According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one out of every three Americans – or an estimated seventy million people! — is affected by arthritis. In fact, arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the United States. Arthritis has been around since ancient times. Prehistoric man and even the dinosaurs had it! It’s a little known fact but Tyrannosaurs (T. rex), suffered from gout, a type of arthritis in which the body generates excess uric acid. It is caused by a diet high in purine, a substance found in red meat. (Other causes of gout are drinking too much alcohol or lead poisoning.)
Many people think that arthritis goes with the territory of aging and that after a certain age it can’t be avoided. As an ageless goddess, I am here to tell you that you don’t have to put up with arthritis and the pain and disability it can bring.
What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is a disorder that involves inflammation in one or more joints. It is not just one disease; there are over 100 different forms of arthritis with even more distinct symptoms. Arthritis can affect people at any stage of life.
The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease that causes your cartilage to break down and for bone to rub against bone. Symptoms of osteoarthritis may include pain and stiffness that develops gradually. The most commonly affected joints include your fingers, knees, hips, and spine. Osteoarthritis less frequently affects the wrists, elbows, shoulders, and ankles. When it does affect one of these joints, it’s usually due to a history of injury or repetitive stress to that joint.
Another common form of arthritis is Rheumatoid Arthritis (R.A.). R.A. is labeled an autoimmune disorder. It affects the synovium, and may also affect other tissues and organs. Symptoms of R.A. may include painful swelling, inflammation, and stiffness in the middle joints of the fingers and the large joints in the body such as wrists, elbows, shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles. R.A. is typically symmetrical — occurring in the same joints on both sides of the body.
Underlying diseases, such as psoriasis or lupus and even common viruses can cause other types of arthritis. Finally, infections can cause septic arthritis.
Standard Care for Arthritis Causes More Harm Than Good
In Western culture, the standard of care for someone with arthritis includes OTC pain relievers and prescription drugs. The most commonly used drugs are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS.)
NSAIDs – including brand names such as Advil, Motrin, Midol, Aleve, Mobic, and many others — treat pain and also help reduce inflammation temporarily. They are available over the counter and in prescription strength. Acetaminophen (such as the brand Tylenol) is another pain reliever often used for arthritis. While it may reduce pain temporarily, it has no effect on the underlying inflammation. Of course, all of these medications have a long list of side effects including everything from stomach irritation to ulcers and even death.
NSAIDs affect the kidneys so they should never be used by patients with kidney disease. They have also been linked to cardiovascular risks, such as heart attack and stroke and increased blood pressure. Acetaminophen is highly associated with liver toxicity and acute liver failure even at a standard OTC dosage!
Patients with R.A. are typically prescribed a myriad of drugs, including steroids, TNF Alpha Inhibiting drugs (Humira and Remicade), disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) such as methotrexate (Trexall) and hydroxychloroquine (Plaquinil), and Biologics, which suppress your immune system.
These drugs are some of the most dangerous medications on the market. They have significant side effects, including high blood pressure, weight gain, high blood sugar, bone loss, nausea, headaches, fatigue, eye damage, and liver damage. Biologics can significantly increase your chance of serious infections such as tuberculosis, pneumonia, psoriasis, multiple sclerosis, and even cancer.
If this all seems like pretty scary stuff to you, you bet it is! If you are taking OTC pain relievers or prescription medications on a regular basis you need to be under close supervision by your doctor, and you may want to consider safer forms of pain relief, such as non-acetylated salicylates – The brand names include Salflex, Trilisate, and Disalcid.
Now, there are clearly circumstances where drugs are indicated. In fact, during the holidays I slipped on black ice and hurt my knee. I was in a lot of pain that night and took Naproxen to ease the pain so I could sleep. But, I know that even when an injury is involved, these drugs don’t get to the root of the problem, so the next day I did a Divine Love session with Bob Fritchie to heal my injury. I was able to avoid taking any additional pain relievers.
What Really Causes Arthritis
While the many forms of arthritis have very different causes, risk factors and effects on the body, they all share a common symptom—persistent joint pain.
Pain of any kind has emotional roots. In fact, studies show that emotional factors are crucial to the development of R.A. The emotions associated with arthritis are usually unexpressed anger, resentment, aggression, criticism (of self and others), lack of support, and fear. Experts suggest that one reason women are afflicted with R.A. four times more frequently than men is that women are taught from early childhood not to express anger.
It is also not uncommon for people with R.A. to have experienced some sort of emotional trauma, usually before age 5. Traumas that occur when you are young can hinder the development of your immune system and leave you susceptible to infections, such as Epstein-Barr virus, which Medical Medium Anthony William says is an underlying cause of R.A. symptoms.
How To Release Emotions To Heal From Arthritis
Where you experience arthritis in your body can be a clue to what hidden emotion or trauma you’re suppressing. One of my all-time favorite books for deciphering the emotional roots of physical pain is Heal Your Body by Louise Hay. You can use it to look up the location of your pain and gain an understanding of what emotion or trauma you may be suppressing.
Here’s how you can get to the root of your arthritis so you can heal:
Locate your pain. Use Louise Hay’s Heal Your Body to look up any body part where you are experiencing pain. For example, Louise says that pain in your neck is related to your inability to see the other side of an issue. Pain in your knee – a very common occurrence in our culture –means that you are being inflexible or stubborn. Pain in your hand represents holding on to something that’s not working for you or feeling unable to “handle” something.
Acknowledge the emotions of arthritis. If your pain is caused by arthritis, you always add anger, resentment, criticism or fear into the mix. So, for example, the pain in your hand could be from holding on to something. Because the pain is caused by arthritis, you may feel angry or resentful about whatever it is that you are holding on to.
Determine which side of your body is affected. Typically, arthritis on the left side of your body will have to do with relationships, creativity, and other feminine qualities, or the women in your life. Arthritis on the right side of your body has to do with the masculine side, such as career and finances, or the men in your life. If it’s your left hand, you may be holding on to a relationship that isn’t working and that is causing you to feel resentment. If it’s your right hand, you may feel afraid to reach for something, such as a job. (Note: In a very small percentage of people these masculine and feminine energies can be reversed.)
Express your emotions then release them. Once you have identified the location and meaning of your arthritis, express the emotion(s) associated with it. Start by placing a hand on your painful body part and say, “This hurts.” If you have pain in more than one place, move your hand from one place to the other and simply repeat “This hurts,” or “I hurt here.” Then say, “I choose to release this” and name the emotion or event, you can say, I now clear my anger, resentment and fear out of my joints.” This process will help you peel away the layers and uncover the root cause of your arthritis.
Remember, even though you may have experienced a painful event, you get to choose how you interpret and respond to it. When you hold on to painful memories, your body reacts with physical pain, hormonal secretions, and other stress responses. Own your emotions and then let them go. This is the equivalent of taking out the garbage every day. You can also ask that Divine Love assist you with releasing your emotions. I do this every morning.
9 Alternative Therapies For Arthritis Pain Relief
Getting control of your pain is an important aspect of healing from arthritis. If you don’t address the pain you can become fatigued and even depressed, which takes a toll on your immune system. If you must take a drug, take the safest one possible for the shortest amount of time possible. In addition, try adding one or several of the following alternatives to your pain management routine while you continue to practice releasing the emotions associated with your arthritis.
Here are nine proven techniques and therapies to help you heal from arthritis pain:
- Clean Up Your Diet. Most Americans eat a highly inflammatory diet. Eating real, whole foods is a no brainer when it comes to easing pain of all types. Be sure to eliminate all grains and sugar. These increase insulin and leptin levels and cause inflammation. Also, eliminate dairy, corn, soy, and all processed foods.
- Optimize Vitamin D. The best way to increase your Vitamin D is through sun exposure. If you live in a climate where you don’t get enough sun, try taking a Vitamin D supplement. Optimal blood levels of Vitamin D are between 40-80 ng/ml. It generally takes 5,000 IU per day to maintain this level. You can get your level checked with a test kit from grassrootshealth.net
- Add Omega 3 Oils. Omega 3 oils mediate inflammation. Add plant-based Omega 3s to your diet such as flax seeds and walnuts. You could also try a high-quality EFA supplement.
- Practice Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). Tapping can help you release stress and emotional trauma and get to the root of your arthritis pain.
- Try Anti-Inflammatory Foods. Add curcumin, ginger, and pineapple to your diet. Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables – the more colors the better. Remove any foods that you may be sensitive to – people with arthritis often don’t do well with night shades. Eat your food as close to raw as possible. Try to eat organic when you can. Juicing is also a great way to get your fruits and vegetables.
- Try Acupuncture. The Chinese believe arthritis is a disease of blockages or obstruction of one of the energy meridians. Acupuncture – like EFT– can help to clear your energy meridians and ease pain and inflammation.
- Get Grounded. Grounding, or Earthing, uses the Earth’s electrons like a magnetic mop, cleaning up positively-charged, inflammation-causing electrons and creating balance in your personal electrical circuitry. Simply put your bare feet on the ground and allow them up to soak up all of the good negatively-charged electrons. Studies have shown that standing on the earth for 20 minutes per day decreases cellular inflammation by 20%.
- Meditate. Studies show that meditation — particularly a practice called mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) — can help people with arthritis take control of their pain and other symptoms, including symptoms of depression. Meditation has also been proven to reduce pain intensity and pain-related activity in the brain. Some studies show that meditation improves functional status and quality of life. This is most likely because pain is not only a physical experience but also an emotional experience. The key is to practice meditation regularly.
- Use Divine Love. Divine Love is the most powerful healer of all. When you do a Divine Love petition you connect to your Source Energy. This can be used every day without any side effects. For more information on this go to worldserviceinstitute.org