Because of the severity of my arthritis, I once used an electric cart to get around. Because of the 17 Secrets for Conquering Arthritis, I am now completely arthritis free.
Delayed food and chemical sensitivities are an often unrecognized underlying cause of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and other types of arthritis. Because the particular foods and chemicals that are triggering inflammation vary from person to person and can even change over time, it is important to be individually tested.
My most important recommendation would be to be tested at least a month ahead of time, so that you know what your triggers are and have figured out a strategy for your cocktail party or vacation to be arthritis-free. It takes most people about a month to successfully discover and learn to avoid hidden food allergens, once they have a list of which foods are safe for them and which they need to avoid. Once they have this skill, they have the power to stop arthritis flair-ups.
For instance, if you are reacting against grapes, brewer’s yeast, sodium sulfate, beef or pork (because pig and cow byproducts are often used to make gelatin and gelatin is often used to clarify wine) you won’t want to skip wine with dinner, but depending on your reaction pattern, you might do just fine with a bloody Mary or a Margarita. If your food sensitivities are moderate or severe, you would be best off skipping the alcohol all together, because it tends to make leaky gut syndrome and therefore inflammation worse. However, that doesn’t mean you have to skip the fun of a cocktail party or drinks with dinner. Knowing what drink set ups are safe for you means you can still “drink” with everyone else without making your arthritis worse and without having to worry about triggering an arthritic flair-up.
If you have a tricky pattern of food and chemical sensitivities, planning a trip to a spa or another place that understands food allergies and can cook interesting and appealing food that is safe for you, might be just the ticket.
A few years ago I noticed that the food concessionaires for the US National Park System were particularly good at creating safe, creative, gourmet entrees even in the face of the food restrictions I had at that time. My best experiences were at the lodges at the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Park. Restaurants that are part of the “slow food movement” are also often a good choice because they are already so aware of what is in the food they serve and much less likely to accidentally include one of your problem foods in the dishes they serve you.
As for the beach, knowing your food and chemical sensitivities ahead of time can be a godsend there too. That will give you time to make sure your sunscreen is not not accidentally triggering your inflammation and if it is, to purchase light colored clothing you can wear instead of sunscreen for sun protection. Knowing if you are reacting against chlorine can let you know if you need to stick to swimming only in the ocean or if the hotel pool is also safe for you.
Since it generally takes about seven days for the inflammation triggered by delayed food or chemical sensitivity to end, mastering how to avoid your inflammatory trigger foods and chemicals before you leave, can make the difference between the vacation of a lifetime and one spent in pain.
Rheumatoid Arthritis is not inevitable, no matter the particulars of your family history or genetics. Some people have genetics that make them more susceptible, but something must still trigger the disease process. Likewise, it is usually possible, even after the rheumatoid arthritis has been triggered, to “untrigger” it by reversing its underlying causes.
One underlying causes of rheumatoid arthritis is a disruption of healthy gut bacteria. This can happen because of any number of stressors: taking antibiotics, losing a job, losing a loved one, having a loved one seriously ill or injured, divorce, your home going into foreclosure, surgery, taking a board exam, traveling in a third world country, getting some other illness, working long hours without enough rest and more. Even joyful events like the birth or a child, a job promotion or, moving to a new house can cause stress that can trigger RA.
This is because for most people stress has a strong impact on the gut. Once gut flora gets out of balance it can stay that way for years and years, until something helps it to rebalance itself.
This rebalancing of gut flora is one way to help “untrigger” rheumatoid arthritis.
One way to do this is by reintroducing healthy bacteria everyday through your diet.
Most people know about the benefits of eating live culture yogurt because of the healthy bacteria it contains. Most people don’t realize the almost infinite number of other sources of probiotics. Many can be made in your own kitchen without much effort and easily incorporated into your everyday diet.
If you can eat dairy, it is easy to get probiotics through yogurt, kefir, and the many commercial probiotics supplements grown on a dairy base.
If you can’t eat dairy, you may not realize how easy it is to still get enough probiotics.
Here is partial list of the many non-dairy probiotics-containing foods you can eat and drink:
1. Commercially available cultured coconut milk
2. Homemade cultured coconut milk, soymilk, rice milk or fruit juice made using kefir grains
3. Unpasteurized sauerkraut
4. Unpasteurized kim chee
5. Sour pickles
6. Other vegetable ferments, such as sour beets, sour turnips, fermented radishes, etc.
7. “Potato cheese” – cooked potato fermented with brine from live sauerkraut culture
8. Brine from ferments used as a digestive tonic and Soup Stock
9. Fermented chutney
11. MIso Pickles
13. Ferments made from other beans such as pinto beans, kidney beans, navy beans, etc.
14. Rejuvenac—made from sprouted grain
15. Kombucha—a tea fermented with a special kombucha culture
16. Porridge—fermented overnight before cooking to increase digestibility
These probiotics-containing foods start with either an already established culture which you can buy or someone can gift you (yogurt, kefir, miso, tempeh and other bean ferments and kombutcha) or capture wild bacteria from the air (sauerkraut, kim chee, sour pickles, other vegetable ferments, brines, rejuvenac and porridge.)
Visit her website for recipes and more information on rheumatoid arthritis treatment—non-dairy probiotic supplements.
I am pleased to present an article by Sue Hannibal on how resolving past trauma can help heal autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis. She addresses common blocks to healing called psychological reversals and what to do about them. Energetic work of this type is not always necessary to heal arthritis, but, if you have been doing everything right, and still aren’t healing, working with someone skilled, like Sue, might be just what you need.
Why People Don’t Heal
By Sue Hannibal, medical intuitive healer
The web site is now up and running, Thank you for your patience. For those of you considering EFT as a healing tool, you can see it in action on the home page. A video clip posted there features an Iraq veteran self-healing having witnessed a murder/suicide at age 10, which triggered his PTSD from Iraq.
There are many reasons why people don’t heal. Some blocks to healing are emotional or spiritual and can be overcome. Sometimes illnesses have genetic components that resist healing until gene therapies advance. Emotional blocks to healing can be subconscious or conscious. Here are some examples of blocks to healing that I find frequently during intuitive readings on clients with autoimmune illnesses.
Probably the most common block to healing is psychological reversal, which literally means one’s energy runs backwards or scrambles when one thinks about healing. A client will say in all sincerity that they want to heal, but when I energy test the veracity of that statement, their body contradicts their stated intention when tested with applied kinesiology, also known as muscle testing. That doesn’t mean they’re lying, it means there is an inner conflict that needs to be settled before their body/mind will align itself with healing.
Psychological reversals are common in people trying to lose weight. If their body/mind knows that the last time they were thin or small or attractive, bad things happened, the body/mind will keep them heavy to protect them and help them survive. When clearing reversals, part of the process is to address the body/mind to say some version of, “thank you for protecting me with all this protective weight. I’m an adult and I can protect myself now, you can go off-duty, I’ll handle it from here.” With an autoimmune disease, the energetic signatures are usually more unique to the individual, but at any rate, as we learned with the ACE Study in my first article in this series, long-term stress and unresolved trauma can cause the immune system and body to break down.
I look at psychological reversals as a disagreement between the mind and heart or soul. This is where secondary gain commonly shows up. Secondary gain means getting mileage out of being sick and frequently involves manipulating and controlling others to cater to the one who is sick. Maybe someone only got attention that felt like love from a parent when they were sick, so they use their illness to get attention from others. That pattern, if it goes on long enough, invites the victim/martyr archetype to take hold, further strengthening the hold of the illness.
Psychological reversals need to be cleared before healing can move forward, whether there is a physical illness or an emotional problem. Reversals can be general, sort of one-size-fits-all, such as “I don’t deserve to be healed” or unique to the individual, such as “My husband will leave me if I get well. Here’s a partial list of some of the most common general reversals:
I don’t want to heal/change. ( The number one reversal, resistance to change, even positive change.)
It’s not right for me to heal.
I don’t deserve to heal.
Bad things will happen if I heal.
I won’t allow myself to heal.
I won’t do what I have to do to heal. (This is the self-sabotage reversal.)
I’ll have to step up to the plate and take control of my life if I heal.
I’m afraid of how my life will change if I heal.
I’ll have to forgive people in order to heal.
I’m too angry to heal.
I need to punish myself.
I need to punish others.
Other people won’t like it if I heal.
Things might get worse if I heal.
People won’t take care of me anymore if I heal.
I don’t know how to get over this.
It’s impossible for me to heal.
If any of these reversals resonate, take it one step further. Go inner, and ask yourself this diagnostic question: “What or who does this issue remind me of?” The answer indicates what you might need to heal and forgive to stop the ongoing damage to your body/mind that is created when we carry negative emotional baggage.
EFT and energy healing techniques reboot the body/mind. Anything you can do to relieve the toxic emotional or physical load will support healing.
If anyone missed the free 5-page list of diagnostic metaphors mentioned in my second column, please send me an email with the word “metaphors” in the subject line.
In my last two blog posts, guest author Sue Hannibal has written about the overwhelming scientific evidence that unresolved stress and trauma, even from many years ago, is linked to autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis. She has also explained why conventional counseling and psychotherapy often give clients the ability to cope better with the trauma, but often do not heal the underlying trauma.
In this weeks newsletter Sue explains how resolving stress and trauma can lead to healing at the level of the digestive system including healing adverse reactions to certain foods.
This is important because, although many of the adverse reactions to food and chemicals that underlie of arthritis can be often be healed by totally avoiding all trigger foods and chemicals for about 6 months, in some cases, mine included, it also takes resolving deep-seated emotional reactions, to clear up all of these adverse reactions.
My resolution came through several years of vipassana meditation practice, including intensive weeks of meditation while on meditation retreats. I still highly recommend meditation, but if you desire quicker results, you might also consider working with someone like Sue, who has the skills to guide you through the healing process.
Food Sensitivities, Auto-Immune Disease and Unhealed Trauma Is There a Connection?
By Sue Hannibal, medical intuitive healer
Studies have shown that chronic stress affects everything from your gums to your heart and can lower your immunity to everything from the common cold to cancer. In the 1930s researcher Hans Selye first coined the term “stress” to describe the damaging effects that the stress hormone cortisol had on the long-term health of rats. The rest, as they say, is history.
Cortisol overload is one of the main players in the stress-illness connection, although it plays a necessary role, with other hormones such as epinephrine (“adrenaline”) and norepinephrine, in helping us cope with short-term threats. These hormones boost heart rate, increase respiration, and increase the availability of glucose (cellular fuel) in the blood, thereby triggering the famous “fight or flight” reaction. However, cortisol simultaneously shuts down or slows down digestion, reproduction, physical growth, and some aspects of the immune system.
When occasions to fight or flee are infrequent and threats pass quickly, the body’s stress thermostat adjusts accordingly, but problems occur when stress is chronic, as the ACE Study proves with childhood trauma. Chronic stress can cause the brain and body to get stuck on the fear response and continually perceive stress even if it isn’t really there.
That’s what happened to my client, a 30-something woman I’ll call Cindy.
Barbara Allan’s brilliant work has shown us that there is indeed a gut-level connection between food sensitivities, leaky gut syndrome, and auto-immune illnesses. Cindy came to me because she was 80 pounds overweight, couldn’t attract or maintain a healthy relationship with a man, and had major emotional baggage from a critical, emotionally abusive father and a passive-aggressive mother.
As we worked our way through the layers of trauma, fear, hurt, shame, humiliation, rejection, sadness and abandonment embedded in her body/mind, one day she mentioned an allergy reaction to onions and tomatoes that she’s had since childhood.
I glanced at the intuitive reading I had done for her a few weeks earlier and noted recurrent themes of anxiety, feeling unsafe to be, a desire to be invisible, needing to be perfect etc. I said, “Tell me, what was it like at the dinner table growing up in your house?” She grimaced and replied, “Generally, chaos.”
I asked her to bring to mind a typical traumatic memory of chaos at the dinner table and she came up with a memory from about age 12, where her brother said something her father didn’t like so the father stood up, began screaming threats and profanity and swept half the dishes off the table. I asked her to rate the emotional intensity of that memory in a number from 0-10 with 10 being very intense and to name the emotion. She said in a trembling voice, “10 and it’s dread and terror.” I said, “Where do you feel that dread and terror in your body?” She pointed to her stomach, abdomen and throat. “Do you remember what was on the menu that night?” “Spaghetti.”
Using the EFT Movie Technique to shield her from the pain of re-living that scene, I said, “If that incident was a movie, what would be the title?” She answered, “The end of the world.”
We did several rounds of EFT acupressure tapping which took about 15 minutes until the movie, narrated by her and guided by me, was down to a zero and the blocked fear energy in her torso and throat released. I asked Cindy to replay the scene in her mind like a videotape from start to finish, and to stop and tell me if any of the scenes still had a charge. She closed her eyes for a long moment. When she opened them she looked confused and a bit bewildered. She said, “It’s like looking at a movie I’m not in. It feels detached and sort of distant. My father’s mouth is moving, but nothing is coming out!”
I refilled Cindy’s water glass and observed that spaghetti sauce is made with tomatoes and onions. Two weeks later Cindy reported that as a test she ordered Italian food at a restaurant, and had no allergic symptoms.
I don’t know of any research on this point, but in my experience with hundreds of traumatized people, moments of extreme shock and/or trauma imprint on the body/mind like a multi-dimensional stamp. Certain people, objects, sounds, foods and other stimulus become part of the trauma memory. Vietnam veterans commonly report anxiety when they hear a helicopter. A woman sexually abused by her father was allergic to wool because there was a wool blanket on her bed at the time of the abuse. The brain apparently imports the 3-D memory and sears it into a brain flooded with stress chemicals that cause an auto-repeat trauma response or allergy when the same or similar stimulus is experienced, until that trauma is neutralized.
Barbara Allan is the author of the best selling book, Conquering Arthritis, to find out more about her journey, click here.
Visit her website for information on effective alternatives.