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Author Topic: Is anyone familiar with the Shanti.org LIFE Program?  (Read 5781 times)

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Offline SteveA

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Is anyone familiar with the Shanti.org LIFE Program?
« on: September 15, 2008, 04:50:46 AM »
This program is being pushed by my local ASO. From their website:

Welcome to L.I.F.E.
Can Long-Term Survival with HIV Be Learned?


How is it that some people who have HIV or even AIDS have remained alive and healthy for many years? Can you learn something from these survivors to regain or improve your health? The L.I.F.E. Programģ offers some answers to these questions, with step-by-step guidance on how to support your immune system in its fight against HIV.
L.I.F.E. stands for Learning Immune Function Enhancement. It is a new approach to health and healing based on more than threedecades of published medical research. The standard "biomedical" approach to treating disease relies primarily on the use of drugs. A new, comprehensive, "biopsychosocial" approach enhances traditional medicine by also looking at internal psychological responses and external social factors that affect immunity and the course of a disease.

Studies in psychology, immunology and the specialty field of psycho-neuro-immunology (PNI) have shown that for people living with HIV disease and other life-threatening illnesses, certain psychological and social factors can either help or hinder the effectiveness of the immune system. By understanding these psychosocial "Cofactors," and improving performance on them, people with HIV may gain significant control over their survival with HIV disease. For example, research studies show that long-term survivors of an AIDS diagnosis typically are self-assertive, a characteristic known to enhance immunity.

The L.I.F.E. Programģ does not conflict with established medical therapies for HIV, and in fact it can provide much-needed support for primary healthcare. Participants in the L.I.F.E. Programģ simply discover new ways that disease progression can be replaced by health progression. We believe that the best treatment for HIV disease is a collaboration between anti-HIV medical treatment and immune-boosting psychological treatment.


Offline Lisa

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Re: Is anyone familiar with the Shanti.org LIFE Program?
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2008, 06:12:00 AM »
We used to have a couple of members who absolutely raled against this program. I'm not terribly familiar with it, but your post smacks lightly of mantra.
No Fear  No Shame  No Stigma
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Offline Ann

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Re: Is anyone familiar with the Shanti.org LIFE Program?
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2008, 06:31:59 AM »
Steve,

While I don't have any first-hand experience with Shanti, there are/were some members here who have. What I've understood from them is that Shanti more-less looks down on people who "fail" to live up to their lofty ideals. In other words, people whose bodies have a difficult time with the virus and get sick, well, according to Shanti, it's their own damned fault. The teachings of Louise Hays were similar. The people I've met here who shared their feelings about the Shanti organisation were not very impressed by them at all.

I'm familiar with the field of psychoneuroimmunology. (The Sickening Mind is a fantastic read) but there's so much more to living with - or being sick with - this virus than a positive attitude. I do believe there's a lot of merit to the field, but one must be mindful of the pitfall of "blaming" disease progression on the failure of the patient to maintain the "correct" attitude.

Ann
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Offline revann33

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Re: Is anyone familiar with the Shanti.org LIFE Program?
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2008, 10:06:07 AM »
I have gone through the LIFE program.  I did not get the sense that I was being looked down upon or that it is my fault if I become ill.  What it teaches is how to improve what you are already doing.  I learned alot from it and would recommed the program.  Even as a LTS I had things that I had done for so long that they were not helping.  More so, I have gained a core group of friends that have helped me through some very trebling times.
It is not a program for everyone. You do have to enter with an open mind.  But it can be very useful.
Just my experince and opinion.

Ann

Offline SteveA

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Re: Is anyone familiar with the Shanti.org LIFE Program?
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2008, 10:13:51 AM »
We used to have a couple of members who absolutely raled against this program. I'm not terribly familiar with it, but your post smacks lightly of mantra.

Well except for the first two sentances it was cut and pasted from their website. I ask about it because the next program meeting is tomorrow and if I go they say I have to decide then and there whether I want to tie up my Tuesday nights for the next 15 weeks and commit to the program. I'm certainly not trying to preach this progarm to anyone else.

Offline SteveA

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Re: Is anyone familiar with the Shanti.org LIFE Program?
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2008, 10:18:30 AM »
I have gone through the LIFE program.  I did not get the sense that I was being looked down upon or that it is my fault if I become ill.  What it teaches is how to improve what you are already doing.  I learned alot from it and would recommed the program.  Even as a LTS I had things that I had done for so long that they were not helping.  More so, I have gained a core group of friends that have helped me through some very trebling times.
It is not a program for everyone. You do have to enter with an open mind.  But it can be very useful.
Just my experince and opinion.

Ann

Yeah I went to the first meeting last week and it sounds more like what you're talking about than this judgementalism that the first two responders are talking about. They claim it's about educating yourself about things that you can do to improve your health. It didn't sounds like some kinda blame thing at all. I just am leery about tying up my Tuesday nights for the next 15 weeks.

Offline Finnboy

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Re: Is anyone familiar with the Shanti.org LIFE Program?
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2008, 10:46:47 AM »
LIFE is essentially the Dale Carnegie personal development program for HIV. If you respond well to a certain type of 'motivation', then it is  good. If (like me) you don't respond well to being spoken at and get impatient when people try to reteach you what you already think of as plain old common-sense, then you will probably loathe it and beg for the water torture - but, to be fair, then there is also a good chance that you aren't the sort of person that this is aimed at in the first place.

Once you remove the marketing wrapper and the gimmicks: there really is nothing new, nothing you wont get from a good adherence nurse in a well-resourced treatment centre (or most long-term survivors) and nothing that hasn't long since found its way into good palliative care - but since we don't all have the luxury of having access to that .....

I can certainly understand where Ann is coming from with the comment about blaming disease progression on the failure of the patient to maintain the right attitude; although I would personally characterise it as them not being shy about showing you that they see you as a disruptive influence if you don't compliantly mould into what they want you to be.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2008, 01:55:20 PM by Finnboy »

Offline SteveA

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Re: Is anyone familiar with the Shanti.org LIFE Program?
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2008, 11:40:56 AM »
Well frankly the only thing I think it might offer me is the free dinner every Tuesday and the socialization that I don't get now because I don't go out to the clubs anymore. I'm probably going to eat tomorrow night's free dinner and just excuse myself before they ask me to commit to 15 more weeks, if I go at all.

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Is anyone familiar with the Shanti.org LIFE Program?
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2008, 12:40:42 PM »
Aren't there other things you can do, absent of a dark nightclub, to get "socialization" in your life?  You know, like volunteer work or something?

I think I'd go to a licensed psychiatrist before engaging in the questionable program.  Or do you do that already?
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline SteveA

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Re: Is anyone familiar with the Shanti.org LIFE Program?
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2008, 12:56:34 PM »
I was considering this group for the socialization as well as the educational format it was being presented as. Oh, the free dinner once a week was an incentive as well. I'm not so old that I don't think I couldn't learn a few good things to take better care of myself.

As for me being under psychiatric care, no, it's never been needed, though some here would probably disagree vehemently about that. I have done and continue to do volunteer work in my community, but that's one day a week.

There's nothing wrong with wanting another outlet though. The only reason I even considered this group was because it's supported by my local Aid's Organization and was recommended by my case manager.

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Is anyone familiar with the Shanti.org LIFE Program?
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2008, 01:19:11 PM »
By the way, your embedded link in the OP doesn't work.

It should work now if readers want to click on this instead
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline Dachshund

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Re: Is anyone familiar with the Shanti.org LIFE Program?
« Reply #11 on: September 15, 2008, 01:41:50 PM »
Most of the LTS I know (me included) smoke, drank and drugged ourselves to longevity. Biopsychosocial must be another word for lucky or looks good on a form for grant money. Myself, I attribute my longevity to vodka, cocaine and Winston Lights. I'm licensed to teach all that are interested. So in fifteen weeks of free meals they're going to teach someone what they've already lived? I can teach someone in one night. Pass the biscuits please.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2008, 01:46:13 PM by Dachshund »

Offline Finnboy

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Re: Is anyone familiar with the Shanti.org LIFE Program?
« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2008, 01:54:06 PM »
I'm licensed to teach all that are interested. So in fifteen weeks of free meals they're going to teach someone what they've already lived? I can teach someone in one night. Pass the biscuits please.

Yeah, but will you do it as a cringe-worthy group rah-rah session?  :P

Offline Dachshund

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Re: Is anyone familiar with the Shanti.org LIFE Program?
« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2008, 02:02:06 PM »
Yeah, but will you do it as a cringe-worthy group rah-rah session?  :P


naked

Offline SteveA

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Re: Is anyone familiar with the Shanti.org LIFE Program?
« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2008, 02:55:24 PM »
By the way, your embedded link in the OP doesn't work.

It should work now if readers want to click on this instead

Dunno how those spaces got in the links. They weren't there when I first posted them. Thanks for the fix. I've got til 7pm tomorrow to think about whether or not I want to try this. I'm tempted by the food. It's catered. As I'm already a LTS from 1987 onward. I think I've got a decent handle on things, but as I said. I'm not to old to learn new things.

Offline Smoothstone

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Re: Is anyone familiar with the Shanti.org LIFE Program?
« Reply #15 on: September 15, 2008, 03:35:05 PM »
I attended the Shanti LIFE program and highly recommend it. The program iwas informative and well organized and included multiple opportunities to ask questions, discuss, and share experiences and perspectives. The social aspect resulted as folks got to know each other from sharing. The food was good too. I learned some new info and perspectives and got a good review of the "common sense" stuff. The program had a continual feedback loop to evaluate both content and process. The program updates to reflect research and access developments.  Hank

Offline SteveA

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Re: Is anyone familiar with the Shanti.org LIFE Program?
« Reply #16 on: September 15, 2008, 04:33:28 PM »
Thanks Hank! Nice to know someone has some good to say about it then. I'll feel more comfortable saying yes to it if I decide to do so.

Offline jkinatl2

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Re: Is anyone familiar with the Shanti.org LIFE Program?
« Reply #17 on: September 15, 2008, 07:02:11 PM »
Thanks Hank! Nice to know someone has some good to say about it then. I'll feel more comfortable saying yes to it if I decide to do so.

Ah, so you were not looking for experience and advice or feedback so much as validation. Hope you enjoy the dinners. Doubtless they will be better than the swill I am currently able to tolerate.

"Many people, especially in the gay community, turn to oral sex as a safer alternative in the age of AIDS. And with HIV rates rising, people need to remember that oral sex is safer sex. It's a reasonable alternative."

-Kimberly Page-Shafer, PhD, MPH

Welcome Thread

Offline aztecan

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Re: Is anyone familiar with the Shanti.org LIFE Program?
« Reply #18 on: September 15, 2008, 08:45:24 PM »

naked

You got my attention! ;D ;D ;D

I have heard of Shanti, but know nothing about it. I know the organization has been around for many years.

Edited to add: But, since it is basically just a local organization serving a limited area and clientele, the point is moot for most of us.

For myself, I am already a LTS. I did it with AZT, Crixivan and 3TC, vodka and assorted other chemical inducements. Oh, and I also drank copious number of spirulina shakes  :o 

UGH - the very thought of those things makes me cringe now.

HUGS,

Mark
« Last Edit: September 16, 2008, 09:31:18 AM by aztecan »
"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)

Offline Bucko

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Re: Is anyone familiar with the Shanti.org LIFE Program?
« Reply #19 on: September 17, 2008, 11:05:20 AM »
These programs that try to draw links between mind and body have good intentions but are usually highly inappropriate for people with issues of self-esteem and self-worth. They chip away at the positive thinking that helps gay men come out and defy the standard cultural norms. For every one success story there are way too many "failures", which aren't really failures in life, just failures at their own twist on philosophy.

I'm firmly in the Auntie Doxie school of survival, and have endured to be the last of my peers (save one) to make it through the early 90s, let alone till now. We're doing something right.
Blessed with brains, talent and gorgeous tits.

The revolutionary smart set reads The Spin Cycle at least once every day.

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Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Is anyone familiar with the Shanti.org LIFE Program?
« Reply #20 on: September 17, 2008, 11:58:43 AM »
endured to be the last of my peers (save one) to make it through the early 90s, let alone till now. We're doing something right.


Yeah, you mean like "croaking"?
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline Bucko

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Re: Is anyone familiar with the Shanti.org LIFE Program?
« Reply #21 on: September 17, 2008, 02:07:39 PM »
Yeah, you mean like "croaking"?

AD and I are croakers?
Blessed with brains, talent and gorgeous tits.

The revolutionary smart set reads The Spin Cycle at least once every day.

Blathering on AIDSmeds since 2005, provocative from birth

Offline SteveA

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Re: Is anyone familiar with the Shanti.org LIFE Program?
« Reply #22 on: September 17, 2008, 08:40:18 PM »
Well it's moot now for another 15+ weeks. I missed Tuesdays sign up meeting because I was so involved in painting the upstairs apartment. We're trying to get it ready to rent out and I lost track of time. It was 8pm before I realized I'd missed it.  :'(

Offline Bucko

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Re: Is anyone familiar with the Shanti.org LIFE Program?
« Reply #23 on: September 17, 2008, 09:04:11 PM »
Well, I hope who ever kept you up painting at least bought you dinner.
Blessed with brains, talent and gorgeous tits.

The revolutionary smart set reads The Spin Cycle at least once every day.

Blathering on AIDSmeds since 2005, provocative from birth

Offline SteveA

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Re: Is anyone familiar with the Shanti.org LIFE Program?
« Reply #24 on: September 18, 2008, 02:08:58 PM »
Well, I hope who ever kept you up painting at least bought you dinner.

Thankfully they did! We went to one of our favorite Greek restaurants! Mmmmmm... Rack of Lamb!
(For those missing the running theme of this thread its this. "I like Food!" Hehehe....)

Offline lipoenvy

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Re: Is anyone familiar with the Shanti.org LIFE Program?
« Reply #25 on: September 19, 2008, 11:27:22 AM »
I am living proof that you don't need a positive attitude to be a long-term survivor of HIV, and proud of it.

You've probably gotten more advice than you need on this subject, but if I had one thing to say about anyone claiming "This is what you need to do to survive and be healthy," it would be -- take it with a grain of salt.



Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Is anyone familiar with the Shanti.org LIFE Program?
« Reply #26 on: September 19, 2008, 11:34:16 AM »
I am living proof that you don't need a positive attitude to be a long-term survivor of HIV, and proud of it.

I think I love you :)
"Iíve slept with enough men to know that Iím not gay"

Offline SteveA

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Re: Is anyone familiar with the Shanti.org LIFE Program?
« Reply #27 on: September 19, 2008, 08:20:47 PM »
I am living proof that you don't need a positive attitude to be a long-term survivor of HIV, and proud of it.

You've probably gotten more advice than you need on this subject, but if I had one thing to say about anyone claiming "This is what you need to do to survive and be healthy," it would be -- take it with a grain of salt.

I take everything with a healthy dose of salt these days.

 


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