I learnt about Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) in college and went on to treat patients with RA in the traditional hospital setting. My amazing website designer, Deb Puku, has been living with this diagnosis for over a year now. Recently we have been working intensively together to see what change we can bring about. There are days where it is hard for Deb to walk into my office and then for one joyous day she was pain free. The fluctuations in symptoms is one of the features of many chronic disease patterns that can be quite frustrating!
I asked Deb to share about her experience of RA, what she has learnt about living with a chronic disease and how CST has supported her.
“My understanding about RA has changed since I first was diagnosed over a year ago. Back then, I would've told you it was a disease where my immune system was attacking my joints. Now, after a year of reading and learning, I realize the medical community doesn't really know exactly what RA is or what causes it.
I was prepared to take the medical prescription being offered to me, until I started reading about the side effects. About 20 years ago, I had a pretty severe stomach condition, and it seemed like every side effect for the RA protocol had something to do with the stomach. I just didn't feel lucky enough to go forward with that!
What I did know was that my RA was at least triggered by my stress. So I started working with people to address what was going on with my head and emotions, at least until I could figure out what I was going to do with my body. I am doing a combination of diet, CST, emotion code, NLP, biofeedback and tapping, which Kate suggested.
I was surprised by the results I have gotten with CST. I always thought of CST as something that helps the body. What I didn't realize was how much it would help me mentally and emotionally uncover things that I didn't even know existed. The sessions were increasingly becoming very personal! And it seemed like the more I talked about what was in my head and heart, the more my body would respond with physical movement and releases. I have literally, many times, walked into my CST session with stabbing pain, and walked out with it gone. I think that's crazy.
RA has forced me to examine the stress and patterns of thinking I had for my entire life. I used to think that stress was just an acceptable part of life. Now I understand how destructive it is. But if you would've tried to tell me I was stressed out, I would've just laughed you off. I couldn't even see it. It was only through RA that I have been able see that chronic stress isn't funny.”
I also asked Deb if she had any advise for other people with RA?
"I would tell them to ask themselves what strange, unforeseen benefits they might be getting from RA. Were they working too hard for too long? Were they serving others to the detriment of themselves? For me, RA seemed to force a personal vacation on me, and one I did not know I needed."
Deb also added “Be kind to the caregivers in your life. Choosing a natural solution to RA means needing extreme levels of support. Make sure you have that in place, and make sure to nurture and thank the people who support you.”
I am grateful to Deb for sharing her thoughts with us all. Our own healing journeys are so personal and unique.
Love from my hands and heart,