His only food was the, you know, the gruesome prospect of people who had perished in the crash. But what he said was that he refused to die. He became a survival machine and that was the way I saw this MS was not a fight against an illness. This was a fight for my survival, and I was not going to lose this fight.
Jim Fortin: You want to chat it a few minutes ago before we started formally chatting. And you said cello playing cello is the reason I’m on the planet. And you even your body changes your, your, your body language changes that must light you up. Was that one of the things that, that kept you kept you fighting for survival is I’ve got to do what I have to do on the planet.
Bob: I was going to get it back at any cost. You know, it was something that was taken away from me, unrightfully, and I was going to get it back. And I started from ground zero, as far as doing, you know, basic, basic finger exercises, the way you would teach it complete beginner on the instrument. And I started, you know, I was on this mission. Like I would stay up every night until three and four in the morning practicing to get my hands back in shape. And, uh, you know, I started taking auditions for principal cello, even though I was in established cellist in the Philadelphia orchestra. We’re fast forwarding. Yeah, it’s just a two-year timeframe out from the time I was given the prognosis of permanent disability, but it was a, you know, it was very arduous, tedious process to get the use of my hands back, but everything came back,
Jim Fortin: you know, I would s would say this probably neuroplasticity the more you play the cello in your mind, the amore you were actually creating neural pathways in the brain to signal the hands.
Bob: Right. Which I wasn’t aware of this at the time. I didn’t know what neuroplasticity was, but what happened? I was on this drug Avonex, and, you know, one of those rainy days, you read the packet, insert, you know, you open it up and down to the floor. And I read that the drug slows the progression of the disease down in 38% of the people that take it. And then if you’re two years on this drug, the results, the number of lesions in the brain were the same as they were in the placebo group. Two years later, it was an identical result. And that one stopped me in my tracks. And I just decided, how could this be? How could you have a placebo group with equal results as the drug group? So, I started doing research on the clinical trials of MS drugs. And you know, what I found was that MS is one of the most, most difficult diseases to come up with effective medication for because you have a disproportionately high success rate in the placebo groups. So here I found something, and I decided I was going to learn the placebo effect as a skill. And that’s when I devised my own meditation. And I start, you know, I started meditating. I started with five minutes a day where I would sit and just, you know, repeat these commands very quietly in a silent setting with no distractions. And I would say that DMS is going into remission. My brain is finding new pathways to the muscle. My eyes are regenerating. My hands are returning. Everything is going away. The lesions in my brain are disappearing and I, I sat and just repeated these. And I built up to two 30-minute sessions every day where I sat there just repeating these commands.
Jim Fortin: And these were obviously where you could, where you are repeating them. And I’m familiar with all this. And I even made a note about placebo because I had to use a lot of this as well, to heal from stroke and heart failure, where you are doing this aloud verbally, or, or in your mind.
Bob: I was doing this in my mind, but not just repeating those commands. I was visualizing. So, you would watch a film, like in my own mind, I had a YouTube channel set up, actually watching, you know, all these different scenarios. Like I was in, uh, one was, I was in a civil war setting and that the enemy, they were waving white flags and retreating. And that was MS. And I was, you know, I was getting the upper hand with momentum. And, you know, I would say actually I would watch these lesions in my brain because I had, you know, and I would watch them just vaporized one after the other.
Jim Fortin: How long before you started seeing results to where you’re like, this is working?
Bob: Well, it was a very gradual process because, you know, August of 1999 that I couldn’t do anything, but it was a miracle I found I could still balance on two wheels of a bicycle. I couldn’t believe this. So, when I found I was on two wheels of a bicycle, you know, I had the seat all the way down, so my feet could touch the ground. You know how you teach a kid with a training wheel. And then I had elbow pads, heavy gloves, the helmet, the whole thing. And I had my kids go in front of me and I couldn’t see even parked cars, looked like moving cars, but I could see their silhouettes and I stayed right behind them. And one of the main things where I started to see results was, I read a book. I didn’t even read the book yet. I found a website called the water cure. You know, I had this big 21-inch monitor and I had the screen in large, so I could read, and I found this book and it was a, an Iranian doctor passed away in the nineties, but he had a very simple formula. He said, half your body weight in ounces of water a day. So, 160 pounds that translates into 80 ounces of water a day. Well, let’s try this. So, I started doing it and not only was I not getting hit with the dreaded fourth attack, right? The first one was numbness. Second one was optic neuritis. Third one was two stages, optic neuritis, and motion sickness. So, I was so worried that they were getting more intense each time. And I was worried, what would that fourth attack bring? And I was so worried about. But not only was the, not the fourth attack, not ringing the doorbell. I was actually feeling signs of improvement. I’d feel my strength coming back. But just to give you an idea how weak I was, you know what, one of the things I, I, I read Nolan Ryan’s pitcher’s Bible. Cause my son was in little league and they wanted them to pitch. I didn’t know anything. So, I found this book in a bookstore and I’m going through this book and I’m realizing this book is not about pitching. It’s a, it’s the philosophy of life. And for those that don’t know, Nolan Ryan, the great fast ball, or he did that for 27 seasons. And you know, he has records that will never be matched. But you know, if you look at the mindset of Nolan Ryan of Nando Parrado these are all people that have this, this insatiable appetite for success and nothing will stop them. And you know, there were other people on my list too. Uh, Roger Bannister who ran a mile four minutes. The first one, I actually got a copy of the book to him. He was in England that he sent me a picture of him holding the book right before he passed away, which was, you know, to me, that’s your most basic basic example of when people say, no, even doctors said nobody can run a mile in under four minutes, that’s physically impossible. And then he does it. Then your record is broken two months later, and you’ve had kids at the high school level do that, you know, to show you, you know, an impossibility that’s achieved, becomes an achievable goal for everyone else now.
Jim Fortin: Yeah. Let’s, let’s go there for a moment. Number one is I was at Nolan Ryan, seventh no-hitter many years ago. Twenty-five years ago, at the seventh. No-hitter. That was many. What was that? 30 years ago. Thereabouts.
Bob: Yeah. So, this is one of my prize possessions that I have one of his signed baseballs.
Jim Fortin: Yeah. He was incredible to watch the Texas legend, you know, the Ryan express.
Bob: I can’t believe it.
Jim Fortin: I just wanted to share that. And we were just sitting around drinking beer and all the holy cows. What did we just see? So that was. No, we did say we probably had a little too much to drink that day. Next, you’d mentioned, which I’ve told people for a long time. I learned from my brother-in-law, A healer. I drink at least 120 ounces of water per day, every day. So, you were religiously into the, what you call what I call the water therapy every day. Well, the body’s 70 plus percent water. And what you put in it basically has an effect, obviously on the body. We’ll go there in a moment. You talk a whole lot about diet number one question I had, which you covered is your mental strategies to heal. And it sounds like your primary strategy was the neuroplasticity. Basically, let’s call it visualization every day, starting shorter five minutes, and then working up to 30 minutes twice per day, imagining and visualizing your body functioning. Perfect. Is that correct? That’s in a nutshell. Okay. You had mentioned, um, I wrote down a note earlier, before we talked, you talk about placebo. I talk a lot about that. The mind is powerful as you’re demonstrating and I’ve, I’ve demonstrated. Do you think that when you were misdiagnosed, that in itself was a catalyst for your placebo effect? I don’t know if I said that correctly, but I wrote down misdiagnosed. Was that your placebo? And I put a question mark there, meaning that you never, you never believe the diagnosis, right?
Bob: What’s debatable is your term misdiagnosis because, uh, you know, I was diagnosed with MS by five different neurologists and one neuro ophthalmologist. So, there was no question about it. Uh, in other words, I had gone the gauntlet of alternative tests. I was tested for aids line disease, heavy metal toxicity. I was tested for every rheumatoid disease, known everything, lupus vasculitis, you go down the, down the list. So, I tested negative for everything. And, you know, MS is essentially diagnosed by the process of elimination. That’s where I was left.
Jim Fortin: Okay. So, in your book you said, which I think is a brilliant realization, except the diagnosis reject the prognosis. Is that where you were?
Bob: Yeah, that was when I finally, I had no choice, but to accept the disease because, you know, I had been in this state of denial and when I get out of the hospital and all those lesions showed up in my brain and spinal cord, it was very clear that this was a case of MS.
Jim Fortin: Okay. So, I think what happens here is a lot of people get the diagnosis and that’s where they collapsed. You got the diagnosis, and you went the opposite direction and said, okay, I’m not going to accept the prognosis from the diagnosis. I am going to heal myself.
Bob: Right. So, you know, my whole thing. And I talk about, you know, the kid on YouTube, remember I talked about the kid who, you know, the truck tires get stuck under the overpass and engineers. And, you know, they’re devising ways to get the truck out, to dig the pavement, raise the bridge. The little kid says, let the air out of the tires, you know? And it’s that whole kind of thing that, you know, there are so it’s paralysis through analysis, you know, we’re so overthinking that they overlook the very simple answers. So, I set out to find these simple answers. And I started all my own research, looking at world rates of MS. What’s going on here. You know, why, why does Japan have very, very low rates of MS? When they’ve got pollution, they’ve got overcrowding, they’ve got serious environmental issues. And then you have the prefecture in Japan, Okinawa with all these people over the age of 100. And you know, I’m sure you’re familiar with the OCS, the Okinawa centenarians, the blue zones. Yeah. So, the women in this study never screened for breasts. They’ll vary in cervical cancer, right. You know, they don’t have the heart disease, MS. They what’s that, you know, they don’t have all these things. And you know, these people are over 900 people studied over the age of 100. How is this possible? So, I’m looking at their lifestyle and I’m looking at their diet and it’s very different than our Western diet. You know, our Western diet is heavy with dairy and meat, junk food, you know, alcohol, you name it. You look at their diet, it’s very different. So, I’m like, Hey, I’m not a doctor. I’m going to do what they do. So, what I didn’t know at the time was that 67% of their diet is organic Japanese sweet potatoes. So here by chance, right. You know, when I go to, I didn’t eat out in a restaurant for two years after I was diagnosed, when I, this was August, when I decided to find my own answers, I was so strict about my diet. Even I went on the orchestra’s tours to Europe for three weeks. I didn’t eat out in a restaurant. I did, I brought all my own food and I made, so anyway, what I would do is, you know, for lunch at home, I would take a baked sweet potato that was frozen. And then by lunchtime, it was, it was thought out, ready to go. But 67% of their diet is organic sweet potatoes. And they also live on a very low-calorie diet. So other things that I stumbled on just by sheer luck was that I’m drinking so much water. You know, I, I noticed the improvement, so I start drinking two quarts of water every morning before I left the house. Right. And what happens is there’s no room in your food for stomach of empty. There’s no room in your stomach food rather. And I’m fasting every day for about 15 hours without realizing I’m doing this,
Jim Fortin: I’ve done the same.
Bob: Right? So, when you fast for 16 hours without food ketosis sets in, right? And that’s the point, the cells of your body who went to heal and rebuild mode. So. Yeah, I had just, I had stumbled on the right answers. Beginner’s luck
Jim Fortin: And what you’re doing here. Limiter Jack, I’ve done the exact same thing. I’d drink 40 ounces of water before I even move out of bed in the morning meaning, I just set up, drink my water, then I shower. Then I’d fill up another 40 ounces and drink it again. But I also have fasted for 16 hours from the time I’ve eaten the night before until the next morning. So, these things you’re talking about, look at the results. You’ve gotten, you beat an incurable disease. I did the same thing and I’m healthy as a horse today after having heart failure and a stroke doctor saying you’re going to be sick for a lifetime. What are we on? What do you know, you and I, what are we on to here? And the answer is we’re on, we know have the heal, the body, but society doesn’t live that way. They live with all the crap and the junk food and the, all the things you’re talking about.
Bob: Right? One thing that I talked about in the book was if anybody remembers Jimmy Carter’s first secretary of energy of the nation was James Slessinger. And he said that Americans have two modes, complacency, and panic. And I always remembered that. And if you look at, you know, our medical care is designed to address symptoms, not the cause, but we have pills and medication for every symptom on the market, but we’re never addressing the cause. You know, why do we get sick? And this is where to me lifestyle comes in. If you look at the, you know, it’s funny because in your wealthy industrialized nation, And you’re very poorest nations of the world. The very poorest nations have rates of MS. That are about one third. So, you know, if you look at what we do with all the junk food, all the overeating while the heavy meats, all the, you know, the pesticides, insecticides herbicides in our food, you know, there is no, no result to this note ramification. I disagree.
Jim Fortin: We, uh, you’re preaching to the choir on this. I agree 100% with everything you said, because I’ve worked with a healer for 30 years, 27 years, my sister’s husband is a Shaman and he said these very same things for many years and healing comes down to people. Don’t get it. It’s not the medicine. It’s not it’s, it’s the, the lifestyle of the person. It’s the mentality of the person. This is what heals people. So, a couple of notes here is, I asked my director of marketing to watch your YouTube video. And she wrote down a note, something I talk a lot about on my programs. She asks, what is your relationship with yourself? Meaning self-love, self-appreciation. Is there any thought on that topic for you?
Bob: Yeah. I mean, self-respect, I would say, and, you know, I it’s, it’s a love of taking care of my body. It’s a love for a healthy lifestyle. And to me, it’s not just an interest or a passionate, it’s like a religion. It’s a way of life to me, just to give you an idea. Uh, what I do is I live in New Jersey in South New Jersey and New Jersey is called the garden state. You know, most people don’t think of New Jersey as a farm state, but when you get into places in South Jersey, you can’t believe some of these expansive farms, you would think you were out in Iowa or, you know, some amazing farmland somewhere just as far as the eye can see. So, I have two organic farmers that I’ve become very good friends with, and I get their stuff in season. So, what I do, one of the farmers right now is strawberry season. And I just, today I spent about almost three hours. Getting to big flat 16 quarts of strawberries from my organic farmer, organic farming to him as a religion. So, I stemmed them, slice them, lay them out on my dehydrator and I have that’s out there now, dehydrated. So, I have those for the winter. And then, uh, my organic farmer is planting 500 pounds of organic Japanese sweet potatoes for me. And I get those. And then I bake them. I let them cool. I vacuum, seal them, and freeze them in my big freezer for the winter. And I live on those,
Jim Fortin: You know, let me go there. My brother-in-law being the healer and the Shaman, he doesn’t charge his waiting list is about three years. People coming from all kinds of terminal illnesses and diseases and everything else many years ago, about a decade. Those of us that work with him is like, you guys want to start eating Japanese sweet potatoes, at least three to four times a day. Is what he told us. And I’m like, why sweet potatoes? And he said to me, his exact words where they protect your brain. And then you’re talking, you’re talking about the lesions you had in the brain. And he told me that back literally 10, 15 years ago. And I’ve always incorporated sweet potatoes in my diet after he told me that. So interesting.
Bob: Yeah. That’s I would say those sweet potatoes are at least half of my diet.
Jim Fortin: That’s interesting. Yeah. I have sweet potatoes and beets. Every couple of meals in this house.
Bob: It’s important to understand that commercially grown potatoes are sprayed with very high levels of pesticides.
Jim Fortin: Yeah. It’s vital that we eat organic and in the United States, our entire food supply is toxic. It’s not even food. It’s chemical.
Bob: I mean, if you think that soy is a big part of the Okinawa centenarian study, but 90% of the soil in our market is grown with, glyphosate, which is Roundup. Yeah, no, I,
Jim Fortin: I follow Paul that religiously as well on it. And I’ve watched people that follow what you and I follow. And they generally stay extremely healthy. It’s the mental game. Plus, the food you put in your body; those two things right there make all the difference. But yet in our culture, everyone runs to the doctor. The doctor goes, oh, this or that, it’s wrong with you poke this pill and you poke this shot in your lifetime of all this medication, which if you read, like you said, that little thing inside the PA your medical package, it’s going to kill you anyway. It’s going to kill you with all the side effects. There’s a phrase I love. There is no safe drug, you know,
Bob: That’s true. Even aspirin will have a side effect. Every. Yeah, it’s crazy. Everything.
Jim Fortin: And now Monica, my director of marketing also wrote down, I copied and pasted it, but you’ve partly, already covered it. She said being a cello, cellist, a cellist, he’s probably a high performer. So have ha have you would have him describe his mindset, meaning and I put in parenthesis, discipline, and responsibility and how it played a role in your healing journey?
Bob: Right? Well, it takes a lot of discipline and I think it was, uh, the great violinist Jascha Heifetz he said to be a concert violinist. You have to have the hours of a bar. The nerve of a bull fighter, the, uh, discipline, you know, and he goes on and on about all these things that it takes. And I actually got serious about the cello relatively late in life. When I was in my teens, I didn’t start until I was nine in public school. And then when I got interested in the cello, I was probably what may be really interested about 15 years old, but I decided to find better ways of doing it, how to figure it out. And all, everything I learned was, you know, really came to fruition when I had to fight this illness and come up with my own answers because, you know, I, and I told you, I used the brief experienced in my life. One was, I had tendonitis, uh, when I started practicing a lot, because I had a very incorrect approach. So, I had to relearn on my own a correct approach to play. And then the other was, I had asthma when I was little and, you know, I had it growing up. And the doctor, you know, gave me the inhaler and I used the injections, and nothing helped. But then I decided that was when I discovered yoga in my teens, and I started the deep breathing and I basically cured myself of asthma at that point. So having done those two things really gave me the confidence to be able to say, well, I can beat this too. You know, it’s just another challenge in life.
Jim Fortin: Yeah. I tell people, it’s not a matter of what happens to you. It’s about how you respond to what happens to you and where I’m going. There is in your book, you talk a little bit about your growing up. Do you think in the way that you grew up that had some, maybe negative emotions it created in you or something that you might’ve contributed to disease later in life?
Bob: Possibly. Cause I, you know, I, I, I, I talk about one of the things that the day I was diagnosed with. I remember, I, I, I just couldn’t believe it. And I went home, and I crawled into bed in the middle of the day, and I fell asleep, and I had this dream where, uh, it was a real-life situation. What happened was we moved into this house on long island when I was three years old and up in the woods, they had this giant pit where the builders through all kinds of building materials, seal insolvency, you know, they put all the, they just dumped it all in a pit, up in the woods. And on when I was little, I used to go play in that pit. And I remember you, I still like they had asphalt shingles that were, you know, had, uh, what, what, what’s the thing I’m looking for? The, uh, not asphalt to go. These were siding.
Jim Fortin: Asbestos.
Bob: Asbestos. Thank you. I’m a tech. Anyway, I remember I used to play Frisbee with the asbestos shingles, and I used to play with all this stuff in the pit. And I never thought about it my whole life. And then the day I was diagnosed, I remember I woke up having this dream that I was back playing in that pit again. And I had never thought about it. And I was wondering like, could, could this have been my downfall here? You know, exposure to chemicals that at a very young age.
Jim Fortin: That’s a great metaphor because prob maybe who knows maybe your body stored some of that for decades. And then it just wham came and hit you.
Bob: Yeah. There’s no way of knowing what’s going to trigger something like MSU, was it a stressful event? I had gone through it. You know, it was going through a stressful divorce, which is chemical exposure at a very young age, you know, who knows?
Jim Fortin: Yeah, no, that’s interesting I won’t keep you much longer. A couple of questions here. I think we’ll wrap up as well. Let’s do. This is from your book is titled when the music stopped. My interpretation of going for the book that should be required reading for every human being that has MS. Because it’s kind of like an owner’s manual for curing MS. Because you go through the mental aspect, the dietary aspect, the physical aspect, you go through the entire aspect of your healing journey in your book. It’s not just a book. I mean, it’s about your life and your practices. And I think people, anyone that’s number one, anyone that has an incurable illness should probably read that book. And secondly, anyone with MS should definitely read that book. Where can people get it.
Bob: So, they could get it on my website? That’s www.bobcafaro.com. And then on the home page of my website, there’s access to the Ted Talk I did. And then there’s a, what is it? A buy it now? And that takes you directly to a link you can order the book, get a signed copy for me. If you buy it here in the states, it’s only a what it’s like. I think it’s $20 with shipping, something like that. And, uh, um, I’ve actually stopped shipping overseas because I’m getting, getting too many books returned with all these COVID restrictions. And also, so if that’s not an option, if you don’t want to buy the book and print and get a signed copy, you can download it on Amazon Kindle. You could download it on Barnes and noble nook. And I think there’s one other one as well, but generally Amazon Kindle is the way to go. That’s the way I read all my books.
Jim Fortin: I, I, it’s what I use as Kindle as well. But I think reading through the book, I could relate to so much of it because I’ve done it myself to heal, but I think it’s pretty much a consummate handbook on healing something that when we’re given a bad prognosis here, here’s here. Here’s how to yield from whatever the medical establishment has given you.
Bob: Right? Yeah. It’s not just, even if you have no illness, you know, we’re back to the, uh, Americans having two modes, like the in panic that, you know, it’s either fly now, pay later or pay now and fly later. Right. And a healthy lifestyle will benefit everyone regardless of their state of health.
Jim Fortin: Agreed a thousand percent. I, we covered everything I want to cover. Are there any parting thoughts you want to leave with people? And if not, that’s fine too. I’m just anything else?
Bob: Uh, just, you know, to me, you know, it, you know, there’s the. There’s the hydration, the mindset. And just to give you an idea, when I did my book signing, um, we, after the book was published, Robert Sergott the neuro ophthalmologist who gave me the prognosis permanent disability was the featured speaker at the book signing. And he spoke and it was just fascinating to hear his take. He said he had never seen anyone come back from where I was. And he said that he felt, I changed my immune system. Number one, I was cycling constantly outside to rebuild my body. He said, I’m getting high levels of vitamin D from the sun. And he, he basically discussed the correlation between low levels of D and high levels of MS. So, he felt, I changed my immune system there and also going to an organic plant-based diet, changed the microbiome in my gut, therefore transforming my immune system. But, uh, you know, really reflecting upon what he said. There were two other factors as well. Uh, I was so worried about getting the fourth attack. I was just constantly taking cold showers, everyday cycling, and really cold weather. So, I’m doing the Wim Hof thing, you know, the ice man. Yeah. You know, so exposing your body to cold reawakens, the immune system. And, uh, the other thing I was doing was the fasting, the intermittent fasting, and without realizing I’m fasting that the body is transforming, going into heal and rebuild mode. And it took me about three and a half years to rebuild my body, which makes sense, because, you know, if you think that the cells of the body are constantly dying and being replaced in the slot, the bones of the slowest regenerate new growth, take seven years for the bones. But you know, it took basically three and a half years before my body was back to normal and not just back to normal, but I I’m at 63 years old. Probably better physical condition than I was 20, you know, every morning I do my yoga, I do my Nolan, Ryan workout. I lift weights. I can do handstands chin ups. I do it every morning. Still.
Jim Fortin: I was going to mention, I don’t know if people are gonna watch, you’re going to listen. It’s kind of split. You look what, whatever this, this is a social statement because we learn as kids. What old people look like, but you’re 63? I don’t think you’re old, but you’re also not 40 anymore. You look really good.
Bob: Well, I, I work at it, you know, and, and you know, to me, I write about this in the book that we, you know, we’re on this quest for the holy grail, you know, of youth, right? And you know, we look for liposuction, cosmetic surgery. We, you know, we look for all the in lifestyle is the answer. You know, if you live a disciplined lifestyle, but that’s a lot to ask for it. You don’t even now we have drugs to help people lose weight, know. I understand maybe if it’s a legitimate problem with obesity, but I would say most of it is undoubtedly taking more calories than the body’s able to consume. Plus, it’s taking food that the body was not meant to consume.
Jim Fortin: So, my audience appreciates hearing that, but the masses don’t because they don’t want to hear it. You know, the, the masses in the U S one of the thinks what 80% of the population is overweight. The, the percentage of illness in this country is staggering in the United States. And it’s because of all the things that you want I talked about, but people don’t want to hear about it because they want what I call the Amazon prime life. They want it now. People won’t do the work. They won’t do the work. That’s why I was curious about responsibility and discipline earlier. The masses won’t do the work, but then again, this will piss people off, but that’s why they’re the masses because they won’t do the work that you’ve done or I’ve done, or people like us to maintain our health and wellness to live the highest quality of life.
Bob: Right. Well, I think in all fairness, it’s easy to really blame people, but you know, most people don’t get serious until they’ve heard their hurt their first health crisis.
Jim Fortin: I’ve seen the same thing and people is no one. I can’t say that I’m not guilty of that because I’ve had good health for 55 years of my life.
Bob: Uh, give me an idea, like my work environment with the orchestra, right? You know, people say, oh, well, he’s a health freak. Oh, you’re, you’re a health nut. You know, now let’s go drinking. I said, no, I don’t drink. You know? And then people will come up to me and confidential and say, hey, listen, I was just diagnosed with this. Can I ask you question? You know, and then you can see these people have had their first health crisis and now they’re willing to listen.
Jim Fortin: I I’ve seen I’ve. I see it every day and my groups, and I’ve seen it in my own life. So, I want to endorse that and then I’m not blaming and I’m not judging because I’ve been there. I’m human I’m on the planet. And I’m learning my lessons that were just so anesthetist, anesthetized and programmed in the U S to just Amazon prime everything’s now, now, now, and a lot of us won’t do the work until we have to do the work.
Bob: Absolutely. Yeah. Give me a classic example of up is, you know, the dairy industry has all the ads with the white mustache telling people you have to have a white mustache, or you’re going to get sick. You’re going to, you know, have, uh, no calcium in your system. Right. But if you look at 75% of the planet, doesn’t drink milk. Yeah. And we’re the only species that drinks another species milk and, you know, because that defy common sense. So, give you an idea with my diet. I don’t eat dairy. I don’t drink milk. I don’t eat cheese. I don’t eat meat, chicken. I eat small amounts of wild caught fish. Sushi is my junk food will go out. I will eat sushi because of the low rates of MS in Japan. That’s my junk food. I don’t smoke. I don’t do recreational drugs. Right. Um, you know, I don’t eat like processed sugar. I, you know, I live a very clean diet, clean life. Yeah. There were social costs to doing so, but to me it’s a very small cost of doing business.
Jim Fortin: Let me, let me wrap up my final comment on that as I do all the same, but I do eat meat, but it’s all organic or grass fed or whatever I eat. But what I want to point out is if somebody really wants to be healthy, listen to what you and I are talking about, about the processed foods and the dairies and all these kinds of things they put in their body. Because every time it becomes cumulative and it builds up and builds up until you hit a wall, but I’ll tell you this here you’ve demonstrated it. I’ve demonstrated it you stop all that and change your lifestyle. It’ll take a couple of years for the body to adjust. You’ll feel better than you ever thought you could feel. And your fifties and your sixties, you feel better than when you were in your twenties. That was my experience.
Bob: Yeah. And if you look at, you know, I’m not necessarily saying eating meat is bad, but if you look at the Okinawa centenarian study the size of a deck of cards and no more
Jim Fortin: exactly,
Bob: they stop eating when they’re 80% full.
Jim Fortin: My, a good friend of mine, I’ll wrap, I guess my clothes, the final comment, my friend calls it, the, uh, the, the natural pause when you’re eating, and you get that. Pause is like, you know, I’m done. That’s when we should stop, not like, oh, I have to keep eating this because it’s really good on the meat. I always regulate it to about four, no more than six ounces of meat. When I do a couple of times a week, I’m not the one eating the 16-ounce steak, even though I used to like that when I was 20. But everyone here listening, please, if you do what we’re sharing the water and the mental and the meditation and everything else, your life will change dramatically.
Jim Fortin: Thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your story today. I know that you’re a cellist and that’s where you’re going to go when that’s your path, but a lot of people will listen to this and thank you for sharing your story. It’s amazing.
Bob: Well, thank you, Jim. You know, it’s been a real pleasure to be on your show and, uh, you know, I’m always willing to entertain questions from people who have them. So, you know, they can, uh, just email me through the website, uh, or just, uh, you know, shoot me an email. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jim Fortin: We’ll put your contact information in the show notes. So, people will be able to reach you through the podcast and Instagram and everything else. Have an amazing day. Eat your strawberries later today. Thank you so much. And I’m sure you, and I’ll talk again. Take care, Bob.
Bob: Jim, thank you so much.
Jim Fortin: Thank you, my friend. Take care. Okay. Bye-bye
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