When I was first diagnosed with RA and put on methotrexate I was suffering in pain until we got the right combination of medicines going. I remember getting a manicure at a walk-in place (make sure it’s clean!) and also having a 20-minute massage. The next day I regretted it. My entire body went nuts. The pain I experienced before I was diagnosed returned and I hated myself for allowing it to happen. At that time in my life my body wasn’t ready for massage. Or if it was it needed to be with someone who knew what they were doing. Either way, this experience scared me away from getting massages.
Most nights before bed I use Ahava hand and foot cream. It’s become a ritual that I love and enjoy. The smell of the lotion always seems to help me relax. I find being kind to my hands and feet goes a long way. I also like putting lavender oil on before bed and rubbing it on my sheets to help me calm down.
My boyfriend has been so kind to put cream on my feet. Having someone else do it for you feels amazing especially if you have stiffness or pain in a particular spot. He rubs away the stiffness on my right ankle and thankfully it hasn’t returned. During this experience I have tears of joy streaming down my face. The simplistic act of rubbing cream on my foot is life changing.
Now that my RA is well controlled I really love enjoying massages. It needs to happen with a reputable masseuse who knows what RA is and knows not to massage you too hard. If it is done correctly, it is incredible and I not only relax after, but it helps loosen up my muscles. I’m glad I’m able to enjoy massages now and believe indulging in them once a month does wonders for my mind, body and spirit.
asbRA was diagnosed with RA in November 2012 at the age of 27 and fibromyalgia in 2013. Through therapy and MBSR meditation asbRA found her calling in journaling her experience and is writing a book on how to navigate an RA diagnosis in the prime of one’s life. As a strong advocate in the autoimmune community asbRA shares her wisdom in hopes of helping others. @AllisonSBerger
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