It wasn"t long, before I saw the pattern. Bacon and red wine were instantly recognizable. Not only did these things knock me out, but I also connected them with the pain the next day. Every time that I had had a flare up, it was linked to a fatigue meltdown. I had now become accustomed to calling them my ‘Crash and Burn Moments’. Other crash and burn foods revealed themselves, and they were: M.S.G. (Chinese food, tomatoe paste, and many canned and packaged foods contain M.S.G), eggplant (aubergine), all alcohol, white flour, salt and pasta or anything deep fried.|
I also found that if I ate fruit, salad, nuts, or seafood, I felt okay, but fried foods, baked dinners, pasta meals, large meat meals or pretty much most cooked meals, left me really tired. Luckily, around this time, I was living alone and working from home. I accidentally fell into a pattern of grazing throughout the day rather than eating large meals. It didn"t take long to realize that every time I ate in a restaurant, I crashed and burned and yet on the days that I grazed, I could not only get through the day, but I could be up until late and awake refreshed. I was now getting up at 5a.m. instead of 9a.m. I very rarely had pain and when I did, it was minimal. I wasn"t running marathons or jumping out of my skin, but the quality of my life was extraordinarily good compared to what it had been.
By now, I felt that I was pretty much on top of it. However, I was also aware that it was still in my body and had the potential to rise and attack me at anytime if I was not paying attention. I was also observing my mother who also has arthritis and was in a really bad state. She interested me a great deal as she is a vegetarian, and has never drunk alcohol or smoked. It didn"t take long to recognize Stress. Every time she became upset about something, her arthritis flared up. I studied myself as well, and noticed that I didn"t really get stressed, but I did have a tendency to worry or obsess about things.
I had previously done a lot of work on stress, and had been running courses on Creative Visualization and Autogenic Training. Over the years, I had let all of that slip as I became involved in a new relationship, a new line of work and just the day-to-day workings of life.
I pulled out all of my old tapes and started meditating every day. When I went to bed at night I would affirm over and over, “I am now filled with powerful, perfect and permanent healing”. I made myself some new meditation tapes specifically focusing on my joints and energy. In no time, I was relaxed and energized and I felt calm and motivated throughout the day. Very little bothered me and life was actually handing me a lot of joy. I made more tapes for Mum and really pushed her to do them each day. She did, and like me, is just continuing to improve each day. Unfortunately, she still needs the back-up of drugs at this point, but she was severely in a bad way. Her sense of well-being has greatly increased. She has reduced the dosage of the medications and for the most part has very little pain.
The final piece of the puzzle came when I found an old tape that I had made many years ago, that encouraged deep, fast breathing. (It was a little like Connected Breath Therapy. It can be a bit dramatic and should be done initially with a practitioner, as it can release emotional blockages.) Anyway, I decided to modify it and slow the breathing. As I inhaled, I stated a positive affirmation like, “I am filled with healing, joy and vitality” and as I exhaled, I’d affirm, “I am free of stress, I am free of fear, I am free of pain.” I changed the affirmations according to what was going on in my life at the time.
The breathing is done for at least 30 minutes and often throughout the day. It"s easy and it"s actually pleasurable after the first few minutes. No matter how tired, stressed or not in the mood you are, I guarantee you that, if you do it you will feel fantastic. This is powerful and it works immediately. I have gone on and done a lot of research into oxygen and breathing techniques to try and fully understand why it"s so effective. Rather than get technical and academic about it, I will simply state that breathing deeply into your belly and exhaling completely will energize you, reduce or eliminate pain, create a great sense of well-being, defuse stress before it gets unmanageable and give you back your joy.
Bad things happen for good reasons
In high school, I had a barbaric maths teacher. He was cruel and abusive and everyone in the class was frightened of him. Although I had managed to bluff my way through primary school knowing almost nothing about maths, this was the year that I learned all that I needed to know. This was the year that every single pupil in my class did well in maths. It’s not right, it’s not fair and it’s not ideal, but in life sometimes it is the cruelest lessons that bring about the best results.
Arthritis has been the nastiest, most unforgiving, unrelenting teacher that I have ever had the misfortune to know. Arthritis has also taught me some of my most valuable life lessons and given me the best life possible. So, I must give credit where credit is due. Arthritis has taught me, first of all, to respect myself. I have learned to say no and mean it, and to pace myself. I am instinctively connected with my body and listen to the whispers of its wisdom. I have a ‘stress radar’ now, and diffuse it as soon as I recognise it. My health is so good now that I can’t remember the last time that I felt ill. My blood pressure, cholesterol and sugar levels are perfect.
I try to avoid gossip, criticism or negativity in any form, or from any person, including myself. I am happy, relaxed, creative and content. Not only do I have my life back, I have my life back better than ever.
That"s it. Natural, simple and effective. I can"t say that I"m totally cured, but it"s only been a little more than a year. Arthritis took 35 years to take hold, so18 months is not a long time to eliminate it. I sincerely believe that in a short time it will be permanently cured. I believe that my immune system is functioning perfectly and that the wisdom within my body is diligently working away on my goal of perfect health. In the meantime, I am totally drug free, I look younger now than I did fifteen years ago, and most of this book has been written between 4a.m. and 9a.m. I then do an 8-hour day at my real job, while feeling energized, relaxed, calm and motivated. I have absolutely no pain at all.
On a final note, I will just mention that “This does not work if you do not do it”. Half doing it will give average results. Doing it until you feel okay and then returning to your old habits will simply take you back. This needs to be a commitment. Initially, you will release a lot of ‘stuff’ physically and emotionally. It is nothing that you can"t handle, but some people will experience a ‘healing crisis’ which is simply the ‘junk’ being lifted and shifted.
Do not go off any prescribed medication without working with your doctor. Most of you will be having regular blood tests and the tests will confirm your improvements. Your doctor will adjust the medication as the tests improve. You may need to be slowly weaned off some of the medications, as many of them are really powerful substances.
In summary, this is it:
Eat: fresh, natural, unprocessed, uncooked foods as often as you can.
Have at least 5 vegetables or mixed salads and at least 2 fruits each day.
Nuts, seeds, legumes and grains.
Oils instead of saturated fats (preferably unheated oils).
Seafood more often than meat.
Limit dairy products.
Try to avoid large meals, processed foods, and most foods that are salted or contain M.S.G.
Nightshades can be problematic for many people (Tomatoes, capsicum, eggplant and potatoes)
Alcohol, especially red wine
Wheat products (especially bleached, as in white flour and pasta).
Coffee can be a real problem, as many people may become addicted to coffee trying to get a quick fix for their tiredness. Coffee will pick you up temporarily, but will add to your exhaustion in the end. Many people suspect acid-forming foods to be a major antagonist. Most of the foods which I have advised you to avoid are acid forming. Stress also contributes to acidity. Alkaline foods tend to be fruit and vegetables.
I don’t take vitamin supplements any more. I think they are a great short-term boost for people who know that they have been eating badly. However, nutrition is a new science and a lot more needs to be learned.
A few decades ago, the emphasis was on vitamins and minerals. Then came the high fibre and enzyme craze. Now the new thing is antioxidants and phytoestogens. What we do know is that sometimes an excess of one thing will rob or deplete other things. When science can prove it is smarter than nature, it may be worth re-thinking. For now, I am suggesting that when it comes to good nutrition, stay with good quality food. It is really very simple: eat good quality food and stop eating junk.
A great breakfast particularly for women
- Blend: 2 or 3 pieces of fruit (blueberries, banana, and papaw are particularly rich in nutrients and antioxidants)
- L.S.A (which is ground up linseeds, sunflower seeds, and almonds)
- Tahini (which is sesame seed paste)
- Milk (cows, goats, soy, coconut or rice milk according to taste)
- Linseed or virgin olive oil (cold pressed is best)
I"m recommending this because I know that women in particular tend to skip breakfast. This is easy to get down and fast to make. It’s rich in vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, phytoestrogens, omega oils and high in fibre. You will notice your skin improve and your energy lift considerably. I call it my Youth Elixir.
Lunch and dinner are easy as long as you get your vegetables in. A salad or sandwich at lunch is easy. Snack on nuts, sunflower or pumpkin seeds. Fresh veggie juice is great if you choose what you like. Try not to cook, or at least undercook, as much as you can. Drink plenty of fluids to keep the toxins flushed out. Dehydration can cause fatigue and headaches.
Your thoughts create your emotions. Your emotions create your behaviour. Don"t underestimate the influence your mind has over your body, they are one and the same. Think healing, think health. Don"t talk about illness and don"t think about illness.
Visualizing health and happiness is programming health and happiness. It may seem too easy to be so powerful, but powerful is what it is. Love and happiness are the two most powerful emotions you can activate. Go out of your way to find things to love. Practice staying with the feeling and expanding it. Endorphins and other chemicals that heal are released when your heart is full and open. Using Creative Visualization or Guided Meditation is one of the fastest and most effective ways to access your subconscious mind - it"s easy and very enjoyable.
While watching television, driving to work or lying in bed, breathe deeply and as often as you can. Long, slow, deep and complete breaths. Oxygen heals and energizes. Many people simply can"t exercise, so deep breathing is an excellent substitute to increase and improve circulation and increase elimination.
I used to get so annoyed with people who would tell me to exercise. I was so tired, that getting to the kitchen in the morning would wipe me out. Breathing on me would cause pain, and here was someone who knows everything, telling me that a good old run around the block was all that I needed. Well, I still don"t run anywhere, I could, but I just don"t like running. I have learned that as you get better, you do find that you can do a lot of things that you may have thought impossible. The problem is that after a long period of not using joints or muscles, they do take a while to get going again. Once you can do some simple movements, you can then work up to re-building muscle tone and loosening up joints. Very easy Yoga stretches are do-able. Gentle pool aerobics are actually nice to do- with less weight and freedom of movement, swimming has the added advantage of deep breathing. Exercise balls are amazingly good as you can even watch television if you like as you rock gently. This is great for knees, ankles, hips and backs.
I once read an article on the psychological make up of R.A. sufferers, in which the trials revealed that people with R.A. had a tendency to be high achievers, perfectionists or women who felt frustrated with their lives and pushed too hard. My observations have also suggested that this is true. If you study your behaviour for a few weeks, I think that you may also see a pattern of pushing yourself too hard. R.A. sufferers must learn to pace themselves. Listen to the wisdom within your own body. Pain is not your enemy.
Pain is simply your body speaking and it is saying, STOP NOW.
Slight pain comes before crash and burn. The extra hour’s work you do today in pain will rob you of eight hours tomorrow. Fatigue comes before the "melt down’. Allow yourself to stop when you first become tired and stop this pressure to get things done.
You must treat yourself as the most important person in your life
Find your voice and let the people around you know that you are as valuable as they are, and that relationships work both ways. You are not the ‘fixer of everyone else’, especially if this concept is not a two way street. There is no point in being a martyr in a wheel chair. It"s not really surprising that more women have R.A., than men, is it?
Well that"s it! It"s now up to you to Crash and Burn or Fly!
Copyright Sonya Green 2003
Author Bio :
Copyright Sonya Green. http://www.reinventingmyself.com Sonya is the author of a book called Reinventing Myself, and also offer some Guided meditation C.D's focusing on Stress Reduction, Weight Loss, Healing and Personal Growth, How to get what you really want and need.
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