I think looking back, that being diagnosed at the age of 11 with rheumatoid arthritis was the start of my interest in natural healing – and how the word ‘incurable’ to me now simply means ‘we don’t have an answer yet’. But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t one.
So there I was, with a passion for dancing and having just started secondary school in London. During the preceding summer holidays I had noticed that the balls of my feet were really tender with an achy pain. Nothing I did seemed to ease it, in fact it just increased. A few weeks later finger joints started to swell and become inflamed and very restricted in movement. My ankles were next, making walking very slow, painful and distressing. I remember the unbearable discomfort of the weight of blankets on my bed. There was no real respite from pain.
Visits to various doctors and consultants – diagnosis: rheumatoid arthritis, treatment: give up my beloved dancing, and manage the pain with 8 aspirins daily.
Luckily I was born with a defiant spirit, and whilst to begin with, being vulnerable and in pain, I followed the given advice. I certainly didn’t accept that this was my fate. I took the aspirins and reluctantly gave up dancing with an inner vow to show that consultant a gold medal that I would one day be able to achieve.
For 18 months I dealt with the challenges that come with such a situation. Until one day, walking into a health food shop, I came across a book that was to change everything. I opened the book quite randomly and read a paragraph about the value of blackstrap molasses and how it was known (anecdotally) to help elderly people with rheumatoid arthritis. I bought a jar of the stuff and began having a spoonful of it in hot water every night. Within a few days I started to feel stronger, within 3 weeks, I stopped taking the aspirins, the pain eased and the story has a happy ending. I even got the gold medal with distinction a while later. It was like a miracle – but what I had done was to give my body a tonic, rich in vital minerals, which had enabled it to heal.
I learned later that molasses is a wonderful blood cleanser, a rich natural source of iron and B vitamins, and so feeds the nerves, it is also rich in copper, potassium, iron, and calcium. A deficiency in potassium is considered to be a factor in causing arthritis.
But the story doesn’t quite end there. 3 or 4 times over the next few decades I had various swellings of joints – at one time so severe that I couldn’t walk for weeks. Each time, I have ‘cleaned’ up my diet – enriched it with only good food that can benefit me, done some soul searching for the emotional causes of the condition, visualized myself better than before, and I have recovered. I am prone to inflammatory conditions – the ‘incurable’ ones like eczema and asthma – but they have all led me on a path of discovery and eventually greater health and happiness.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition of inflammation – and if we can reduce the inflammation naturally we can reduce the pain without the side effects of suppressive drugs. Sometimes inflammatory conditions are linked to emotional upset too, so by supporting and nourishing ourselves as much as possible at every level we can facilitate our body’s incredible ability to heal itself. We just have to give it real attention, the best nutrition we can, and lots of love.