The MS Gym Podcast

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January 25, 2022  

CANES VS. TREKKING POLES: What’s Right for You and When with Trevor Wicken

Welcome to the episode I've been dying to bring to you! It's all about the use of canes and trekking poles, and, most importantly, the advantages or disadvantages of using one or the other; and, yes, believe it or not, there are HUGE differences in these two modes of assistance.

Luckily for us, today we have access to wisdom and professional insight of Trevor Wicken, founder of the MS Gym, to break it all down for us.

I think it's important to point out that though many of you may know him as Coach Trevor, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that Trevor holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Sports Medicine and Master’s Degree in Exercise Physiology & Biomechanics. His education AND his 21+ years of professional experience are steeped in biomechanical analysis, neurologic strength training and neuroplasticity in addition to his other specialties. I can think of no better resource to give us advice on how, when, and which assistive device we should be using.


  • At what point in your mobility journey should you be considering a assistive device?
  • The stigma that accompanies assistive device use
  • Paying attention to your patterns of mobility difficulty
  • Giving yourself permission to allow yourself to feel safe
  • Why Trevor loves trekking poles
  • Our bodies are wired for symmetry
  • Assistive devices give your brain the opportunity to chill and concentrate on walking
  • What's missing in your walking chain when you use a cane?
  • The danger of asymmetry
  • Restoring gait patterns with trekking poles
  • Who wouldn't you recommend a cane or trekking poles for?
  • When one trekking pole or cane should be used
  • You've got to check your ego!
  • What comes first, a rollator or a cane/trekking pole?
  • When you're not ready for trekking poles
  • In which hand should you be holding your cane trekking pole
  • How reaching for things throws you off balance
  • Are there programs within the MS Gym (membership or free) that specifically address cane and trekking pole use?
  • The final word on which device Trevor favors...canes or trekking poles?
  • The ongoing conversation we have with ourselves regarding the stigma of mobility device use
  • Learning not to be ego driven
  • You can't control what people think
  • What's good for you is good for your social circle
  • The gift of the disease


The MS Gym

Instagram - @themsgym

Website -

Facebook -

Brooke Slick

Instagram - @brooke.slick

Website -

January 12, 2022  

Shifting from Sadness to Smiles

Today's journey takes us to Quebec, Ontario to chat with one of our members, Mae. Join us as we learn more about her:

  • Initial symptoms
  • Diagnosis at a young age
  • Decision to pursue a career in the medical field
  • "Forced" retirement
  • Daily exercise routine
  • Positive Mindset
  • Ability to celebrate victories big and small
  • Contagious smile

The MS Gym Links

The MS Gym

Motivation Monday: If you can walk 3 steps, you can walk 30

December 22, 2021  

Dancing to a NEW Rhythm

Be encouraged and entertained as we chat with Charla about her:

  • Symptoms and diagnosis
  • Career adaptations as a dancer and coach
  • Severe dietary reactions
  • Ability to become a detective of her MS symptoms
  • Finding The MS Gym
  • Improvements that came from neurologically-based exercise vs. traditional weight lifting
  • Motto of "I'll improve you wrong"
  • Gratitude in finding victory in all things
  • Never giving up spirit

The MS Gym Links

The MS Gym


December 8, 2021  

RAISING YOUNG CHILDREN WHEN YOU HAVE MS: with Julie Stamm, Author, MS Advocate, Mother

This episode welcomes Julie Stamm, author, MS advocate, and proud mom of Jack to the podcast.

Julie, who wrote the recently-released book, Some Days, A Tale of Love, Ice Cream and My Mom's Chronic Illness, shares with us her insight on raising a young child while having MS.

Her thought-provoking book, written from a child's perspective, proves that through a child's eyes, things may not be exactly as they seem, and the pressure you may be putting on yourself to perform for your child is likely an unrealistic, self-imposed expectation.

We hope you walk away from this episode with an enlightened feeling of relief, knowing that in the end, all your child needs is your time and your love.


- About Julie's book, Some Days

- The fears that come with pregnancy when you have MS

- How she and her son view "bad days" differently

- Turning obstacles into games

- Teaching your child resilience

- How the book is uniquely from a child's perspective

- Teaching your child that "everyone has something"

- Explaining MS to your child

- Incorporating your disability into fun

- Adapting how you play with your child based on your current symptoms

- The importance of talking to your child

- The things your child will and won't remember

- Whether to disclose your disease from your child or not

- Teaching about disability/chronic illness and empathy in the classroom

- Customizing the cover of her book

- Book #2 coming out next Fall...Book #3 the following Fall.

- Julie's advice to pregnant moms and women considering having children


Some Days, A Tale of Love, Ice Cream and My Mom's Chronic Illness

Motion Censor Night Light

The MS Gym

Instagram - @themsgym

Website -

Facebook -

Brooke Slick

Instagram - @brooke.slick

Website -

November 17, 2021  

Finding Victory in Vulnerability

In today’s episode, we journey to England to chat with Ann about her:

  • First symptoms and diagnosis
  • Sudden disruption of career opportunities
  • Ability to adapt to changing circumstances
  • Threat bucket
  • Willingness to be vulnerable
  • Passion for writing and poetry
  • Love letter to The MS Gym (see below)

Acrostic poem to Trevor Wicken and The MS Gym

Thousands of strangers are connected by hope.

Redefining their abilities and expectations.

Evolving in their bodies and minds.

Virtually family.

Ordinary people experiencing extraordinary miracles.

Results speak for themselves.


Wisdom and passion fuel our journeys.

Individuals feel valued.

Compassion is contagious.

Kisses and hearts festoon the house you created.

Endurance is easy.

Now that you have brought us together.


The MS Gym Links

The MS Gym

Motivation Monday: Threat bucket


October 27, 2021  

COVID 19 & MS - The Latest Guidance on the Vaccine, the Booster and What to Expect with Dr. Marwa Kaisey


In this episode, I welcome board certified neurologist, Dr. Marwa Kaisey, to the podcast where we discuss the most up-to-date information on COVID vaccines and COVID boosters. In particular, we discuss how all of that information relates to people living with MS.

Dr. Kaisey, an assistant professor in the Department of Neurology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles focuses her practice on caring for people with MS and other neuroimmune conditions. She teaches Cedars-Sinai neurology residents in both inpatient and outpatient settings and assists with the MS fellowship. She's won multiple teaching awards including the AB Baker teacher recognition award from the American Academy of Neurology.

Dr. Kaisey is active in research and has several publications on the diagnosis and misdiagnosis of multiple sclerosis. Her work includes developing novel tools to more quickly and accurately diagnose MS.

She can be found on Instagram @themsmd and YouTube where she provides, in a quick and concise way, all the latest in MS research as well as tips for living well with MS. Links to both of those can be found in the Episode Notes.

In this episode, Dr. Kaisey and I cover not only the most commonly asked questions regarding COVID and MS, but also the questions that we might be curious about but aren't often discussed.


- Is MS alone considered an underlying condition?

- Which MS treatments put you at higher risk?

- What about the timing of a vaccine and your infusion?

- Which MS drug puts you at 4x higher risk of being hospitalized from Covid?

- Tysabri and the blood brain barrier.

- The sweet spot for timing your vaccine and your infusion for best vaccine efficacy.

- Vaccine response and antibody testing.

- Will the vaccine evolve as new variants emerge?

- How the vaccine was designed.

- What to do if you want to get a Covid vaccine and a flu vaccine and when? Can you get them at the same time?

- Typical side effects of first and second doses of the COVID vaccine.

- Dr. Kaisey's Conquer MS project. Link below.

- Should an MS patient get a vaccine booster?

- A third dose or a booster? Which one? Is there a difference? Are you eligible?

- How long does your natural immunity last if you've had COVID?

- Mixing brands of vaccines. Is it safe?

- How were they able to bring the COVID vaccine to market so quickly? Did they cut corners? Were safety measures sidestepped?

- How long until we'll have some sense of normalcy?

- Masks. Are they still important?


Where to find Dr. Marwa Kaisey:

Instagram - @themsmd

YouTube -

The MS Gym

Instagram - @themsgym

Website -

Facebook -

Brooke Slick

Instagram - @brooke.slick

Website -

October 13, 2021  

rebuild, rewire, reinvent: Build confidence through life‘s challenges

In today’s podcast, we join Michael from Scotland.

He talks about his:

  • Diagnosis
  • Career changes
  • Relationship challenges 
  • MS treatment options
  • MS Gym victories

MS Gym Links:

The MS Gym

July 14, 2021  

Bridging Borders through the Bonds of MUSIC

Join us as we explore the musical passions of one of our own international MS Gym Buddy Groups. Today, we will cross time zones and country borders to learn how these members:

  • Each began their own musical journey
  • Came together as a group sharing their passion for music
  • Found community across cultures and country lines
  • Beat isolation by forming bonds
  • Shared their dreams and fears about the present and future
  • Collaborated their musical talents to create music
  • Made music despite their disability and technical challenges
  • Inspired each other while finding their own inner purpose
  • Each found The MS Gym
  • Shared their dreams and losses together
  • Seek to inspire others with their music


The MS Gym

Gravity & Gratitude - Youtube video

July 3, 2021  

5 TO THRIVE: Taking Control of Your MS with Nutrition

I'm so excited to bring you the 4th and final episode of the series of interviews from the MS Gym's Thrive Summit, previously available to members only. 

I'm even more excited that the interview is with fan favorite, and former guest, registered dietitian, Ahna Crum.  Ahna, who's certified in Integrative and Functional Medical Nutrition, will be completing her masters in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine by the end of this year. As juicy as her credentials sound, her previous series on MS and diets are even juicier, and I don't even think she knows this, but they still hold the record for the most downloads of any episodes in MS Gym Podcast history. She's that good!

This particular 5 to Thrive interview you'll be listening to today is no less stellar and focuses on five crucial areas of importance when it comes to diet and living with MS. I had to re-listen to it today to take notes for the episode and it sucked me in all over again. Hanging on every word.

It's important to note that in this episode, there are multiple times Ahna refers to a handout that the attendees of the Thrive Summit received as part of her presentation. A link to that handout will be in the Episode Notes and I highly recommend you download it. It takes all the information that you will hear in the interview and dives even deeper into each topic. I've read the entire handout and it's really a must have.


  • True results come with testing and individualization
  • Inflammation and joint health
  • Spasticity
  • Sleep
  • Macronutrients
  • Hydration/Dehydration
  • Inflammation as it relates to added sugars
  • How the inflammation presents itself
  • CRP
  • Blood sugar dysregulation
  • Neurotransmitter balance
  • Sugar from fruits
  • Sports drinks
  • Weight gain
  • Hormone imbalance
  • Spasticity
  • Circadian rhythm
  • Defining neurotransmitters
  • Serotonin
  • Dopamine
  • GABA is a big one! Why you need it.
  • Why too much Glutamate can be a problem
  • Baclofen and GABA
  • Ingestion is not the same as absorption
  • Magnesium and the neurotransmitter connection
  • Magnesium glycinate
  • GABA and sleep
  • Sleep
  • How much sleep you should be getting with MS
  • No sleep, no healing
  • Inflammation and oxidative stress
  • Don't skip carbs
  • Choosing the right carbohydrates
  • Good carbs and bad carbs
  • Choosing whole foods sources
  • Why the glycemic index matters
  • Protein for healing
  • Protein and exercise
  • Nine essential amino acids
  • A vegan or vegetarian approach and why it's harder work
  • Vitamin B12 is not found in plants
  • MS and the fat controversy
  • Omega 3 intake to balance Omega 6
  • Good fats and bad fats
  • What about butter?
  • Macronutrients
  • A challenge to drink more water
  • Carbonated beverages
  • Should you drink water before or after exercise?


5 to Thrive Handout








June 16, 2021  

Bloom Where You Are Planted

For today’s episode we'll join Heather at her long-term care facility in Alberta, Canada. During our time together will learn more about Heather and how she:

  • Was diagnosed with MS
  • Grappled with the choices of MS medications
  • Learned about an anti-inflammatory diet
  • Managed her MS symptoms while working
  • Travelled overseas for an invasive procedure
  • Struggled with repeated post-op infections
  • Made the transition to a long-term care facility
  • Is using The MS Gym to grow stronger
  • Wants to be a light and inspiration to her fellow residents
  • Has found great purpose and enjoyment in co-writing a trilogy of novels 
  • Has managed through multiple lockdowns in her long-term care facility
  • Looks forward to being out in beauty and nature very soon


The MS Gym

Global News Interview: Residents Complete Book Trilogy during COVID-19


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