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 collar 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 collar 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 condition was long overdue even 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.

AS DiagI went for a second opinion and the test result was positive for HLA-B27, a gene marker for Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) 强直性脊柱炎, 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) 类风湿关节炎 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 all my meals and was on organic), apple cider vinegar (ACV), AIP (Autoimmune Paleo diet, ….  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

  • Deep Blue Polyphenol Complex® (contains Boswellia/Frankincense, curcumin and ginger which are naturally high with anti-inflammatory)
  • 3 drops Frankincense + 10 drops Fractionated Coconut Oil (FCO) (Apply twice daily on the pain area) – doTERRA frankincense consists of the 3 most powerful species instead of 1 species as most brands
  • PB Assist®+ Probiotic Defense Formula (Optional but ideal to start)

MONTH 2

MONTH 3

  • 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
  • Anti-inflammatory Bomb: 4 drops each: Frankincense + TeaTree + Lavender + Oregano (Drop into a vegetable capsule and ingest twice daily)
  • Lifelong Vitality (LLV) Pack (consists of multivitamins, omega-3 and antioxidant, though I took omega oil and multivitamins previously, the LLV is a great energy booster as I usually felt tired after dinner. With LLV, I could last till late evening. The recommendation was 2 capsules AM & PM, so to help me sleep, I take it AM and Noon)
  • DDR Prime® Softgels (supports healthy cellular functions, I use it for my degenerated spine and most arthritis sufferers have either joints or bone degeneration)

***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 with the feeling 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. If it gets worse especially your vision starts blurring and highly sensitive to light, you will need to see an ophthalmologist immediately.

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 rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis (牛皮癣关节炎), reactive arthritis 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.

(Last edited on 20 Oct 2017)

Credit to: This AS Life, @SpondyMom, @fathermick

 

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3 thoughts on “My Natural AS Healing Journey

  1. I was often asked the question “How did you start ingesting oil? Are you not afraid of doing so? Or similar questions …”

    The answer is “Initially, I was very skeptical though I used essential oils topically or diffusing before I started ingesting. And when I was left with the option of what I know is totally bad for my health; NSAID or steroid which suppress my immunity and seriously hazardous for my liver in long term, essential oils seem the safer option. I also did my homework to read up on certified therapeutic oils”

    Like

  2. Hi Allotmental, I am feeling great in the past months and hope to remain in remission for the rest of my life :). Hope you are coping well too.

    Like

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