January 29

Mark Improves Spondyloarthropathy with Paddison Program & Yoga

We discuss how:
– Mark has been diagnosed with spondyloarthropathy at 19
– He wasn’t able to move, was losing weight and had chronic fatigue, fasciatis and tendonitis
– He started taking Sulfasalazine, then Plaquenil, methotrexate and anti-depressants, but it was never enough
– He couldn’t do anything for more than 10 minutes without causing himself to flare up
– In 2014 Mark found the Paddison Program and noticed a difference within a couple of days
– In a few weeks he was able to completely drop the anti-inflammatory
– His exercise routine plays a big role in his recovery, mixing Bikram with Yin Yoga
– Support from his family also helped greatly in the process

Clint: Good day It’s Clint Paddison here with another episode of the Paddison podcast, and we’ve got a fabulous guest today. His name is Mark all the way from Melbourne. Good day Mark, thanks for joining us.

Mark: It’s good to be here.

Clint: Now Mark you’ve been a very very prolifent poster inside our Paddison Program Support where you’ve inspired lots of people with how far you’ve come, since you joined us. And it’s been really really amazing to watch how far you’ve transitioned, you’ve gotten off antidepressants, you’ve gotten off Plaquenil, and you’ve turned it to like a Bikram Yoga champion. So what are we in for in this episode? What are we going to hear from you?

Mark: Okay well to start off with I’m just going to talk through my story, so that’s come a long way from. This is actually from being diagnosed at 19, sort of not being able to move, to sort of going through uni finding the Paddison Program, and getting my life back. And then we’re gonna spend the next bit of time just talking about said Bikram and other things that can maybe help different people.

Clint: Yes, because you’ve not only done Bikram, but you’ve done a lot of Yin Yoga as well.

Mark: Yes it’s actually, that’s something that really complements Bikram as well. And if you can sort of combine the two then it can really ramp up the healing.

Clint: Okay, well we look forward to talking about that in a minute, and you know a lot about fascia, and you’ve done a lot of study around soft tissue work around using a melt technique that has become a popular topic amongst our support group. So let’s get on to that after we hear about your transformation. Start where you think is best, and walk us through some of the highlights.

Mark: Okay well I start basically from the beginning so, I was pretty healthy and well for I guess for an average teenager, I crapped but basically in Year 12 I got some chronic fatigue, I got the flu, then plantar fasciatis, knee tendonitis in both knees sort of. I finished the year and I just had chronic pain all over, it just kept getting worse and worse. It got to the point where, it was getting so bad I really couldn’t eat very well.

Mark: I was losing weight, I couldn’t move, it was just horrible. Yeah so that was probably that was 2009, 2010. So I was and then in March 2010 I was diagnosed with spondyloarthropathy with enthesitis . So that was actually a bit different to what you normally deal with because it’s actually with the ligaments and tendons connect to the bone.

Clint: Right, yup.

Mark: So I had really quite a bit of inflammation in my feet so that pretty much completely tight I could not move them, they’re all swollen and red. Then I also in some ways and pretty much every other part of my body. So, just to start off with I really I just thought the drugs will fix me So I started off on actually Sulfasalazine that didn’t work cause on other drugs methotrexate helped quite a bit. But really that the drugs were never enough. So really the drugs that really helped me the most was the Plaquenil and then you mentioned the antidepressants before that helps with the pain, and then methotrexate and the anti-inflammatory that’s what I was on full time but I found that it was enough to study but it wasn’t really enough to actually do anything else and I was never really improving on it and I’m probably would just gotten worse and worse.

Clint: So, you know it’s not common actually to hear that Plaquenil did well but methotrexate failed you know and often.

Mark: Actually, Methotrexate did work.

Clint: Oh sorry, sorry.

Mark: It’s just that Plaquenil did better for me.

Clint: Ok, and what was the sequence? Were they simultaneously prescribed? or was there an evolution?

Mark: The evolution I started off on Sulfasalazine then about six months later I was put on I think the end up first then the Plaquenil. then it was a couple years later when I started having liver issues, then I was taken off the Sulfasalazine and put on the Plaquenil and I did a bit better when I was on that.

Clint: Right right.

Mark: And that’s what I stayed on until I started the Paddison Program which was, I think end of 2014.

Clint: Okay, what were your symptoms like at the time? How well controlled was your symptoms from the combination of the antidepressant and the Plaquenil?

Mark: It was well it was really controlled enough that, If like I wasn’t really in a whole lot of pain but, I couldn’t really do any exercise. I couldn’t really do anything without causing myself to flare up so, like I could only stand up for maybe 10 minutes at most.

Clint: Only stand up for 10 minutes and then you had to sit down?

Mark: Yeah like most exercise I could do was about five minutes of time, gentle Taichi.

Clint: Right.

Mark: It was just that my body was so tight, I can get to a bit later that my muscles are just so wasted. I couldn’t do anything.

Clint: Right.

Mark: And like I would just get really inflamed if I try and do anything more from that, so that was all I could do.

Clint: Okay so even doing the Taichi, was aggravating the connective tissue because that’s where your particular autoimmune disease…

Mark: It actually wasn’t really aggravating the connective tissue it’s just that my muscles were just so wasted away like you know it just got to fatigued and if did anymore.

Clint: Yeah okay. All right. And then you started following the sort of things that I did and that I talked about. Walk us through that. I mean was that a big shock to the system? And how did you?

Mark: I found out that this program while studying so I thought That’s too much shock while starting slowly to end a semester. I did that and I think I started the program in about. Oh within a couple of days I noticed a difference and within a couple weeks I was able to drop the anti-inflammatoru Mobic completely.

Clint: Oh you were on Mobic as well, you were taking Mobic (inaudible).

Mark: That one which very quickly, I found that within the first couple of months I got a lot of improvement. I was actually able to ramp up the amount of Taichi I was doing from five minutes to 10 minutes and then, within a few months I was even able to start taking hourlong classes, I did that for a while. So it was just sort of continuing to improve with that diet. I found that extremely hard with starting just because you’re just not used to eating so much quinoa and buckwheat. I found that I had breakfast and then, my energy levels were just completely crushed by lunchtime. So it’s just a case of (inaudible) I guess spiking too much or something. But I found that I ended up introducing a bit of meat back within the first year but are still able to keep improving. By mid-year I was able to stop the methotrexate completely, so that was a big deal. And then and then pretty much couple weeks after stopping the methotrexate, I picked up Bikram. That one, it was a good substitute but I definitely found that to start off with at least Bikram was extremely tough for me.

Clint: Yeah. So you’ve transitioned across, you found immediate improvement, you were able to substitute your definitely harmful disease causing Mobic with healthy eating and that enabled you to drop the drug. And then you’re able to exercise more which in turn continues to help your body by through elimination, through lymphatic system, and then later you’re able to get rid of the methotrexate. And you quickly substituted your Taichi with Bikram, which is like the.

Mark: I still do Taichi as well, I find doing together.

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Clint: Okay, okay. But you’re able to in each case kind of make a substitution which is what we like, because we don’t just drop something because we’re just going to get more pain. But you kind of around the same you know you’re able to substitute the nonsteroidal drugs and then substitute the methotrexate which of course you did with your rheumatologist very carefully and approved.

Mark: I probably did it too quickly.

Clint: As sometimes happens through through you know life life sometimes these things happen that.

Mark: Yeah let’s admit.

Clint: That that’s right. Alright now since starting Bikram yoga. Tell us what were the main benefits by doing that.

Mark: Well actually just start off with, like I definitely felt a lot better to start away but, like from a physical point of view I get really really sore for the next couple of days and if I was I was only able to on one a week. So it probably didn’t have a huge benefit for me within the first six months, but I did notice that my anxiety levels, my depression, and everything, actually improved a lot. So that was really good from the first six months, and then after I finished well at the end of the year I finished uni I started work and I started ramping up the Bikram a bit more picked up Yin and that sort of thing sort of taking off for me a bit more.

Clint: Yeah fantastic, okay. Now let’s talk about your current status then, because this is obviously an evolution from that point to now. Where are you at now? And then let’s talk about the all of the strategies you currently use to keep yourself off medications of any kind.

Mark: Okay, where I am now I’m currently on no medication at all so and I’ve been drug free for a bit over a year now. So that’s actually really awesome.

Clint: Yeah, congratulations.

Mark: Yeah. Thank you. Yes I still have a little bit of pain but it’s mostly well controlled, like I’m able to work three days a week which if I didn’t do the program I probably wouldn’t be working at all. So I want to work more but that sort of, it’s an improvement. I still get fatigued but I find that that’s slowly improving. It’s definitely a lot better than what it was. And I’d probably find just the pain goes down that goes down as well. And that’s probably the main things um I’m so definitely doing like better mental state is so much better than where it was previously, just I guess if I’m just being drug free and my Outlook’s pretty good. So yeah I’m sort of in training mode I guess at the moment.

Clint: Right, right. When you say in training mode, what do you mean?

Mark: You know what I mean is that I just, I’m just going to Bikram as much as I can. I’m just trying to get my pain level down, so I spent my time when I’m not working just exercising. I’m going to Bikram, meditation all this stuff that I’m trying to do.

Clint: Yeah, fabulous. And what about with regards to your family and everything. Have your family found that the changes in your life to be you know, not just obvious but beneficial and that they sort of given you the whole Mark you’ve done amazingly well and we’re so proud of you. Is there have been a lot of that in your life?

Mark: There has been, but I sort of to get that a lot from a lot of people I guess like, that my family has definitely been very supportive of me. I probably wouldn’t have been able to do as well as I had without them.

Clint: Yeah okay, awesome. All right well well done congratulations on all that. You know we’ve spoken so much online, where we’ve worked together to overcome various things and sort of you know I’ve offered my thoughts and so forth on some decisions that you’ve made, and guided you were you know based on just my personal views and it’s been great to now speak to you in person and stuff. So let’s now talk about you know some of your strategies and ways that we can help people who are listening who’ve who maybe not come as far as you currently have. And let’s talk about you know your exercise. First of all you have and and what you’d like to share that maybe we haven’t covered in other episodes that you’ve found really helpful.

Mark: Okay. Well probably the most obvious one to start off with is Bikram. I won’t go too much into it because you’ve properly covered quite well on this topic. I mean just in previous shows that it’s definitely something if you have a studio that’s available to you you should definitely give it a go, because it’s it’s definitely helped me a lot. Probably the main thing I find with Bikram is that like I’ve done properly. Yoga classes I’m up to about for 19 or something so it’s probably close to 400 Bikram classes and still like I can’t get through this whole class yet. I pretty much every single class I need to take a break I’m lying down I’m I’m not I can’t get through it. It’s just so tough.

Clint: I bet so many people right now are like finally you know someone like me you know because it’s that hard isn’t it. And the one I find about it is the better you get at it. It never gets easier because as you get better you go into postures more deeply requiring more energy usage and therefore you end up having the same amount of exhaustion as you know.

Mark: What actually you may actually find is that the better I get it sort of it all depends on my breathing, so if I’m breathing better then you’re able to go into that postures they use more energy so you get more benefits but then you you get tired quicker.

Clint: Exactly. Yeah I know they are controversial, but you know I hadn’t been to a class in 12 months, and I just took one the other about a week or two ago that was a one hour class. And I know they’re, you know I say controversial because Bikrams’s made videos and basically saying that it’s not true. He’s not his true class and all this stuff but I think that a one hour version of it is wonderful. If it’s your only option and I actually came close to enjoying a Bikram class that went for an hour because, I always felt it for me it’s always the cardio. I just always the cardio is just so high that after and after just like oh man just let this be done.

Mark: Yeah I sort of get what you mean but, it definitely feels really good to be able to sweat and all of that.

Clint: Yeah. So we take that boxer for the 15th millionth time everyone. Talk to us about yin yoga, something that I also have done and my wife’s got a close friend in Sydney called Melanie Lockland, who’s trained under the creator of the yin and one of the best teachers in the world and she’s amazing a lovely person. So we’ve taken, Melissa and I have taken her classes several times and we found them so wonderful. And you’ve been taking yin classes in Melbourne. So a lot of our audience don’t even know what it is so talk about that for us.

Mark: Okay. Well. The way yin comes from yin yang, it’s just sort of opposites. It comes from Chinese medicine but that whole premises of yin yoggers is comes down to a few things. First all of the postures are pretty much on either sitting down or lying down on the mats, and there other big things is that you relax your muscles and what that does is it actually creates space within the joints. The opposite is that say in a Bikram class, you want to always contract your muscles which closes the space between your joints so that it protects the joint. So in yin you relax your muscles, you support yourself with props, and make yourself very comfortable. And what this does is it actually, and then you hope the postures for a long time. So what this does it actually pulls the joint, rebinds apart and you’re actually applying stress to the joints directly. So what this means is it’s applying stress to your ligaments. It’s almost like a lot of people say you shouldn’t do this but the thing is that your ligaments really behave exactly the same as any other tissue in your body if you apply stress and then they become weak and then they will build stronger.

Clint: Yes.

Mark: So it’s actually very healing.

Clint: Right, just like breaking down any other muscle like when you’re at the gym doing bicep curls you do micro tears to the bicep and it grows back bigger. Yeah.

Mark: Yeah. It’s exactly the same. So you (inaudible) muscle. So she go to the gym you lift some weights and then your muscles are very tired and say you can’t move and then couple days later they were stronger and healthier.

Clint: Yeah okay. Just to give some examples that I experienced at yin yoga, there was a lot of hip opening stuff. So a lot of glute muscle stuff, and that’s what I recall the most effect. My memories of yoga going back probably 3 years or so and we went to half a dozen classes and it was so much pigeon pose. You know when you’ve got one you know your hip is open you’re lying forward with one of your weight yeah, and it just it feels after a few minutes like your glute muscles on fire because he just constantly allowing it to stretch more and more and more.

Mark: If your glute muscles are on fire it actually means that you’re going to date, because what you should be feeling more of a total stress and the K2 yin yoga is that you hold it for up to five minutes. So that’s that’s actually more beneficial than if you have a very intense stress because what actually happens then is that your body tightens up, and then it doesn’t work as well.

Clint: Okay I will now I know.

Mark: It also gets it more enjoyable.

Clint: It does. And I think it just comes from having just such a Bikram mentality, that you know trying to go deep you know trying to push push push. And that’s something that you know if I do it again I’ll I’ll keep in mind okay. So tell us how your body normally feels after you’re in class, and the benefits that you get from it.

Mark: Well it actually depends because, like if I’m sore or something then sometimes I don’t actually feel better straightaway. But, often I find it if I keep doing it then my body is definitely a lot better. Often I’ve definitely feel a lot loose, maybe the next day or two days after. And if I like when I have had some time to do a lot of it I find that I definitely, well that actually really reduces the pain it’s probably I’d say just as important as Bikram for me.

Clint: Awesome.

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Mark: In terms of how much it helps my body. And it’s something that you can easily do at home like once you’re in the postures then there’s so much on youtube as well. So you can you can easily do it at home and there’s no actual in yin so it’s just a case of if you’re feeling it and you’re not feeling pain, then you’re doing it correctly. The main thing is that it’s good to get to a class just say actually when and how to do it safely and when and how did these props and all of that.

Clint: Yeah. So go to some classes to begin with, after going to some if it then becomes either cost prohibitive or it just takes up too much time.

Mark: Then you can always just out an extra whenever you’ve got some free time.

Clint: Yes you’re right.

Mark: Even if you’ve got five minutes you can just do a yin posture then do (inaudible). That’s actually really beneficial.

Clint: Yeah yeah. Okay fantastic. Were there any particular parts of your body that respond best? Or do you find that when you go to a yin class you just do all of the various postures it helps every way?

Mark: Well actually probably the main areas I focus on my hips and spine and that’s sort of that’s where my severeties anyway. I probably do quite a lot of hip openers at home and that’s like especially since I work in Rosher some sitting down all day. That’s definitely something but I need a lot.

Clint: Yeah okay good. And just to reassure anyone who says hey, but my elbows hurt, my wrists, my fingers hurt, it’s still fine isn’t it? Because most but as he said it’s on the floor.

Mark: But the other thing is that if posture hurts then there’s always something else you can do. Like if you just (inaudible) they’ll just give you another posture to do. A flex when I’ve gone to class and I’ve had to trial three or four postures before finding one that actually works for me. It’s not like Bikram or something where you just have to do a posture or you sit up this hour, there’s no alternative. This is that you’re just finding something that you can do. Like there will always be something.

Clint: Yeah. Okay. Yeah. Cool. Well my view on it is that it’s very helpful. It feels really nice during yin class, I always found it really calming. And afterwards you’d walk out and just feel light. You feel really, deeply connected to your body, and you never had any kind of hangover physical hangover from you and it was always just positive. Just like you’d hope to get out of a nice gentle yoga experience, whereas a Bikram class I used to find whenever I’ve done it. No matter how often I go or how infrequently I go, that it’s a slog, and I do it because the results to my body are amazing. And I feel that it’s like a rehabilitation sort of session. So entirely different experiences that at least how I personally interpret them and experience them, I don’t know if I know in fact I believe I wouldn’t have gotten to where I am if I have just done yin. But I think that for those people who are looking for something that’s really pleasurable then they go and they’re already getting a lot of sweaty daily exercise. It could be an excellent thing to add and it’s obviously been awesome for you.

Mark: Except something to note with yin is that, it’s actually not designed to be done as a sole practice just because you’re not actually using any muscles at all. So if you just do yin then you’ll find that yes you will increase your flexibility, but you’ll have absolutely no strength and that’s very bad. So even if you don’t do Bikram classes or something with you you’re made to do some sort of strength training to go with it.

Clint: Okay, it kind of fits in with our philosophy anyway right? We need to be doing some kind of activity everyday to get the heart rate up, to get the muscles moving, the body moving. And then we can add yin as a bliss and really blissful experience especially when you’ve got the right teacher like Melissa and I had with Melanie. I mean she put on gorgeously calming music,and her voice is calm. I mean, in yin teachers are you know they can be really special, and you can have a wonderful experience. Yeah it’s beautiful, U missing it I want to go there with other class. So let’s talk about something else that you and I share a strong belief on and on in its helpfulness, and it’s the melt approach of using a foam roller to roll over parts of our soft tissue. Please explain this technique.

Mark: Okay. Well melt is actually dealing with something called your connective tissue and fascia. like when you look at your anatomy your fascia is not something that’s come pretty much that what it is is that it’s like cling wrap connective tissue that surrounds all of your muscles where’s your tissues or organs. Pretty much it goes through everything in your body. How this is relevant is because when someone’s healthy then your fascia has got is nice and hydrated it’s got lots of water content and that helps your muscles and everything to be nice and glad inside, and really helps move if you. Also it sort of, It also helps, s it’s dehydrated then you find that It’s like if you are wearing clothes that are really too tight you can’t move it. Also it pulls on other areas of your body say your hips are really dehydrated and tight, then you find that all of your legs are tight as well. Your feet are tight. So it really impacts your whole body. How this is also relevant is that, say you’ve got sore feet, and you can’t exercise them, but what you can do is you can work on your hips. and that or hamstrings or whatever and that can really release pressure on your feet.

Clint: Now that’s an interesting point isn’t it? because the bodies you know we always just assume that the pain is localized but you know adjustments to all different parts of the body have impact like a cascade system throughout the body. And when I talk about referred pain we’re just talking about how the body actually you know experiences the pain based on how the rest of the body’s functioning.

Mark: Yes. So pretty much what melt does is that it’s taken what’s the (inaudible). She’s a body worker, works on the fascia so the it does use a soft roller, and some soft just massage ball type things. and it’s just it’s not so much rolling over of the tissues, it’s more trying to simulate the body work. so it’s doing very much, I guess compression just some very specific movements that really get to the hydration back in the fascia. And it does actually make a big difference because like I’m noticed after I know my pain levels go down instantly, and my range of motion actually increases a lot. And the other thing with it too is that you do before and every after the melt session, you do something called a rest asses. so you’re actually sort of assessing your posture, how your pain will sort of how your body is your alignment, like your balance and all of that. And you do that before and after, so you can actually it heightens up how well the session goes. and there’s actually another benefit that goes with that is that. I find after doing that for a while you’re suddenly able to better tell sort of what like even in Bikram class what movements you can do that are safe for you. What will cause pain, or cause damage later. So you really able to be more precise with how you move and try to heal yourself.

Clint: Okay now. Yeah I’ve used them at the gym before and for those people still know what we’re on about. If you go to a gym you’ll see they’re often blue or black and sometimes pink, but generally blue or black rollers that are about so big and if you’re listening to this and not watching probably about the span of your, if you span your fingers out from your tip of your pinky to the tip your thumb in diameter. And sometimes they have little lumps all over them and they’re rollers. And what I’ve experienced wonderful relief from is if I’ve had, your classic kind of back and neck pain that your loved one might press on like a massage into the upper shoulder blade area the soft tissue in there. and just applying pressure into those areas by lying on my back on the roller, and really working my neck into the roller. And again I haven’t watched the training so I’ve just been making this up myself. I found it wonderful the next day, any pain that I used to get and sometimes still get from time to time I get sometimes some referred pain into the tip of my shoulder from tightness in my sort of traps, my trapezoid muscles. And just by getting rid of that, the shoulder feels normal. And so I found that this has been great for that. And so that’s just basic stuff let alone kind of you know stuff that’s related more closely to soft tissue surrounding inflamed joints you know.

Mark: Yeah because this program is actually designed for chronic pain specifically, and that the E-book is not very expensive you can just get it of Amazon. I think I paid like 10 dollars or something for it. So even if you’ve got a roller you can get that in E book and you work to go. The only thing is that it does use a special softball but it that sort of decreases the amount of pressure that you’re placing on your body which is a big issue because like I know for me that, I’m very sensitive so if I go to deep then I find that it does cause pain later. So you have to be very careful.

Clint: Yeah that’s a very very good point that because I to, and let me give an example where I’ve not successfully used these rollers. Is when I’ve applied my full body weight, when I have been face down, and applied the full body weight through my quadriceps and put pressure my whole body weight on my on the roller with the weight into the quadriceps. And on the sides of the leg that can get sensitive when you roller that. and then just doing too much of it, It can feel counter-productive the next day.

Mark: Yeah. Because actually something, to like one of the key principles in melt is that you should not feel pain at all. If you feel pain then you really need to back off just because it’s it’s just so intense if you feel pain then you’re not going to feel good the next day at all.

Clint: Right. Okay well that’s an interesting one, because it’s not just me you know if you copy people who are at the gym and you watch and see like big muscly guys who are rolling on the sides of their thighs and they’re grimacing they’re like their mates are laughing at it you know. So that’s probably.

Mark: Y probably shouldn’t be copping this stuff. These guys like if you if you want to copy any one a look on paper on YouTube or find someone who actually knows what they’re doing.

Clint: Yeah. And it’s not like me this is for me because the consequences are small if I got that wrong you see. So just trying to work on a few of those things and it works wonderfully in and around the neck and shoulders and so. I haven’t done the rolling on the on the quads for a long time and nor do I for me personally now I don’t feel the need. But tell us how do you use it? and where do you use it on your body?

Mark: Okay, with the balls I use those on my feet and hand, so that’s probably what I do the most for the roller. So I do use it on my hips and legs a bit and also upper back and neck. So those are the only spots that I use it. And actually does wonders, but the biggest thing I find is that, I actually can’t do too much just because it does cause issues for me if I do too much. It’s something that I have to try and sparingly and fit it in with other things I’m doing.

Clint: And now when you say too often.

Mark: Like I can do it every day but, the thing is that probably only about 10 minutes maximum on the roller. So I might do say 10 minutes of the roller one day and then the next hour I might use softballs on my feet and that’s it.

Clint: Okay. Can you walk us through the feet and the hands, these softballs. Have they got the little nodules on them or they.

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Mark: No… j D they’re very squishy, like pretty much what you’re doing is that you’re playing compression say pressing into specific pressure points then you’re you know you’re just. Your decompression you sort of do these side to side movements. So you get the, I guess you get the fluid back into the tissue, and then you sort of just do these sort of sweeping motions to get it throughout the fluid throughout your body. But it’s definitely well rest, looking up melt in the book and everything like that because even if, Because like I’ve gotten the balls and everything but. You definitely could find something useful in there. But the big thing tonight is that before I actually tried this, I tried like using a golf ball or tennis ball on my feet and that’s it’s not a good idea because it’s just it’s too hard and it’s just quite to intense. I found that before I got the inflammation issues then, I was able to use the golf ball and yes it hurt but it would give me some improvement. I don’t just sit the moment it’s I’m just too sensitive. So I really need the soft ball.

Clint: Yeah I went when I used to experiment with my feet across the metatarsals and the sort of balls of the feet when they were sensitive and inflamed. You know I tried some days I thought okay maybe, maybe those little joints just need to get some range of motion through them. Maybe they just need activity and so I would walk on sand, or I would try like this. I’ve always been had access to the beach, and so I walk on sand and I try and be barefoot as much as I could one day, and then I’d just go walking on uneven surfaces where there’s out on some grass, and just spent a lot of my day barefoot. And then other times I thought well maybe that’s increasing the inflammation because it’s putting pressure into the inflamed joints and so instead I’m going to wear like hard shoes and try that all day. And in the end in the end I concluded, that neither were great, the inflammation I found was very tricky to eliminate and ultimately it just came down to everything else. But the exercise specifically on the feet and the cardiovascular exercise and it was the diet, and the supplements, and the stress reduction, and having a good strategy with the medications. It was everything that got rid of the feet you know. I think it’s frustrating to hear that that’s the truth.

Mark: Actually for me something that I find that works really well for the feet is actually the Taichi, because it’s something that I still do that every day because what it does is it has quite a lot of your changing your body weight so it’s a lot of stepping, a lot of changing your weight from the front to the back of your foot. And I find that, so it’s all these little small movements s makes a big difference. And the other thing that I and other one that I find that helps a lot is balancing, again that eases lots of little Markram movements in your feet and I find that it really does help a lot.

Clint: Yeah that’s fascinating. You know I’ve never had that insight, that the process of balancing means or weight distribution shift across the foot. pushing pressure into any one of the joints.

Mark: I you’re always trying to do small corrections, and I do balancing work everyday. It’s definetley very important.

Clint: Yeah I reckon that one’s a another little gem that we’ve uncovered so there that’s that’s that’s excellent. All right. Is there anything else? because we agreed to keep this one pretty tight but we’ve had a good chat, and I know you’ve also got to get to a Bikram class. So tell me some other gems that you’d like to share.

Mark: Probably the final one I’ll probably share as I know you’ve covered this before a little bit is. The coach shouts and I actually don’t do this anymore but the half breathing. Well just breathing in general cause like I probably just classified half breathing as just it’s it’s actually very similar to you know the talk about your breath of fire at the end of the Bikram class. It’s actually very similar to that so there is studies done on the arm (inaudible). I actually had a look at this, that it actually does reduce inflammation so if someone wants to have a look at the whim off breathing then it’s definitely worth a look. Sort of what it’s doing is that you’re increasing like you’re sort of it’s like a control hyperventilation so you’re increasing your breathing right. I think it’s I don’t know how much that’s. And then what that does is it decreases the amount of carbon dioxide that’s in your body. It also really ramps up the adrenaline that’s in your body, and when you do this you find that you can do breath holds for a ridiculously long time. Which I don’t know if that’s good or not, you definitely don’t want to be doing this under water because it could kill you but. So you can do that, It does help with the. I found that it did help with my inflammation on this a bit but, I didn’t like it that much but what I did like is the cold showers. I find that it’s very hard to start off, but your body adapts to it and my pain levels just drop instantly when I have one, And my energy levels go up so that’s definitely a one little fun gem that’s I think personally.

Clint: There’s two there isn’t it? So there’s the there’s the breathing and I’ve often thought this is why I just keep going on about Bikram Yoga is because you can’t get your whim off breathing although this is a short version of it for free. At the end of the class incorporating that as well.

Mark: That’s probably why I don’t bother doing it at home. Then some actually something else that I’ve been looking at just last six months or so is buteyko breathing, which is kind of the opposite. So what that one is is that it’s just it’s really just focusing on breathing lightly, gently, through your through nose. So it’s just an nasal breathing, which you kind of should be doing anyway because. The main thing there is that you should not be breathing three mouth at all. It’s just just break through your nose and that actually activates your parasympathetic nervous system which sorry it’s your rest and digest nervous system which is what you want to heal. So if you break through in your mouth then it sort of that’s you know you don’t want to do that because that’s your fight and flight which is okay but, if you really need a lot of energy in a short amount of time like if you need to run away from a bear or something that. Just generally you want to be breathing through your nose and yeah.

Clint: Yes, and we’ve got past for listeners, we’ve got past episodes on both of those particular guest, we’ve got Patrick McEwen.

Mark: Yeah, he does the buteyko breathing (inaudible)

Clint: So folks can check those out if they haven’t seen those different breathing techniques and in fact Patrick McEwen on his website where he talks about his book The oxygen advantage. Talks about how you know more complementary overlaps than differences between what he’s teaching and all even though on the surface they look a little different. I think as long as we’re breathing well and it’s through the nose and then from time to time we throw in a little bit of a couple of breathing like at the end of Bikram you know I think we’re doing good and we’ve got all these other things that we can be working on. So this has been great. Mark thank you very much. I know you’ve got to head off to your class and you’ve also volunteered a very early time slot so that you can fit everything in today. So I really appreciate it, and looking forward to seeing how far you can take this in another 12 months.

Mark: Yes. It’s going to be very exciting 12 months for me so I’m sort of hoping that my aim is to try and do 300 different poses this year and I’m sort of hoping if I can do that, and everything goes well for me then I can be pain free.

Clint: Well that would be great. I know that I went to virtually every day for 12 months when I was just in a, I needed to go everyday at one point because I couldn’t walk and if I missed a day I could virtually not walk. And so I thought I gotta go, I gotta go. And if my memory serves me correctly I wouldn’t have missed too many days in 12 months. And so it is possible to get over 300 in a year. You don’t have much of a social life but you’re setting yourself up. Setting yourself up for the rest of your life so that’s what I thought, you know when you’re younger than what I was when I was gone through this so you’ve got even even more you know life ahead here and reason to get this done. So I reckon yeah if you can that out it’s going to really set you up you know.

Mark: Hopefully.

Clint: Awesome mate. Well great to chat to you and I look forward to stay in constant contact online.

Mark: Cool Thank you.

Clint: Okay.


Methotrexate, mobic, Plaquenil, Sulfasalazine

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