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How I Healed Myself From Rheumatoid Arthritis I always saw myself as a strong athletic woman that could get through anything. I grew up as a ballerina, dancing hours a day in my Mother’s dance studio. The rigorous dedication that it took gave me the discipline to push through pain, despite injury or illness. As I got older and became a Mother, I found a more delicate way of life through yoga and decided to become certified in 2008. During my certification, my body gave up on me and I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Having never heard of the illness and despite my concerns and apprehension towards western medicine, I took my doctors orders and started treatment right away. Most rheumatologists believe in treating the disease vigorously with harsh immunosuppressants, increasing the chance of remission. My body rejected the pharmaceuticals and the lines became blurred between the disease itself and the medicines side effects. My journey continued and the pendulum swung the other way as I gave up on western medicine and did everything Eastern to heal myself. I gave my entire life to the Macrobiotic way of life. I became a Guinea pig and investigated every aspect of my physical and spiritual lifestyle. I hit rock bottom, eventually unable to walk and at 5.10 I was barely 100 lbs.... Unable to move or care for myself, I had no quality of life, that is when the real work came in. With a microscope I became my own doctor. The tools that I acquired during this time is what eventually got me to where I am now. There is no pill or remedy, it is an ongoing lesson. I have been in remission for several years now and thrive on sharing the wisdom that I attained during one of the hardest times of my life.
Here are the top 5 things I did to heal myself.
1. Diet- It’s not just about becoming a vegetarian or being gluten free, although those may be. It is a mixture of things unique to you. Taking into consideration your heritage, your blood type, where you live and your personal experience with certain foods. Being aware of allergies or negative reactions to certain foods. Often what we love most is what we are allergic to or what is causing the pain and inflammation. One man’s food can be another man’s poison. If your instinct is telling you its not good for you, then listen to it because it is probably right. The sicker you are, the cleaner your diet needs to be. When I got sick, the first thing I did was take away the most common predators. These included meat, wheat, alcohol, dairy, sugar, and caffeine. I literally thought my life was over and I would never be able to enjoy these foods again but that is simply not the case. Once your body resets itself and becomes more alkaline, you can slowly start to reintroduce the foods in moderation.
2. Lifestyle- Take a good look at your lifestyle and the people in it. Toxic environments or relationships are like poison to the body. Everybody is predisposed to certain illnesses but our environment and lifestyle can trigger them and bring them about sooner than need be or at all. Positive changes in your daily routine need to be made in order for their to be positive changes in your life. Once my health was in jeopardy this became very evident to me and my days revolved around healing myself back to health. Yoga, meditation, body scrubs, acupuncture, epsom salt baths, affirmations and prayer all became part of my daily routine. I shifted into a constant state of gratitude for every little step towards wellness. I was on a strict Macrobiotic healing diet and eating became my medicine. I was taught that the energy I put into the food would come back ten fold, that it had to be alive and vary in color and vegetables, chewing thoroughly until liquid, and set times to eat were 8:30 a.m., 12:30p.m., and 5:30 p.m. with remedies and tinctures in between. My body went through a major healing crisis but I have never been more clear and I was willing to do anything in my power to get better.
3. Fitness- I find that most people with autoimmune diseases are attracted to high intensity workouts and pushing themselves to the extreme. Rheumatoid Arthritis causes the immune system to over respond, causing pain, inflammation and eventually deformation. Over working the body can entice the immune system to over react. Finding a gentler way to move on a daily basis is key and when the body is not physically able is when you need to listen and go internal and do the work within. I started practicing moderate exercises every day, like simple stretches to keep my joints lubricated and mobile. I would take many walks/shuffles because most days I could only get to a slow 90 year old women shuffle by about 3:00 p.m. but I believed I had to keep moving as painful as it was, to stay on top of the disease. It’s finding that balance that I never knew before, between pushing to hard and just enough. On days where walking was not an option is where the real magic happened and I had no choice but to be still. At first I wanted to jump out of my own skin not being able to move and be physical but I didn’t listen to my bodies signals to slow down so my body made me listen by giving me no choice.
4. Boundaries- Setting boundaries and limits on expectations for yourself and others. Knowing it is ok to say no and not help everyone in need and most importantly not having guilt when you do say no. Self care and self love is not selfish, you can not serve from an empty vessel. I truly learned these boundaries when I became a Mother. I could no longer say yes to everyone, as my son was my number one priority and I was simply not able, but until him I never felt worthy to say no on my own. Know that you are righteous and having self love and boundaries is vital for your journey to optimal wellness. When I was sick, setting boundaries with people became vital for my health. I never wanted to appear weak to others. I prided myself on being a strong, independent women that could do anything herself and help others as well but my old ways of living no longer correlated with my new life. I had to humbly ask for help instead of helping others and learn to take care of myself first and that required practicing self-love.
5. Don’t compare yourself to others- Everybody has their own regime or recipe to have their body work at it’s optimal performance. You are a rare piece of china and need to be treated as one. You are a sensitive antenna and feel everything on a higher vibration so you need to protect yourself and treat yourself with love and compassion. Refrain from comparing yourself to what others are able to get away with in abusing their bodies. Treat your body as you would a child or baby and nourish it with good foods, compassion, and lots of love.
* The ability to heal yourself is far greater than anybody has given you permission to believe.