hope and healing

I love this. The entire CNN article is linked below.   Hope might just have healing effects on motor function, circulation and pain.

“How hope can help you heal”

“Few things are more ethereal than hope. It isn’t tangible, easily measurable or available in pill form. That’s likely why the idea that hope may wield a significant influence on healing — and even survival — may be tough to take for our bean-counter brains, hardwired by evolution to seek certainty at any cost…The positive physiological effects of hope are well-documented, most eloquently in Jerome Groopman’s “The Anatomy of Hope,” where he writes: “Researchers are learning that a change in mind-set has the power to alter neurochemistry. “Belief and expectation — the key elements of hope — can block pain by releasing the brain’s endorphins and enkephalins, mimicking the effects of morphine. In some cases, hope can also have important effects on fundamental physiological processes like respiration, circulation and motor function.”


Hi All (or Mom, as the case may be):

Welcome to my new blog about RSD/CRPS.  I prefer to call it RSD because I think it’s weird that the International Association For the Study of Pain went with an acronym like CRPS for a condition that puts so many people in wheelchairs. I’m all for self deprecation but even I have limits.

Barely. But they are there.

I have RSD in both lower legs and feet but have gotten better instead of worse over the last few years and made my pain doctor hate me along the way.  Seriously, I am pretty sure the guy would shank me in a dark alley. We’re not seeing each other anymore…

I began relying on nutrition and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) instead. I want to share what has helped me and also what has been less than helpful.  I also could use an outlet because my brother tells me I am a drag. Truthfully, I am obsessed with healing myself and I suppose hearing about milk thistle and quinoa all day can be a bit grueling. So now you good people get to hear about it. Thanks for reading!


RSD (Reflex Sympathetic Dystophy) or CRPS (Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome) is believed to be an autonomic dysfunction and failure in the healing process that causes inflammation, pain, swelling and a host of issues that are difficult to treat and often take years to diagnose.

In most cases RSD, the genesis of the syndrome is a noxious event (Type 1).  This event can be something as simple as a broken bone but the body for one reason or another goes into overdrive and the body sends the blood to the area even after the injury  has healed.  This overreaction then becomes the overriding problem. The bone heals but then the patient is left with a host of problems infinitely more difficult and painful than the initial injury.

But, in some cases (like mine), RSD originates with a definitive nerve injury (Type 2).  While the two types have similar symptoms, this is not the case of the body not healing itself.  Type 2 is a case where the nervous system has been affected by nervy injury.  The nervous system is permanently damaged so that it chronically overreacts to stimuli.  This overreaction causes intense pain, swelling, temperature changes, skin color changes, inflammation and many other symptoms that prevent a person from leading a normal and active life.

This pain process becomes cyclical and takes on a life of its own causing other issues for the patient, including other physical ailments and, often, severe distress due to the realization that they aren’t healing and probably will never get better.  Those of us who have it know how difficult it is  for doctors to treat us.

This annoyed me.  I was taking massive amounts of narcotics with little effect. Thanks to family support and especially the introduction of Traditional Chinese Medicine, I found ways to live without pain medications.  I want to share that information and hope to learn from you as well.