UMDNJ Lunch Lecture Part 1

Nov 3


This week I had the opportunity to speak at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. I gave a lunch lecture speaking about alternative healing, colitis and yoga. The experience was un-like any I’ve ever had before and I felt honored to share my story and how I’ve helped myself heal my colitis and it’s symptoms. The fact that I am spreading the word about alternative healing, and that I am a real life example that it can and does work was amazing for these med students. They love to see results as well as proof that these methods work. I think that’s why they loved my talk so much, besides the fact that I’m close to their age and we can relate to each other too!

I will be posting my lecture in a few different posts, so stay tuned as there will be more to come very soon.


My name is Shira Turkl-Rubin and I have ulcerative colitis. I’m here today to talk to you about how I’ve healed myself using alternative methods such as diet and yoga.

I’ll back up quite a bit and give you some history about myself first.

I grew up in an affluent town in Northern NJ called Tenafly. Throughout my childhood I suffered from frequent stomachaches, which my doctors eluded to me being lacto intolerant. That may have been the case, but my stomachaches were no small matter, and they kept getting worse. There came a point when I was around 12 years old that I noticed blood in my stool. I thought maybe it would go away but finally my parents decided to take me to the GI doctor who ran some tests and sent me for a colonscopy.

They found out I had proctitis – inflammation of the rectum. They wanted to put me on oral steroids for the rest of my life, and my parents, being a bit alternative themselves, decided to go the natural route and found a vitamin regiment to put me on.

For many years I took L-glutamine, fish oil, acidolophilous, vitamin E and a multi vitamin. This worked for a while, although I would still sometimes see blood in the stool anyway, but the stomach aches were less. As I grew older, my stress levels grew larger and the stomach aches would return.

Finally I went to college and found yoga. I took my stressed out, lack of sleep body to the yoga studio where I learned the proper way to breathe, move my body and de-stress. I felt great. I continued going to the same class every week as I found it to be my place to relax.

When I was a junior in college, I signed up to study abroad in Barcelona and knew my yoga regiment would be put on hold. Studying abroad was so much fun, but it took a great big toll on my body. I was eating foods I wasn’t used to, drinking coffee everyday and was stressed from missing my friends and family back at home. There were times of struggle While I was gone – my cat who was alive for 20 years died, as well as my aunt, she suffered from Pancreatic cancer and died a week after I returned home. I was a stress case to say the least and had no clue that my stomachaches were getting worse because of it. I noticed cramping, bloating, mucus and blood in my stool and I knew something wasn’t right.

After talking with my parents and doctor, we signed me up for another colonoscopy. The result was ulcerative colitis. My doctor prescribed me nightly enemas to ease my symptoms – sure, the enemas helped somewhat, but they were no cure.>

This is only the beginning of my story and you will see more of it in my next post.

Cheers to spreading the word about alternative health.



  • nellie says: Shira- you are absolutely amazing and such an inspiration. cant wait to hear the rest….

  • ruth says: Shira, my sweet,

    You are a wonderful role model for those people who feel they are helpless over their colitis.
    You struggled and pushed your way through your resistance and came out the other side.
    There really is a light at the end of the tunnel. You just have to have faith and give yourself permission to have all the feelings that come along with changing your entire eating habits and lifestyle.

    Never give up spreading the word on alternative healing. YOU DID IT, so can anyone else if they have the conviction and will power.

    Keep on doing the good work.

    your loving mom

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