Saturday, July 6, 2013
Finding Cause and Cure for RA (cont.) - Bikram Yoga ?
Back Ground: What is Rheumatoid Arthritis?
RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis) is an autoimmune disease where a person's immune system attacks itself, specifically the synovial fluid in the joints, causing inflammation, stiffness, and in most severe cases immobility and deformity.
What is the Cause?
Research shows that the cause of RA is UNKNOWN. However, I've done my own personal research, and have compared my findings to my own personal life events, environment, and triggers. This is my own conclusion.
I believe RA roots from trauma. When we experience trauma, our nervous system automatically responds and tells our brain & body to either 1. Fight, 2. Flight or 3. Freeze. (further reading: Waking the Tiger, by Peter Levine, Phd) However, unlike animals who shake out the trauma, most humans are left still traumatized inside. We can continue our life as if nothing happened, yet easily find ourselves living in a hyperactive life full of stress as if it is our norm (our own familiarity). This hyperactivity speeds up our immune system with it, combined with the excess stress, our immune system begins to attack itself. It also then begins to attack familiar objects as if they were foreign and can manifest itself into "allergies".
A book titled "When the Body Says No" by Gabor Mate, suggests that internalized stress and repressed feelings, will manifest itself into illnesses, one of so called mentioned, Rheumatoid Arthritis. See: Pychoneuroimmunology Post
Steps to Healing...
I believe the key to healing involves integrating our mind, body and spirit, allowing God to breath "peace and stillness" into every living cell that still shouts "HELP". In addition, loving ourselves enough to eat healthy, sleep at least 8 hours a day, drink 6-8 glasses of water and recognizing our own limits.
Since I've discovered my own allergies "gluten & eggs", (see: Natural Path Allergy Test Report Post), diet plays a huge roll, eliminating foods that causes further inflammation.
Finally I have been doing bikram yoga once a week for the past 5 weeks. In the heat, as my heart races, I am at the same time, STILL, telling myself that I am safe. My body becomes stronger, my joints more flexible and mobile, and best of all, my mind at peace. During the savasna pose (rests), I lie in stillness, thanking God and myself for every breath I take.
It's been 5 weeks since I've taken my enbrel injection. Do I flare? .... Sure I do. I notice joint stiffness when I burn the candles on both ends, staying up late night and waking early to care for my toddler and my 5 month old baby. However, I feel better after a yoga class, and the joints that hurt the night before are better the next day.
I will keep you posted and if truly Bikram Yoga will help enough that I can be drug free and since I still breast feed, my baby drug free too.