My Natural AS Healing Journey

meditationIn Jan 2017, I had an acute neck pain with muscle spasm from my right shoulder to my upper back, causing me unable to turn right and bend my head. I was rushed to the A&E, given an injection, NSAID, cervical brace and 2 weeks of hospitalization leave. The x-ray showed cervical disc bulging between my C5 & C6 , the medical reason was likely due to my posture issue especially looking at the computer long hours. So, I was sent for alternate-day physiotherapy and told to change my lifestyle; don’t carry heavy (use a roller bag to classes), sit, stand and use the laptop ergonomically etc…

Some days my pain returned after few hours of physiotherapy, some days I had to eat with my left hand (I am right-handed), some days I had to be on bed rest after 2-3 hours of waking, some days I couldn’t do simple tasks like buttoning my top, some days I couldn’t drive and had to take a cab to school, some days I had to use my cervical brace if I had long hours of classes, and my yoga mat was permanently rolled out in my office cubicle for my hourly stretch.

In Feb 2017, I had an episode of anterior uveitis attack and my ophthalmologist sent me for another round of x-ray and auto-immune tests. I have a history of uveitis for the past 8 or 10 years. The result was negative.

As the semester was coming to an end, I decided to go for a semester of no pay leave to heal myself. It was end Mar 2017, I started googling that a disc bulging only takes 4 to 12 weeks to heal, my case was longer than that with alternate day physiotherapy and twice weekly chiropractic! My colleague who had slipped disc that happened about same time as me had healed and returned to school up and about.

I went for a second opinion and the test result was positive for HLA-B27, a gene marker for Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS), a form of inflammatory arthritis with its hallmarks of attacking the spine (causing fusion and bamboo spine), sacroiliac joints, tendonitis and uveitis. I prefer to address AS as the bigger sister of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) as most of us are aware of what RA is. I almost fainted on the spot (I was alone pretending to be brave with the news). And the doctor continued to blah blah blah that AS is incurable, told me to be prepared to take medication for life and to read up on NSAID, steroids and biologics. The following week, I was sent for a full spine MRI and multiple x-rays; with reports ranging from scoliosis, lumbar spondylitis, bone spurs, … to liver lesion! Therefore, I was sent for a liver ultrasound too. Next, I was sent to a rheumatologist who prescribed me NSAID for 3 months.

The lesion in my liver was my wake up call to consider natural alternatives; I tried chiropractic (didn’t help much), low/no starch diet (my weight dropped too fast, I prepared my meals and was on almost all organic food), apple cider vinegar (ACV), ….  I think what work best for me are iyengar yoga and its massage, supplements, essential oils and mindfulness. I am very thankful to Jolin who recommended Eng Kiat as my yoga instructor, few kind bloggers and the Facebook group MindBody Healing with Ralphitness which helped me to stay positive in this natural treatment journey. Since May 2017, I have been pain-free (I stopped my NSAID then and I was prescribed till Jul 2017).

My last visit to my rheumy was on 13 Jul 2017 and he declared I am in remission. I was proud of myself for leaving my rheumy’s clinic without any medication. 🙂 I am due for my next blood test and appointment 5 months later.

In my earlier post AS & Chronic Pain Resources, I shared some useful resources if you are considering diet, ACV, chiropratic, mindfulness, …

Here, I am sharing my 90-Day Plan using supplements and essential oils (EO) based on the RA protocol as I couldn’t find any AS protocol.

MY 90-DAY INFLAMMATORY ARTHRITIS PLAN

MONTH 1

MONTH 2

  • Deep Blue Polyphenol Complex
  • 3 drops Frankincense + 10 drops Fractionated Coconut Oil (FCO) (Apply twice daily on the pain area)
  • PB Assist®+ Probiotic Defense Formula (start healing leaky gut, I also started with Terrazyme)
  • Anti-inflammatory Bomb: 4 drops each: Frankincense + TeaTree + Lavender + Oregano (Drop into a vegetable capsule and ingest twice daily)

MONTH 3

***Steroid Bomb (when there is a flare up or acute pain): 4 drops Frankincense + 2 drops Ginger (Drop into a veggie capsule and ingest)

***Uveitis / iritis (it usually starts as if you are having a conjunctivitis or slight eyeball pressure): Apply Imortelle or equal parts of Frankincense + Cypress + Lavender around the eye socket 3 to 4 times daily and continue for a few days after the inflammation appears to have cleared

Daily or twice weekly, I do oil rub along my spine which I shared earlier on Chronic Pain Massage.

As I started sharing about AS, I have discovered almost everyone knows someone who suffers from RA or joint pain.  If you have AS, RA or know someone who does, please leave a comment to share your story. The objective of this post is to share with you information that you could possibly use to help yourself. This post is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.

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