Rheumatoid Awareness Day 2017
February 2nd is Rheumatoid Awareness Day so I like to acknowledge and support the research and efforts that are being done to better understand this disease and to continue to strive for better ways to treat it. I have had RA since childhood and have navigated this landscape most of my life.
Rheumatoid disease effects more than just the joints. It is a systemic process that impacts many systems in the body. Very different from Osteoarthritis which is deterioration of the joints causing bone on bone pain and injuries.
As with many autoimmune conditions, a lot of the medications needed to manage the disease can have a serious negative impacts on one’s health. I hope that more and more research is done to find the root cause of conditions such as this and that breakthroughs will be made on how to treat them.
My medication ladder, as I sometimes refer to it, has been gradual. While my Rheumatoid response was quite well managed through my teens and early adulthood, once I reached my 40’s it really became aggressive. At that time, so did my medications. Starting with anti-inflammatory meds, moving to more of the big guns such as Sulfasalazine, Gold Injections, Methotrexate, Humira, Rituxan. It is at times, troubling to me when I think of the toxicity of these substances being pumped into me. But, there are times when I have absolutely needed them. No question.
Just when I thought I was at my max for the ‘big guns’ in pharmaceuticals, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. My chemotherapy was an entirely different playing field. Oh my goodness, that’s a story for another time.
As I reflect on things, I really feel I have been on a wellness journey all my life. I have always respected and understood where medication is required but I have also, always valued and respected how it is not the only piece of the puzzle. Very early on, I recognized that my emotional health and stress levels had a direct impact on my disease activity. I know I am not alone in that!! In fact, so many conversations I have with people with RA tell me the same thing. That’s why I like to do things to help support my emotional health as well, like mindfulness mediation, embracing my love of music, eating real and healthy foods and managing stress.
One of the most impactful and beautiful things that I do to complement my health is using essential oils. I’ve been around oils for decades but for some reason, I had put them aside and really hadn’t been remembering to use them for a few years. Well…..the drought is over. I have not only been using them again and absolutely loving it, I’m now also running a business by sharing and introducing the oils to others. I chose doTERRA to partner with because I find their oils to be the best in the world and the company to be in complete alignment with what I was looking for.
If you would like to learn more about essential oils, I would love to connect with you. I am based on Vancouver Island but I can work with people all over the globe.
Okay, so now I’m going to tell you how I used my doTERRA essential oils to help support me today. I started by day with my current favorite blend for the diffuser.
Then, I had to do about 4 hours of straight driving to take my Dad to and from an appointment a few towns away. It was a gorgeous day and we spent some nice quality time together. Once I got home however – ouch!! My neck and shoulders always take the worst beating from a long time driving. I wanted to reach into my oil supplies and use something topically to help with the discomfort and spasms. My oil of choice is one of our blends called PastTense. It’s in a convenient rollerball and is primarily used for tension and related discomfort. It can also reduce stressful feelings. That gave me the boost I needed to recharge.
I will end the day with another diffuser blend. In my house we have an issue with snoring. My magic blend for a restful sleep for all, is 3 drops Marjoram and 3 drops Lavender. It’s a nice relaxing blend that also clears the airways. We love it.
I’m going to be continue to write about my wellness journey and discoveries along the way. Let’s start a conversation. Do you find complimentary health methods help you navigate your own personal wellness plan? I’d love to hear about it.
Find me here: https://www.mydoterra.com/nanaimo/#/