The first time I got diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis I was 22. I was not sure what the doctor was talking about, so I ignored it. I thought: “with a matter of days it will disappear.” I was wrong. 8 years later the rheumatoid arthritis is here, but not as strong as it once was. The road has been difficult, but when you have the mentality prepared to face it all, everything changes.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation and pain in some, if not all, joints of the body
According to Arthritis Foundation, “the immune system mistakes the body’s cells for foreign invaders and releases inflammatory chemicals that attack, in the case of RA, the synovium.” That is, the immune system, instead of protecting us, attacks the cells that are healthy, creating inflammation in our body and not allowing the joint to move smoothly. The CDC estimates that, in the United States, 23% of adults, slightly more than 54 million people, have a type of arthritis.
Rheumatoid Arthritis is a disease that science has not yet found a cure for. There are different ways that people, including myself, have found to heal themselves.
My path of self-healing began in August 2020. I decided to try another type of medicine: Holistic and Alternative Medicine. I start first by getting to my body. Sounds weird, right? I know it does. Trust me, once you start getting to know your body, you know what your body needs to start healing. What makes me feel tired? What food gives me energy? What food/situation causes inflammation? Those questions helped me understand that my body has been talking to me all along and I haven’t listened. Once you are aware and conscious that the body knows how to heal itself, you will see hope.
Even though each body is different, it is worth trying different alternative solutions that contribute to easing the pain of Rheumatoid Arthritis. Here are some I have tried myself, and it has helped me:
- Wake up with positive affirmations: The first thought that pops into your head when you wake up can shape your day. When I wake up, I try, for the most part, to speak to myself with positive attitudes such as: “I am strong, I am a warrior, I can do everything.”
- Hot Showers: I like to wake up early in the morning and take a 20-minute hot bath. The steam and hot water help wake me up and relax a little more in the mornings.
- Tai – Chi: Usually Tai-Chi in the morning helps with stiffness and helps open up my joints. It doesn’t require a lot of movement and it’s a slow art, especially if your joints hurt.
- Gold Zumba: If you love dancing and music, Gold Zumba can be very easy to follow along and it is a low-impact fitness class.
- Wim Hof breathing techniques: Breathing not only helps us to be aware, but it will also help us bring oxygen to our brain. At first, it was difficult to follow, but over time it helped control my anxiety and regulate the pain in my joints.
While that’s just a small list of what I like to do to ease my Rheumatoid Arthritis pain and help my body heal, there are so many more things we can incorporate into our journey. The important thing is to learn to know ourselves and to try everything that can help us. I have also done swimming, personal training, yoga, cold showers, and more.
Do not give up. No matter what your journey is, or how you decide to deal with your Rheumatoid Arthritis pain, with regular medicine or alternative medicine, there is always light at the end of the road.