BRAIN & ARTHRITIS CONNECTION….

Its all in your head? Does it sound familiar!

Since today being WORLD BRAIN DAY …just sharing a few thoughts

Do you sometimes feel like your thinking is cloudy or you are in extreme pain? Don’t worry—you’re not going crazy! Many people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or any other arthritis experience these feelings.

Over the years I have seen including these below mentioned pointers in my daily life has helped me tremendously through the years…and have very rarely experienced brain fog…

  • I take time out when needed….
  • Keep up to my exercise schedules
  • Manage my daily tasks as per my energy levels.
  • Try and keep things in the same place so that I avoid wasting my time searching for them ….
  • I use reminders and planners to stay organized
  • I eat healthy and try my best to maintain a healthy gut.
  • Watch out on my food in sensitivities and other inflammatory foods
  • Solve puzzles, play brain games and write
  • Be an active member of a support group
  • Take medications regularly and believe in naturopathy treatments

Our food habits and lifestyle have a major impact on our brain health. Brain health is not different from physical health in any sense. Regular exercise helps in maintaining blood pressure and good circulation which is necessary for proper functioning of the brain. It has been proven that movement and meditation also boost functioning of brain.

It is essential that we take care of our brain. Every day, many of you may be unknowingly harming your brain in some way or the other. There are many activities and habits that we need to avoid to preserve our brain health as Arthritic Warriors.

Sleep Deprivation due to pain and its effect on our brain is more pronounced. Lack of sleep affects the hippocampus, which can lead to memory problems. When we sleep, our brain gets a chance to rest too. It can purify itself of toxins only when we are in deep sleep. This helps the cells to rejuvenate.

Sedentary Lifestyle due to pain leads to loneliness and mood swings. You don’t have to visit the gym to get the benefits of exercise. Just walk every day or attend yoga classes or a inter active support group session…the mind will be alert.

The brain is not just a passive, gullible receiver for whatever messages the peripheral nerves send upstairs. And, if you think about it, it’s kind of strange that we would ever have thought of it that way, because this is, after all, the brain we’re talking about: seat of consciousness, the generator of our reality. The brain critically evaluates every danger message it receives — considering it in context, sizing it up before deciding whether or not to take it seriously. Hence, we Arthritic Warriors should avoid being concerned about things that haven’t happened yet taken up our valuable mental space, avoid thinking of the ifs and buts of our arthritic condition, make the most of your today. Instead, focus on the present moment and live in the moment!

Be happy…stay joyful!

 

 

 

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Today -21st June is International Yoga Day

I have been practicing yoga for the last 15 years and it has helped me to focus on my breathing and building awareness of my mind-body connection.

Over the years I have seen that in addition to the physical benefits, yoga has reduced my stress and anxiety levels through the breathing exercises and meditation. A certain amount of mental clarity and stillness comes across and the mood improvements has surely assisted me in coping my RA.

I remember my early specialized yoga practitioners used to mention something to this extent that Yoga facilitates the mind’s capacity to affect bodily function and symptoms mediated through a variety of downstream pathways and bring about natural immunological tolerance. I never understood the holistic underlying meaning beneath these statements those days but looking back today it does have its roots in its efficacy!

The gentle yoga exercises do help us to focus on our body’s natural tendency to heal itself and find balance.

I suggest discussing yoga with your doctor before giving it a try and then, once you get started, always listen to your body. If it feels like a stretch, that is a good thing, but if it hurts, the pose may not be right for you.

In my beginner’s class and sometimes till date, I always use props such as blocks, pillows or rolled up towels whenever I need support.

No matter what type of yoga you decide to try, I would say it is better to begin with a qualified practitioner. Save the yoga videos for later date, when you’re more confident with your yoga practice. If possible, find an instructor who has experience working with people with chronic conditions like arthritis.

To summarize I would say that socializing is a component of group yoga practices that has motivated me to seek out yoga classes, and currently this aspect of my yoga classes has been particularly beneficial to me.

The face-to-face socializing yoga class, in addition to reducing pain and enhancing my mobility, has always offered me a mood-boosting camaraderie!

Due to COVID – 19 pandemic, most yoga practitioners around the world have shut down the yoga studios and turned to limited home practices and online yoga classes. Hence, International Yoga Day 2020 mostly will be celebrated through digital media all over the globe due to the pandemic and lock-down imposed.

Happy Yoga Day to you and all my Dancing Yogis out there !

“The body benefits from movement, and the mind benefits from stillness” – Sakyong Mipham

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Points to remember about Arthritis – Part 2

 

Arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the world. It is not a single disease, but a grouping of conditions that affect joint pain.

There are more than 100 different types of arthritis and related conditions.  While arthritis can affect both men and women, it is most common among women and occurs more frequently as people get older.

Common arthritis joint symptoms include swelling, pain, stiffness and decreased range of motion. Symptoms may come and go and can be mild, moderate or severe. They may stay about the same for years but may progress or get worse over time

Severe arthritis can result in chronic pain and inability to do daily activities. Arthritis can cause permanent joint changes.

These changes may be visible, such as knobby finger joints, but often the damage can only be seen on X-rays.

Some types of arthritis also affect the heart, eyes, lungs, kidneys and skin as well as the joints.

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Mind-Body Practices when Living with Arthritis

I have resorted to Mind-body practices like mindfulness which has helped me to deal with rheumatoid arthritis which usually is accompanied by pain, fatigue, sleep difficulties and stress, among other concerns. By remembering that the body and mind work together, I have learnt to channel this bi-directional (mind influences body, body influences mind) experience towards achieving some stress reduction and improving my overall sense of well-being.

Mindfulness as I have been thought through my special sessions, simply means the focus of the energy of the mind – or focused awareness. The idea is that you focus, aim, and sustain attention. There are many ways to be mindful, but the foundation of all mindfulness is being in the moment.

Mindfulness is the practice of purposely focusing your attention on the present moment—and accepting it without judgment.

Mindfulness has been one of my most powerful tonics on my journey of wellbeing!

Will talk about the tools used in my next posts.

Peaceful moments to all!

When a Loved one has Arthritis

 

Looking after someone or becoming the carer for someone who has arthritis can be difficult and it can be challenging.

There is a fine balance to strike which involves providing a good level of care but also allowing that person their independence and respecting their wishes about their care.

It’s important to gauge when care is needed and when you can stand back and there will be bumps along the way but you can be sure every day you provide care, will be highly valued.

Understanding Arthritis is important because it not only affects the person with the ailment but impacts every person in their close circle of family and friends. Arthritis is a chronic condition and its impact is a life-long journey.

People with arthritis often are discouraged and say, “My family doesn’t understand”, or “My friend doesn’t get what it’s like for me”. Family and friends are not deliberately trying to misunderstand, be difficult, or seem uncompassionate. They really don’t understand, as they are not in your shoes! Hence awareness campaigns are important.

Suggest certain actions family and friends can take to enhance their understanding.

Understand what arthritis means – what causes it, how it develops, and how it affects people. In the same way that understanding their condition helps people with arthritis to cope with it, the more you understand about arthritis the more you will be able to provide successful care and support.

Communicate effectively. Good communication in both directions is essential. The person with arthritis needs to feel well supported and may also need reassurance that you do not resent the responsibility falling on you. It needs to be transparent.

Offer practical help with the treatment. This may mean helping the person to take their medications or assisting with recommended exercises, activities or therapies that they have found helpful in reducing the symptoms of their arthritis. Continuity is the key.

Support the person as a family member or close friend of the person who has arthritis, ask if you can accompany them to their doctor appointment. This is a way of demonstrating your support and also gives you the opportunity to raise questions and to hear the response directly from the doctor. It is yet another good way to learn and support at the same time.

 

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MAY – My RA Musings:

 

I must admit my websites name is RA Positive Hub…but yes, some days it’s pretty hard to stay positive!

Whenever negative knocks at my door, I make sure my full room is filled with positivity, so there is no place for negativity, these are those difficult flare up days!

As every RA Warrior is well aware, it could be exhausting explaining to people why you’re not working, or why you are not socialising, or why you are not driving and so on…but never give up!

Actually, in my good old days if I heard “but you actually don’t look sick from out you look fine”, I would be upset…

But as time passed and I gracefully learnt to accept my ailment it gave me courage and hope in some of my darker moments. Today I can say all my baby steps on the road to well-being, are counted as my major achievements and have been placed in a better space to manage myself.

We have special months dedicated for ailment awareness…and month of May is ARTHRITIS AWARENESS MONTH.

So, let us go out in full spirit, spread the word and make the world a better place, thereby try to change the community mindset! Awareness is the key as it does not only help to make the lives of Arthritis Warriors much easier but also, if the community at large is made aware of the ailment and a conscious inner awareness can be ignited, they themselves will be on the constant look out for their own wellbeing and their families and automatically become good care givers if they have RA Warriors like you and me in their families!.

Be Positive and Blissful!

 

 

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Speak our hearts out…….

 

I Just thought ..Let us speak our heart out in these COVID times

Join me, get comfy and have a virtual cuppa coffee with me in these lockdown times.

We all know sometimes you just need a friend, a hug, and time to care for the ‘you’ inside. We understand that arthritis affects lives in ways beyond the physical; it can hurt your emotions, your self-esteem and cause worries too. Too much of the corona virus Stress, Anxiety and Worry talks happening around.

This section is a pure hug in words!

I will releasing small podcasts and if you have your views please respond.

I am working on my website to get it more interactive ..hopefully it gets done soon.

This is all from the heart! Let us give each other some moments of strength in all this uncertainty.

Be safe be happy! Watch out for my next round !