I have had 6 flare-ups / breakdowns from arthritis in 1970 (aged 35), 1992 (56) 2000 (64) 2004 (68) 2005 (69) 2006 (70) making me housebound for 1-6 months each time. I find that each flare-up correlates to a double whammy of astrological transits of Saturn and Uranus, Neptune or Pluto.
During a Family Constellation training on 10.6.07 during a meditation I had a revelation that my frozen shoulder and ‘dead’ right hand was representing an uncle who was born in 1896 who only lived 10 hours, and that my ‘wheelclamped’ knees were representing an uncle who got himself interned in a concentration camp in Berlin 1914-18. Honouring them and giving them a place in my heart seems to have ‘cured’ my arthritis, as I have another double whammy transit now, but without symptoms. I hope by this article to encourage people with arthritis and other chronic conditions:
- to test whether the benefit of taking drugs continuously is really worth the side effects
- to research whether their health breakdowns correlate with their astrological transits.
- to consider whether their condition could be in memory of an excluded ancestor
2 Introduction -the conventional approach to arthritis
Arthritis, also known as rheumatism, is said to afflict 9 million in the UK (1) It is painful inflammation of the joints, particularly in the spine, hips, knees, shoulders, and fingers. The joint lining of cartilage wears away in use and is normally regenerated, but in arthritis sufferers it is not. It is an ‘auto-immune’ disease in which some ‘rogue’ element ‘erroneously’ attacks the process, precipitating breakdown and preventing repair.
Doctors say that it is ‘degenerative’ meaning that it can only get worse. I do not believe this as in my experience it tends to ‘flare up’ when it is bad, and have periods of remission, when I am back to normal. I have been suffering from it off and on for 36 years, and have had 6 flare ups. They are getting more frequent and severe presumably because of my age, (71) born 17.11.1935. The last 3 have been in the last 3 years. I have developed an alternative approach, as follows
Conventional medicine does not seem to know the cause of arthritis (or any other chronic condition). Doctors often put it down to ‘wear and tear’ in older people, but this begs the question why some people’s joints wear out and others do not. Machines wear out, but not people, whose cells normally regenerate continuously. I have read that the cells of the mouth regenerate every day, and even those of the bones regenerate within 7 years. We are the ultimate in recycling.
Conventional medicine says that apart from joint replacement surgery, there is no cure, and that treatment can only alleviate the symptoms. Conventional treatment is physiotherapy and drugs.
Physiotherapy is available in a self-help group of the National Ankolosing Sponylitis Society (NASS) in Brighton, (2) Drugs are pain killers such as paracetamol, codeine, and non-steroidal anti-inflamatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprufen, volterol, intramethasol, celebrex,). and cortisone injections into the joint.
Surgery may or may not be indicated or necessary. A knee surgeon (3) conducted a trial in which he divided his patients into 3 groups. On one group he shaved the damaged cartilage. In the second he flushed out the joint, removing material thought to be causing the inflammation. The third group got ‘fake’ surgery as a placebo group. He made the standard incisions and then talked and acted just as he would have during real surgery, and then sewed up the incisions. Afterwards, the groups were all treated the same, and monitored for two years before being told which group they were in. The placebo group improved just as much as the other two groups.
This may not be surprising if you accept the modern paradigm of the body as a collection of cells, each cell more ‘complicated than London’, but only living for some months, and then regenerating as new cells. The life force places each molecule in the right place in each cell at the right time. Doctors’ interventions may sometimes be able to help (as with setting broken bones) but it is presumptuous to think that doctors can always do better than the life force. I believe that ‘existence’ (call it what you will) is looking after us, and knows better than our minds what we need each moment (which may include the pain of a breakdown).
3 Phases of my flare ups
3.1 Deterioration phase
I first noticed my frozen right shoulder (breakdown 6) when it became painful to raise my arm enough to put on a shirt. Over about a month it developed so that I could not raise my right hand above my head. My right hand then became inflamed, with first and second finger joint s swollen, red and painful, so that I could not use my hand to hold a knife or toothbrush. About the same time my left leg felt very heavy when I stood or walked. Over about a month my left knee became swollen, hot, and very painful to stand or walk. My energy for doing my usual activities diminished to a tenth of normal.
3.2 House bound phase
I became slower and slower at riding a bicycle (my usual method of getting around Brighton) because of my lack of energy. I was unable to keep going into a moderate head wind, so had to stop cycling. The pain caused my reactions to become so slow that I did not dare to drive a car. I could walk to the bus stop (about 300 yards) but very slowly (10 minutes) and on occasions I had to sit on a wall and rest halfway. My legs felt elephantine, and were hard to control. Stairs, both up and down, were very painful, with a searing pain in the left knee cap, (to level 8) and sometimes I had to go one at a time, only on my good (right) leg on the riser.
I had to take ibuprufen and paracetamol in the evening to get any sleep at night. Even then the pain broke through about every hour, so that I would have to get out of bed, walk and do cycling exercises to dissipate the acid(?) or whatever was causing it. The pain then subsided so that I could comfortably doze or sleep for perhaps an hour. I would have to get up perhaps 8 times per night.
I only had energy to make one outing per day of a few hours, after which I would flop in a reclining chair and doze, without the energy to even read. If I did too much my body went into a state of shock, (as if I might faint, but never did). and I would have to rest.
3.3 Recovery phase
My energy slowly came back so that I could read or work at my computer for a few hours per day, (eg writing this). The inflammation in the joints slowly diminished, and itched, so that I felt the need to massage my knee and hand frequently to help the circulation. By March I was able to cycle again, and gradually my energy and strength increased to near normal and pain free by the end of May.
4 Use of pain killers
As described above, my arthritis was excruciatingly painful when I moved the joint. We are all conditioned to think that pain is bad and should be avoided at any cost. Doctors’ advice is therefore to take pain killers and anti-inflammatory drugs.
However, the patient information leaflets with the drugs which are sold over the counter (ibiprufen, paracetamol) says ‘for short term use only’ meaning for no more than 3 days, which is not much use for long term conditions like arthritis. The leaflet for prescription drugs (such as celebrex) say ‘Your doctor will tell you how long you should take them for.’ which passes the buck. The reason for their caution is the side effects.
The leaflet about Celebrex lists 40 possible side effects, which include skin rash, water retention, constipation, liver and kidney damage, stomach ulcers, heart attacks and strokes. Although these are listed to protect the company against being sued, how are we or our doctors supposed to assess the risks to us personally?
Most patients with whom I have spoken passively accept their doctor’s advice and take drugs to suppress their symptoms as the lesser of the two evils. They monitor the effect of the drug and use their doctor to help them to find the least bad drug whose side effects they can tolerate. Some need drugs to counteract the side effect of other drugs, and end up with taking a ‘chemist’s shop’ every day. They may find a drug regime enabling them to lead a normal life, going to work and playing sport. Some have done this apparently successfully for decades.
5 Drug addiction
The problem with a continuous drug approach is that you have to stay on the drug for the rest of your life, whether you need it or not. Drugs would only be needed continuously if doctors were right that once you have arthritis, (or any other chronic condition) you will always have it, and that it is degenerative, meaning that it can only get worse. If their patients believe them, it may become a self-fulfilling prophesy. There is always a secondary gain or payoff of being ill, which may make your illness addictive so you cannot give it up.
Every drug is a toxin and has side effects, whether you notice them or not. It has to be detoxified in your liver, putting additional strain on it. If your liver cannot cope, the toxins will accumulate. Even at minimal dosage of ibuprofen I felt slightly dopey, and could not think as clearly as I could without them. They also made me constipated and the straining to defecate has brought on a recurrence of my hernia. Some patients persuade themselves that they have no side effects, ignoring signs of ill health obvious to others, such as poor skin colour, lack of vitality and obesity.
Many people on drug regimes are taken by surprise by an ‘adverse reaction’, as was my mother-in-law who suddenly developed peritonitis from a perforated gut, was operated on as an emergence. Adverse drug reactions may become so numerous that drugs have to be withdawn from the market eg Vioxx in 2004 after being linked with 28,000 deaths and heart attacks. There is a sorry catalogue of these problems in a book ‘Food is better medicine than drugs’ (4)
If you are on a drug regime for arthritis (or any other condition) is it really in your best interest?
Do you allow yourself to ask this question? . Are you doing it to please your doctor and vindicate his judgement? Is it out of fear at what might happen if you stopped? We live in a culture of fear. Doctors put patients under pressure to ‘keep taking the pills’ out of fear of being sued. Patients obey them out of fear of the consequence of disobeying authority, which might be withholding treatment, (or unconsciously seeing the doctor as a quasi-parent who will no longer love them)
My mother was a doctor, so I learned the limitations of the medical profession, and treat them like any other service provider, who is on tap, not on top. When my arthritis flares up I take pain killers sparingly, and when it dies down I stop. Like other patients, I do not go back to my doctor to tell him I am better, so there is no way in which he can know what is going on for me.. If I had taken drugs all the time, I might have missed a remission when I did not need them and become a drug addict, like so many people I know..
If you are on a drug continuously, and are not happy about it, occasional testing what happens when you reduce the dose or do not take them is therefore a good idea. Make allowance that withdrawl from a drug may be particularly painful, as the body has got used to it, and will not release natural endorphins so readily. This may be so painful that you abandon the test, and be reluctant to try again. For that reason, it is best to slowly reduce the dose before you withdraw.
One patient who has been on anti-inflammatories and pain killers for 30 years told me that he once ran out. After a few days he was so stiff that he could hardly move, so had to continue. This indicates the truth of ‘use it or lose it’. The body can make all the drugs it needs, but may lose that ability if they are supplied from outside. (Eg the pancreas loses its ability to make insulin if you take it, and the muscles of the eye lose capacity to accommodate if you wear glasses)
6 My experience of breakdowns
I have had 6 breakdowns of health through flare ups of arthritis (all except the first one diagnosed ankolosing spondilitis) over the last 36 years, summarised as follows:
Duration of breakdown
1 Dec 1969-May 1970
Glandular fever, housebound 3 months Jan-Mar
2 Feb – May 1992
Osteoporosis, housebound 2 months mid Mar-mid May
3 March-April 2000
Arthritis, wheelchair bound 1 month Mar (Janet dying Dec-May)
4 July – Dec 2004
Hip collapse, artificial hip operation 13.10.04, housebound 4 months
5 Mar- June 2005
Flare up of right knee, housebound 3 months Apr-June
6 Aug 2006 – March 2007
Flare up of left knee, frozen right shoulder and hand, housebound 6 months Sept-Feb
Breakdown 1 (aged 35) corresponded with the stress of redundancy, getting another job, moving house and the birth of my third child. I was diagnosed with glandular fever but not offered any treatment, and I quickly got better from April onwards.
In breakdown 2, (aged 57) a scan after a fall showed compression fractures of my lumbar vertibrae, and low bone mineral density because of osteoporosis, which was said to be degenerative, implying that I would never recover. I was offered didronel (an editronate) which was said to put 5% back in my bones in 3 years. I was going to a reflexologist who said that she could do better, and under her weekly treatments I improved 8% in 1 year and after a few years was back to normal bone density and feeling fine.
Breakdown 3 (aged 64) corresponded with the stress of my wife Janet having been diagnosed with terminal liver cancer. I had 6 ayurvedic treatments with aswaganda oil, and got better rapidly. After 37 years of marriage her condition and mine should be viewed together as two halves of one unit.
Breakdown 4 (aged 68) After months of increasing pain while walking, my hip suddenly ‘collapsed’ while climbing the stairs at London Bridge station An X ray showed that I had no cartilage on my right hip which was bone to bone. I had a replacement operation and recovered rapidly. However, a few months later came breakdown 5, which I think should be taken together.
Breakdown 5 (aged 69) my right knee flared up out of the blue, diagnosed as osteoarthritis, degenerative, and I would have to have an artificial knee. I was put on Vioxx and took it for a month until it was withdrawn. It was very effective in killing the pain, as was ibuprufen, which I took at night in minimal dosage. I saw a rheumatologist who advised cortisone injections I declined, (to his disgust) preferring to suffer the pain and being housebound. The condition soon went away by itself, and my right knee is now back to normal, with no sign of arthritis.
Breakdown 6 (aged 70) was just like breakdown 5, except that it affected the left knee instead together with my right shoulder and hand. As before I have accepted the pain and being housebound while waiting for it to go away. I have taken paracetamol with codeine, and ibuprofen in minimal dosage (maximum 1 tablet per night, ie 500/8mg, 200mg) to get some sleep until 21.1.07, since when I have taken no drugs. From Oct-Jan the pain broke through about every hour, and I had to get out of bed and do cycling movements to disperse the painful toxins in the joint.
I have tried massage, reflexology and ayurvedic treatment, but they have not helped. I am on a vegan diet with oily fish, and supplement with flax seed, glucosamine and controitin and vitamin C. Since 3.3.07 (when Saturn went beyond a 3 degree orb, see below) the inflammation in both my knee and shoulder has reduced, I have been able to cycle again, and have not been disturbed by pain at night.
7 Cause of disease
From my experience, the underlying cause of every disease seems to be emotional, namely emotions which were not sufficiently expressed at the time (eg childhood and past lives) repressed only to surface later (during an astrological transit, see below) Our physical body is a manifestation (crystallisation) of our emotional body, so defects in the latter will be defects in the former.
Our bones are our support structure, and our joints are flexible. If we did not have enough support or flexibility in our early life, about which we are angry, it may manifest later as arthritis. I think that this applies to me. I believe that feelings (even pain) were meant to be felt and if we anaesthetise ourself, we are avoiding part of our life.
To heal we have to feel more supported and flexible. This can be done by looking at our relationships to ourself, family, partner, friends, colleagues. Meditation therapy groups have changed my hatred of myself to love. In this safe space they allowed me to clear out my anger by expressing it in catharsis. This erased it in my cellular memories, and left space for fresh energy of compassion. (like erasing rubbish on a tape recording or ipod, to leave space for new songs)
I have also done many days of family constellation therapy groups which change our understanding of our family relationships. They have changed my attitude from seeing myself as a resentful victim to seeing myself as a grateful beneficiary of life. I now feel content and at peace with myself, which is healing.
From 1-10.6.07 I did a family constellation training with meditation, including a representation of my arthritis. It gave rise to two revelations. First that my ‘dead’ right arm and hand was caused by my need to remember my maternal uncle who was born in 1896 but only lived 10 hours, and over whose loss my grandparents were grief-stricken all the rest of their lives. Second, that my wheelclamped knee was caused by my need to remember my paternal uncle Norman who was interned in a concentration camp in Berlin throughout the first world war, so ‘wheelclamped’ for 4 years. He was the black sheep of the family, so was excluded from the loving support of his family.
I went through the healing process of honouring both my excluded uncles, and giving them a place in my heart with love, and letting them go. I have since felt lighter, as if my need to suffer the pain of further flare-ups of arthritis has gone. I feel that I have cured myself, but of course only time will tell whether this turns out to be true. (see paragraph 13 below)
8 Timing of flare ups
People ask me whether my flare ups are due to the weather, or my diet.. I reply: ‘No. The only correlation I can find is with my astrological transits. My wife, Phoebe Wyss, is a professional astrologer, and at the start of breakdown 5, in April 2005, told me ‘you have difficult transits for the next few months, which will peak on 15th May but are moving away at the end of June, after which your condition will improve’. Giving this sort of advice on health has been part of her work with clients for the last 25 years, so I took what she said seriously.
I found this information helpful to me in coping with what I called my ‘wheelclamp’.. My condition did indeed get worse until the middle of May, (when I could only walk 25 yards in great pain) but then it got better. Although an invalid, I was confident enough to book and go to a wedding in Germany in July. By the end of August I was back to normal, cycling and walking for miles. There are several possible explanations for this result of my wife’s advice:
a). It was a fluke, pure coincidence. The odds against this are high.
b) The power of suggestion, placebo effect. My wife gave me an idea which I wanted to believe (that I would eventually get better) which I manifested.
c) That astrology works, and that we are indeed influenced by where the planets are.
Nobody thinks it odd that our energy is low at night when the sun is below the horizon. Womens’ menstrual cycle follows the moon. A&E departments know that they will be busiest at the full moon. Why shouldn’t the position of the other planets too affect our energy and health? Prof Richard Tarnas has just published a book of 600 pages of evidence showing the correlation of thousands of historical events with the positions of the planets (Cosmos and Psyche)
9 Rules of correlation of transits and health
Wondering whether the correlation of breakdown 5 to transits was a one-off, I have researched my other breakdowns, and find that they all correlate with transits, sometimes almost to the day of an event such as the collapse of my right hip on 21.8.04, correlating with a triple whammy of transits all within a 1 degree orb. My wife Phoebe says that transits should not be seen as ‘cause and effect’ but merely tendencies in the energy. However, they seem to have acted on me like causes, the ‘rules’ of which seem to be as follows.
i) Use only hard aspect transits (meaning conjunction, 0 opposition 180, square 90 degrees)
ii) The nearer to exactitude (0 degrees) the smaller the orb, (tolerance from exactitude) the stronger the effect
iii) A 3 degree orb should be taken at the start and a 1 degree orb at the end of the transit.
iv) One transit is not enough to ‘provoke’ a breakdown. A ‘double whammy’ (meaning two
transits coinciding) is needed. Triple or quadruple transits are possible, and can be powerful
enough to ‘cause’ death, depending on the strength of the immune system.
v) The main planets to look for are the trans-personal ones Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, but Mars may be powerful too..
vi) Check the transits of your life partner, child, parent, with whom you are identified as a unit or item, so connected energetically. You (or they) may be manifesting the condition for both of you.
I have analysed all my 6 breakdowns, and find that they all correlate with my astrological transits, and explain the timing of the onset, severe phase, and start of recovery. . The main benefit of knowing this is being able to predict when I would get better, which gave me hope of recovery rather than despair that I would only get worse.
If the correlation between health breakdowns and astrological transits is confirmed generally by clinical trials, and accepted by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) and the NHS, it could help every patient, particularly the 17 million people with chronic conditions. I hope that professional researchers will follow up this idea, in which I would be pleased to help.
10 Purpose of arthritis (or other disease)
I believe that everything has a purpose in life, but it is difficult to tell what that purpose really is. On first thoughts, disease is seen by our mind as an accursed nuisance, because it stops us doing what we want to do (I describe my arthritis as a ‘wheelclamp’.) Taking conventional treatment of drugs or surgery is attractive because it enables us to carry on as before, as if nothing had happened. However, it will just suppress the symptoms, and we will never find the point of disaeas because we avoided it.
The purpose of the disease may only become clear with hindsight. Looking back, I now see my breakdowns as blessings, as they made me change my lifestyle by doing the following:
1 Find another job (in Brighton) and relocate my family to Hove.
2 Retire from running the sailing club that I started, which I had done for 13 years.
3 – 6 Do less rushing around, often with nothing to show for it, and learn meditation and how to be happy doing nothing. This is a great gift, which makes the pain worthwhile. It has been hard for my wife, Phoebe, to see me hobbling about in pain, but I am living it for both of us, as she has similar transits.
11 Purpose of pain
Pain has taught me the following useful lessons.
- It is not to be feared because natural endorphins always limit it to what I can bear.
- It was within my power to become pain free just by relaxing and breathing into it (meditation).
- It reminded me that my body is something I have, rather than something I am (my soul)
- It was humbling, so reduced my ego (my mind) so was good for my soul
- To listen to my body as the best source of wisdom, rather than my mind, or my doctor.
12 The evidence of the correlation of my flare ups with astrological transits
9.12 The Appendix
This is technical, and I have 4 pages of tables and 6 pages of graphs as an appendix which show the close correlation between the onset, nadir, and departure of the breakdown, sometimes to the day. The following one is the graph of breakdown 6 as an example.
I know of several books which correlate disease with astrological transits, (5,6)
GRAPH SHOWING CORRELATION OF ORBS AND PHASES OF ILLNESS BREAKDOWN 6
13 First test of my cure
At the time of writing (1.7.07) I have another double whammy transit of Saturn and Neptune which is within 3/1 degree orb from 6.6.07-17.7.07. If I was not cured, I should therefore be suffering from flare-up / breakdown 7, but in fact, I am not suffering any arthritis, or wheelclamp, but feel alright as normal. I therefore believe that I have passed the first test, and have really cured my arthritis for good.
I would be pleased to have feedback on this article, and hear other people’s experiences.
1 Arthritis Care’s evidence to Select Committee on Health Jan 2007
2 NASS contact Steve Dean on 01903 525329, or www.nass.co.uk
3 Dr Bruce Moseley, reported in New England Journal of Medicine in 2002, and ‘The Biology of Belief’ by Dr Bruce Lipton 2005
4 ‘Food is better medicine than drugs’ by Patrick Holford and Jerome Burne, 2006.
5 ‘How emotional conflicts trigger disease’ by Lauren Delsack 2005 website laurendelsack.com
6 ‘Astrological timing of critical illness’ by Noel Tyl, 1999
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