Fight RA with the mind

Your body is clogged with inflammation; your legs feel like tree trunks, your shoulders are so rigid they could be encased in concrete, and your fingers and toes are a row of useless stumps.

If you’ve never experience rheumatoid arthritis, it’s a hundred times worse than you feel the morning after a major physical work out. And it’s like that every day, almost entirely without exception.

You tell yourself you have to get moving, but that’s the last thing you want to do. Every step, every lift of an arm takes monumental effort. Your heart is pounding, your breathing is laboured, and your skin is clammy. You need to sit.

‘To hell with it,’ you say, and slump back onto a chair.

This used to be so familiar to me that thinking about it still gnaws at my heart. Just for once, I wanted to wake up supple and bouncy. I didn’t want to walk flat-footed to the bathroom, I didn’t want to arrive downstairs breathless and panting and needing another sleep, and I didn’t want to be wracked with pain for the best part of the day.

It’s then that I realised that the quicker I started moving, the quicker I would be freed of the agony. So I walked and walked, chanting with every agonising step. ‘I won’t let you beat me,’ I’d say, over and over. ‘I am going to move.’

My RA was the enemy and I had taken command. I was going to fight. I would not let it control every aspect of my life ever again.

It may seem strange that something as simple as applying mental strength could help, but I now believe it was fundamental to my recovery. At the time, I didn’t believe the mind to be such a powerful tool; nonetheless, due to my husband’s insistence, I never gave up. My rewards were instant. Not only did my stiffness disappear quicker, I also had a more positive mindset and started doing the things I had once enjoyed. In addition, and over time, my inflammation reduced.

I don’t know what actually happened. Maybe my brain started releasing positive hormones rather than the negative ones, thus aiding the fight and helping my immune system get back in balance. Stress plays a huge part in the state of our health, and is one of main factors in many diseases. So why not RA? Eradicating it certainly helped me.

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About Honor A Dawson

I live in a rural location with my husband, dogs, cats and chickens. I love reading and writing, watching and playing tennis, and wildlife and nature.

Posted on September 24, 2013, in Rheumatoid Arthritis and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

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