We discuss how:
– Rheagan is a musician and has been dealing with inflammatory arthritis for about 10 years, without it having much impact on her life
– One year ago, her left hand started swelling so much that she couldn’t play her instrument
– After having tried many different approaches she came across the Paddison Program and started it
– After a couple of weeks she was able to play again, and it got better everyday
– Her fingers are now completely pain-free and she can play how many hours she wants
– She also had pain in her knees and feet, and now she can run without a problem
– During her recovery, playing piano was a great exercise for her fingers and it helped a lot in the process
– The diet change part of the Program gave immediate results
Clint Well I get the pleasure of hosting another guest today who’s going to share some fabulous news about how she was able to turn around inflammatory arthritis. She also has some psoriasis that she’s been dealing with. We’re going to discuss that as well. She’s got a job that requires her to use her hands. She plays the French horn professionally in Broadway. And so she has a dependency from a career point of view of having good finger movement. And we’re about to hear how changing her lifestyle has enabled her to now get rid of that pain in her fingers and other parts of her body. And so now she can continue with her job in the most ideal way so Rheagan thank you so much for joining us.
Rheagan Thank you for having me. It’s so exciting to talk to you.
Clint Tell us the before and after situation with your fingers.
Rheagan Sure. Well, I have been dealing with inflammatory arthritis off and on for about 10 years and it never caused a huge impact in my life until almost a year ago in May. My finger my pinky on my left hand swelled up so much that I was no longer able to push the valve on my instrument which I depend on for income obviously. And so it was super scary and I’ll just show you this is the instrument. This is a French horn and this pinky could not make a motion that long.
Clint A fairly short range of motion isn’t it but that little.
Rheagan Very short.
Clint Distance was the dependency of you saving your career.
Rheagan Yeah I couldn’t play my warmup. I couldn’t play anything that I had been playing every single day for the last 20 years since I’ve been playing horn. So it was super scary. And I remember it really clearly because the week that it happened I got called to play in this group that I’ve always wanted to play with. And it was like a last minute call and they wanted me there the next morning and I wasn’t going to get to see the music. So I’d be sight reading and they wanted me to play the lead part like the part with all the solos.
Rheagan And so I started feeling something in my finger and then the next day my finger was about twice as big. And I thought “Okay here’s one of these flare-ups it’ll go away it’s gone away in the past.” The day after that it did not go away. It was even bigger. And then by the third day which was the day of the concert I was just standing in my kitchen. I took a picture of my finger and I was just crying because I have never. I didn’t understand what was happening. I had a feeling this probably arthritis but I never saw it coming like this to where I couldn’t play my instrument. So I ended up getting through the concert just muscling through it. It was extremely painful but I don’t think anyone noticed by hearing me play that it was a problem. And then so the week the day after the concert I was on a mission to find a way to get through this. And I called up every friend that I had that I knew had had any sort of problem with arthritis or any pain in their body I said, “Do you have a doctor I can go to?” I made all these doctor’s appointments with all these different acupuncture screening. What’s it called? osteopath.
Rheagan I saw a holistic ayurvedic doctor. All these doctors trying to find a cure or some relief for this inflammation so that I can play my instrument and then finally I came across your program and about a week after that actually I came across your program started it and slowly. I’d say it about a week or two in I could start playing the same stuff that I could play before it was about two weeks of working up to be able to move this finger again. And since then it’s just been there’s no issues anymore. It got better each day.
Rheagan Everyday I could do something that I couldn’t do the previous day that I didn’t even know I couldn’t do the previous day until I could do it again and it didn’t hurt. So super exciting and today I have zero pain. I can play however many shows or practice however many hours I want. There’s no pain in my fingers whatsoever. So it’s super exciting. And thank you so much for sharing the knowledge that you’ve found with us.
Clint Oh most definitely. Just you know if this were the only result this conversation with the only result putting the information out there it would be worth it. You know Melissa always said if it just helps one person then it’s worth putting it all together so just this moment right now is the reward and everything else is just has been bonus you know so and I believe that before we dig deep into your story and share you know the parts that you emphasized and all of you know auxiliary things that you did to improve your situation I believe also that you had pains in your knees and your feet as well and that’s also gone.
Rheagan Correct. It was in my toes and my feet my ankles my knees and that’s I have no problem especially running. I can do anything running up and down stairs if I want to. There’s no problem.
Clint: It’s awesome and I should add that we talked just before we started here that you didn’t end up getting to a rheumatologist you didn’t end up getting to a doctor did you? Because I guess when you see all the symptoms disappear it just to put it in your words so that there’s no pain whatsoever. You don’t really then feel like you wanted to go into that world and look into you know medication options and stuff when you feel good. Do you?
Rheagan No not at all. And I’ve always tried to avoid doctors any way just for my own. Idiosyncrasies. But I wanted to try everything I could. to heal this on my own before going to see a doctor. And you’re right there. I don’t have any desire to see a rheumatologist even though I know that it’s completely unnecessary for some people sometimes. Luckily I guess I caught it early. I don’t know maybe because it’s such a small movement that arrested my entire life and I made a huge adjustment. Maybe I caught it early enough to where I didn’t have to go to a doctor. I don’t know. But either way, I’m super happy to be where I am now.
Clint Did you find. Just before we get into your story more it’s just a curious thing that sometimes people ask me in my support group. You know my fingers hurt. Should I use them or not. I’d be interested in your feedback when your fingers were inflamed and using them extensively with your horn playing regularly. Did you find that it irritated them? Created no difference or actually seemed to help them?
Rheagan When they were really inflamed I couldn’t use them so I can’t answer that part of it. But when they started to kind of come down a little bit the more I used it the more it holds and that’s actually something I wanted to tell you because I also play piano and I know a lot of people have a piano in their house whether they play piano or not but something about using my fingers in that very delicate motion where you’re pushing. It’s actually an acoustic instrument you’re pushing a piece of wood that activates another piece of wood that hits a string. It’s a lightweight movement and it’s bouncing. And that really helped my fingers. Even though I’m not a professional pianist or anything but even just playing some scales. That helped my fingers a lot. Actually, I would feel better the next day if I did that right before I went to bed. Just playing for 15 minutes instead of watching TV or something. So that might be something that other people that have pianos whether they play them or not can do that and to provide some relief.
Clint You know I find this really interesting.
Clint I’d like you to compare that to using a keyboard. Do you find that using a regular computer keyboard offers the same relief or not. Oh for typing you mean.
Rheagan I do. Yeah. It’s the same gentle. Yeah, it’s a gentle stroke. Yeah, it’s similar to me. I feel I noticed a weird thing about when I had it in my feet really bad if I went for like a little bit of a jog.
Rheagan Slight jog. It kind of felt like it pushed the bones into alignment or the ligaments into alignment and it’s like knocked air out of them or something. I felt like popping sensations.
Rheagan And I was always thinking I wish there is something I can do that would be the equivalent for my hands. And so that that is actually what I found that was the equivalent for my hands was the typing or the playing at the piano for me. Which is what I did more of. So yeah using it. Once you’re able to use it using it does actually help.
Clint Yeah I find that really interesting and it makes sense when we see this with the larger joints. Like if for instance elbows which I’ve had tons of experience with over the years because my left elbow when it was really inflamed I was told just if it hurts to move it then don’t move it. Well, that ended up in surgery and that elbow got extremely damaged by not moving it. So I thought I could not do anything. I need to do something the most furthest from what I did with my left elbow for my right elbow. Because the left elbow situation was a disaster. So with the right elbow when it was inflamed I just used to use it all the time and the more I used it the better it felt even when I was doing things that actually felt a little uncomfortable. And you know with the fingers it’s such a fine balance between not wanting to load them like hold groceries in them or open a card door where you pull up hard on it on a handle and pull the door open where the sun over your tissue gets inflamed but you want to use them. And so I really like how you’ve distinguished you know this difference where you were playing the piano which is movement but without loading as well with the typing. So it makes sense to me that you know if we didn’t have to have a joint in our body at that point it would just be a straight bone. We lose strength by putting a joint in there as a species. So the joint has to be there for us to benefit. And it has to move and if we don’t move it there the fluids in that joint don’t get any nutrition. And so that all makes sense and I’ve always been a fan of the concept of moving every joint. You know it’s the only purpose and you know what I’m saying I guess in summary is that I’m glad that you found the same thing that I believe.
Rheagan Yeah, absolutely.
Clint That’s where I really wanted to end up with that.
Clint Why do you think that this all happened. Did you take any antibiotics for a period of time or did you do anything really bad as a teenager with your diet to bring all this stuff on? What do you think may have led to this inflammation starting around ten years ago for you?
Rheagan Well about 10 years ago I went to Brazil for three months and in order to go there, we had to get the yellow fever vaccine. And we also had to take anti-malaria medication which for us was Ducasse cycling.
Rheagan And so I got the vaccine and I took the dog to cycling for about a month before I started. Just not one to take it anymore. So I stopped and I don’t know if that had anything to do with it or not.
Rheagan But a year later was when I started noticing there was something weird with my fingers and I embarked down the path of alternative healing methods trying to find a way to make it not swell up. I tried all kinds of stuff throughout the years.
Rheagan But yeah I think that that may have had something to do with it. As far as diet goes. I pretty much ate a standard American diet. Up until I was about. Well up until about College age and then I went vegetarian. And so that’s not very healthy necessarily. So I was eating a lot of like nachos and ice cream and I know dairy is usually a huge contributor to inflammation or autoimmune diseases. So it could have been related to that as well.
Clint The old DOCSIS cycling rears its head again DOCSIS cycling, of course, an antibiotic was the one that I took for many years for acne and that’s the one that I took when I went over to the Middle East and took three months of that. And then for me it was about three-four months later that I got rheumatoid arthritis. So you know I you know chalk another one chalk another one up on the wall for at least in part potentially fear related to some doctors cycle because we don’t think that it’s that catastrophic. That’s the thing we think our month of anti-malaria low dose antibiotic everyone’s doing it. I take what I would love to see. I would love to see any studies coming out of the military for people who’ve served in the Middle East and whether or not those men have a higher rate of autoimmune development than the rest of the male population. At the same age and I’d be you know I don’t bet on anything like horses nothing. I don’t gamble whatsoever but I would have a verbal bet and belief that they are going to if not already start to show a sign of increased autoimmune conditions by taking anti-malarial antibiotics for an extended period of time. It’s going to happen it’s probably happening right now for those men. That’s my belief.
Rheagan Yeah. So you think even a month and a month of taking that would have an effect.
Clint I think a month of taking that and not doing anything to restore the populations that have been destroyed is going to have some consequence. You see if we’re reading a Western diet and then we go and knock out our good bugs for a month they just never get a chance to replenish. They’ve probably just been hanging in there throughout this whole time because we’re a robust species right. But if we go and do something like that for a month and then don’t do anything to offset it because it’s a big intervention antibiotics is an enormous, very non-biological very non-mammal known. I mean the word antibiotic means literally means anti-life. That’s what it means anti-life. Okay. Kill kill kill. That’s what it does. And you know so when we go in and do that we must do something to offset what we’ve just done.
Clint We must but we don’t get told we don’t get tolerated. And how many people do we know just? Have that by the way I have a habit of eating tons and tons of leafy greens without oils and that’s just my habit right now.
Clint And so everyone.
Clint Yeah right. Who’s just pumping it. And by the way just by buying your local sauerkraut it’s probably been flash heated when it’s been put into a jar anyway. And so if you’ve lost bugs they’re lost enzymes there. So we actually got to be really smart about this to actually replenish those antibiotics interventions and so my recommendations is just take a broad spectrum really high quality probiotic. In Australia there’s one called Ultra biotic 500 made by bioceuticals and for the rest of the world I recommend the V cell. Pash 3 which is made out of Europe and it needs refrigeration and shipping is a pain but it’s the best one. It’s meant for ulcerative colitis and stuff. So anyway I think you know just having a bit of a chat around this stuff I think is useful. And do exactly what you say. Go and find us or make it home. If you have the patience and develop some skills some sauerkraut or do what we do which is just find a local supplier of one of these sauerkraut or kimchi or something. And then pick one that you like the taste of and eat that. But things like Whole Foods have these big brands. Beware of the big brands ones where you know there’s tons of them on the shelves. They’re mass produced across the country. It’s unlikely that they have not been flash heated to preserve them where we should be sourcing our things that are so sensitive like bacterial and cultured fermented veggies from local suppliers it makes sense how do you don’t put this stuff on trucks and through different temperatures and sit in shelves and boxes and stuff I mean this is going to try and restore our health and our delicate microbiome. We want this to be just made a few weeks ago by or at least only a month ago by someone up the road you know.
Rheagan Right. That makes sense.
Clint In theory, you’re right. This is why I know you’re in Connecticut and it’s freezing cold and stuff but someone’s got to be brought somewhere.
Rheagan That totally makes sense. Yeah, we do. We do have some local options up here. New York State makes some so.
Clint Yeah yeah yeah. Get into that. Got a podcast just come out. I can say it has just come out as well. You and I are chatting on this recording because it will have by the time our podcast now is released all about probiotics so folks if they haven’t watched and listened to that one already definitely should be going over that. It’s such a great conversation with that with Jason now. Tell us what you’ve. You said you got great progress over the first few weeks it took a couple of weeks and you started to notice the inflammation go down. What do you feel were the things that work the most for you or do you feel it was just putting it all together. Give us your thoughts on the whole process.
Rheagan Well the first thing that worked was definitely the diet switching during the baseline diet doing. I did the cleanse and then doing the baseline diet and. What is it 12 days and then you start adding something each day. I added it very carefully and I did it in the order that you suggest the safest foods first. And so that actually ends up being quite a lot of time that you’re on a really basic diet. And I wasn’t really exercising that much. I was hiking. With my dogs probably three to five miles a day. But I wasn’t doing hardcore cardio at that time because I was getting enough progress with just what I was doing with the food. The green smoothie is great. I have it every morning for breakfast and after having it. I just feel like a million bucks. And so that’s a big thing for me. I also have one in the afternoon sometimes depending on how early I woke up. So they’re green smoothies super important. The juices the celery cucumber juice is really important. The papaya was very helpful. Actually, I didn’t have any trouble introducing any fruit that I’ve introduced. I think I’ve introduced them all by now. They are all fine. Yeah. I had trouble with other things but fruit seems to be totally cool.
Clint Excellent. Which is what we want because if you can have the baseline foods and a bunch of fruit. Bunch of Greens with the green smoothies and take a big 12 supplement. You’ve actually hit only the nutrition. Okay. Which is this bloody ridiculously amazing right? So in that sense, you’re good as long as you’re eating enough so that your weight is you stay strong and you’re not losing weight. So tell us what did you struggle with which foods did you find which were too challenging or cause to some upset.
Rheagan Well the way that the food affects me so far is I don’t react to it right away. It takes maybe a couple of weeks of eating that food before I realize there’s something wrong. And I have to go back to baseline and try to figure out what it was. So the most recent one I can tell you Clint with 100 percent. With a 100 percent guarantee that chocolate and peanut butter don’t do well for me.
Rheagan I’ve tested it multiple times and I’ve really stuck with it and it doesn’t work. So calculating peanut butter they’re not on your list. Oh well, I think peanut butter might be on your list eventually. But no it’s not.
Clint No, I don’t like peanut butter.
Rheagan Yeah. Those don’t work. And then. Pistachios didn’t work. But again I found these out like two weeks after eating this food every day. And then all of a sudden there’s a big problem right. Maybe I’m not catching it when it gets inflamed just a little bit and I’m not noticing it and it takes longer for me to notice it or something. But after a couple weeks and there’s a problem there’s a big problem. But when I say big problem I’m talking like the pain goes from zero to maybe three. Yeah. That’s the biggest whereas the pain used to be a nine and a year ago when I started this. Yeah. So and then I go back on the baseline. If there’s a problem I go back on baseline and in two days there’s no problem anymore.
Clint Yeah. Awesome. I’ve got some thoughts around why it might take a few weeks to start to feel some inflammation and then to reset which by the way is the perfect strategy. That’s just literally the way that I recommend everyone do this. And that’s what I did I would expand my foods a little bit and then I’ve got a problem too complicated to work out. I’ve no idea now because I’ve got 15-20 foods that I’m eating. I’m just going to go back to baseline and then I know that in two days I’ll be fine and then I will cautiously sort of try and get back quickly to where I was before I felt the inflammation. That was my whole sequence over and over and over and over again. And then what was happening is that maybe a month would go by before I’d have to reset. And sometimes two months. And then when I found out later is that I could reset back to. A potato curry and I was my reset diet. Actually just became. Basmati rice with white potatoes and a whole bunch of sort of curry powder with some onions and so it was like my reset food became almost as delicious as anything else that I was eating. And. It just things actually just got easier in that sense too because I really enjoyed that meal as a reset.
Clint Another recent meal became mega miso meal you know when miso rice seaweed and Basmati that became a reset meal as well. So everything you know the whole the bars were being lifted all the time away from the real true baseline. And as to why maybe eating one food and then it feels like a creep. I noticed this a lot with oats and I see booth I saw with myself and I seemed to see and enough with other clients to notice a trend that sometimes they’ll start oats for breakfast and then they’ll eat them and think they’re fine. But after a couple of weeks just start to sort of start to suspect or two to point the finger at oats and think I don’t think something’s right. And whilst it’s very very hard to work out what that might be and why that might be I think it might be that oats are slightly acidifying vs. most of the other foods particularly early on which are all out analyzing all fruits. With the exception of like one or two are all alkalizing the buckwheat kin were amaranth if you’re eating that all alkalizing sweet potatoes alkalizing the Greens are our closing so often people try oats as one of their first foods that are just ever so slightly acid forming in the body. And when we’re so delicate this may accumulate a little bit of an acid load and I’m talking a small amount but we’re delicate over a few weeks and in which case I just say Look just take a break for a day or two off the oats and then have them again because I do feel that long term we should be eating oats and we aren’t aiming for a 100 percent alkaline diet. It’s not practical it’s not necessary.
Clint But at the start, it’s hugely necessary and yet impractical hard to do. But beneficial and so all nuts are acidifying. Okay so maybe we’ve just got a little bit of an acid load building up there. And if you’re not exercising enough to sweat out some toxins and to really alkalize the body through aerobics exercise maybe that acidity just builds up a little bit you know and this is why there’s multiple variables and this is why if someone’s doing Bikram yoga every day or they’re on a stationary bike for 30 minutes every day and really sweating. Maybe they can handle the nuts at the same point no problem. So we’ve got a lot of variables going on and that explanation I gave about there that the acidity. It might not even be accurate but I don’t know anyone else in the world who is trying to work this stuff out. So that’s my right. That’s my belief system right around this. And I have another one around nuts in particular and the nuts. And. Pistachios aren’t the worst for this but a lot of nuts are very very poor in their Omega 6 and Omega 3 ratio. So one of the better nuts are walnuts they have around about a half, Gosh I don’t I quote me but I think it’s only like eight to one or something in terms of Omega 6 to Omega 3 are more omega 3s what we want. That’s why we got to smash the Greens the leafy greens and baby spinach is because it’s all omega 3 and No Omega 6. And so we’re shifting the balance tremendously into anti-inflammatory mode cause Omega 6 inflammatory omega 3 anti-inflammatory.
Clint So when we’re eating lots of nuts what we’re basically doing is just throwing up the omega 6 is quite high. And I don’t want to say again is not to cause alarm with people. I eat I was looking around normally I have nuts everywhere on my desk I eat a lot of nuts. Okay. Once your body. Is okay it’s like the acid. It’s like the acid load thing. The body shouldn’t avoid eating nuts. We just gotta be careful in the early stages and so there’s a couple ideas there that may or may not be the link between the physician that spoke but the acid load and the inflammatory pathways of omega 6 that just two ideas that it could be and ultimately nobody knows for sure. And the best ways to do exactly what you did and reset and then before you know it you can be back to where you were before the problem started and my guess is that if you keep having handfuls of nuts here and there that eventually it won’t cause that reaction. You’ve got. So. Yeah.
Rheagan I think it’s also about balance because I work at night a lot. Almost the time and so I come home really late I get home around 1:00 a.m. Most of the time and it’s super hard not to snack on something torn between leaving work and going home. And so when I tried the pistachios and they rock. They didn’t I didn’t have a reaction for a few days and I thought OK this was OK. So I started eating them every single night. And I think it is like you just said it’s the acid overload or it’s a lack of balance. It was too much of one thing that was OK. But having too much of it makes it not OK. I think I just said the same thing that you said in a different way. But I was starting to think about it in terms of balance because the bulk of my diet is baseline diet all the time. And then I’ll add something else that might be a little challenging and see how it goes. I’m just trying to keep everything in balance.
Clint Yeah and if we wanted to try and keep the nuts just because I’m enjoying this sort of train of conversation. You know, ultimately what’s going on now and what’s going why do the nuts caused the increased inflammation. Let’s think about mechanically what’s going on inside the body. Well, some part of that nut isn’t being digested. That’s what’s going on right. So as you say a little bit of something the body can break it down especially when it’s hungry. Okay. If you’re hungry all of the arrows for digestion are being pulled back to the maximum and the digestion gets a bang and it just breaks everything down. You’ve got your bile juice being released. You’ve got high stomach acid in the stomach. You’ve got digestive enzymes flowing in from everywhere because your body’s like I need food I need food and everything is going to go straight to breaking down that food. So if you’re hungry eat the nuts. Bang. No problem. Lots of enzymes as I said lots of hydrochloric acid for the proteins and the bile juice will take care of the fats and break down those emulsified fats. So what may have happened as well is you know you’re in the habit of eating the nuts and some nights you might actually not be that not as hungry as what you’ve been out and you just kind of snacking because God they taste great aren’t they.
Clint They taste great. And you’re just like well I eat nuts when I come home from my gig right. And say you just ate and your nights may be out. And some nights maybe just not that hungry. And some of the power the fire behind the digestion wasn’t as ready. That’s another thought around this.
Rheagan That makes total sense.
Clint You know. So. And of course you know late night eating also is not a good thing. And one thing that Dr. Shinya says is okay from enzyme factor and I take a lot of value into his opinion is that if you’re hungry at night just eat fruit because it gets digested so quick. I know it doesn’t provide you with that kind of. Satiation that nuts to which is OK. But believe me I’m all about the nuts right. But maybe what you could do is take your nuts and. Eat them right before the show or work out where you can have them throughout your arrangement of your day around George show at night so that you’ve actually basically met your caloric intake requirement before the show. And then you feel like anything you eat about that’s just a bonus. And then he can take a green smoothie which has some dates and some frozen mangoes and bananas if I think you said you can handle all fruits put some bananas in there and seal it right to the top so there’s no air in it in a nice glass container or something that you might invest in. That looks nice and you feel good about owning. And have it on your ride home from the from the show on the train ride home. And tastes way it’s like a reward almost like having a drink after the gig you know that kind of celebration feel.
Clint Explore that. Just explore that. I know that I like going when I perform. I like going to the show knowing that I don’t have to eat anything beyond the show to try and make up my energy requirements. I don’t want to feel like I’m going to lose weight if I don’t eat after the kick because. You know I don’t want to do that. And so yeah I tried on days and I’m working that night. I’ll have my real early dinner and it’ll be a big dinner because I know that if I’m going to eat early I can eat big. That’s not gonna be any problem for my digestion at all because it’s early in the day. And our digestive power falls off with the light not maybe one to one but it does as we get dark digestive power softens. So if it is though 4:30 in the afternoon. I’m going to have a massive meal as if it was a second lunch. And then I know that I’m fine I’ll digest it pretty good because at the time of the day. So that’s a strategy I do when I’m working at night.
Rheagan That’s a great idea. Absolutely. I’m kind of famous for having my Tupperware because I take them with me. I eat before the gig and then I have the baseline meal before the gig and then I have another one for after the gig. And so that’s what I’ve been doing is eating another baseline diet after the gig. But I find that I’m not hungry enough to eat the whole thing and so I’ll just have the salad and the sweet potato part. So that’s interesting that what you said about eating the calories before the show.
Clint The bulk of it. Yeah.
Rheagan The bulk of it.
Clint You know I think as a rule of thumb we should eat our biggest meal at the middle of the day off push this really hard. I’ve just eaten enormous meals recently is I’m back at the gym again and started to feel stronger again and you know my elbows are behaving well and trying to do chin ups and stuff. I haven’t done for a while and so I’m just really pushing the lunchtime meal and yeah it’s almost like you can get away with anything at lunchtime. You almost get digestion. Just ready. Just like that if you’re going to make mistakes do it at lunchtime.
Clint So you mentioned psoriasis before and before we started this conversation. I think you just mentioned it in passing so I don’t know whether or not your psoriasis has improved or not. And. What have you done over the years to try and bring it under control and is it under control now?
Rheagan It’s not spreading. It’s some it’s kind of in the same place that it has been for the last year or so. And I got psoriasis. It started when I was in middle school so about ten or eleven years old. And it used to be much worse. And I went to the dermatologist and they gave me topical stuff to put on it. Which kind of worked. Kind of didn’t.
Clint Steroid like topical steroids.
Rheagan Steroids. Yeah. And so I just kind of lived with it. It’s really embarrassing. You know to have that on your body. I don’t have it all over my body luckily just in a few spots. But it’s nerve-racking and I just kind of dealt with it. I went to one dermatologist who said he could laser it off for me but like I said I’m shy around doctors. I don’t really like to get medical treatment if I don’t have to. So I passed on that. And just every once in a while I’ll put some steroid cream on it and it’s fine. It’s just there it’s not getting worse at all but yeah. I don’t think that it’s changed. It may it may have changed a little bit since starting your program and the fact that the topical cream seemed to work better now than they did in the past. So for whatever reason I’m sure that has something to do with healing the gut. But it still hasn’t gone away completely but the cream is more effective now than it used to be for sure.
Clint Yeah I think that’s what you’ve just described is similar to what I’ve heard from other people with not so much a psoriatic arthritis situation where the arthritis is the main focus and that’s just a little bit of psoriasis sometimes not even psoriasis in the diagnosis but if we’re talking just true psoriasis patches you know.
Clint These things are stubborn aren’t they. I mean they really do have a persistence that’s I imagine extremely frustrating and. Not having been through it myself and therefore having any major insights to share with you. The only thing that I can say I observed firsthand was when I was doing a comedy tour where the friend of mine who’s well famous in this country. And he and I. Were doing juicing together like crazy some little things here and there improves for this gentleman. So yes let me just go over that again.
Rheagan I’ve heard about that, working.
Clint Yeah. So I think that the more raw you go with psoriasis I think there’s an opportunity for improvements there.
Rheagan OK. I will definitely explore that.
Clint So for example if you wanted to just as an experiment over one weekend or if you have got a week off or something maybe just try for two days just doing the majority of your foods being through green smoothies and just increase the calories by adding lots more dates and just make them and then just see whether or not you can influence it. That’s the thing if you’ve got an influence on it and you can observe it then you’ve got power over it. So I think right now you might be still looking for it. How can I get some power over this without this cream and stuff. What else can I do. The other thing I would do is just do some mega dose probiotics on it and see if that does anything as well. So some serious probiotics and see if that can influence it.
Clint They’d be the two places that I would start. And just to say because.
Clint Because you’ve obviously developed a lot of skill around you getting on top of the pains with arthritis and so now you can move on to stage two and what can we do about psoriasis if we could try.
Rheagan Yeah that’d be awesome. Yeah yeah.
Clint Would you like to share anything else with us about your experience? Any tips that you have or any interesting stories that you’ve heard that if you’ve built up by doing this?
Rheagan Well I mentioned before that I wasn’t really exercising much but I wanted to include that that has changed in the last couple of months. I have a really nice road bike and so when all this started a year ago I knew that I needed to exercise and I got my road bike and tried to put it on the stationary trainer so I could write it in the house. Well my hands were so in flames that when I went to open the valve to put air in the tire my hand actually broke the valve because my hand was too stiff. Just trying to turn it and put the bike pump on it. It broke the valve so I couldn’t even pump the air and the tire. So that has changed so much. A couple of months ago I said you know what I need some more direct cardio exercise. I’m going to get this bike back out. Clint I got the bike out, I changed the tire myself. I took the tube off or whatever I don’t even know the terminology but I had enough dexterity in my hands to remove the tube from the tire with the tire irons and like put the other two back in there and do all this stuff that I could never have dreamed of doing before I couldn’t even pump air in it before and I was able to change the entire tube this time. And now I ride my bike every morning on the stationary trainer. I wake up here’s my routine. I wake up. I take a sweet potato I put it in the oven and then I top some ginger and I put it with some boiling water and that boils. And then I work out on my bike for 45 minutes. And by the time I’m done with the workout the potato is ready and the ginger tea is ready and ready to start the day. And my green smoothie feel like a million bucks. And then I also installed a pull-up bar inspired by your story with your elbow. I started to pull up bar in my house and I can’t do a pull up yet but every time I walk by it. I just hang off of it. I do a little bit of pull ups because it’s really strengthening the whole hand I feel it and I can hang off of it for much longer than I ever could before. And I can pull up further than I could before. So I’m actively pursuing these strengthening and exercises and then also the cardio. You made some comment about I don’t remember where you said it but the cardio clears out the what did you say?
Clint The immune complexes in the joints.
Rheagan Yes that’s what you said. Yeah. And that just clicked with me although I couldn’t remember it but it clicked and I said that’s what I need to do. And so I’ve equated like sweating it out sweating the inflammation out in a way and I see it coming out of my hands and I’m like yes that’s it. Gotta get more sweat. And so I work out now hardcore every day. And that’s it’s definitely accelerating the healing process as well.
Clint That’s so good. I’m so glad that you’re doing all that not just for yourself but on what anyone who’s watching this or listening to this please take note. Arnold Schwarzenegger said that throughout his career that his father told him you should earn your meal by working out doing something physical Nen. Your body’s ready to eat after that and it comes back to what we talked about a minute ago about having hunger right. And so your body’s primed after doing this big workout in the morning. You’ve woken up. Boom you’re sweating detoxifying getting everything going I mean I’m just so excited about the whole process that you’ve just described and come off the by. You come everything’s moving better Your heart rate’s up you detoxify you’ve cleared all your joints and then you’re hungry so you eat a meal you deserve your meal your body’s rewarded. This whole process is fantastic hanging from the bar I swear. Really helps the fingers helps the hands. It improves grip strength. It says to the fingers “Hey you little buggers.
Clint You got to do something. You want to work well you have to earn it.” And it really does. I love the whole hanging thing not just for it. And people will say but my fingers certainly if I try and hang from a bar then I think that like it’s going to inflame them. This is so counterintuitive. But I swear that holding a bar. Not like holding groceries with that thin the very thin piece of plastic from the groceries really gets into those fingers and causes them to really swell. But when we hold the bar it’s like our whole particularly thick bar, thicker bars when we hold quite a thick bar then it’s kind of it’s just so it’s such a natural position for the hands to squeeze their fingers around. And it seems to disseminate the pressure evenly throughout the hand and fingers so it doesn’t seem to cause the problems with the sign of your tissue. So I think I would encourage anybody. I believe everyone should have access to a gym. Or Bikram and in your case you’ve managed to set up a home overhang bar which can be done in a doorway right. I’m sure you’ve just put it in your doorway. Yep. And to try these things we’ve got experiment. If something’s stuck something’s not moving forward going backwards. Do something massive and see whether or not you can impact it positively. And that’s the thing. You know like to talk about psoriasis. What can we do to impact it. Can we gain some result and then keep doing it over and over again and see if the fingers are going backwards locking up not moving stiff. Don’t try and like hang from a bar from a little bit at the local kid’s playground.
Clint Yeah. I mean I miss the gym one day in Orlando about a year ago and I nearly got locked out of a kid’s playground at 8 o’clock at night because I was in there trying to do chin ups and stuff and the security comes over and takes off because in the States you know they really think I want some kind of thief for a criminal and they’re like “What are you doing sir?” And I’m like “I’m just doing some chin ups in a kid’s playground.” like “We’re shutting this playground I need you to leave immediately.” and I’m like “Okay.” you know it just felt okay. I didn’t know I was shot in the playground just a public park but either can get locked in with my car and everything. So anyway. Yeah we got it. We’re just going to continue to push push push and what you just described. You can tell him dumb chatting a lot. I’m excited. What you just described is so good. And this is why I also feel that.
Clint You get the progress that you’ve got and you get the results that you deserve. The work you’re putting in is just fabulous.
Rheagan Totally yeah. Also very helpful for me is the way I’m half breathing OK. I do that a lot and I do hear some of his other exercises as well. Super helpful. I do the breathing on my train ride and every day because my train ride is an hour and that takes up the whole hour.
Clint So you do an hour of it?
Rheagan I do an hour of it.
Clint You’re hardcore.
Clint Yeah. That was awesome.
Rheagan You gotta be.
Clint You gotta be. Like if someone’s watching this right now just sitting on their couch and doing nothing as they watch this. Just get up and do something just. Just reach down touch your toes stretch your low back we’ll put your arms up in the air and move them around a little bit. Come on just like get moving and do something or go out and make yourself a smoothie. Be relentless right in the attempt to improve. Relentless.
Rheagan Relentless. Yeah. I would be. I would be back when I had a bunch of pain. I would be at a rehearsal and if we had a ten-minute break I would go backstage and do jumping jacks just to get the blood flowing because I felt better after doing that. Every chance I got every second that I had all I was doing was thinking about what can I do. Do I need to do yoga? Do I need to meditate? Do I need to lay on the ground. What do I need to do? Do I need to stretch. And I was ever it occupied every second of my time on the train on the way and before I had discovered the whim half breathing I would take my heart out and I tried I would. I was so in such a bad way that I would just try to push the valve before the gig. I would be on the way to the gig not knowing whether or not I’d be able to push my valve. Once I got there like and I’ve gone from that so I can play.
Rheagan I can play three hours a day. I can play 15 shows a week whatever I need to do. There’s no pain. And that’s because I took every second that I could and I tried to do something to make this condition better.
Rheagan And that’s what we have to do. And your program your interviews. When I was going through this in May. That was everything for me. Hearing the stories of other people that were in a much worse condition than I was in. People that couldn’t get a bed couldn’t walk to the bathroom.
Rheagan Hearing these stories of these people that completely reversed their lives on your program made me know that I could do it too. And I didn’t tell anybody when I was going through this. I didn’t tell anybody because the reason I didn’t tell anyone is because when you tell people “Okay my hand is so swollen that I can’t play my instrument but I’m gonna heal it with diet.”It doesn’t go that well.
Rheagan They’re going to get on your case and tell you to go to the doctor they’re going to freak out and that’s the last thing that the person having that experience needs is someone else freaking out on their behalf. So I just kept to myself kept quiet. I didn’t tell anybody. I didn’t tell my family I didn’t tell my best friend until my hands started getting better.Two weeks later and then I said Hey look at this picture on my finger. Two weeks ago you’re never going to believe that’s happening.
Rheagan So the inspiration from hearing those stories I listen to every podcast and that that was everything to me. And I love when I get to hear somebody say you know one day I was just in the kitchen putting away the cups and I reached up and I put away a glass and I started crying because I realized I could never put away a glass before things like that. For me it was pulling my shirt sleeves up the first time I could do that.I just bust out crying like that took two months before I couldn’t do it or like open the gas gauge on the car or roll down the car window.
Rheagan These little things that you don’t think about. It’s so inspiring when you hear other people rediscover their ability to do them. And then when you yourself start to little by little be able to do something that you couldn’t do before. It’s just the best to the best.
Clint Isn’t it? And I love how you said earlier that we kind of forget what we previously took for granted and so we don’t realize that we couldn’t do it until we do it again. You know that concept that you mentioned.
Rheagan Yeah. You have no idea. I had no idea that I couldn’t clip my fingernails without pain until I clipped them without pain.I sent a text to my friend if I could put my finger without aid.
Clint Yeah that’s right.
Rheagan It’s just so inspirational so that was really helpful listening to all your podcasts. Yeah. Exercising. I made a list of the things I wanted to say that were very helpful in case it helps someone else I have some salt baths. Also. I feel relief from them. Yoga obviously. And then getting enough sleep makes a huge difference for me. I don’t know for I’m sure it does for everyone else but that’s a big thing. And I didn’t realize I had always had trouble in the morning for years and I didn’t realize until I woke up in the morning without pain that I had been waking up in the morning with so much pain so I didn’t want to do anything in the morning ever. So that was interesting as well. Anyway.
Clint Yeah. Oh yeah. No. Most definitely. Well, it’s just been fun to listen to yours. You know evolution and when I hear people like yourself describe. The sorts of daily habits that I know are going to sustain your health long term. That’s when I feel this pure joy because I know that what you’re talking about in your improvements isn’t fleeting. It’s not temporary. Right. When I don’t have the same level of elation is if someone tells me a story and I don’t normally invite the following folks onto a podcast at this point. But when someone tells me a story that they came off methotrexate two months ago to three months ago they don’t exercise that much but they feel I No pain they feel great I think. Let’s give you 12 months and just see how you’re doing. Before we kind of just see really where you’re right here because two months after methotrexate it still could be lingering a little bit in your body.
Clint You know you’re not exercising that concerns me and I just feel look do we really do we have a case here a situation where this is going to be extremely long term success or are we at risk here of things starting to slip a little bit now that the person’s no longer on the drugs and they may be could do some more things with. Inflammation reduction as a preventative measure. And so I feel a little concerned about that and then like and if people want to share their story I’m like oh let’s just wait a little while. Increase your exercise give it a few months we’ll just say see Hey go on a few months but when I hear of your you know morning routine we went through in detail. I just feel such confidence about your future you know I feel like you have. The equivalent of like the world’s best insurance policy against something going wrong. And. Insurance. Should be in our health. In our personal lives for our health. Just like we spend the money to insure our car and your insurance is what you’re doing. Each morning the way that you’re eating the way that you’re exercising could has made Brilliant. And the way that you really just do what it takes to keep well. And that’s why I get so happy hearing what you’ve described. Because my you go Rheagan like this isn’t crushing it.
Clint You know you’re crushing it and that’s what we want. We want crushing it. We don’t want a little bit better feeling this.We want to freak and crushing it. That’s what we want. Mm-hmm.
Rheagan Yeah. We want it. We want it gone. Yeah. It’s gotta go. It’s gotta go.
Clint I love the word crushing and it came crushing came from Denny one of our early success stories goes way back. Denny trail from the Netherlands. A great guy can’t wait to meet him in person one day. The word. The recent crushing is so good and we like saying that so much is because. Of it. It feels so complete as one thing but also it feels like. Even if we overexert the amount of effort needed to create the result. Then that is is better than only just exerting the right amount of effort to meet the enemy. But we go way over and above what’s needed because we don’t want any room for error here. You know like if you’ve got one small little pinky finger. Well, that deserves at least half an hour on a bike ride. Yes. Not a stroll. Not a strong no no. A little sore pinky that deserves at least half an hour a day on a bike. Yes, sir.
Rheagan Yeah. You’ve got to crush it. Yeah. The only way.
Clint Yeah. So. Thank you. I think we’ve come to a nice point to wrap it up. All the stuff you’ve shared is brilliant. Super excited to hear about you. You know how you work on Broadway I mean that must have been putting aside the health stuff must have been a dream come true to work regularly on Broadway.
Rheagan Oh yeah absolutely. It’s the best job ever.
Clint Yeah and yeah. Are you part of it. Are you part of an orchestra that performs many nights or do you perform for different sort of famous people as part of their orchestra behind them or what sort of jobs do you normally get?
Rheagan I basically do all kinds of stuff. The bulk of it is Broadway. So like I sub. They call it subbing when we play. It’s not my Broadway show but it’s someone else’s Broadway show. And then they get sicker. They don’t want to do it or whatever so they call us up and that’s me. So I’m now subbing on a few different ones you’ve probably heard of Phantom of the opera. Yeah. Frozen a bunch of different shows wicked. I saw them and I also do like orchestral stuff freelance. I’m a freelancer so I play when they call.
Clint That’s a frozen at the frozen gigs is it full of kids.
Rheagan Yeah. Yeah. There are a lot of kids. Yeah. The kids show.
Rheagan Yeah. And wicked too. Kind of had a lot of kids. Yeah, it’s fun.
Clint Cool. Cool cool. Yeah. No, I think that is just that’s just wonderful. What a gift to be able to play music and uplift people and make them wonderful for the hour or two that they’re in the audience.
Rheagan Well there’s a lot of musicians that experience arthritis and they don’t say anything because the last thing you want anyone to know is that you’re having trouble playing your instrument. So I’ve since having this having had this experience. Have I’ve posted about it on Facebook and a ton of people have come up to me and asked me further information on your program. Why did I do to get this. Because they have a little bit of pain in their hand. They don’t know if it’s arthritis or some people have a lot of pain and so I’m glad to put this out there for the musician community who mean maybe they don’t or any community that they don’t have a full-on diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis but they have a little bit of inflammation or a lot or whatever that’s bothering them they can be healed with this method as well the diet and the exercise. It’s it works. I didn’t tell you my numbers. My blood numbers. Yeah. OK so the big one is the rheumatoid factor. It went from 31 to 15. Wow. This is this was tested in May and in December. So 31 to 15. My ESR went from eleven to nine and my CRP interestingly. Kind of stayed the same at five. And the second time I got the high sensitivity one and that one came back actually at six but the normal one was five both times. So anyway I just wanted to tell you I was super excited about the rheumatoid factor going from 31 to 15. Oh, and my ANA autoimmune went from positive to negative.
Clint Oh wow.
Clint Yeah. You don’t see the rheumatoid factor come down much and it’s something that doesn’t allow me if someone’s rheumatoid factor doesn’t come down. But when it does come down obviously that’s really cool. OK. So mine sorry I should say mine came down but didn’t come to normal. So.
Clint Nor did Monica agro world’s Dr. Monica Agarwal who is a doctor who I interviewed on her early and an early podcast. You can search for her and listen to that we talk about rheumatoid factor and as a clinician, she talks about how the concern is not associated with that marker. It’s associated with the inflammation markers. So what would be interesting is if we’d have known what your selective protein was before you know when you were young at no inflammation even to think of you know cause some people might sit around that level anyway like your low marker might be around four or five. You know I’m not sure.
Rheagan Oh OK.
Clint But I tested again in a couple of months. Just keep an eye on it. But if you’re not feeling inflammation in the body and you’re not aware of anything else going on like a chest cough some kind of short term injury hurt yourself. If there’s no other contributor to the inflammation you don’t feel any in your body and you getting fives consistently. I personally would start to develop a feeling of satisfaction that that’s kind of where my body was sitting at. It’s still considered ok still considered normal. Right five still considered normal.
Rheagan Okay. I always heard you say that you like it less than one. So that was my goal.
Clint Yeah. Less than one is fantastic. But if you’re not feeling any inflammation and it’s sitting at five then it’s hard to find that hard to see where that extra for. Dropping for is going to come from. You know they’d be nice to have now. It’d be nice to have known before all this where you were sitting at. But that’s obviously who goes and gets a blood test when they feel great. Nobody. Right?
Clint So just keep an eye on it. You know just keep an eye on it. You said rate of nine is also really normal like it’s up to 20 millimetres per hour and yours is at nine. Yeah, that’s very sort of. You know non-eyebrow raising. It’s just like OK this like anyone on the street kind of thing. Nine. But yeah I think you know it. Just see if you can get that 0 active protein down from five cause it’s at the upper limit of normal and it’d be nice to get it down a couple of notches. I’m just not sure where you’re going to find it if you’re feeling good already. So don’t be tremendously discouraged if it stays sitting around the 5 Mark. You know maybe that’s where it’s so it’s where it’s going to set.
Clint I’ve seen people who have been blown up like totally lit up throughout their whole body and they’ve got like normal selected protein. So it’s not like your so your selected protein compared to someone else’s is incomparable. You can not draw a comparison because It’s like how does your body respond to inflammation compared to someone else’s body. That and they respond very differently. And so all that we can use this measurement for. Is a comparison between our own measurement and another one of our own measurements. And that’s it. Now never compared to somebody else.
Rheagan Okay that makes sense.
Clint Yeah. So you just might have a very very sensitive reaction to inflammation in the blood and just a little bit going on there and it’s showing up a five which is up on normal. And so you know that might be just you know where it sits and maybe and get it down. Not sure yet. Certainly not having the pain in the joints moving freely. Doing feeling super healthy. No pain again and just waking up no morning stiffness. I mean it’s hard to hard to improve upon that.
Rheagan Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah. It’s pretty awesome.
Clint So it’s ultimately how we live our life that we’re that way. That we’re aiming for maximum health you know maximum lifestyle.
Rheagan Yeah yeah. And having complete control what you say is true I really do feel like I have complete control over this condition. I know it’s not gone. I know I’ll probably always have it but I have complete control over it. It’s OK. Thank you so much Clint.
Clint All right. No worries well really great chatting with you. Thanks for sharing your story and keep up the fabulous work.
Rheagan Thank you. Thank you for all your help and all the people that you’ve helped. I don’t even know what to say. It’s just it’s everything to be able to feel this way. Thank you.
Clint Awesome. Thanks so much.