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Blue Heron Guide

to Healing Arthritis
by Shelly Manning

Copyright
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted for resale or use by
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Purchaser is authorized to use any of the information in this publication for his or her own use only. All
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in this Book, neither the Author nor Publisher assumes any responsibility for errors, inaccuracies,
or omissions. Any slights of people or organizations are unintentional. If advice concerning medical
conditions is needed, the services of a qualified professional should be sought. This Book is not a
source of medical information, and it should not be regarded as such. This publication is designed to
provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold with
the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering a medical service. If expert medical
assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. As with any
medical advice, the reader is strongly encouraged to seek professional advice before taking action.
Published by: Blue Heron Limited

Contents
What You Dont Know About Arthritis Can Hurt You
Chapter 1: How I Beat the Most Common Disease In America Without
Drugs

Then The Most Amazing Thing Happened .................................................................................................. 3


How This Book Will Beat Arthritis For You ................................................................................................ 5
How To Use This Book ................................................................................................................................. 6

Chapter 2: A Little Word Called Arthritis:


What It is, What It Does, and Why Nothing Has Worked So Far

What Is Arthritis, Exactly? ........................................................................................................................... 9


Why Youve Been Let Down So Far............................................................................................................ 11
Action Steps: Find Out What Type of Arthritis That You Have (Day 1) ................................................... 13

Inflammation. The Root Cause of Your Pain


Chapter 3: How Inflammation Causes Arthritis

Whats Inflammation?................................................................................................................................. 16
Glycemix Index The Secret Instigator of Arthritis ................................................................................... 17
Bad Fats A Curse On Arthritis Relief ....................................................................................................... 18
Omega-3/Omega-6 Ratio ........................................................................................................................... 19
Can Sitting On The Couch Increase Inflammation? .................................................................................. 19
Stress and Inflammation ............................................................................................................................. 20
Action Steps: Calculate Your Inflammation Score and Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses (Day 2).. 21

Eat Like This, Beat Arthritis


Chapter 4: What a moose taught scientists
that the Chinese knew for centuries

Little-Known Allergen Theory of Arthritis ................................................................................................ 25


Action Steps: Go On an Elimination Diet (Days 5-7) ............................................................................ 27
How to Do A Comprehensive Elimination Caveman Diet ....................................................................... 28
Action Step: Know The Basics of The Blue Heron Arthritis Diet (Day 5) ................................................. 29

Chapter 5 - Arthritis Cure In a Pill?


Which Vitamins Are a Must

Vitamin D .................................................................................................................................................. 35
Vitamin C ................................................................................................................................................... 38
B Complex Vitamins................................................................................................................................... 39
Vitamin E .................................................................................................................................................... 40
Glucosamine + Chondrotin ....................................................................................................................... 41
How to buy vitamins without getting burned ............................................................................................ 42
Action Steps For Chapter 5 (Days 6-21) .................................................................................................... 44

Chapter 6: Omega-3 Fats


Your New Best Friend and Arthritis Worst Enemy

Omega-3s and Arthritis.............................................................................................................................. 46


What are Omega-3s? ................................................................................................................................. 46
The Incredible Science of Omega-3s and Arthritis .................................................................................... 47
How Omega-3s Do What They Do ............................................................................................................ 48
How Much Do You Need? .......................................................................................................................... 49
Best Sources of Omega 3s ........................................................................................................................... 50
What To Watch Out For: Fish oil supplement dangers.............................................................................. 51
Chapter 6 Action Steps (Days 7-19) ........................................................................................................... 52

Chapter 7 - Superfoods That Drop Inflammation and Destroy Arthritis

Oxidation: The Fuel That Lights Inflammations Fire ................................................................................ 54


Fight Back: Stop Free Radicals With Antioxidant SuperFoods ................................................................. 55
Stack Your Diet With Antioxidant-Heavy Produce ................................................................................... 56
Garlic........................................................................................................................................................... 57
Cherries ...................................................................................................................................................... 58
Green Tea .................................................................................................................................................... 58
Pineapples ................................................................................................................................................... 59
GingerThe Worlds First Medicine ........................................................................................................... 60
Red Wine .................................................................................................................................................... 60
Extra Virgin Olive Oil ................................................................................................................................ 61
Turmeric ..................................................................................................................................................... 61
Rounding out our superfoods is the Indian herb turmeric. Turmeric, like red wine, starts by fighting
inflammation, but goes a step further and actually works as a bodyguard for damaged joints. ............... 61
Action Steps for Chapter 7 (Days 9-13) ..................................................................................................... 62

Chapter 8: Lose Weight to Lose Arthritis

Obesity and Arthritis: Kissing Cousins ...................................................................................................... 63


Why Fat Causes Arthritis ........................................................................................................................... 64
How to Lose Weight and Reverse ArthritisNaturally ............................................................................ 65
Action Steps for Chapter 8 (Days 15-17) ................................................................................................... 65

Get Moving!
Chapter 9: Exercising With ArthritisIts Possible!

Exercise and Arthritis ................................................................................................................................. 68


How to Exercise With Arthritis.................................................................................................................. 69
Chapter 9 Action Steps (Days 18-19) ......................................................................................................... 70

Chapter 10: Yoga and Thai Chi for Arthritis

Chapter 10 Action Steps (Day 20) ............................................................................................................. 74

Chapter 11: Everything Under the Rising Sun Ancient Asian Arthritis Cures That Work Today

Acupuncture Basics .................................................................................................................................... 76


Massage ....................................................................................................................................................... 77
Aromatherapy ............................................................................................................................................. 77
Reflexology ................................................................................................................................................. 78
Balneotherapy ............................................................................................................................................. 78
How To Do It Right .................................................................................................................................... 78
Chapter 12 Action Steps (Day 21) .............................................................................................................. 79

Chapter 13 Wrapping Up

Blue Heron Health Guide to Heal Arthritis 21-Day Plan

Part I
What You Dont Know
About Arthritis
Can Hurt You

Chapter 1: How I Beat the Most Common Disease In America


Without Drugs
Not long ago, my life was in shambles. Sure, on the surface, I had everything going for
me: a lovely husband, a beautiful house in a safe neighborhood, and a son I loved more
than anything.
Despite feeling, in many ways, like I was the luckiest gal in the world, I slowly degraded until I became
a shadow of my former self. No, I didnt develop a drinking problem or become a shopaholicIm
not into that sort of thing. What led me down a path of crippling pain, thousands of dollars in needless
expenses, and strained relationship with the people I loved the most was none other than the most
prevalent disease in America arthritis.
It all started when I was about 46 (Im 53 now), and got worse and worse as the weeks and months
added up. At first, Id wake up with maybe a stiff back, or some crackling knees. Then, a few days a
week, Id have a visit from Uncle Arty, as I liked to say. But over time, arthritis went from a minor
annoyance to something that took over my entire life.
Im sure you can relate to the excruciating pain that this awful condition brings with it. Your back feels
like it has a metal rod is jammed inside of it, your hands become more twisted than the branches of a
willow tree, and your knees painfully snap, crackle, and pop with every aching step. I can relate my
arthritis got so bad that I thought Id have to end up in wheelchair.
But as you know, arthritis doesnt necessarily fill your body with lightning bolts of pain 24 hours a day,
7 days a week. Its more like riding a roller coaster of agony. It seems that as soon as you feel a bit better,
arthritis leaps out of nowhere and wrestles hold of your life once more.
Thats when arthritis went from being something that just affected my knees and back to a disease that
hijacked my mind as well. I became depressed, withdrawn from my family and friends, and a zombie at
work.
I went from being one of the most social gals in the neighborhood, always hosting the big dinner party
or barbeque, to someone who spent her spare time laid out on the sofa trying desperately to forget about
the incredible pain. Arthritis changed me from the go to woman at the office, always first in line for
that next promotion, to someone who hobbled around and avoided eye contact with my coworkers.
Im not proud to admit it, but for a while there, arthritis definitely got the best of me. At my lowest
points, I almost preferred a visit from the Grim Reaper to enduring another day with arthritis.
And it seemed that no matter how much I fought the pain, whether through drugs, distractions, or
wacky miracle cures, it found a way to dig and burrow itself deep inside of me. The disappointment of
trying a new medication, only to see it fall flat, was almost as bad as the disease itself.

Believe me, I tried it all. Like you probably did, as soon as I started feeling the pain, I went to visit my
doctor. Even though I had a great relationship with the guy, and he always seemed to know his stuff,
he really let me down when I needed him most. Id come to him writhing in agony, begging him for
something -anything-- that would give me my life back. He would smile, shrug, and write me another
prescription for a drug that did more harm than good.
But I didnt stop there, of course. I tried some mega supplements that were designed to help with the
pain, but did nothing but charge my credit card $99.99 per month. Oh, and I went to physical therapy,
where they put me in machines that resembled Middle Age torture devices, and forced my tender joints
to endure throbbing grief only to feel worse after the session.
I even went to a so-called arthritis specialist, just to he could inject some sort of funny looking syrup
into my back and knees. The only thing that seemed to do was make yet another part of my body in pain
-my skin.

Then The Most Amazing Thing Happened


About 3 years ago, I had one of those life-changing moments that I thought only happened in the
movies.
Since I was a little kid, I had always wanted to visit Asia. But with college, then a job, and then a
monthly mortgage, I never had a chance to go. But one day, my boss called me into his office and told
me that I had 22 days of vacation days on the books, -and if I didnt use themId lose them! The first
thing that came into my head was: Im finally going to China!, followed by what about my arthritis?
Although I was excited for the fact that Id get to see this amazing place that Ive always wanted to go to,
I was concerned, downright afraid really, about arthritis and how it would effect my journey. After a few
days of mulling it over, I hunkered down and ordered a round trip ticket to Hong Kong.
Im not going to lie to you, getting to China was not a pleasant experience. The tiny seats in the airplane
for the 22-hour journey made my joints beg for mercy. And carrying my luggage made me feel like
needles were being jabbed into my knees. As youve probably felt firsthand, I had a flare up of epic
proportions.
But once I left the airport and finally saw the amazing Hong Kong skyline with my own two brown
eyes, I actually forgot about my arthritisbriefly. An hour or so later, instead of exploring the hustle
and bustle of this Asian metropolis, I was lying in bed, wondering if Id be able to make it to the lobby
without bursting into tears of pain. Eventually, I managed to limp and carry myself to the wild streets of
Hong Kong filled with sights, sounds, and (especially) smells hat I never knew existed.
My growling stomach led me to the first place that resembled a restaurant. But when I looked at the
food, it scared the daylights out of me. I said to myself: I need to find some real food. I wandered
around as much as my aching body would take me, only to give up and reluctantly sit myself down for
the first time in a real Chinese restaurant.
The friendly Chinese owner, who called herself Jane, seemed to size me up as she saw me hobble into
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the place. In near-perfect English, Jane said: I know just the thing for you, and without letting me even
respond, she rushed to the kitchen to cook my lunch.
A few minutes later, Jane came back with a strange soup and the largest teapot Ive ever seen in my life. I
was so famished that I downed the bowl of soup and entire pot of tea without even looking up. When I
did, I noticed Jane staring at me with a strange smile. Expecting her to ask me how I liked the food, she
instead asked me: How do you feel?
What a strange question, I thought to myself. I almost replied with my automatic response: Im doing
OK, but then I suddenly noticed that my knees, hands, and back felt better than they had in years!
Wanting to kiss this woman, I begged her to tell me what was in
the food. Calm and poised, Jane calmly told me the secret was
actually what she put in the tea: I put many things in tea to cool
off your hot joints. The most important thing, we call Jing, but
you probably say ginger.
Other than meeting my husband and having a child, this was the
most important thing that ever had happened to me. By making
sure to eat the foods and drinks that Jane recommended for the
rest of my trip, I was able to tackle mainland China, from giant
cities like Guangzhou to tiny villages nestled in the mountains.
Everyday, my posture improved, my joints loosened up, and my
pain took a nosedive.

It didnt take long


for me to make the
connection between
the greasy fast food
and my arthritic flare
up.

After returning from my amazing journey and feeling like a million bucks, I realized that I needed some
good ol American food. On the drive home from the airport, I popped into my local fast food drivethrough and ordered nearly half of the menu. Starving, I scarfed down almost everything by the time I
pulled into my driveway. Not wanting to wait to tell my husband about my miraculous transformation, I
honked the horn, threw opened the car doorbut I wasnt the same!
The pain, stiffness, and agony had returned with a vengeance. My arthritic knees and back were back to
their old, horrible, selves!
It didnt take long for me to make the connection between the greasy fast food and my arthritic flare up.
Actually, I had once heard something about diet and arthritis, but I didnt give it much thought at the
time.
In the weeks after my return from China, along with readjusting to life in The States, I spent every
waking moment studying natural treatments for arthritis that actually work. It turns out, to my
amazement, that diet and arthritis is just scratching the surface of the incredibly powerful, but
completely unknown, natural treatments for arthritis.
Once I put a few of these secrets into practice, my arthritis almost instantly melted away. And the
more new treatments I added to my life, the more energy, vitality, and even fun I had in my life! The
word arthritis no longer represents a prison that I was forced to waste away in solitude in. Ive visited

Asia, and Jane, several times since my first trip to glean more wisdom of the Orient, learn about their
culture, and, of course, to do a bit of sightseeing!
My life isnt just better than it was before arthritiss hand first poked my first knee joint -its better than
ever!

How This Book Will Beat Arthritis For You


Since I beat arthritis, Ive run into family members, coworkers, and neighbors complaining about that
achy feeling in their joints. Not content with living a pain-free life while others needlessly suffered, I
decided to craft a plan that would allow others to experience the same remarkable recovery I had.
One coworker tried it. Then another. And then my neighbors started asking me for the plan. Before I
knew it, my inbox was overflowing with requests from around town demanding to know how I beat
arthritis and how they could do the same.
Over the course of a few years, and a few hundred guinea pigs, I crafted and refined the plan that
you now hold in your hands. If you follow it, it will sweep away your arthritis, no matter how severe,
in a month or less. I say plan and not book, because I intentionally set out to make sure that the
people given these powerful secrets put them to good use. How many books have you read, said, wow,
interesting stuff , and then toss it on your bookshelf, never to be seen again?
Im not judging, Ive done it too. I know you have a hectic job, bills to pay, and a to-do list a mile long.
You dont have time to take a book of general information and translate it into practice. Thats why Ive
taken the painstaking effort to make the information straightforward, easy to follow, and actionable. If
you follow the steps in this plan, in 21 short days (or perhaps even sooner), you could be 100% arthritis
free!
Are you ready to finally defeat arthritis for good and start living the life that you deserve two weeks from
now? Good!
I can almost guarantee that youve never seen the information found in this book.
To whet your appetite a bit, heres a taste of the little-known secrets youre about to be privileged to:
t Why your arthritis REALLY gets worse in the wintertime (it has nothing to do with the cold and
everything to do with a certain vitamin)
t How all of the pain and stiffness in your joints are actually your bodys allergic reaction to something
youve been eating
t Why most arthritis experts have turned their back on modern medicineand the amazing results
theyre finding from alternative medicine
t Why arthritis rates in Asia are rock bottomand how you can join them without leaving your
hometown!
t The tag-team of exercises that blow most arthritis medications out of the water

Who the participants were that a team of researchers took a group of arthritis suffers to the Dead Sea
and why their jaws dropped at what happened next.

How To Use This Book


Like I said, this isnt The Da Vinci Code. Its not a book you read, say
hmm, interesting stuff , and then flip on the TV to see whats on. Its a
step by step plan that takes you by the hand to make sure that you dont
miss a beat.
To get the most out of this book, heres what to do:
1. Read through the book from start to finish: Studies show that
people only remember 10% of what they read the first time around.
To make sure most of the info on these pages end up in your brain,
I recommend that the first time around, read it once from cover to
cover before starting on the action steps. Youll give it a second (or third) go around as needed.
2. Check out the action steps: To make the information in each chapter instantly valuable to you, Ive
included a bunch of take away messages and action steps. If you choose, you can start them right
away. Or if you rather pick and choose the aspects of the book you want to incorporate, you can
wait until youve finished the book. Then, you can go back and start using some of your favorites.
3. Do the 21 Day Plan: Not to give away the ending, but Ive thrown in a comprehensive 21 day plan
at the end of the book for you. This is the nuts and bolts of the program, and is one of the things that
makes this book different from many of the fluff arthritis books floating around out there.
After reading the book, re-learning the causes and cures arthritis, youre ready to start on Day 1.
Once youve completed the steps for day 1, move onto day 2. Keep going until youve found relief or
youve hit day 21, whichever comes first.
4. Re-read the book (optional): If you feel that you dont 100% understand every single topic
discussed in the book, feel free to read it again. The second time around, many people find that their
comprehension increases and they get many more aha moments.
5. Go past 21 days: An important lesson in this book is that your joints are part of the system that is
your body. The same things youve been doing for your arthritis is benefiting your health from head
to toe. Just because youre pain free doesnt mean that a diet of soda and French fries is in order. For
your overall health, stick to the guidelines in the book indefinitely.
Also, in some (very) instances, arthritis wont completely disappear after 21 days. However, even
people with the most stubborn cases of arthritis still find massive amounts of relief. If thats you, just
keep up the good work youve been doing for the last 3 weeks and
Of course, these are just guidelines and please feel free to go at your own pace if slower or faster works
better for you.
Before we tame the beast, however, we need to know what it is were dealing with when we say arthritis.
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Chapter 2: A Little Word Called Arthritis: What It is, What


It Does, and Why Nothing Has Worked So Far
It seems that every time you flip open a newspaper, turn
on the TV, or peruse a magazine, theres an article about
the same three diseases: heart disease, diabetes, and
cancer. Dont get me wrong, these diseases are extremely
common and deadly.
The problem is, this coverage ends up overshadowing the
most common disease in America arthritis.
If arthritis does steal a headline, it seems to be related to a drug
thats being rushed off the market because of suspicious deaths
tied to it (Vioxx anyone?). I know that arthritis can make you feel
withdrawn and alone, but it shouldnt youre in good company.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), estimates that 46 million
nearly 1 in 5 of all American adults have been diagnosed with
some form of arthritis. And once you hit age 65, your odds of
suffering from arthritis are a coin flip -50%. Even more startling, many health experts suspect there are
many more silently suffering because theyve never been handed an official diagnoses from an MD.
There really is a silent, but very real Arthritis Epidemic. Time Magazine has predicted that were on the
verge of an Age of Arthritis and that The situation with arthritis is about to get worse--a lot worse-and very soon. Arthritis rates ballooned nearly 25% in the short time period from 1990 to 2005. The
National Institutes of Health warn that by 2030, an astonishing 67 million people will have arthritis a
40% increase in just two decades. The rates of this debilitating disease are growing at a tremendous clip
nearly twice as fast as diabetes.
As you know personally, its not simply having arthritis that matters; its how it affects your life. Sadly,
the numbers send a clear message that arthritis leaves many peoples lives in ashes. Every year, 750,000
people head to the ER solely due to arthritis, and almost 10,000 people die from arthritis complications.
Research published in Arthritis Care & Research found that up to 90% of people with arthritis are
limited in what they can do at work and nearly half say that arthritis limits the activities they can do
like cleaning or taking a walk. Studies show that people with arthritis tend to have significantly lower
quality of life and report feeling sick twice as often than those without arthritis.
Not only that, but arthritis is one of the most expensive diseases to have. CDC research has estimated
that, on a national level, arthritis costs more than $120 billion dollars to treat every year. Costly

treatments, whether they work or not, are on a meteoric rise.


The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons expects knee
replacements to surge 525% in the next twenty years.
In fact, its estimated that arthritis costs almost $2,000 dollars
per person to treat -with much of that money coming right
out of the wallets of struggling patients. I know that one of the
most frustrating things about arthritis for me was wasting my
hard earned cash on a treatment that didnt ultimately make any
difference.

Arthritis rates
ballooned nearly
25% in the short time
period from 1990 to
2005!

As you can see, the numbers dont lie. The problem is massive,
wide reaching, and has profound implications on society, yet it
seems that almost no one (physicians included) know much about arthritis. But thats about to change.
After you read the next section, youll know more about arthritis than most of the Average Joe, -and
even many health care professionals.

What Is Arthritis, Exactly?


You know what arthritis does to you, but what the heck is it? Believe it or not, the word arthritis
actually describes over 100 different conditions!
I remember when I first visited my doc after my pain got out of
control. Barely looking up from his chart, he told me that I had
arthritis. At the time, little did I know that I actually had two
of the most common forms of arthritis: rheumatoid arthritis
and osteoarthritis. The 98 other forms run the gamut from gout,
fibromyalgia, and psoriatic arthritis.
Despite the fact that there are so many arthritis categories,
theyre all surprisingly similar. Princeton University defines
arthritis as: Inflammation of a joint or joints. That applies to
gout, osteoarthritis, or any other type of arthritis known to man.
Inflammation is the common denominator of all of them.
That being said, there are some caveats in terms of what exactly
causes different types of arthritis and how you should tackle each
one. Thats why one of the first things were going to do during
our 30-day healing journey is pin-point your arthritis. That way,
you can tailor the natural cures I recommend to maximize their
effectiveness.
Osteoarthritis: When most people say, I have arthritis theyre actually referring to osteoarthritis
by far the most common type. In fact, over half of all people with arthritis are diagnosed with

osteoarthritis.
Unlike other types of arthritis, which can come on suddenly, osteoarthritis takes years to develop. You
may not be able to feel it, but as the years add up, the soft cushion between your bones and, jointscartilage- starts to breakdown. Thats why many scientists call osteoarthritis degenerative arthritis the
cartilage degrades and wastes away.
The incredible pain you feel when you have osteoarthritis is a combination of two things: joints rubbing
against bones, and inflammation irritating nerves.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA): Although less common than osteoarthritis, a good chunk of people,
about 2 million according to the CDC, suffer from this autoimmune-cased arthritis. In a nutshell,
autoimmunity is when your bodys natural defense, immunity cells, go rogue and decide to attack your
own cells. In some cases, they attack the pancreas, causing type 1 diabetes. Other times, they strike at
the thyroid, bringing on hypothyroidism.
In the case of RA, immune cells begin a full frontal assault on your defenseless joints. RA also wears
away protective cartilage and causes a boatload of inflammation. But what makes RA even more of a
villain that its arthritis cousins are, is that it doesnt just cause painful joints it damages vulnerable lung,
eye, and circulatory tissue as well making your entire life a constant struggle.
Back Pain: The American Association of Chiropractors reports
that an astonishing 85% of all people will experience back pain
in their lifetime. In fact, back pain is the #1 reason that someone
visits his or her doctor. While sometimes causes by a herniated
disc or a muscle spasm, arthritis is a surprisingly common cause of
back pain, according to Arthritis Today.

85% of all people will


experience back pain
in their lifetime!

Gout: While all types of arthritis are ultimately caused by diet and
lifestyle, gout takes the cake as the arthritis most linked to diet. Gout happens when a compound found
in certain foods, uric acid, builds up in the blood. Uric acid eventually finds its way into joints, making
them painful and inflamed.
Fibromyalgia: If youve been feeling widespread, unexplained, and hard to pinpoint pain, you may have
fibromyalgia. While scientists arent sure what exactly causes it, the Mayo Clinic reports that at least 2%
of the US population has fibromyalgia.
Psoriatic arthritis: This arthritis is usually found with people who also have the skin condition,
psoriasis. The Arthritis Foundation estimates that nearly a quarter of all people with skin psoriasis will
get psoriatic arthritis.
You should know that its possible to have more than one kind of arthritis (like I did). For example,
studies show that people with RA also tend to have fibromyalgia.
The good news is that you dont have to work at beating each one individually. As youll soon see, the
natural treatments that combat one tend to combat them all!

Why Youve Been Let Down So Far


Arthritis is hard enough to live with, but its three times as tough when your arthritis treatments let
you down more often than a smooth-talking politician. Dont think that just because medicine hasnt
improved your quality of life, that youre a unique medical case.
Despite expenditures of $120 billion to treat arthritis, and throwing more money at the problem,
arthritis rates are exploding, not shrinking. That fact alone should have you scratching your head and
wondering whats going on.
To understand why the medical establishment flat out fails at
treating arthritis, its important to have a handle on the fatal flaws
in the medical establishment itself. And no, this isnt like the
health care debate in Washington theyre simply rearranging
the deck chairs on the Titanic. Im talking about the fundamental
issues deep within the health care system that make it simply
unable to help you with your arthritis.

Despite expenditures
of $120 billion to treat
arthritis, rates are
exploding!

Patient advocate and renegade physician Stephen C. Schimpff,


MD says that: America has a disease industry, not a health
care system. What he means is that, in a health care industry, the focus would be on preventing
diseases from happening in the first place, and if they did happen, going after the root cause.
Unfortunately, money has mucked up these ideals and turned the US health care system into a disease
industry. Instead of doctors focusing on getting patients back on their feet, it is actually financially
disadvantageous for them to do so. Instead, they get paid when they treat someone whether the
treatment works or not.
For example, a recent report put together by the US Department of Health and Human Services
reviewed all the current treatment options for both RA and psoriatic arthritis and concluded that many
physicians were using medications and treatments that werent backed up by evidence. The authors
concluded that:
Common problems for both RA and psoriatic arthritis [treatments] include the lack of effectiveness
information i.e., studies and findings with a high level of applicability to community populations.
Other researchers have reached similar conclusions about osteoarthritis.
Not only are most treatments worthless, but they can
bring on some unpleasant side effects. The Agency
for Healthcare Research and Quality recently
reviewed 619 research papers that quantified the
effectiveness, and safety, of arthritis medications.
They found that: Many questions remain about the
risks of these agents across a spectrum of adverse
events from relatively minor side effects, such as
injection site reactions, to severe and possibly life

10

threatening problems, such as severe infections or infusion reactions. Severe and life threatening? I
dont remember my doctors mentioning that when they wrote me Rx after Rx.
In her book, Conquering Arthritis: What doctors Dont Tell You Because They Dont Know, Barbara D.
Allan recounts a frustrating experience with her doctor handing her medications that were making her
feel worse. Despite my low dose, I suffered unpleasant overdose effects that my doctor was very slow
to recognize or acknowledge. This was despite the fact that that I was very concerned about these side
effects and brought them to his attention many times. Finally, my doctors ran out of treatments and
went into denial that anything was physically wrong with me.
Sound familiar? I know that I had many heated discussions with my doctors about whether my illness
was being caused or treated by the medications. Sometimes it was hard to tell the difference.
A class of very common arthritis drugs, known as NSAIDs (Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs),
illustrates the sad fact that medical treatments often do more harm than good. Despite being one of the
most popular over-the-counter and prescription drugs in the world, taking drugs like Advil, Ibuprofen,
and Celebrex is rolling the dice with your health. USA Today reported that taking these drugs, even for
a short time, greatly increases sudden heart attack risk. And the Annals of Internal Medicine reported
that 76,000 people are hospitalized every year from taking these so-called safe drugs that you can get
over the counter at your local pharmacy.
Now isnt a time to try something new, all the while continuing your unquestionable reliance on the
fatally flawed medical establishment. If youre ready to cure, and not simply treat, your arthritis, then
this guide is for you. Some, if not most, of the information here will be new to you. All I ask is that,
before we get into these amazing natural cures, that you have an open mind, suspend what youve been
told about arthritis, and become mentally charged to finally release arthritiss painful hold on your life.

11

Action Steps: Find Out What Type of Arthritis That You Have (Day 1)
You know that you have arthritis, but do you know what kind? Most people go through their entire life
without a full understanding the disease they face every moment of every day. Fill out this questionnaire
to find out which type (or types) of arthritis you have (circle all that apply).
#1: Other than arthritis, Ive been diagnosed
with
A. Hypothyroidism, adrenal insufficiency, or
celiac disease
B. Obesity or diabetes
C. Psoriasis

If you answered:
Mostly As: This means you likely have RA.
Food leading to flare ups, suffering from other
inflammatory autoimmune diseases, and
symmetrical and throbbing pain are telltale
signs of RA. The information in this book will
be especially helpful for you, as youll notice not
just an improvement in your joints, but for your
entire body.

#2: My Pain Tends to Be Most Severe in


A. My knees and hands
B. In my hips and back
C. All over my body

Mostly Bs: You probably have osteoarthritis.


OA is characterized by different scales of
pain on each side of the body, normal energy
levels, sharp pain, and back and hip pain. The
information in this book will prevent your
cartilage from degrading anymore, and even
give your body the raw parts it needs to heal and
repair.

#3: The Pain I Feel Is Mostly


A. Sharp and sudden
B. Dull and throbbing
C. Pulsating and constant
#4: Ive Had Other Chronic Issues With
A. My GI tract/bowels
B. My lower back
C. Skin rashes and skin inflammation

Mostly Cs: You may have an other arthritis


type, like gout. 98 conditions are hard to
pinpoint using a questionnaire, but most of the
symptoms like near-constant flare-ups, fatigue,
and all over pain are typical signs of the less
common arthritis types.

#5: My Arthritis Tends to Flare Up


A. After I eat a meal
B. During exercise or walking up stairs
C. Seems to always be in flare up mode

From now on, because the underlying cause


and treatments are the essentially the same, Ill
mostly be using the broad term arthritis to
apply to all 100 types. However, when a research
study only applies to one, or to one more than
another, Ill point this out to you.

#6: My Energy Levels Are Usually


A. Pretty low. Im fatigued all the time
B. Havent changed much since arthritis
C. Im always tired and/or been diagnosed with
chronic fatigue syndrome
#7: The Joints in My Body Hurt
A. On both sides equally
B. On one side only
C. All over, up and down, side to side

12

Part II
Inflammation.
The Root Cause
of Your Pain

Chapter 3: How Inflammation Causes Arthritis


In Chinese medicine, one of the most important concepts, are
the concepts of hot and cold. Not unlike yin and yang, hot
and cold are meant to be balanced in the body. If not, all sorts
of health issues inevitably arise.
My Chinese friend Jane was constantly telling me that my joints and
bones were hot and overheated. While you may think of this as
silly superstition, the truth is, the Chinese, who invented alternative
and complementary medicine, knew about inflammation well before
Columbus set sail for the new world. And while they may have called
it heat, they were talking about inflammation. Flash forward to the
21st century and youll see medical science taking a radical new view on
disease from each having a unique cause to all of them having the same
root cause: inflammation.
This sheer simplicity of inflammation-focused disease theory has doctors,
with decades of training under their belts, afraid of their field being simplified into such black and white
terms. However, as youll see, the numbers dont lie. Inflammation is an epidemic thats largely fueling
the engine of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and of course, arthritis, that our world is wrestling with.
As Time Magazine, in its cover story on inflammation states:
The speed with which researchers are jumping on the inflammation bandwagon is breathtaking. Just
a few years ago, nobody was interested in this stuff, says Dr. Paul Ridker, a cardiologist at Brigham
and Womens Hospital who has done some groundbreaking work in the area. Now the whole field of
inflammation research is about to explode.
Although scientists are jumping up and down in excitement over this breakthrough, doctors and other
health care professionals are digging in their heals to prevent word from getting out. How else can you
explain the fact that this no one seems to know about this crucial, yet life changing, concept?
Nows the time to understand inflammation, what it is, what it does, and what you can do about
it before its too late. Because, while arthritis is tortuous and sometimes deadly, its even worse
when combined with diabetes, Alzheimers, and heart disease all of which are linked to excessive
inflammation.

14

Whats Inflammation?
Do you remember those Saturday morning cartoons when someone would stub their toe
or bang their thumb with a hammer, and it would grow about ten times its normal
size, turn red, and throb uncontrollably? Believe it or not, but thats a fairly accurate
picture of inflammation.
In the real world, there two types of inflammation. Acute inflammation is what
youd experience if you were a cartoon character with a hammer and bad aim
--your bodys paramedics and ER. When something goes wrong, whether its
damage to your body or a viral invader, acute inflammation kicks in for damage
control, mending harm, and getting you back to normal. The workhorses of
inflammation are tiny proteins called cytokines. At rest, cytokines should be
taking the biological equivalent of a nap waiting for the bell to ring like a
group of firefighters playing cards at the station.
However, due to factors Ill touch on in a minute, inflammation sometimes
keeps going. And like a snowball rolling down a mountain, its impact grows
and grows the longer it rages on. When inflammation gets out of control,
its considered chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation, the other side
of the inflammation coin, shifts inflammation from a process that heals
to a process that harms although harm may be an understatement. Its
inflammation, and inflammation alone, that you have to thank for the sleepless nights and incredible
pain arthritis has brought with it.
Inflammation doesnt just that degrade cartilage and swell joints
it also directly agitates pain receptors and interferes with the
natural healing process. In 2004, a research study published
in Neuroscience Letters found that nasty cytokines become
imbedded within sensitive nerve endings causing them to fire
even if nothings wrong. This explains why many painkillers dont
work they may be able to numb the pain signals a bit, but with
inflammation working 24/7 on your sensitive nerves, they can
only do so much.

Reduce and eliminate


chronic inflammation,
and watch arthritis
disappear.

Also, researchers from the University of Toronto set out to understand why some hospital patients
heal likity split, while others cant seem to get better. They found that patients with the highest levels
of chronic inflammation healed the slowest. Better yet, when they intervened to fight inflammation,
patient recovery time sped up significantly.
The Blue Heron Guide to Heal Arthritis is a simple plan: reduce and eliminate chronic inflammation,
and watch arthritis disappear. With high tech treatments and pharmaceutical companies spending
millions on arthritis meds, it may sound a bit nutty that fighting inflammation alone will eliminate
arthritis. As you may remember, Princeton University defines arthritis as: Inflammation of a joint or
joints. Although there might be slightly different causes and manifestations of your arthritis, by and
large, inflammation is the culprit.

15

To tackle arthritis, were going to take a two-pronged attack. First, were going to identify and eliminate
the lifestyle factors that make inflammation go up. Once weve scratched off a few of those, were going
to start adding things to our life to make inflammation go down. Simple as that.
First, lets get a basic understanding of what makes inflammation go up. As youll see in the next chapter,
diets influence on inflammation cannot be overstated. A healthy diet is the fundamental step that
reduces inflammation and melts away arthritis (However, diet is a double-edged sword and certain
foods can have the complete opposite effect). In general, sugar, bad fats, and food sensitivities are the
aspects of diet that ramp up chronic inflammation.

Glycemix Index The Secret Instigator of Arthritis


The word sugar may conjure up images of white sugar packets
or pies. The truth is, sugar is silently rampant in the food
supply oftentimes added secretly to so-called health foods.
Even if you fanatically read labels and reduce your sugar intake,
there are still sugar-like foods out there that your body treats
essentially the same as pure white, granulated sugar. These
foods, known as high glycemic index foods, are absorbed
incredibly fast by the body (as you may expect, low glycemic
index foods are absorbed slowly). After you eat a high glycemic
index food, like a chocolate chip cookie, your body gets hit with
a blood sugar spike that shoots glucose levels through the
roof.
When this happens, your body scrambles to get glucose back to
normal. It secretes insulin. It pumps out adrenal chemicals. And most importantly for our discussion,
it ramps up inflammation. An occasional treat now and again isnt going to make a dent in chronic
inflammation. However, a diet heavy in high glycemic foods like
white bread, pasta, and candy undoubtedly will.

A recent study published in The American Journal of Clinical


To keep inflammation
Nutrition illustrates this point. While scientists have long
and pain under wraps,
understood the link between high glycemic index foods and
make sure most of your
short-term inflammation, Harvard University researchers decided
to see what effect a high glycemic index diet had on chronic
carbs for the day are at
inflammation. The researchers took a group of 250 women
or below 50 grams.
and assessed the glycemic index of their diet and determined
inflammation levels through a highly accurate blood test. To their
amazement, they found that the women with the high glycemic
index diet had twice the amount of chronic inflammation than those that ate a mostly low glycemic
index diet.

16

This plays out in terms of pain sensation as well. In one study, a group of volunteers were given two
different types of diets: one designed to rapidly raise blood sugars, and another to keep blood sugars
relatively steady. While ethically questionable, the researchers hooked up painful electrodes to each
groups fingers. Despite sending the same voltage through the electrodes, those with the highest blood
sugars reported the highest levels of pain.
One of the first steps in getting inflammation under wraps is going on a seek and destroy mission for
high glycemic index foods. However, the glycemic index can be tricky and foods on either end of the
glycemic index spectrum may surprise you. As a general rule, any food with a lot of carbs has a high
glycemic index. On the other hand, foods without much in the way of carbs, like nuts, meat, and dairy,
barely register on the glycemic index.
Be careful: even healthy carb-rich foods like wheat bread and brown rice tend to have a very high
glycemic index. Also, any food thats highly processed, like breakfast cereals, granola bars, and packaged
food will almost always have a high glycemic index. On the other hand, you can get low glycemic index
carbs from fresh veggies, small amounts of fruit, and legumes.
Check out the list of common foods and their glycemic index on the next page. To keep inflammation
and pain under wraps, make sure most of your carbs for the day are at or below 50 grams.

Bad Fats A Curse On Arthritis Relief


When it comes to arthritis, fats can be your best friend or your worst
enemy. Eat the right kind, and youll feel your pain slowly melt away. But
dine on the wrong type, and your joints will flare up and your overactive
nerves will send out pain signals like a radio antenna.
The first type of bad fat that you need to set your crosshairs on is saturated
fat. Saturated fat, made famous as a cause of heart disease, has widereaching effects all over the body all caused by inflammation. While your
body needs a certain amount of saturated fat, after you reach a certain
point, saturated fat is considered toxic by your body. Because saturated
fats boost inflammation and derail your bodys natural anti-inflammatory
mechanisms, you can perhaps see why the Washington Post calls saturated
fats, the evildoers of the nutrition world.
Even worse are the dreaded trans fats. Youve probably heard of these
nasty little buggers as theyre getting largely banned around the country.
Actually, after NYC stopped trans fats from being sold, they became the first fat outright abolished in US
history. Why such bold moves against a single fat?
To understand that, it helps to have a handle on what trans fats are. Trans fats are Franken fats that
food manufacturers create to extend shelf life of processed food and to retain a rich texture in packaged
foods. While it may sound harmless, this man made fat is far from it. Trans fats have been closely linked
to cardiovascular disease and diabetes. But it appears that trans fats wedging themselves into arteries
causes the damage they work by pushing inflammation skyward.
17

In fact, Harvard researchers found that women that ate trans fat rich foods, like pastries, cookies, cakes,
and deep fried food, had significantly higher inflammation levels than those that didnt even though
the rest of their diets were identical.

Omega-3/Omega-6 Ratio
Even if you already avoid trans and saturated fats like the plague, theres another big fat issue that you
need to have on your arthritis radar screen. Since the industrial revolution, the fats we take in are largely
under a class known as omega-6 fats. In the body, omega-6 fats act in a completely opposite manner to
the famous omega-3 fats, which you may have heard of.
To make a long story short, our intake of omega-3 and omega-6
fats, which are supposed to be about equal, have been flipped
upside down and are more lopsided than ever. In fact, studies
show the average American diet is about 20:1 omega-6 fats to
omega-3 fats. In other words, for every 20 grams of omega-6 fats
you gobble down, you may only get in 1 gram of omega-3 fats. In
a later chapter, well discuss the incredible importance of omega-3
fats and youll have a better idea of why this ratio is significant.
But in the meantime, just know that the fats we eat (including
saturated or trans fats) are completely out of whack.

The average American


diet is about 20:1
omega-6 fats to
omega-3 fats!

Why does this matter? Because emerging research shows that a higher intake of omage-6 fats to
omega-3 fats does a number on chronic inflammation levels. While saturated and trans fat tend to
increase inflammation via a red alert response from your immune system, omega-6 fats act more
subtly. You see, your body produces immune cells largely from the fat you eat a perfect example of you
are what you eat.
If you eat lots of omega-6 fats, from vegetable oils (including soy oil which makes up an astounding
20% of the average Americans caloric intake), and processed food, then youre providing your bodys
cell factories with the raw parts for hormones and immune cells that promote inflammation. On the
other hand, by eating hearty amounts of omega-3 fats, your body goes to work creating cells that cause
inflammation to relax. A great deal of your bodys internal inflammation is dictated by the raw parts
you hand it omega-3 or omega-6 fats.

Can Sitting On The Couch Increase Inflammation?


It certainly can. A lazy lifestyle, technically referred to as a sedentary
lifestyle, this is one of the least known contributors to inflammation and
arthritis pain. In fact, in an unfair vicious cycle, arthritis pain makes
it harder to exercise, which makes you more sedentary, which makes
arthritis worseand on and on.

18

Studies show that people who exercise the most have the lowest levels of inflammation. Conversely,
people who spend most of their time sitting tend to have out of control inflammation. A 2006 study
recruited about 200 men and women to see if they could link a handful of precise inflammation markers
to physical fitness. Sure enough, the participants who exercise the least had sky-high levels of harmful
inflammation proteins floating around in their body.
For your arthritis, and your overall health, one of the most crucial steps you can take is to get moving.

Stress and Inflammation


Tell me if this scenario sounds familiar. Youre driving home from a long day at work, with a to-do list
up to your eyeballs, and some young punk decides to cut you off and nearly kill you on the highway. You
honk your horn. You scream obscenities that would make a stand up comedian wince. And your stress
levels burst upward like mercury in an overheated thermometer.
A few minutes later, youre back to
normal mentally. But physically, your
knees, back, and hands start to cry out
in incredible pain. I know that when
I used to have arthritis, this sort of
stressful event would light up my pain
levels like a powder keg.
Although I probably missed the
connection 9 times out of 10, I now
realize that keeping tabs on stress
if one of the simplest, and most
effective ways, to control arthritis pain.
Skeptical that something that resides
in your mind, like stress and anxiety,
can set off a firestorm in your joints?
Then take a peek at this study by Emory University researchers. These scientists rounded up a group of
25 healthy men, collected blood for markers of inflammation, put them under a stressful situation, and
then collected blood again. A single minute or two of stress was enough to cause inflammation levels to
spiral out of control.
The author of the study, Dr Miller, stated that, While inflammation is essential for us to fight bacterial
and viral infections, too much inflammation can cause harm. Theres always some collateral damage
when the immune system gets fired up.
Many other studies have linked other stressful mental states, like anxiety and depression, to
inflammation levels and arthritis. One of the most well known of these research studies is one published
in the Archives of Internal Medicine. In this 2006 study, they found that anxiety very often precedes
arthritis answering the chicken or the egg question that plagued arthritis researchers for years.

19

Simply by tossing out high glycemic index foods and bad fats, putting your omega-6/omega-3 ratio back
in check, getting active, and lowering stress, youve already won half of the arthritis battle.
The other half of the battle comprises the rest of this book: fast-acting, natural, and safe methods to
make inflammation and arthritis pain freefall. Well start off with the most effective natural arthritis
treatment out there, anti-inflammatory nutrition. Then well move onto little-known, but incredibly
powerful super foods. After that, its time to learn about scientifically backed vitamins and mineral
supplements for arthritis pain relief.
Well wrap up with the importance of weight loss, ancient cures that still work today, and easy ways to
exercise without pain. Along the way, Ill be giving you action steps to make sure you get the most out
of the information in each chapter.
But first, its helpful to know how much inflammation you have. With that number in hand, youll have a
better idea of how aggressive you should be.

Action Steps: Calculate Your Inflammation Score and Know Your Strengths
and Weaknesses (Day 2)
1) I eat processed foods (frozen dinners, chips,
cookies, candy etc.)
1. More than once per day
2. About once per day
3. Once a week
4. Only on special occasions
2) I eat fish and other seafood
1. Never. I dont eat fish
2. Once per month
3. 2-3 times per week
4. More than 4 times per week
3) I eat ____ servings of fresh vegetables per day
1. 1 or less
2. About 2
3. At least 5
4. 5 or more
4) When it comes to grains, I eat ____ the most
1. White pasta, white bread, boxed cereal
2. Whole grain bread and pasta
3. 100% whole-wheat products
4. Barely, quinoa, and brown rice

5) When I eat meat, I usually choose


1. Pork chops, steaks, salami and cured meats
2. Fried chicken
3. Lean cuts of beef and chicken with skin
4. Fat-free turkey breast, beef with fat trimmed,
skinless chicken
6) I spend about ____ minutes per day exercising
1. Less than 10
2. Less than 20
3. Less than 30
4. 30 or more
7) When I cook with oil, I tend to use
1. Lard or hydrogenated oil (vegetable shortening)
2. Vegetable oil (aka soybean oil) or peanut oil
3. Healthy oil blends like safflower and olive oil
4. 100% extra virgin olive oil
8) When it comes to anxiety and stress
1. Ive been diagnosed with and treated for
chronic anxiety
2. Im a nervous and anxious person
3. I have my moments of stress every so often
4. Nothing every seems to get to me
20

Your Inflammation Score (out of 100)


Add up the numbers from your answers to these questions and write it down.
Answer Score 10 or less=Inflammation Score 90-100/100
Theres a biological fire inside of you. Arthritis is likely one of dozens of health issues that you battle with
everyday. While you may have had a few health problems in the past, theyve gotten much worse in last
few years.
Youll need to be extremely aggressive and religious in following the advice in this book if you want to
get your inflammation levels under control.
Answer Score 11-16=Inflammation Score 75-85/100
Your inflammation isnt as bad as it could be, but its more than enough to cause debilitating arthritis.
Youll want to be sure to put the principles and advice in this book into practice right away before
inflammation gets any worse.
Answer Score 16-24=Inflammation Score 65-75/100
An inflammation score here puts you with the average American. Considering the incredibly high rates
of arthritis, diabetes, obesity, and heart disease that the average American faces, you dont want your
inflammation levels to be here for very long.
Eliminating pro-inflammatory triggers like bad fats and stress will make a huge impact on inflammation
levels. That likely wont be quite enough however. Its a good idea to take further action and try the
advice in the rest of this plan to drive inflammation levels even lower.
Answer Score 25 or higher=Inflammation Score 50 or less
On the surface, it looks like youre doing some great things for your health, your inflammation, and your
arthritis. But theres still some room for improvement otherwise, you wouldnt have arthritis.
I tend to find that what works best for people with low inflammation scores and painful arthritis is
to continue the positive things theyve been doing, all the while throwing in some of the powerful
treatments that Im about to describe. Most people find that adding a few superfoods, trying some
traditional Eastern medicine, and experimenting with vitamin supplements is enough to push them
over the hump to long-lasting arthritis relief.
No matter what your score, its important to look back over how you answered the questions and
take note of what areas of your lifestyle could use a facelift. At the same time that youre factoring in
the powerful natural cures Im about to describe, work towards eliminating pro-inflammatory foods,
combating stress, and exercising.

21

Part III
Eat Like This,
Beat Arthritis

Foods and supplements give us new ways to stop local tissue injury, reduce pain impulses
within nerves, and even limit the brains perception of pain.
-Neal Barnard, MD
Founder, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

Chapter 4: What a moose taught scientists that the Chinese


knew for centuries
Ill never forget the first time that I returned to Hong Kong after making incredible
progress in my arthritis symptoms. Instead of struggling through every step of my
journey, I confidently and deftly waltzed through security, up stairs, and through
subway terminals. I legitimately felt like an entirely different person, both mentally and
physically. I wasnt 100% better, but I was close.
Of course, the first stop of my trip was to pay Jane a visit and thank her for changing my life. When she
saw me walking with perfect posture through the same doorway to her restaurant that I limped through
before, her eyes lit up. She rushed to shake my hand and asked me how her suggestions worked for me.
Feeling like a new woman, I related to her my story of how I combined ancient Chinese wisdom with
21st century discoveries to not only conquer my own arthritis, but many of my loved ones as well.
As the days of my trip went on, I became less of a customer and
more of a friend. One day, Jane invited me out to hike with her on
a remote area of Hong Kong known as Laama Island. On our hike,
Jane told me amazing things about her family, the history of Hong
Kong, and how the trees and bushes we brushed by had hidden
healing properties something that Western medicine seemed to
have forgotten.

Nutrients, experts
say, might influence
composition or shape
of bones, joints or
cartilage.

Along the way, we spotted a young deer with his mother. See how
tall and proud they stand? These animals never get arthritis, poor
posture or heart problems like we do, said Jane. Their secret? They eat straight from the Earth.

Just a few months before, I would have been skeptical of this cause and effect relationship. After
all, maybe animals dont get arthritis simply because they arent people. Or perhaps their joints are
fundamentally different than ours. But because Jane had been right so many times before, I opened my
mind and agreed with her. Watching the deer and his mother chew the roots and leaves of a nearby
bush, and later steal a drink from a natural stream, it dawned on me that our diets have deviated miles
from what nature intended with our joints paying the price.
Amazingly, this story came back to me with a vengeance when I picked up a recent issue of the New
York Times. The newspaper reported the results of an amazing 50-year old study looking into how
nutrition affects arthritis in moose. This research study, which started in 1958, looked at the diets and
health of a species of moose on a remote New York State island. Amazingly, the scientists came to the
same conclusion that Jane did on our hike. Or as the newspaper itself puts it: A study that began in 1958
has found poor nutrition as the cause of arthritis.
They found that the moose that ate poor diets early in life ultimately suffered from the disfigured and

23

inflamed joints, which is the hallmark of Rheumatoid Arthritis. The leader of the study, Dr. Peterson of
Michigan State University, went on to say that Arthritis is a death sentence around here you need all
four legs. Wolves pick them off so quickly that you dont even see them limping.
The article goes onto highlight all the ways nutrition interacts with arthritis development and severity:
Nutrients, experts say, might influence composition or shape of bones, joints or cartilage. Nutrition
might also affect hormones, the likelihood of later inflammation or oxidative stress, even how a genetic
predisposition for arthritis is expressed or suppressed.
As you can see, nutrition and arthritis are tied together more closely than most physicians care to know.
If youre like most arthritis patients, your doctor has probably said the words medication, physical
therapy, and surgery more often than hes said diet, omega-3s, or B vitamins. Thats a shame,
because when it comes to research-backed arthritis treatments, nothing beats nutrition.

Little-Known Allergen Theory of Arthritis


Lets ignore the all-important influence of nutrients
like omega-6 fats and high glycemic index foods on
inflammation and arthritis for a moment. Theres
another diet-arthritis link thats not nutrition per se,
but those that tackle this issue often find their arthritis
cured within days. Thats right. Not just better. Cured.
And that cure my friends, is based on the theory that
much of the inflammation and pain people feel with
arthritis is a direct result of eating foods that theyre
allergic to. While you may not be able to feel the
allergic response in the traditional Oh my gosh! I cant
breathe sort of way, you definitely feel it later when
your joints ache with arthritic fury.
A certain subgroup of the population is allergic to
certain proteins found in food, known as antigens. Unlike people who go into shock when exposed to an
antigen, the effect is more subtle, at least from the outside looking in. When you eat a food that contains
an antigen, like a protein in milk, for example, immune cells in your intestine go on red alert. Thinking
that the antigen is a foreign invader, inflammation shoots up like a rocket and immunity goes haywire.
The idea that allergies are a little known cause of most peoples arthritis is gaining traction in the
medical community although many doctors prefer to stay the course with medications that dont
work. In fact, organizations like The Center for Food Allergies have sprung up to get the word out about
the allergen theory of arthritis. Their website states that most doctors think medications are the only
viable arthritis treatment and, this belief ignores a large volume of scientific evidence pointing to food
allergies as a major cause of arthritis.
When they say large volume of scientific evidence, they arent kidding. There are mountains of studies

24

pointing a finger at hyper-allergenic foods as a factor that makes arthritis worse, and in many cases,
downright causes the disease.
Lets look at a handful. A group of German researchers decided to eliminate the possibility of
allergies interfering with study results by asking a group of chronic arthritis sufferers to fast for 2
days. Remarkably, they found that many of the subjects pain completely disappeared overnight. They
concluded, The effect of complete fasting on pain in rheumatoid arthritis is remarkable, but not fully
understood, and that food allergy may cause or aggravate arthritis.
This study led to a slew of others, all finding similar phenomena and coming to the same conclusions.
For example, one study that decided to eliminate a very common allergic trigger, gluten (found in
wheat), found that nearly half of those that cut out gluten from their diet significantly improved their
arthritis symptoms. Another research study found that, while only one third of people with arthritis
thought that certain foods worsened their pain, 48% found clinically significant improvements in their
symptoms after trying a low-allergy diet. Another study concluded that: One of the most promising
lines of research on the etiology and pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is its association with
food antigens.
Yet another, which gave arthritis sufferers a diet completely free from food dyes and milk proteins,
concluded that: The existence of a subgroup of patients in whom food intolerance influences the
activity of rheumatoid arthritis deserves serious consideration.
I really could go on and on. But I think you get the idea that, for a large group of arthritis sufferers,
relief is one less piece of bread or glass of milk away. But how can you possibly know if you fall into this
group? There are a number of blood tests and even biopsies to determine whether you have subdued
allergic reaction to certain trigger foods. However, these tests are wrought with issues, especially false
positives (the test saying that you have the allergy even if you dont).
An easier, simpler, and much more effective way is known as the elimination diet. In an elimination
diet, you toss out the most notorious offenders of food allergies in the American diet. With thousands of
potential trigger foods, you may think this is a tall task, but youd be wrong. The US Centers for Disease
Control has reported that 90% of all food allergies are caused by these 10 foods:
1. Milk
2. Eggs
3. Peanuts
4. Tree nuts (walnuts, cashews, etc)
5. Fish
6. Shellfish
7. Soy
8. Wheat (gluten)
9. Tomatoes
10. Corn

25

Action Steps: Go On an Elimination Diet (Days 5-7)


Allergies are seldom looked at by doctors as an arthritis cause. Thats too bad, because as I pointed out
in this chapter, allergies are a surprisingly common reason that people struggle with arthritis. However,
figuring out whether you fit into this category requires that you go on a brief elimination diet.
1. Start recording on pen and paper what you eat everyday: Be extra careful to record everything
that you eat, including snacks, drinks, toppings, and condiments. Every crumb counts. Even a small
amount of a trigger food is more than enough to set of an allergic response.
At the end of this chapter Ive provided you with a food diary that you can print out and use
yourself.
2. Eliminate not only the top 10 trigger foods, but go on a temporary caveman diet: Eliminating
any food added to the food supply since the advent of agriculture will ensure that youre not
exposing yourself to the most common allergens. An expert in this technique, Elmer M. Cranton,
M.D. says that: You may not like it, but you will not be deprived of any important nutrients. If
symptoms improve and if you feel better on this diet, it means that something you eat or drink on a
regular basis is either causing or contributing to the severity of symptoms. Ill discuss the ins and
outs of a caveman diet in a minute.
3. Be a label sleuth: Most packaged foods are out on the caveman diet. However, for the few that are
allowed, be sure to read the label carefully, ensuring that there arent any added ingredients that may
themselves be a trigger food.
4. Take note of your symptoms, whether worse or better: After a full 48 hours of following the diet
religiously start to notice your symptoms. Are they worse, better, about the same?
5. Continue on this diet or slowly add foods back into your diet: If you feel great after eliminating all
trigger foods, then you have two options. Some dont care that the caveman diet is pretty restrictive.
They have their life back, and they arent going to let the temptation to eat toast and butter get in the
way of that.
For others, life isnt worth living without the occasional cookie and glass of milk. If thats you, then
you need to be very careful about how you go about adding foods back into your diet. Be sure to add
one food back at a time. If you dont, and your pain comes back, you wont know which food was the
culprit. On the other hand, if you add back lets say, tomatoes, then you suddenly feel pain again,
then youll know tomatoes are a trigger food.
Important note: Its entirely possible to have more than one trigger food. Keep this in mind as you
try to find yours.
6. Know everywhere that your trigger food is found in and unmercifully eliminate it from your
diet: Eliminating gluten (wheat protein) isnt as easy as avoiding bread and dairy isnt just milk and
yogurt. To ruthlessly cut these foods from your diet, you need to be able to read labels like a pro and
know the various nicknames that your trigger foods are called when they become food additives.
26

How to Do A Comprehensive Elimination Caveman Diet


The advantage of a caveman diet is that once you understand it,
theres no guesswork. Unlike Weight Watchers, theres no points to
count or foods to look up. Even if youve never even heard of a food
before, based on the criteria for a caveman diet, youll instantly know
whether it fits or not.
In a nutshell, a caveman diet only includes foods that were available
before the dawn of civilization, a time period known as the Paleolithic
era. Thats why the diet, which is popular in its own right, it often
called the Paleo Diet.
To make sure the caveman is easy for you, heres a run down of whats in and whats out:
Grains are OUT: Its a myth that cavemen ever ate grains like wheat, oats, or rice. Even if a caveman was
lucky enough to find a wheat plant, it wouldnt have the mental of technological capacity to turn it into
bread or cookies. Ditto for every other grain out there, even uncommon ones like barley, millet, and
quinoa.
Fresh or Frozen Vegetables are IN: Vegetables formed the basis of our ancestors diet. And fresh
vegetable like broccoli, spinach, and beans are perfect additions to a caveman diet. However, vegetables
that are heavily cooked or canned dont count. The additives and other ingredients make them a
modern-day phenomenon. One of the few exceptions to the no packaged foods are frozen veggies
without added salt or sauce. Because they are pure vegetable, frozen veggies are IN on the caveman diet.
Fresh Fruits are IN (in limited amounts): Fruits are fairly
abundant in nature, but not nearly as much as other foods like
vegetables. Also, the fruits farms produce are upwards of 12 times
larger than they would be if they were grown in the wild. Fruits,
while healthy, are high in sugar (and therefore the glycemic index)
and should be limited to 4 or less servings per day.
Dairy is OUT: Cavemen probably didnt milk an animal before
poking its spear into it. Therefore, dairy in all its forms milk,
yogurt, cottage cheese etc. arent allowed on a caveman diet.
WARNING: Dairy is often lurking in packaged foods.

When eating meat,


choose lean meats like
low-fat cuts of beef,
skinless chicken, and
turkey.

Packaged Foods are OUT: I dont know about you, but I dont recall seeing a box if Wheat Thins
hanging off of a tree during my last hike. Packaged foods are man made and are therefore OUT on the
caveman diet (except for frozen veggies with no added ingredients of any kind).
Seafood is Very IN: Its thought that the majority of cavemens calories came in the form of fish. In
addition to raw calories, fish provided important nutrients like protein and omega 3 fats to hungry
cavemen. Eat fish in abundance while on the caveman diet (but watch for shellfish, which are a common
source of allergies).

27

Lean Meat is IN: The meat our cavemen ancestors ate was very different than the factory farm raised
stuff we eat today. Modern meats like bacon, ham, and hot dogs are much higher in total and saturated
fat than the meat out bodies were designed to eat. When eating meat, choose lean meats like low-fat cuts
of beef, skinless chicken, and turkey.
Beans and Lentils are IN: Beans like kidney beans and chickpeas are rich in protein and slowly
digestible carbs. Beans also help you kick the carb withdrawal symptoms you may experience after
tossing your grains. Choose fresh beans and lentils over the canned variety, which contain preservatives
that can aggravate arthritis.

Action Step: Know The Basics of The Blue Heron Arthritis Diet (Day 5)
Before getting into the nitty gritty of nutrition and inflammation, it helps to know the
basics ahead of time. Take one or two minutes and read over the fundamentals of the
Blue Heron Arthritis diet. Once you have these fresh in your mind, the information
in the rest of the book will make more sense and stimulate many, many more aha
moments.
Books discussing diet and arthritis are already out there, and sure enough, more will be written after
this one. What separates the diets found in other books from this one is that a) this book is based on the
combination of the latest science and wisdom of ancient cures; b) we make everything simple and step
by step for you; c) its written by an arthritis sufferer; and d) it combines the most powerful cures known
to man to fight the real (and only) cause of arthritis: inflammation.
Here are the fundamental principles of the Blue Heron Arthritis Diet:
Eliminate trigger foods: Because this has the power to eradicate arthritis within a day or two, I strongly
suggest that everyone at least try an elimination diet to figure out whether allergies are the root cause
of your arthritis. I discuss how to successful undertake a caveman elimination diet in the previous
chapter.
Limit Pro-Inflammatory Foods: Many foods in our modern day American diet are considered
toxic by our body and it tends to respond in turn with hearty doses of painful inflammation. To get
arthritis under control, you need to make pro-inflammatory foods like saturated fat, sugar, and trans fat
something reserved for special occasions. Because inflammation is the underlying cause of arthritis,
eliminating any factors that contribute to arthritis will make a big difference.
Eat Natural, Anti-Inflammatory Foods, Nutrients, and Eastern Therapies: To soothe inflamed
joints from the inside out, I recommend a fair number of proven foods and nutrients that act like
freezing cold water on your fire within inflammation. The remainder of this book discusses the
anti-inflammatory nutrients that, when added to your diet, significantly reduce arthritis pain and
inflammation. Also, Ill delve into Eastern approaches to arthritis, like acupuncture, that has Western
scientists excited.

28

Stay Hydrated With Water: Water lubricates joints -keeping them moving freely. When youre
dehydrated, joints become dry, brittle, and more painful.
Its important to stay hydrated with water only. Foods like soda (even diet soda), juice, and other
flavored drinks are full of colors, dyes, and preservatives that can make your pain even worse. Youll
notice that I dont include any drinks throughout the book except for green tea. Thats for the simple
reason that any drinks except for green tea and water are generally pro-inflammatory. Sticking to
these fluids, and ignoring all others, takes the guesswork out of what to drink.

29

Food Diary Day 1


Name___________________________________________________ Date______________________

Time
e.g. 9 am

Ammount

Description

Give as tsp, tbsp, cups,


Give a detailed description including type of food,
oz,weight or portion size brand name, or restaurant

30

Food Diary Day 2


Name___________________________________________________ Date______________________

Time
e.g. 9 am

Ammount

Description

Give as tsp, tbsp, cups,


Give a detailed description including type of food,
oz,weight or portion size brand name, or restaurant

31

Food Diary Day 3


Name___________________________________________________ Date______________________

Time
e.g. 9 am

Ammount

Description

Give as tsp, tbsp, cups,


Give a detailed description including type of food,
oz,weight or portion size brand name, or restaurant

32

Chapter 5 - Arthritis Cure In a Pill?


Which Vitamins Are a Must
On my last trip to China, I had the unique
opportunity to spend some time with a Chinese
family in a traditional village. One day, when having
dinner at their house, I noticed that their 11-yearold son, who couldnt have weighed more than 80
lbs., was given twice as much food than the rest of
us. I couldnt hold my tongue, so I asked: Why is
this little boy eating so much food. I know that hes a
growing boy, but I think this might be a bit much.
Ignoring my unwanted parenting advice, the mother of the
family calmly replied. We give him more because he needs more. Last week, he was sick. Four days ago,
he fell and sprained his ankle. And yesterday, he strained his shoulder climbing a tree, she explained.
She went on. Its often said in this village that, He that takes medicine and neglects diet, wastes the
skills of the physician. In Asia, we believe that those that are hurt or sick need more than usual and
much more than a well person. We feel that the vital elements held within foods are necessary for
healing and recovery. If a sick person eats the same amount that he normally does, he wont get the vital
elements he needs.
On a roll, she added to her original point. Our elders tell us that many diseases crop up because the
body doesnt have enough of the vital elements from food and tea. Once you give the body those vital
elements back, and in large amounts, the disease disappears.
I tell you, that woman was wiser than her years (and knew more about the origin of disease than many
doctors). While she probably had never even seen a microscope in her entire life, she knew all too well
that foods contain nutrients essential for health and recovery. She called them vital elements, but we
generally refer to them as vitamins.
Most Americans feel that because they take a popular multi-vitamin and eat vitamin and mineral
fortified cereal for breakfast that they shouldnt care about vitamins. The truth is that although we eat
more food than ever, our vitamin intake pales in comparison to the rest of the world. The processed
junk food that comprises the majority of our diets are virtual vitamin wastelands.
And when it comes to arthritis, vitamin therapy is one of the hottest areas of research. Many arthritis
scientists are head over heels about the fact that they can use high doses of certain vitamins to prevent
and treat arthritis without having to worry about the dangers and expense of prescription drugs.

33

Vitamin D
In 2005, Boston University researcher Michael Holick published a paper in The New England Journal
of Medicine that served as a wakeup call to doctors, nutritionists, and public health experts to the silent
epidemic that was responsible for the death of thousands every year. He went on to say, Vitamin D
deficiency is now recognized as an epidemic.
Since then, scientists have scrambled to find out just how detrimental the vitamin D epidemic has been
to our nations health. Im sorry to report that the news is not good, and even a bit disturbing.
Lets take a quick look at the numbers. Its estimated that more than half of the worlds population thats
3 billion people -is vitamin D deficient. In America, 75% of people dont get enough of this healthboosting vitamin. And those that dont get much sunlight, are of dark complexion, and live in the
northern hemisphere are at even higher risk.
You may be saying, My bones are fine, why should I worry about
vitamin D. It turns out that, contrary to what people thought for
the last 100 years, vitamin D does a lot more in the body than
help build bones. In fact, its now understood that every single cell
in the body has a receptor for vitamin D including the cells that
reside within your joints.

More than half of the


worlds population
thats 3 billion people
-is vitamin D deficient!

In fact, if you were to plot a chart of the rates of people with


vitamin D deficiency along with one of arthritis sufferers, they would match almost perfectly. A growing
group of researchers are coming to the conclusion that the vitamin D epidemic and the arthritis
epidemic are the very same epidemic. In fact, studies show that people with OA and RA tend to have
even lower levels of vitamin D than the general public.
Indeed, its one of the most crucial nutrients out there. But because few people get their vitamin D levels
measured, deficiency can wreak silent havoc for years -going undetected until a serious manifestation of
the deficiency, like heart disease or arthritis, pops up.
What exactly happens if you dont get the vitamin D you need? Inflammation and lots of it! Research
published in the Archives of Internal Medicine took blood samples from a group of healthy women,
measuring both vitamin D levels, and a particularly virulent inflammatory protein, called TNF Alpha
(this protein has a reputation for making joint pain flare up). They found that the women with the
lowest vitamin D levels had the highest amounts TNF Alpha proteins in their body no doubt wreaking
havoc on their heart, muscles, and joints.
Best of all, you can use vitamin D to rapidly reverse inflammation. A study out of Belgium found that
giving low doses of Vitamin D to sick people caused an important marker of inflammation fall by 25%...
within a day.
But nowhere is this new era of vitamin D research more exciting than in the area of arthritis. The
scientific literature if overflowing with case studies of patients with crippling, incurable arthritis, who

34

had tried everything (and I mean everything) to ease the pain. The cases are a bit different, but the
story is always the same: a patients doctor decided to measure their vitamin D levels, gave them the
appropriate supplements to get their vitamin D back to normal, and their pain quickly vanished! No
drugs, no surgeryjust a dirt-cheap vitamin D supplement that you can buy at your local pharmacy.
The prestigious Johns Hopkins University, which has led the charge in tying vitamin D deficiency
and the arthritis epidemic, states that, Vitamin D is proving to be a most promising area for arthritis
research. They add, Unlike other vitamins, vitamin D is not just a simple nutrient. Its also an active
steroid hormone that binds to receptors in a host of vulnerable tissues -- including the joints affected by
arthritis -- and works to keep these tissues healthy.
Lets take a look at some of this extremely promising arthritis research. In case youre not sure if this
vitamin D stuff applies to you, keep in mind that a paper in Pain Treatment Topics reviewed 22 studies
of people with chronic pain conditions (including OA and RA), and found that nearly everyone in all
22 studies had low vitamin D levels! As in most studies looking into vitamin D and arthritis, this one
also found that almost all of the study subjects who start taking vitamin D either greatly improved or
completely recovered.
One study, looking at Vitamin D levels and the status and progression of knee osteoarthritis found
a crystal clear link between low vitamin D levels, overall pain, and knee strength. Best of all,
supplementing with vitamin D was enough for many of the subjects in this study to bounce back and
live a normal life with very little or even zero knee pain. Another study found that giving just half of
the recommended amount of vitamin D to older people slashed their risk of developing RA by 40%.
But not only do low vitamin D levels lead to OA and RA, but
it lets the disease run rampant around your body. Without
vitamin D, chronic inflammation slowly eats away at your
joints and cartilageworsening arthritis. A study in Clinical and
Experimental Rheumatology found that people with the deadly
combination of RA and severely low vitamin D levels had six
times the risk of being moderately or severely disabled. At the
very least, even if vitamin D doesnt completely wipe out your
arthritis, it can be an important first step in getting you back on
your feet.

The fatty fish you


started eating in week
1 is especially high in
Vitamin D.

Dr. James Dowd, MD of the Arthritis Institute of Michigan and author of the eye-opening book, The
Vitamin D Cure, is one of the few physicians putting this vitamin D-arthritis research into practice. He
recently told a The UK Daily Mail about a patient who cured her arthritis solely by taking vitamin D
supplements. Dowd says, It sounds almost magical. But in fact its just common-sense medicine based
on good science; the sort that has eluded many physicians for decades.
Perhaps its eluded your physican too. I know that it eluded mine. I know for a fact that vitamin D never
even entered my doctors mind. How do I know? Because he never even measured my vitamin D levels
or asked me how much vitamin D I was getting! Instead, like most doctors, he stuck to the tired regimen
of the three Ps: pills, potions, and physical therapy. Fortunately, you can ask your doctor for a vitamin
D blood test. Not just for your arthritis, but also for your overall health, this is one of the numbers
(along with your weight and cholesterol) that you need to know.
35

But if you prefer to cut to the chase and start


taking vitamin D right away (you should), heres
how to do it. Vitamin D is oftentimes referred
to as the sunshine vitamin for a reason the
primary way we get vitamin D is from skin
exposure to sunlight. When UV rays hit your
skin, your body produced vitamin D.
Unfortunately, partially due to campaigns by
overzealous dermatologists to avoid the sun
at all costs, we seem to think that sunlight is
dangerous. It isnt.
Outside the box MD Dr. Mercola has said that
in the Leading vitamin D scientists in the world
have changed their position within the last few
years and have started the warning sirens that most of traditional medicine was dead wrong when it
comes to sun avoidance. And that Following the ridiculous recommendations of avoiding the sun has
caused a minimum of 20,000 extra cancers per year, and it is far more likely the number actually exceeds
50,000. Not to mention countless cases of debilitating arthritis that could have been prevented.
Purposely or not, we dont get nearly as much sun as our bodies were designed to. Its estimated that the
average American spends 87% of their time indoors! Worse yet, we tend to load on sunscreen and cover
up during the few occasions that we do see the sun. Fortunately, you dont need much sun to get enough
vitamin D. Just 15-20 minutes of sun exposure with 25% of our skin exposed (face, neck, of arms,
and legs from the knee down will do it) in the spring and summer is plenty. However, for older people
and those with dark skin, the skin doesnt make vitamin D nearly as well. This means you can either get
more sunlight or take a vitamin D supplement.
Also, the sunlight in the northern hemisphere from the months of November to April is essentially
useless for vitamin D production in the skin. Most people think that their arthritis gets worse during
the winter because of the cold not true! Its actually due to the fact that already-low vitamin D levels
plummet in the winter months.
This means that, unless youre a young guy soaking rays in Florida, then you should seek out
supplements. Also, keep in mind that, because youre likely deficient, then the recommendations for the
general public dont apply to you. What my Chinese friend told me that night: Once you give the body
those vital elements back, and in large amounts, the disease disappears, is especially true in the case of
vitamin D.
Your first step is to refresh your sagging vitamin D levels. Once youve done that with high-dose vitamin
D supplements.
I should mention that the reason I say supplement and not chew, is because there arent many foods
with vitamin D. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule. The fatty fish you started eating in

36

week 1 is especially high in Vitamin D. Also, vitamin D fortified cereals and dairy products like milk
and yogurt are great choices. You may also want to consider eating mushrooms and eggs also rich in
vitamin D.
Vitamin D Dosage: See action steps at end of chapter

Vitamin C
Vitamin C, famous for its presence in citrus fruits like oranges, does more for the
human body than many give it credit for. Its main job is as a free radical scavenger
a vitamin version of an antioxidant. But vitamin Cs other job in the body is building
and repairing healthy tissue like joint and cartilage. Vitamin C creates the glue of
connective tissue, known as collagen, which keeps joints limber and strong.
As you may already know, vitamin C is also incredibly important for
immunity. Its thought that infections (even those that you cant feel)
underlie many of the horrendous arthritic flare-ups that you and I
have both struggled with.

Studies show that by shutting down free radical damage, vitamin C


causes inflammation levels to fall. University of California, Berkeley
scientists recently found that
vitamin C fights an important
marker of inflammation known as CRP
You need to get at
the same protein that Statin drugs target. The author of this
study, Dr. Gladys Block went on to say that This finding of an
least 60 mg per day of
effect of vitamin C is important because it shows in a carefully
vitamin C per day for
conducted randomized, controlled trial that for people with
arthritis pain relief.
moderately elevated levels of inflammation, vitamin C may be
able to reduce CRP as much as statins have done in other studies.
Theres no doubt that C can KO inflammation, but what about arthritis pain? For the answer, lets look
at a study from Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. UK researchers analyzed the diets of nearly 25,000
people over a period of 8 years. Amazingly, the only consistent dietary factor they were able to tie to RA
risk was their intake of vitamin C both from supplements and food. The group ate the lowest levels
of vitamin C had more than three times the likelihood of becoming afflicted with RA when compared
with those who ate the most. A newer study showed that vitamin C doesnt just prevent arthritis, but
treats it as well. When a group of people with very severe arthritis were given vitamin C supplements,
their pain permanently decreased even after they stopped taking the vitamin!
Unfortunately, simply eating an orange now and again isnt going to be enough to feel a benefit. You
need to get at least 60 mg per day of vitamin C per day for arthritis pain relief. Fortunately, if you eat
lots of fruits and veggies, especially oranges, tomatoes, bell peppers, and berries, and take a standard
multivitamin, youll be getting more than enough.

37

I want to warn you that going overboard and eating oranges by the bushel and downing vitamin C
supplements every 15 minutes, you may make your arthritis worse, not better. Although not proven,
one study found that taking too much vitamin C actually increased cartilage damage and bone spur
formation. However, this was at very high doses. A vitamin C-rich diet and the standard vitamin isnt
going to get you anywhere near the danger zone.
Vitamin C Dosage: Vitamin C rich foods plus 500mg per day in supplement form.

B Complex Vitamins
B Vitamins are the renaissance men of the body. When it comes to the millions of processes that are
necessary for your body to function, vitamin B is usually involved at some level. B vitamins work
night and day activating enzymes, building cells, and ensuring that nerves work properly. Knowing this,
it should come at no surprise that low vitamin B levels derail many of the bodys normal processes
including those that govern arthritis.
In fact, B vitamins were the very first successful dietary treatment
for arthritis dating all the way back to 1935. William Kaufman,
M.D Ph.D. was famous in his time for treating over 1,000 of his
arthritis patients with high doses of B vitamins. He was truly a
man ahead of his time. And one of the most exciting discoveries
to come out of his findings was that B vitamins work fast! Many of
his patients felt sizeable relief after a few hours.

B vitamins were the


very first successful
dietary treatment for
arthritis dating all the
way back to 1935.

Unfortunately, the medical establishment and big Pharma has


worked very hard to keep his work under wraps hence the
reason that theres been a 60-year gap between his promising results and the fairly new research that we
have today.
To make things easier, Im going to lump all of the B vitamins together, even though some research
studies tend to use only one or two at a time.
For example, Columbia University researchers that recruited a group of people with terribly arthritic
hands (they included people that had trouble turning a doorknob to open a door), and gave them either
Tylenol, a single B vitamin (folic acid), or a vitamin B combination. Those that took the combination
had stronger grip, less stiffness, less pain, and ended up taking less of the Tylenol they once relied on to
get through the day.
In yet another example of Western science playing catch up with Eastern medicine, one study found that
people with RA do indeed need more B vitamins than most exactly what my Chinese friend related to
me about her son.
In this study from the Arthritis Research & Therapy, the scientists measured levels of vitamin B6 in
people with and without RA. Shockingly, the levels of B6 in people with RA were half that of healthy
folks. But what really made my jaw drop about the results was that these low vitamin B6 levels werent

38

the result of a low intake or more excretion it was that the body used up massive amounts of vitamin
B6 to fight the arthritis-causing inflammation. Other studies have reached similar conclusions with
other vitamins (for example, its estimated that 1 in 4 people with arthritis have clinically low vitamin
B12 levels).
In addition to taking a B-complex supplement, a must for any RA sufferer, but also a good idea for those
with OA as well, be sure to eat foods rich in B vitamins like whole grains, eggs, and green leafy veggies.
Here are some foods bursting with B vitamins:
Spinach
Bell peppers
Tomatoes
Onions
Seaweed
Lean beef
Yogurt
Cod
Granola
Cabbage
B-Complex Dosage: 1 capsule containing at least 100mg of niacin, 50mg of B6, and 250 mcg of B12

Vitamin E
Vitamin E is like vitamin Cs little brother. In many ways theyre similar
like vitamin C, vitamin E is a powerful free radical fighter. However,
while vitamin E may be able to go toe to toe with C in terms of
antioxidant ability, it doesnt do much of anything else.
But that doesnt mean that vitamin E shouldnt be on your radar
screen as a natural arthritis therapy. Thats because vitamin Es
favorite place to fight free radicals is in joint and muscle cells. Sure
enough, studies have found that vitamin E is able to dramatically drop inflammation levels
within joint cells.
While vitamin E can act fairly well on its own, its arthritis-combating abilities are multiplied with fish
oil. A study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found concluded that omega-3 and
vitamin E in combination were a potent tag team against arthritis pain and inflammation.
Fortunately, youre already taking plenty of omega-3s, so tossing in some foods high in vitamin E into
your diet is just icing on the cake. Be sure to eat raw nuts (almonds, walnuts), EVOO, and dark green
vegetables everyday to bump up your vitamin E levels.
Vitamin E Dosage: 400-600IU per day, from food and supplements.

39

Glucosamine + Chondrotin
Though not technically a vitamin, no book about natural arthritis relief would be complete without at
least touching on glucosamine and chondroitin. For one, glucosamine isnt just one of the most popular
supplements among people with chronic arthritis- its the top selling supplement in the world!
Also, glucosamine is the most intensely researched nutrient in the history of nutritional science. Over
1,500 studies have looked into glucosamine for arthritis relief.
Billions of dollars of and research hours later, glucosamine remains marred in controversy. Some studies
have found it to be Gods gift to arthritis sufferers, while others concluded that its an overpriced
placebo. In my opinion, the disparity between results is the simple fact that some people respond to
glucosamine while others dont.
For example, when I first started assembling this plan,
glucosamine was one of the first things I recommended to people
(this was before I uncovered more powerful arthritis cures like
the elimination diet, vitamin D etc). Glucosamine worked so well
for some people that they wrapped their arms around me in pure,
pain-free glee. Others wondered why they wasted their time and
money, so its not guaranteed for everyone.

Glucosamine worked
so well for some people
that they wrapped their
arms around me in
pure, pain-free glee.

For those that do respond, glucosamine has a three-pronged approach to arthritis relief. First,
glucosamine is actually an important building block of joint and cartilage tissue. Taking glucosamine is
like giving a construction worker extra bricks to work with itll likely result in a stronger building. Also,
studies show that glucosamine shuts off enzymes responsible for chronic inflammation. Glucosamine
also interacts directly with your genes, flipping the off switch on those that kill off joint cells, and
turning up the dial on the ones that make new joint cells.
Even though the data are conflicting, a giant study published in Arthritis Rheumatology pooled together
the results from several smaller studies. They found that, in general, glucosamine helps relieve painful
joints especially for people with RA.
The bottom line? Because glucosamine is extremely safe (and fairly cheap), its not going to hurt you if
you decide to take it. If youre one of the people who respond well to it, then youll never regret giving it
a shot.
Glucosamine Dosage: 2,000-3,000mg (2-3g) with or without chondroitin.

40

How to buy vitamins without getting burned


Vitamin and supplement sales are fraught with snake
oil salesmen. Contrary to popular belief, the FDA,
USDA, or any other government organization for that
matter, does not regulate supplements. Simply put,
you could take that aspirin youve got in your living
room, throw a new label on it saying ginkgo or
vitamin E and it would be perfectly legal. Truth be
told, the unscrupulous actions that many supplement
producers consider standard operating procedure
arent too far off from this unscrupulous scenario.
Driving this point home, a 2010 congressional
investigation into the supplement industry has found
that many supplements dont have the ingredients
they promise, or even worse, contain hidden toxins that can lead to cancer or nerve damage! This had
led the FDA to report that: FDA has identified an emerging trend where over-the-counter products,
frequently represented as dietary supplements, contain hidden active ingredients that could be harmful.
Any if youre duped by poor quality supplements, you wont get the life-changing results that youre
looking for. Ive had people try my program, by discount supplements, and then come to me saying
supplement X or Y didnt work. I only had to take one look a the bottle, and how much they paid, to
realize that they sadly got ripped off by a shady supplement maker. Dont let this be you.
The bright side to all this is that you dont have to become the supplement scammers next victim.
Because vitamins are so incredibly important in arthritis relief, you dont want to waste your hard
earned cash on an empty supplement or just give up on supplements altogether.
Here are some power-tips to make sure you get the most from your supplements:
Brands Matter: You may buy generic facial tissues when youre at the sales club, but supplement
purchases arent a time to go generic. A fair number of supplement companies are here today and gone
tomorrow usually because people eventually stop buying their junk after realizing its worthless.
So when shopping for a supplement, be on the lookout for a brand thats well known, has good reviews,
and has been in business for at least 5 years.
Dont Be a CheapskateBut Dont Get Ripped Off Either: Hey, I havent been living under a rock
these last few years. I know times are tough for everybody. But supplements are not the part of your
budget to save a few pennies. The highest quality supplements, those with high potency ingredients and
free of fillers and toxins, cost a pretty penny to produce. If you see a supplement whose price seems too
good to be trueit probably is.

41

Heres what you should expect to pay for each of the vitamins discussed in this chapter:
Vitamin D (1000IU, 180-capsule bottle): $10-15
Vitamin C (100 500mg tablets): $7-12
Vitamin E (100 400IU capsules): $15-20
B Complex (250 capsules of mixed B vitamins): $25-30
Glucosamine (180 3g capsules): $20-25
Be a label sleuth: Trusting the bright, bold claims on the
front of the label is only going to get you into trouble. The real
information is found in the ingredients list. Be on the lookout
for anything that seems out of place many supplement makers
throw in garbage ingredients to add bulk and cut costs.
Every supplement you buy should have a) the active ingredient, b)
the capsule or delivery system and c) a preservative. Other than
that, youre just spending money for filler.

Be on the lookout for


anything that seems
out of place many
supplement makers
throw in garbage
ingredients to add bulk
and cut costs.

Avoid the Kitchen Sink: After reading this chapter, you should have your crosshairs on one or two
particular supplements. However, many supplements claim to be complete by adding in all sorts of
useless nutrients that you dont need.
When you set out to buy Vitamin E, make sure you dont buy an antioxidant blend with all sorts of
dubious ingredients.

42

Action Steps For Chapter 5 (Days 6-21)


1. Start taking note of vitamin D. As I said, if youre reading this, chances are youre vitamin D deficient
(even if you take small doses of vitamin D already). You need to take your vitamin D up a notch to
replenish stores and to get your circulating vitamin D back into the healthy range. That means high
doses of vitamin D.
As I noted in this chapter, low vitamin D levels promote inflammation. Also, many published case
studies have found that vitamin D alone was all that separated them from an arthritis free life.
Taking vitamin D is one of the most important steps you can take for curing your arthritis.
Specifically, 8,000-10,000 IU per day in addition to any sunlight you may get throughout the day.
Follow this regimen for 2 weeks, then taper off to 5,000-7,000 IU on week 3, to 3,000 on week 4, and
then 2,000IU at week 5. 2,000 IU of supplemental vitamin D should be your target from then on.
Oh, and be sure that you take your vitamin D with a meal. Because its a fat-soluble vitamin,
absorption skyrockets when you eat it with food.
One last thing about vitamin D. Because its a fat soluble vitamin, unlike B complex vitamins
and vitamin C, its possible for vitamin D to accumulate if you take too much. However, cases of
vitamin D toxicity are extremely rare and isnt a serious concern. To put things in perspective,
you make 10,000 IUs of vitamin D when you sit in the summertime sun for about 20 minutes.
Considering that everyone who goes to the beach doesnt suffer from vitamin D toxicity, most
scientists and health care professionals dont consider vitamin D toxicity a threat.
2. In this chapter, I noted a number of vitamin that treat arthritis naturally. However, theres
benefit to giving your body a wide range of nutrients so that it the weapons to effectively combat
arthritis. To accomplish this, start taking a multivitamin. Yes, the doses are generally too low to cure
your arthritis overnight, but its incredible wide range of nutrients will be your nutritional safety net
for days that you dont get enough of a certain vitamin or mineral.
3. Either set out to eat foods high in vitamin C and vitamin E (the vitamin/antioxidant tag team) or
supplement with one or the other. If youre going to supplement with one of the two, C is your best
bet.
4. Special note for RA sufferers: Because the evidence is so overwhelming, be sure to take a B-complex
vitamin supplement. B complex vitamins may also help people with OA, but its optional.

43

Chapter 6: Omega-3 Fats Your New Best Friend and


Arthritis Worst Enemy
If you ever have a chance to visit Asia, one of the
first things youll notice about the diets of the
people in Thailand, China, and Japan is that they
eat so much fish youd think theyd grow gills. Its
grilled fish with veggies for lunch, and stir fried
fish for dinner. Heck, they even eat fish as a snack!
When I first went to Asia, I wasnt a huge fan of fish. One
of the first things I learned to say in the native tongue of
every country I arrived in was no fish please. However,
despite my request, many restaurants would throw in some fish anyway. I originally got upset when this
happened, but I eventually came to understand that theyre just crazy about fish!
And you know what? The rates of arthritis in Asian countries as much lower than in America. In fact,
a study recently carried out by Japanese scientists found that older people are actually getting arthritis
later in life than ever before (not earlier, like in the West). Scientists arent quite sure why Asians seem
to be nearly immune to arthritis, but many point a finger at the incredible amount of fish that people in
Asia put down (a study by University of British Columbia found that China and Japan are the counties
that eat the most fish over 1,100 million tons per year!).
Its this incredible intake of fresh fish, and therefore omega-3 fats, that many experts point to in order to
explain the rock-bottom levels of inflammation and arthritis in Asia.
But that doesnt tell the whole story. Did you know that even Asians that dont eat fish have lower rates of
arthritis? Its true. That means that it cant just be the omega-3s in fish that are responsible.
This question, how Asians could be arthritis free without eating fish, left me scratching my head for
quite a while. That is, until I cam across a research study published in The Journal of the American
Dietetic Association titled, Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Comparison of Plant and Seafood Sources in Human
Nutrition.
It discussed the incredible amount of non-fish sources of omega-3 fats out there. When I saw the list
of plant-foods that were high in omega-3s, which are standard fare in Asian menus, I knew I had my
answer.
So whether you love fish or never touch the stuff, stay tuned, because Im going to show you how you
can get the exact omega-3 doses you need to turn off inflammation and arthritis.

44

Omega-3s and Arthritis


It seems that ever since scientists realized that omega-3 fats fight inflammation, theyve been testing
it out to see if it will work on the group of people with the highest rates of inflammation out there
arthritis sufferers.
Decades later, we know a few things for certain that we didnt
before. First, omega-3s consistency outperforms over-the-counter
anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen, and even prescription
drugs like Celebrex. We also know precisely how omega-3s are
able to exert such a profound effect on not only arthritis pain,
but also the disease process itself. Perhaps more importantly, we
have an idea of exactly how much you need to take to make a
difference.

Omega-3s consistency
outperforms over-the-counter
anti-inflammatory drugs.

Believe it or not, using omega-3s to treat arthritis isnt as simple as popping the fish oil capsules you
just bought at your corner supplement shop. You need to be sure to choose the fish oil with the right
amounts of active ingredients and take a certain amount everyday (the exact amount varies depending
on your condition Ill give you the exact number right for you at the end of this chapter).

What are Omega-3s?


If you ever pick up a magazine or flip open the health and science section of a newspaper, then youve
probably come across the bizarre words omega-3 fats. With links to almost every disease under the
sun, from heart disease to depression, omega-3s have been hot news for well over a decade now. For
most people, thats the extent of their omega-3 knowledge. Knowing the ins and outs of omega-3s will
help you make smart choices when you yank out your wallet and understand exactly what youre putting
into your body.
Any type of fat, from olive oil to fish oil, is in the form of a very long chain, made up of carbon. Like
a chain, each link has a single connection to the next throughout the chain. However, many fats,
known as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated have links at a certain points in the chain, known
as double bonds. Wherever that special double bond link happens to be is called an omega link. The
number simply refers how many links from the end that double bond is. So omega-3s have their double
bond 3 places from the end. Simple as that.
While this omega business may seem like something that only bespectacled lab coat-donned scientists
should worry about, the truth is, the seemingly trivial difference of where the omega bond resides has
tremendous implications for your bodys health. Remember how I discussed how Americans omega-3
to omega-6 ratio is out of whack? The only difference between an omega-3 fat and an omega-6 fat is that
their double bonds sit just 3 links apart. Thats it. Also, fats that dont have any double bonds, saturated
fats, are one of the worst things we can put into our bodies, as you well know.
Back to omega-3s. Even within the omega-3 family, there are 3 major types of omega-3 fats that you
should know. The first two, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), you may

45

have noticed advertised on infant formula. EPA and DHA are found mostly in fish and other marine
animals and happen to be an incredibly powerful omega-3 tag team. Not quite as powerful, but no
slouch either, is alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which youll find in nuts, seeds, and other plants. In general,
research tends to use DHA and EPA, as theyre the most powerful, but as Ill show you, you can get the
same benefits from certain, high-potency plant sources of omega-3s if fish isnt your thing.

The Incredible Science of Omega-3s and Arthritis


There are literally hundreds of studies showing that omega-3 fats are beneficial to people with arthritis.
In fact, a 2002 review published in Journal of the American College of Nutrition stated that, There are at
least 13 randomized controlled clinical trials [the gold standard of clinical research] that show benefit
from fish oil supplements in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. And thats just RA. There are dozens
more for osteoarthritis, back pain, gout, and every other form of arthritis under the sun.

Rather than inundate you with them all, Im going to show you a few classics that will give you an idea
of the incredible potential that omega-3s have for getting rid of your arthritis.
Not long after the fog of WWII lifted and the iron curtain fell, in
1950, scientists headed to a remote area of Greenland to study
the health of some of the last whaling and seal fishermen left in
Europe. Not surprisingly, they found that these whalers ate more
fish than just about everyone on Earth. But what did surprise
them was that cases of inflammatory diseases like arthritis, heart
disease, and psoriasis were practically nonexistent.

The drug not only


worsened the arthritis,
but made it so bad that
it negated the benefits
of fish oil!

Years later, scientists set out to be sure that the link between
omega-3 intake and arthritis wasnt just a coincidence. This set off
an explosion of high-quality research called double blind, placebo
controlled clinical trials, which solidified omega-3s as the cream of the crop of arthritis treatments.

For example, take this 1992 study published in The Journal of Rheumatology which proved that
omega-3s work better than many prescription drugs. The researchers recruited about 70 patients with
longstanding RA who were resistant to other therapies. They split them into three groups: one received
a placebo, one received fish oil, and the third received both the fish oil and a prescription drug known as
naproxen.
After a few weeks, the researchers measured joint stiffness, pain levels, and overall improvement in
arthritis symptoms. The group that received only the fish oil improved more than any other group. That
came as no surprise. But what astounded the researchers was the fact that at the same time as the fish
oil group improved, the group that received both the fish oil and the prescription drug got worse! It
appears that the drug not only worsened their arthritis, but made it so bad that it negated the benefits of
fish oil. This study should make you think twice about relying on prescription drugs that may be doing
much more harm than good.

46

Another study, this one by scientists at Albany Medical College, looked into omega-3s effect on not only
arthritis pain symptoms, but inflammation levels in the body. As expected, feelings of swollen joints,
tender joints and overall pain levels dropped dramatically. However, when they looked under the hood
at what was happening to inflammation levels, they made an eye opening discovery. Circulating levels of
the most harmful inflammatory proteins in existence, cytokines, fell by 54% in the group taking the fish
oil. Even better, fish oil ramped up the fish oil groups internal anti-inflammatory machinery.
But it looks like one of omega-3s favorite places to work is within damaged cartilage and joints. UK
researchers recently looked a bit deeper into omega-3s anti-inflammatory action in arthritis. They
found that not only do omega-3s drop systemic inflammation, but they also reduce inflammation
directly within the joints that need it most.
Finally, we have research that pooled together the results of 17 smaller studies to confirm that omega-3s
work. They found that omega-3 supplementation reduces patient reported joint pain intensity, minutes
of morning stiffness, number of painful and/or tender joints, and NSAID (painkiller) consumption.
In short, they laid to rest the controversy over whether fish oils work for arthritis. This led a paper that
reviewed the evidence that On the basis of the totality of the data, it is recommended that patients
consume dietary supplements containing omega-3 fatty acids.
Most of these studies used omega-3 fats in the form of fish oil, which are high in EPA and DHA. If
youre not info fish, take comfort in knowing that many studies have used a very healthy omega-3 rich
superfood (flaxseeds) and found that they had similar anti-inflammatory and pain killing properties
as fish oil. The only catch is that, because theyre less powerful, you have to eat quite a bit of this class
of omega-3s to reach the same level of effectiveness. While that may seem daunting, you can usually get
all you need at one sitting. For example, one study, which fed older women a flaxseed-stuffed muffin,
found that that single serving alone was enough to halt overall inflammation.

How Omega-3s Do What They Do


Its clear that omega-3s knock out inflammation and
arthritic joint pain. But how do they do it? Scientists are still
working to answer the particulars of this question, but they
have a good feel of how they work (and happen to work so
darn well).
As I touched on, we already know that the raw material
(omega-3 vs. omega-6 fat) that you feed your body enters
either the pro-inflammatory or anti-inflammatory assembly
line. Omega-3s, by increasing anti-inflammatory protein
production, can partially make up for an omega-6 laden
diet.
Another proven theory is that they make your cell membranes more fluid (this also happens to be
very interesting bit of nutrition trivia). You probably know that your body is made up of trillions upon
trillions of tiny cells. No matter where they reside, whether in your brain or your eyes, they have a

47

layer around them known as a cell membrane their version of our skin. Because the cell membrane is
largely made up of fat, the type of fat that you eat ultimately ends up in their membrane. If you eat lots
of omgea-6 fats, for example, then you better believe that your cells will have skin made out of omega-6
fats.
Why is this important? Keep in mind that the best source of
omega-3s arent just fish, but fish that live in extremely cold
waters, like Alaskan Salmon. Their cell membranes, being mostly
omega-3s, are nice and fluid not stiff and rigid like cells made of
omega-6 fats. Now think of a river and a pond during the winter.
Which is frozen and which is still flowing? The river of course!
Why? Because its moving. Its the same story with fish the fluid
cells, being in constant motion, resist freezing. Cool, huh?

the best source of omega-3s


arent just fish, but fish that live
in extremely cold waters, like
Alaskan Salmon.

You may have already made the connection to arthritis, but if not, allow me to explain it. One of the
reasons arthritis is so darn excruciating is that your joints get more stiff and rigid than a flagpole in
January. Sure enough, if you were to take a look at your joints cell membranes under a microscope,
youd see a bunch of stiff little buggers struggling to move. You have omega-6 fats to thank for that. On
the other hand, if you start to eat lots of omega-3s, those amazing fats will eventually find themselves as
part of your joints cells making them much more flexible than they were before.
However, protein production and cell membrane manufacturing are long-term processes. Omega-3s
work so fast that theyre used as IV medication in ERs around the world to drop inflammation in a
hurry so those two lengthy processes cant be the whole story.
Recently, scientists at Brigham and Womens Hospital in Boston made a breakthrough discovery. They
found that while the fats themselves are powerful inflammation fighters, the body actually converts
them to proteins 10,000 more powerful than the fats themselves. When taken consistently, fish oilderived proteins become the biological equivalent of an off switch on inflammation, arthritis, joint
destruction, and pain.
Theres also a fairly new theory that states that because fish oil has been shown to help with depression,
anxiety, and stress, that it can blunt the brains response to pain signals coming from your joints.

How Much Do You Need?


The precise amount of omega-3s you should be eating everyday is dependant on a few things.
Firstly, your type of arthritis makes a significant difference in how much you need.
People with RA should take about 6g of omega-3s everyday. People with osteoarthritis need a bit less,
about 5 grams. Those with other types of arthritis like psoriatic arthritis or gout should take 4-4.5
grams per day. Of course, more is better (to a point), so feel free to take upwards of 50% more than
listed here if youd like. Youll still be well within limits of safety.

48

Also, if youre in serious, debilitating pain, you want to take omega-3s at the higher level of the
spectrum. This means 8-10g for RA, 6-8g for OA, and 5-7g for all other types of arthritis.
Because of the differences in potency, your omega-3 source factors into getting to the right dosage for
you. The amounts listed so far assume that youre getting your omegas in the form of fish oil. If you
prefer to either supplement or eat non-fish sources of omega-3s, you want to double the amounts given
here.
Of course, these numbers only refer to the omega-3s you take purposefully. If you eat a healthy, antiarthritis diet (which you should), youll be getting plenty of extra omega-3s from the food that you
normally eat.

Best Sources of Omega 3s


You cant just start eating anything with the words
rich in omega-3s on the box and expect to hit your
omega-3 targets.
In terms of sheer amount and potency (levels of EPA
and DHA), fresh, cold-water fish are the best omega-3
source out there. Salmon, mackerel, trout, tuna, and
herring top the list of omega-3 rich fish. While just
about any fish will work, keep in mind that there
are fairly dramatic differences in omega-3s between
different species of fish (for example, one serving of
mackerel has 26x more omega-3s than sole). A study
by the American Heart Association found that
farmed fish had less omega-3s than those caught in
the wild. This is because, like us, the diets of fish
influence what their body is made up of. Farmed fish are fed a grain-heavy diet, which is much lower
than the omega-3-rich diets of wild fish.
Fish oil capsules are a great choice if you dont like the taste of fish. Like real fish, be on the lookout of
the source of the oil. Those from mercury heavy fish like shark and tuna should be avoided (something
I discuss at the end of this chapter). However, most fish oil capsules are purified of all toxins, making
them a safe choice.
Also, eggs from free-range, grass fed (or even omega-3 supplemented) chickens have a fair amount of
EPA and DHA6 times more than standard eggs. Also, when choosing meat, be sure to get grass-fed
meat. Studies show that they tend to have much more omega-3s than factory farm raised animals.
Flaxseed is the undisputed heavyweight champion of plant-based omega-3s. In case youve never heard
of them before, flaxseeds are tiny, crunchy, brown seeds that have a mild, nutty flavor. They might be
small, but they carry a mighty omega-3 punch. A single tablespoon of ground flaxseed has 1.5 grams of

49

omega-3s more than in the same amount of fish. Even better, flaxseeds contain a potent antioxidant
that can push inflammation levels even lower.
If you choose to eat your flax, sure to get your flaxseed in ground or milled form. The fat in the whole
seeds arent absorbed much at all. Also, generally, people add flaxseeds to things they already eat like
oatmeal, cereal, salads, and yogurt. When theyre mixed with something else, you can hardly taste them.
Also, you can take flaxseed oil in supplement form. Flaxseed oil, which comes in capsules but also in
bottles, is rich in omega-3s, just like real flaxseeds. However, because flaxseed oil doesnt have the actual
seed, youll be missing out on some of the antioxidants that flaxseeds themselves contain.
There are a few other plant sources that have a respectable amount of omega-3s. Nuts (especially
walnuts), spinach (and other green leafy veggies), black beans, soybeans, and tofu should be part of your
omega-3 rich diet if you choose not to eat fish (or even if you do).

What To Watch Out For: Fish oil supplement dangers


You may have read that eating fish, or even taking fish oil capsules, is a dangerous proposition due to the
heavy metals, like lead and mercury, which they contain. Take a deep breath and relax because most of
these concerns are unfounded and overblown.
While its true that certain species of fish, like shark, tuna, and
swordfish are loaded with toxic mercury, its also true that the vast
amount of fish species out there are virtually mercury-free. In
fact, most scientists, after looking at the risk/benefits of fish, find
that the benefits of eating fish on a regular basis blow away the
tiny risk of contamination from mercury.

Species of fish, like shark, tuna,


and swordfish are loaded with
toxic mercury.

However, Im not saying that these heavy metals arent an issue.


They are. Mercury is whats known as a neurotoxin, meaning that
it damages sensitive brain cells and nerve cells. Regular exposure to mercury, which can lead to brain
cell loss, paralysis and even death, is not something to mess with. However, the amount found in most
fish is so trivial that it doesnt have any significant impact.
Heres what you should do to limit your mercury exposure from fish:

Avoid shark, tuna, and other mercury-packed fish: Species of large, predatory fish are loaded with
toxic mercury (along with a host of other nasty chemical pollutants).
Eat salmon, bass, tilapia, and flounder as much as you want: Smaller fish like these tend to be
practically mercury- and toxin-free.
Choose wild-caught fish: The living conditions of farmed fish are downright nasty. Theyre packed in
tight oftentimes right next to factories that spout out pollutants like theres no tomorrow.

50

Make sure your fish oil supplement is purified: Most cheap fish oil brands are a mix of the cheapest
fish they can get their hands on with little regard to health and safety. Make sure any fish oil you take is
purified from toxins and heavy metals.
Take high-potency fish oil: If youre willing to spend a bit more, consider a high-potency fish oil
supplement. This way, youre getting more EPA and DHA per capsule with less of the fillers.

Chapter 6 Action Steps (Days 7-19)


Omega-3 fats are natures natural anti-inflammatories. But unlike anti-inflammatory drugs, omega-3
fats go after the root cause of inflammation. Not only does this make them safer, but more effective as
well. Considering that inflammation is the root cause of arthritis, anything that significantly reduces
inflammation will improve your arthritis.
Omega-3s need to be included in your diet. Period. Thats the only non-negotiable part. How you choose
to get the omega-3s is completely up to you. You dont have to eat fish or take fish oil capsules, although
because of the particularly powerful omega-3 fats they contain, it should be at least strongly considered.
1. Start eating fish at least three times per week and take fish oil supplements on the days that you dont
eat fish OR if you dont eat fish, eat at least 3 tbsp. of flaxseeds per day. This ensures that you get your
baseline omega-3s.
2. Add non-fish sources of omega-3s to your diet. Sprinkle flaxseeds on your favorite foods, snack on
walnuts, and switch to omega-3 rich eggs. Adding plant based omega-3s helps cool off inflammation
by giving you extra omega-3 fats that you wouldnt otherwise eat.

51

Chapter 7 - Superfoods That Drop Inflammation and Destroy


Arthritis
If you ever have a chance to wind your way through the jampacked streets of Shanghai, youll notice that among the
convenience stores, supermarkets, and newsstands, sit
these strange-looking stores selling what look like dried
versions of mushrooms, herbs, and fish.
I remember I used to walk by these stores without having a clue
why they existed. Who would pay 20 bucks for a dried mushroom?
Even after I beat my arthritis and traveled in China, I looked at
these stores with a mix of curiosity and disdain.
Years later, after taking a walk through a quiet, residential
Hong Kong neighborhood with Jane, I finally discovered why these shops
were so incredibly popular in Asian cultures.
Walking by perhaps the 3rd shop in our brief walk, I turned to Jane and asked her as politely as I could:
Whats the deal with those weird shops? What is that weird stuff that theyre selling? Without batting
an eyelash, she responded: Those are pharmaciesChinese pharmacies.
Pharmacies! I cried out in shock. Where were the lab coats? Where were all the drugs? In their
place, all I saw were old Chinese men and shriveled-looking herbs. More curious than ever, I asked
Jane to elaborate what kinds of things these stores sell. All kinds of things. Herbs, spices, medicinal
mushrooms. They have something for anything thats bothering you.
At this point, after overcoming arthritis with the use of certain natural herbs, I was open to the idea that
natural cures could put a dent in arthritis pain. But I seriously doubted that they could come close to
Western medicine. In time, I learned that most people in China dont consider Western medicine a step
forward. They still believe that natural remedies are the best choice for curing whatever ails you.
And you know what? Theyre right!
When I went home after that trip, I headed straight to the library to see if there was any evidence for
natural herbs and other special nutrients for arthritis. I was expecting maybe a tiny study published in
some obscure journal. Instead, I was overwhelmed with a torrent of incredible eye-popping evidence.
Since then, Ive become a regular customer at the Chinese pharmacy in my local Chinatown. All things
considered, I get much better results from taking the herbs and other special nutrients prescribed to me
from there than I ever have from a doctor with fewer side effects too!

52

In this chapter Im going to show you a list of the natures most powerful and antioxidant packed
superfoods for treating arthritis. While superfood has become a buzzword over the last few years, Im
sure after you see for yourself what they can do for your arthritis, youll agree that theyre the real deal.

Oxidation: The Fuel That Lights Inflammations Fire


Lately, theres been quite a bit of buzz about antioxidants. In fact, antioxidant supplement sales are
shooting through the roof, right in the heart of the recession. Why are antioxidant supplements
flying off the shelves? Because they might be the secret ingredient to slow aging, win the fight against
inflammation, and put the brakes on arthritis.
But to understand antioxidants, you have to know their archenemy: free radicals. When your cells
produce energy, theres an inevitable byproduct, similar to your cars exhaust. But instead of spewing out
smoke, the cells exhaust comes in the form of deformed molecules called free radicals.
Free radicals are just like normal molecules, with one serious
difference they lack one electron. Instead of accepting their
fate as a less-than-perfect being, they decide to strike back. Free
radicals go nuts- flying around the body and greedily stealing
electrons from other cells like a spoiled child.
Of course, the free radicals victims, with one less electron
themselves, become new free radicals, making the process neverending.

Free radicals go nuts- flying


around the body and greedily
stealing electrons from other
cells like a spoiled child.

Fortunately, your body has a way to keep this damaging process from continuing unabated. Acting like
a high-powered version of Pac Man, an antioxidants job is to squelch the free radicals demand for one
more electron by donating an extra electron that all antioxidants keep on hand.
The downside to this cat and mouse game is that your body isnt able to make antioxidants on its own
it needs to get them from food. If it doesnt, free radicals are allowed to run amok. But if youre sure to
take in certain antioxidants, the superheroes of the antioxidant world, then free radicals dont stand a
chance.
What does this have to do with arthritis, you ask?
Free Radicals Increase Pain: Scientists have long theorized that free radicals may aggravate sensitive
nerves making them hyperactive. A slew of new research has found that free radicals tend to
accumulate in nerve cells and spinal tissues making them fire even if nothing is wrong.
Research shows that unchecked free radicals may perpetuate pain signals, long after an injury has
healed. Studies that inject free radicals into mice almost always find that the pain levels of the mice
increase even if they never had an injury to begin with.

53

Another study, also in mice (its unethical to do these sort of experiments in humans, and probably mice
as well, but because we have the information we might as well put it to use), injected free radicals. But
this time, they followed up with an injection of powerful antioxidants. The result? Pain levels went into
freefall- 98% --almost instantly.
In fact, Ohio State University has come out and suggested that antioxidants may one day become the
new kids on the block for pain relief and that Antioxidant-based pain killers may one day become a
viable alternative to addictive medications such as morphine.
Free Radials=Inflammation: Remember that inflammation is your bodys reaction to something wrong
whether a stubbed toe or a systemic infection. Free radicals, as they travel around your body, damaging
healthy cells, set off emergency alarms all over the place.
To fight back, your body taps into its all-purpose emergency plan: inflammation. Unfortunately,
inflammation can only limit free radical damage and hasten healing time and does nothing to stop the
root cause of the problem. Even worse, the chronic inflammation that results has a ripple effect all over
the body, especially your joints.
Free Radicals Make Cells Get Stuck In Joints: In a desperate attempt to foil free radicals, your bodys
immune cells (the white blood cells) become extra sticky. Instead of attacking the invader head-on (it
has no chance), it simply tries to stick to the free radical and keep it under arrest until it can be tossed
outside your body.
The downside of this strategy was summarized written by Guido Housemouser, Alas, when the immune
system is in overdrive and free radicals are operating unchecked, as in chronic inflammation, warrior
white blood cells can start adhering to perfectly normal cells, including those in arteries and joints, thus
exacerbating inflammation.
White blood cells stuck in joints not only make inflammation worse, but pain as well.

Fight Back: Stop Free Radicals With Antioxidant SuperFoods


As I said, your body isnt able to make antioxidants on its own. You need to give your body a consistent
supply of antioxidants from food.
Unfortunately, the typical Western diet, full of red meat, refined grains, and processed foods are almost
completely devoid of antioxidants. And studies show that popping antioxidant supplements arent the
answer either a number of large-scale research studies in the last few years havent been able to link
antioxidant supplements with lower levels of inflammation or chronic disease risk.
Thats the bad news. The good news is that there is evidence that proves getting antioxidants from
certain nutrient powerhouses, like beans, garlic, and green tea makes inflammation drop faster than a
stone dropped into a lake.

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Stack Your Diet With Antioxidant-Heavy Produce


Before we get to our list of superfoods, you should know that you shouldnt rely on these alone to get
the antioxidants you need. While they tend to be incredibly high in antioxidants and other super
nutrients, they cant make up for an otherwise poor diet.
Youve already added omega-3s to your diet, which is a great first step. To take
things up a notch in the arthritis pain relief department, make sure that you
base your food choices largely around antioxidant content.
Most foods dont list their levels of antioxidants on the package for
two reasons. One, food companies arent required to. And two,
most foods in packages dont have any antioxidants!
In other words, your best bet for antioxidant-rich sources is fresh,
unprocessed fresh fruit and veggies. But not just any fruit and
veggies will do. Scientists have found that the darker the colors
of the fruit or veggies, the more antioxidants are hidden within. In
fact, the color of the plant is the antioxidant its own protection from free
radicals.
So for example, if you were going to make a salad with iceberg lettuce and pale-looking tomatoes, youd
be much better off making dark-green spinach your green and throwing in brightly colored yellow bell
pepper.
To make things a bit easier for you, here is a list of the 20 most antioxidant-stuffed foods, straight from
research published in The Journal of Food Chemistry (the cup refers to the serving size used in the
study).
1. Small red bean (dried), 1/2 cup
2. Wild blueberry, 1 cup
3. Red kidney bean (dried), 1/2 cup
4. Pinto bean, 1/2 cup
5. Blueberry (cultivated), 1 cup
6. Cranberry, 1 cup (whole)
7. Artichoke (cooked hearts), 1 cup
8. Blackberry, 1 cup
9. Prune, 1/2 cup
10. Raspberry, 1 cup

11. Strawberry, 1 cup


12. Red delicious apple, 1
13. Granny Smith apple, 1
14. Pecan, 1 ounce
15. Sweet cherry, 1 cup
16. Black plum, 1
17. Russet potato, 1 cooked
18. Black bean (dried), 1/2 cup
19. Plum, 1
20. Gala apple, 1

It doesnt Sherlock Holmes to realize that this list is filled with a rainbow of colorful fruits, veggies, and
beans.
Theres one other wrinkle in this story. The USDA has found that the levels of antioxidants in fruits and
veggies have fallen about 25% in the last 25 years (thanks factory farms!). For this reason alone, you
want to seek out organic produce as much as possible.

55

One study that gave a group of people produce grown from either agribusiness farming methods or
through a natural, organic approach, found that the group that ate the organic produce took in more
antioxidants and also had lower levels of oxidation even though they both ate the same amount, and
type, of produce. The only difference was the way the plants were farmed.
The above list of 20 foods bursting with antioxidants are excellent choices for combating arthritis.
However, there are a handful of superfoods that are antioxidant rich too, but also have something
extra thats particularly beneficial to people with arthritis.

Garlic
Garlic leads off our list of superfoods for arthritis pain. Although you
may think of garlic as an Italian food staple, it actually originated in Asia
hence its widespread use in Eastern Medicine.
What makes garlic so potent is a special antioxidant found deep
within the garlic clove, known as Allicin. The best part of
Allicin is that not that it works well at showing free
radicals the door (it does), but just how darn fast it
works. The author of one study claimed that garlic
antioxidants worked faster than any other compound
theyd ever studied.
Even better, the sulfur that gives garlic its trademark
tangy flavor works directly on arthritis pain too. One
study that gave a highly concentrated garlic formula to people with arthritis found that almost 9 out
of 10 subjects pain levels quickly and dramatically improved. Best of all, no one experienced any side
effects.
Garlic goes great in stir-fries, salads, and soups. But to make sure you get the benefits of garlic, its
important that you crush, mash, and smash your garlic as much as possible. Many of garlics beneficial
compounds, like Allicin, are trapped far within the clove. The more you mash it up, the more will end
up where you need it.

56

Cherries
A Michigan University researcher, after finding that they targeted the same
anti-inflammatory pathways that side-effect riddled medications do, said that
cherries were, as good as ibuprofen and some of the nonsteriodal antiinflammatory drugs.
These unassuming, tart little fruits are one of the least-known
arthritis superfoods out there. Even though they arent famous (yet),
cherries contain a slew of antioxidants that knock out inflammation.
For example, a USDA-funded study asked a group of women with
arthritis to down cherries for breakfast. After just 3 hours, three
different levels of pain-causing inflammation decreased significantly. A few
years later, Baylor University scientists tested the effects of a concentrated cherry supplement on pain
and quality life in a group of people with OA.
The cherries worked nearly as well as prescription drugs showing improvement in nearly all who took
the supplements.
To get these remarkable benefits for yourself, be sure to buy tart cherries (sorry, the cherry floating in
your Mai Thai wont due) and eat about 2 cups (about 15-20 cherries) of them everyday. You may also
want to consider a cherry extract supplement.

Green Tea
When it comes to superfoods, green tea
is in a class of its own. The antioxidant
thats released as the green tea leaves mix
with hot water, EGCG, has been shown to
promote the health of just about every part
of the body, from your heart, to your teeth,
and of course, your achy joints.

green tea seems to be


especially beneficial for
arthritis pain.

Many arthritis suffers think that one of the


secrets behind the remarkably low rates of arthritis in Asians vs. the West is that
they guzzle tea while we sip on soda the health differences couldnt be more
profound. Sure enough, you cant sit down for a meal in most of Asia without
having a cup of tea placed in front of you (a well-known Chinese expression goes
something like: Better to be deprived of food for three days, than tea for one.).
EGCG, the antioxidant version of Superman, matches up to free radicals like a
professional wrestler would to a 110 lb. accountant. Its really not even fair.

57

Better yet, green tea seems to be especially beneficial for arthritis pain. The University of Maryland says
that: Research indicates that green tea may benefit arthritis by reducing inflammation and slowing
cartilage breakdown.
In addition to fighting inflammation, EGCC helps protect and rebuild damaged joints, according to
University of Michigan Medical School. In this study, researchers took crucial joint cells known as
synovial fibroblasts, and exposed them to harmful inflammatory molecules and ECGC. Amazingly,
EGCG didnt just stop the much of the inflammation-caused joint destruction, but actually reversed
much of the damage that did happen, leading the head scientist to say, The results from this study
suggest that EGCG may be of potential therapeutic value in regulating the joint destruction.
The best way to make sure to drink green tea regularly is to make it in batches. Cook up about 10-12
cups ahead of time, throw it in the fridge, and either drink it iced or heat it up. If you dont like tea, you
can choose from many of the quality EGCG supplements that are out there.
Oh, and if you like it hot, make sure that you let the green tea steep for at least 7 minutes in boiling hot
water to maximize the antioxidant extraction from the leaves.

Pineapples
The secret to this sweet treats arthritis-killing properties is a unique inflammation-fighting
compound known as bromelin. Actually an enzyme, when it gets into the body, free
radicals run scared.
Whats even better is that bromelin has been shown to work particularly well on the
inflammation most closely tied to arthritis pain.
One particular study, conducted by scientists from the UK, must have made the drug
companies nervous as it pitted bromelin directly against a pair of commonly prescribed
arthritis meds.
The researchers recruited a group of arthritis suffers with knee pain that lasted for months
and was resistant to medications. 60% of people who took the bromelin supplement
reported a drastic improvement in their pain levels, range of motion, and overall wellbeing.
Other research has found that taking bromelin or eating lots of bromelin-rich pineapple
helps with joint swelling, chronic inflammation and ARTHRITIS pain.
When shopping for pineapples, make sure that you choose the organic variety. Also, try to eat them as
soon as possible after you cut them. Over time, bromelin degrades, becoming less useful.

58

GingerThe Worlds First Medicine


If you remember my story of the cup of tea that changed
my life, then youll recall that one of the secret ingredients
that JANE threw into the tea was none other than ginger.
Still used today, ginger entered Chinese traditional
medicine over 2,000 years ago. In fact, Indonesian cultures
have considered ginger the cure for arthritis for at least
500 hundred years.
Today, ginger is intensely studied by lab coat-wearing
scientists the same way as traditionally dressed Chinese
sages did thousands of years ago. In fact, theres been an
explosion of research largely proving many of the health
claims that have surrounded ginger for centuries.
Take, for instance, the study by Dr. Altman of the Miami Veterans Affairs Medical Center, which looked
at seeing if ginger extract could have an effect on people with stubborn OA. Not only did the people
who took ginger feel less pain and move around with ease, but they were able to take fewer medications
than they did before. The authors concluded that: standardized ginger extract had a statistically
significant effect on reducing symptoms of OA of the knee.
Ginger works so well because it has a horde of antioxidants each working in a different part of the
body. Luckily for us, one of the compounds in ginger seems to work particularly well on inflamed joints.
To beat arthritis with ginger, take 4 grams per day, either in extract, juice, or tea form once per day. For
some quick natural pain relief, you can rub ginger extract wherever you hurt.

Red Wine
If theres a bit of nutrition knowledge that just about everybody knows, its that red wine is
incredibly healthy. What most people dont know, however, is what makes red wine such a
nutritional superstar.
Resveratrol, the primary antioxidant in red wine, is considered to be one of the most
important health discoveries of the century. Resveratrol has the amazing ability
to reverse artery plaque, slow aging, and stop arthritis dead in its tracks.
Not surprisingly, the Resveratrol in red wine is a potent anti-inflammatory.
Dozens of studies show that Resveratrol vaporizes free radicals and ramps up
natural anti-inflammatory processes within the body.
But even more impressive is the fact that Resveratrol helps repair worn out
joints. Scientists recently took damaged, RA-afflicted cartilage samples from people
whos arthritis was so far along that they were about to go under the knife and receive a
knee replacement. However, RA was no match for Resveratrol.
59

When Resveratrol was applied to the inflamed cells, inflammation plummeted by 90% and prevented
any more damage from happening to the joint. Other studies have found that daily Resveratrol
supplementation protects cartilage from degradation.
Luckily, you dont have to drink wine like its Thanksgiving to reap Resveratrols benefits. Just 150ml per
day (about 1 glass) is enough to feel a difference. If you dont like to drink or just want an extra painrelieving boost, Resveratrol supplements work just as well as the real thing.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil


A few years back, a University of Philadelphia professor, Gary Beauchamp, took a break from his
conference in Greece and tried some of the high-quality olive oils they had in display outside. Instantly,
he noticed that the sting he felt in the back of his throat was the same sensation that he felt from the
Ibuprofen he was studying in his laboratory.
Dr. Beauchamp returned to America, found that extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) has a
natural painkiller housed within it, and the rest is pain-relief history.
The compound he discovered, oleocanthal, has been shown to act in the same
way as many prescription and OTC anti-inflammatory drugs. The huge upside
is the fact that EVOO is 100% side effect-free.
Oleocanthals pain-besting benefits arent just theory. Research from the
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that consistently eating
EVOO was one of the most effective ways to prevent and treat RA.
Make sure that you use the highest quality EVOO you can find and
the more bite you feel in your throat, the more oleocanthal it has.
When it comes to EVOO, you have two options: you can take a small
amount of EVOO to fight chronic inflammation or take a larger amount for rapid pain relief -3 tbsp. of
EVOO is equivalent to 1 tablet of ibuprofen.

Turmeric
Rounding out our superfoods is the Indian herb turmeric. Turmeric, like red wine, starts by fighting
inflammation, but goes a step further and actually works as a bodyguard for damaged joints.
In a study funded by the National Institutes of Health, researchers added turmeric to joint cells
riddled with arthritis. After adding turmeric, however, the cells quickly bounced back and returned to
normalcy.
Scientists arent sure what makes turmeric work so well, but they do know it blocks a wicked

60

inflammatory protein known as NFkB. In fact, it is the drugs that block production of this protein
that most pharmaceutical companies are banking on as a future miracle arthritis cure. However, as the
authors note, just as the willow bark provided relief for arthritis patients before the advent of aspirin,
it would appear that turmeric might also hold promise for the treatment of joint inflammation and
destruction. In other words, weve had the cure right in front of us for decades its just been largely
ignored by Western medicine until very recently.
You can add turmeric to the foods you already eat, like sauted veggies and stews, or take a supplement
theyre both effective.

Action Steps for Chapter 7 (Days 9-13)


Even though you cant directly feel free radicals, you sure can feel them wreak havoc on your joints. Free
radicals, which are deformed molecules, which love to destroy healthy joint cells, will run free unless
you get antioxidants. Antioxidants only role in the body is destroying free radicals.
To make things a bit easier for you, here is a shopping list that you can take with you to the health
food store:
Supplement
Flaxseeds
Flaxseed Oil
Fish Oil
B-Complex
Vitamin E
Vitamin C
Glucosamine

Daily Dosage
3 tbsp.
4 tbsp.
4 capsules
1 capsule
400 IU
500mg
2-3 g

How Much to Pay


<$15/lb.
<$17/100 capsules
<$20/100 capsules
<$25/250 capsules
<$20/100 capsules
<$12/100 capsules
<$25/180 capsules

1. Refer to the list of the top 20 antioxidant-rich foods. Choose at least 3 from that list, being sure
to eat at least one serving per day. This step ensures that you base your fruit and veggie intake on
antioxidant-packed foods. The antioxidant content in this particular group is much, much higher
than seemingly similar foods. Eating these regularly will go a long way towards reducing free
radicals in your body.
2. The superfoods in this chapter contain loads of antioxidants plus some sort of special nutrient that
targets arthritis. From the group of superfoods, garlic, cherries, green tea, pineapples, ginger, and
turmeric, choose 2 or more. Either eat the recommended amount in food form, or take a highquality supplement.

61

Chapter 8: Lose Weight to Lose Arthritis

For me, the last part of my body parts to finally say


uncle were my arthritic knees. When I got out of bed
everyday knees would snap, crackle, and pop like a bowl
of Rice Krispies. Even after I was able to unload the
arthritis in my hands, elbows, back, and shoulders, for
some reason my knees were the two stubborn twins that
refused to let go.
That is, until my second visit to Asia. If youve visited the East (or
even seen pictures), you cant help but be stunned at how thin
everyone is. Rich, poor, man, women, old, young, it doesnt matter
theyre all thin as a rail! The contrast between me and my bulging
belly and my Chinese friends with 6-packs was striking this time
around (I was in too much pain the first time to notice much of
anything).
Without even trying, I lost about 11lbs. on my 14-day tour. I know that sounds like something youd
expect from the cabbage soup diet or some crazy fad diet. But with fresh, unprocessed food, potent
herbs and spices, and long hikes, the weight disappeared without any effort on my part.
Before I knew it, my knees, once the bane of my existence, felt about one hundred times better than they
had when I arrived. The inflammation-fighting nutrients in the food definitely played a part, but after
studying up, I quickly realized that my weight was the final piece of the arthritis puzzle.

Obesity and Arthritis: Kissing Cousins


Because its so visibly evident, researchers have known for
decades that people who were overweight (defined as a body mass
index between 25-30) or obese (a body mass index >30) were at
particularly high arthritis risk (You can calculate your BMI with
this free tool here: http://www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi).
The Johns Hopkins obesity center claims that extra pounds will
eventually bring on OA: Being overweight is a clear risk factor
for developing OA. Population-based studies have consistently
shown a link between overweight or obesity and knee OA.

62

As soon as your BMI creeps


above 30 (where nearly 1/3 of
America is at), your chances
of getting OA shoot up a
staggering 500%

In fact, being just a few pounds overweight multiplies your risk of succumbing to arthritis. For example,
as soon as your BMI creeps above 30 (where nearly 1/3 of America is at), your chances of getting OA
shoot up a staggering 500%. While most people see weight as something that only leads to OA, the truth
is, obesity oftentimes causes RA as well.
Its been said that, Obesity can cause, and be caused by, Rheumatoid Arthritis. In other words, because
RA often leads to physical inactivity and depression obesity soon follows. But the link goes the other
way as well. People who are obese, and especially those with whats known as metabolic syndrome, (a
large waist and low levels of good cholesterol) put themselves in RAs crosshairs. A recent study found
that the risk of getting RA shot up 9 times for people that had metabolic syndrome.
For those with other arthritis types like fibromyalgia and gout, know that obesity may be behind the
scenes of your condition as well. Research published in Arthritis Care & Research found that, Being
overweight or obese was associated with an increased risk of fibromyalgia. More specifically, people
with a BMI above 25 bumps up their fibromyalgia risk by 70%. And people with a BMI above 30 are at 5
times higher risk of developing gout than people at a healthy weight.
Disturbingly, despite the overwhelming evidence linking obesity to arthritis, one study found that less
than half of all physicians advised their arthritis patients to lose weight or even told their patients that
weight loss could help them feel better. Instead, the researchers found, doctors preferred to reach for
their pen and write another dangerous, mind-numbing prescription.

Why Fat Causes Arthritis


When scientists first saw overweight people with arthritis
stumbling into their laboratories, they quickly put 2 and 2
together and theorized that the sheer weight that the people were
carrying put more stress and strain on joints and ligaments.
Sure enough, the extra pounds in your midsection do increase
the load on your joints. For example, every 10 lbs. of extra weight
you have on board increases the load on the knee by 60 lbs each
and every step, every single day. This is because the stress on
your knee joint isnt determined solely by your weight. The
knee also has to help balance the body, support the body with
its contact with the ground, and absorb the shock of walking like a hammer beating down.
Unfortunately, unlike muscle, your joints dont respond very well to carrying this extra weight around.
Instead of bucking up and getting stronger, the weight eventually wears down the joints and cartilage
(this is especially true of OA, but also applies to RA and other arthritis types as well). And unless
you lose weight, joints and cartilage never get a chance to bounce back and repair meaning that the
destruction continues until the pain becomes unbearable (literally).
But theres more to the story than simple mechanics. For example, obesity has been found to increase
the risk of OA in the hand as well meaning that theres some less visible force at work. What do you

63

suppose that force is? You guessed it inflammation! Scientists now understand that, after you reach a
certain critical mass of fat, fat cells themselves begin to churn out inflammation. This is especially true
of fat that sits in your midsection. Made up of whats known as visceral fat, these nasty fat cells turn
themselves into inflammation factories that pour out inflammation like a smokestack!

How to Lose Weight and Reverse ArthritisNaturally


Even though some of the damage is already done, dropping some serious pounds will also drop the pain
you feel as well no matter how long that youve been overweight. Weight loss will ease the load on your
joints allowing them to patch themselves up and make inflammation drop like the New Years ball.
Luckily, you dont have to lose massive amounts of weight to
improve your pain. One study found that every 10 lbs. of weight
lost reduced risk of OA by more than 50%. And if you already
have OA or RA, research clearly shows that getting your weight
back into the healthy range increases the likelihood of completely
reversing arthritis to a respectable one out of three.
Countless weight loss books already line store shelves. However,
most of the advice doesnt apply to people with arthritis. Many
of their plans rely on arthritis trigger foods, pro-inflammatory
nutrients, and boot camp style exercise plans.

Action Steps for Chapter 8 (Days 15-17)

Every 10 lbs. of weight lost


reduced risk of OA by more
than 50%

Arthritis and weight are a real-life vicious cycle. Those extra pounds put extra stress on your joints and
ramp up inflammation causing arthritis. Because arthritis makes it painful to exercise, youre forced to
be sedentary. It really isnt fair.
As I touched on in this chapter, weight loss has been shown in dozens of studies to cure or improve
arthritis. Even if losing weight doesnt make your arthritis disappear, it will improve your levels of pain
and allow you to do more activities of daily living. definitely Fortunately, its possible to lose weight no
matter how bad your arthritis already is.
Heres how to lose serious pounds even if you suffer from arthritis:
1. Know Your Numbers: Its impossible to know where youre going unless you know where you are.
You should know your height and weight so that you can calculate your BMI. For a more accurate
analysis, try to get your body composition, the ratio of fat to muscle, measured at your local health
club.
2. Get to Here: Your goals are simple. No matter how much you weigh (assuming your BMI is above
25), you want to lose some weight right away to take some of the pressure off of your joints and

64

to reduce inflammation. Once youre on a roll, your aim should be to get your BMI below 30, and
once youre there, below 25. Also, keep an eye on your waist circumference. Ideally, your waist
circumference should below 40 inches for men, and 35 for women.
3. Follow the Blue Heron Guide to Heal Arthritis Diet: Its not a weight loss diet per se, but the
healthy foods that form the base, fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, and lean meats are a surefire
recipe for fat loss. Most of the recent weight loss research shows that the concept of calories doesnt
matter very much its the type of food you eat that makes the biggest impact.
Think about it: have you ever heard of someone getting fat from eating too much spinach, grilled
salmon, or fresh fruit? Me neither.
4. Set 5 Specific, Actionable Goals Related to Weight Loss: You already know where your bulls eye is:
a BMI less than 25 and a waist circumference below 35 or 40. But thats not very personalized, is it?
Research shows that people who set, specific and actionable weight loss goals do better than people
who just say: Im going to lose some weight.
An example of an actionable goal would be: I will eat 6 servings of fruits and vegetables everyday.
This is a goal that you can act on, track, and manage. Actionable goals should be complemented with
outcome goals such as, I will lose 5 lbs. in the next 2 weeks.
5. Go S-L-O-W: Fast weight loss is temporary weight loss. As you probably know firsthand, its not
losing the weight thats hard its keeping it off. Youre chances of sustaining the fruits of your hard
work increase exponentially the slower you go.
This means ditching fad diets that promise near-instant results. In reality, you only lose precious
muscle, and you can expect the weight to fly back on as soon as you go back to normal eating.
6. Track and Adjust: Entrepreneur Paul Drucker is famous for saying what gets measured, gets
managed. Same story here. A large-scale study called The National Weight Loss Registry tracked
peoples weight loss and tried to figure out what works in the real world. Theyve found that pretty
much everyone who loses weight and keeps it off weigh themselves at least once per week.
Be sure to write down your weight on a weekly basis. Not only will this keep you motivated, but
youll be able to tell whats working for you (and what isnt).

65

Part IV
Get Moving!

Chapter 9: Exercising With ArthritisIts Possible!

On my second visit to Asia I realized just how sedentary most


Americans had become (myself included). While struggling
to wade my way through the hustle and bustle of Bangkok, I
found myself hiking up stairs, running down tuk-tuks (Thai
taxis), and dodging pedestrians.
Ill never forget the night I finally made it back to my hotel room. My
knees ached, my hands were rigid, and my back was tighter than a Boy
Scout knot. Uncle Arty decided to fly 4,000 miles to pay me a visiton
my vacation no less.
Because I had no choice, I ended up moving more during my travels
around the beaches of southern Thailand than I had all year! To my
amazement, exercise went from a source of unbridled pain to a fountain of relief. You better believe
that when I got back stateside that I started working out everyday. Not only did I have more energy than
ever before, but my arthritis dramatically improved something I never thought possible!

Exercise and Arthritis


Whether youve been a couch potato because of arthritis or had been a full-fledged member before
arthritis struck, its crucial that you get moving. It used to be standard medical practice to tell patients
with arthritis to sit around and relax. Finally wising up, most doctors realize that this advice actually
makes arthritis reversal impossibile.
Scott J. Zashin, MD warns not to let arthritis become an excuse not to exercise: Yet, while there is
short term relief, in the long run, a sedentary lifestyle may lead to obesity and increased pain in weightbearing joints such as the knees and hips. Also, many [arthritis] patients who are not active are more
likely to experience depression which is often associated with increased pain and fatigue.
In fact, studies show that people with arthritis hardly exercised before they got the disease, and become
even more sedentary after they were diagnosed. The connection is very real. If you remain sedentary,
youre not only making your arthritis worse than it has to be, but youre increasing your risk of going
under the knife: 87% of all knee replacements are done on people with a BMI >30.
And overweight people who dont exercise report more pain and higher rates of disability when
compared to those who even do a little physical activity everyday. Northwestern University researchers
tracked arthritis patients for a period of two years. People that never exercised quickly found themselves
having difficulties doing things they were once able to, like opening packages, cooking meals, and

67

washing themselves. They estimated that for every year that someone with arthritis doesnt exercise,
their overall functioning declines by a 33%.
Along with making you stronger and more able to do the things
you need to do without pain, some exercise, any exercise, is a
proven way to make pain quickly subside. A study in the Journal
of Rheumatology found that when people did a very simple athome physical fitness program, their arthritis pain levels fell by 43
percent!

When people did a very simple


at-home physical fitness
program, their arthritis pain
levels fell by 43 percent!

As an added bonus, exercise has been shown to help lift the


moods of depressed arthritis sufferers. University of Missouri
researchers recently took a group of 120 people with RA and OA and had them do a low-intensity,
supervised exercise program. The researchers concluded that, Exercise groups showed significant
improvement over the control group in aerobic capacity, 50-foot walking time, depression, anxiety, and
physical activity. Not only did their arthritis symptoms improve, but they got a brain boost as well.

How to Exercise With Arthritis


I know what youre thinking: how am I supposed to exercise when I can barely get up to go to the
bathroom? Look, I can understand where youre coming from. And if I wasnt forced by the landscape
of Thailand to exercise, I may have found the notion ridiculous too.
But luckily, there are dozens of exercises that people with even the most crippling cases of arthritis can
do (in fact, the next chapter is dedicated to two of the best: yoga and tai chi).
Before we get into those, lets go over the ins and outs of arthritis exercise:
Start Slow: Even if youre pumped about getting back in action, its crucial that you dont hurt yourself.
With arthritis lurking inside of you, you have to be extra careful not to push yourself too far and get
hurt.
Once youre able to do very simple exercises with ease, then its time to move on to the next level.
Walk, Dont Run (literally): Walking is one of the most beneficial exercises for arthritis sufferers.
Walking is easy, doesnt require any special equipment, and can be done anytime. If walking is too
painful for you, stick to some of the easier exercises Ill describe in a minute and keep the goal of daily
walking in mind.
Do Something You Love: You want to set out doing activities that youll stick with over the long haul.
So if you hate the water, dont force yourself to go to a swimming class.
Be Tender to Your Painful Areas: At first, try to work around the areas that hurt most. So if you have
bad knees, try some upper body strength training. If your hands are your #1 problem area, try going for

68

a walk. Over time, your joints will heal and youll be able to do any type or exercise you want because
you won have any painful areas left!

Chapter 9 Action Steps (Days 18-19)


Exercise isnt just important for weight loss. Working out, even if youre limited in what you can do
because of arthritis, is a must. Not only does exercise reduce inflammation and boost your brain, but it
makes you stronger. This means that you can do more of the things that are important to you shopping,
cleaning, leaving the house-without pain getting in the way.
In this chapter, I discussed that research has been able to get people even with the more crippling
arthritis to exercise with some remarkable results. By following the action steps in this chapter, you can
do the same.
Step 1: Besides yoga and tai chi, which well touch on next, select 3 of the following range of motion
exercises, and do them at least 4 days per week
Range of Motion Exercise: Hand Stretches
1. Make a fist with both hands.
2. Slowly extend your hands until your fingers point back at you
3. Gently return to a fist. Do 5-6 repetitions.
Range of Motion Exercise: Knee Bends
1. Sitting down, lift one leg off of the ground
2. Slowly point your foot away from you.
3. Hold for 1-2 seconds.
4. Return your leg to the ground and repeat with the other leg. Do 5 repetitions for each leg.
Range of Motion Exercise: Shoulder Stretch
1. Sitting or standing, lift both arms straight above your head.
2. Clasp your hands and let your hands fall back towards you.
3. Hold here for 5 seconds.
4. Unclasp your hands and slowly return your hands by your side. Do 8 repetitions.
Range of Motion Exercise: Gentle Twist
1. Sitting in a chair with good posture, support yourself with your arms and
hands pressed against the seat of the chair.
2. Turn your head to the right and gently turn your body to follow your vision.
3. Breathe and hold this position for 6 slow breaths.
4. Return to center and repeat on the other side.

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Range of Motion Exercise: Lower Back Stretch


1. Sit in a comfortable chair, with plenty of room in front of you.
2. Bending at the waist, drop your upper body so that it touches and rests
on the top of your legs.
3. Completely relax and release your back and neck. Hold this for 5
seconds.
4. Starting at the lower back, gently return to the starting position. Do 5
repetitions.
Step 2: Select 3 of the following strength-building exercises, and do
them 3 or more days per week
Strength Training Exercise: Overhead Lifts
1. Sitting or standing, hold light hand weights or small cans tightly in each
hand.
2. Slowly lift them over your head as high as you can.
3. Hold for 1 second and slowly bring the weights back near your neck.
Do 10 repetitions.
Strength Training Exercise: Pelvic Tilts
1. Stand against a wall with your back flat against it.
2. Tilting your waist, push your lower back firmly against the wall.
3. Hold this position for 15-20 seconds, remembering to breathe.
4. Rest for 30 seconds and repeat 5-7 times.
Strength Training Exercise: Curls
1. Stand straight, holding cans or light hand weights, palms facing away
from you.
2. Slowly bend your arms until your hands reach near your chest.
3. Return to the starting position and repeat for 8 repetitions. Rest 30
seconds and repeat 2 more times.
Strength Training Exercise: Easy rows
1. Sit in a comfortable chair holding weights or cans in each hand.
2. Bend slightly at the waist and allow your arms to fall freely on each side
of you.
3. Using your back, lift your hands towards you until they nearly touch
your chest.
4. Repeat for 8 repetitions. Rest 30 seconds and repeat 2 more times.
Strength Training Exercise: Wall push-ups
1. Stand facing a sturdy wall at arms length.
2. Extend your arms, pressing your hands against the wall.
3. Slowly shift your weight onto your hands and arms, carefully letting your
body move towards the wall.
4. Hold for 2 seconds and push your self back up straight. Repeat for 8
repetitions. Rest 30 seconds and repeat 2 more times.
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Step 3: Join a Structured Exercise Program (optional)


Exercise classes, especially water aerobics, are a perfect form of exercise for people with arthritis. With
a qualified instructor, youve got someone near you making sure youre doing everything correctly and
safely.
Its not a necessity, but many people find that this sort of exercise class accelerates their arthritis relief
quite a bit.
Step 4: Walk for 20 minutes per day
Theres no doubt about it: people with arthritis who walk regularly have less pain, stronger muscles, and
better quality of life than those who dont. I know that walking can be very painful at first, but if you
start slow and listen to your body, you can eventually build up to 20 minutes per day and beyond!
Its no big deal if you can only walk for 2 minutes around your house at first. Next time, shoot for 3
minutes, then 5, and then 7. Before you know it, youll be doing laps around your neighborhood with
ease.

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Chapter 10: Yoga and Thai Chi for Arthritis

In this mini-chapter, Im going to show you some of the most powerful, safe,
and pain-free exercises out there for people with arthritis: yoga and tai chi.
When it comes to RA, OA and everything in between, yoga and tai chi have been shown
in clinical research to blow medications out of the water in terms of safety and pain relief.
Best of all, unlike medications, the strength you build from these 2 ancient forms of
exercise help you with your day-to-day tasks like grocery shopping and cleaning around
the house.
Lets take a second to chat about what these two strange-sounding practices are. Yoga, a
4,000 year-old form of meditation, originated in India, but is now practiced in nearly every
corner of the globe. Although you may imagine someone with their legs tucked behind
their head when you hear the word yoga, yoga is actually a gentle form of exercise thats
especially suited to people with joint pain.
Tai chi is the Chinese equivalent of yoga. Its slow, deliberate movements, linked with
breathing is the perfect gateway into more intense forms of exercise like walking and water
aerobics.
Dozens of studies have been done investigating the effects of tai chi and yoga for arthritis
patients with some stunning results. One study found that a handful of
tai chi sessions boosted physical fitness and reduced pain in people with
severe knee RA.
The best part of yoga and tai chi is that, along with building strength and physical fitness, arthritis pain
levels quickly plummet and arthritis-rooted feelings of stress and anxiety are reduced.
For example, a study out of AT Still University found that a 3-week bout of yoga not only improved
balance and pain levels, but reduced feelings of depression and stress too. The researchers also looked
into a biological hormone that shows up when people are under stress, cortisol, and found that yoga
made the levels of this hormone fall significantly.
Heres how to get the most out of yoga and tai chi:
Get Schooled: If youve never done them before, the best way to learn is to attend a class. This way,
youll learn how to do the movements correctly, and even discover modified versions of the poses to
avoid aggravating your most painful areas.
Your local gym, YMCA, of community center likely offers yoga and/or tai chi classes.

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Be Adventurous: For many people, the most difficult thing about yoga and tai chi arent the practices
themselves its working up the nerve to try it. Hold back any feelings that these are just new-age
workouts for hippies. Think of them as what they are practical, effective, and safe treatments for
arthritis.
Speak Up: If you do attend a class, the instructor will probably ask if anyone has any painful areas or
injuries. This isnt a time to buck up and work through your pain. Let your instructors know where you
hurt and what tends to make it worse. That way, youll be able to enjoy, and benefit from, the practice
much more.
Stick With It: Like any exercise program, the more you do it, the more youll reap the benefits. Yoga
and tai chi happen to be powerful enough where a single session can make a difference, but that doesnt
mean you should stop there.
Buy a DVD: If youre shy or prefer to not take a class, try a DVD. Believe it or not, there are dozens of
yoga and tai chi DVDs made just for people with arthritis!

Chapter 10 Action Steps (Day 20)


Yoga and tai chi are two perfect forms of exercise for people with arthritis. As I discussed in this chapter,
yoga and tai chi have been studied intensively in clinical research. By and large, these two forms of
exercise outperformed medications.
Best of all, theyre much less likely to make your pain flare up.
1. Attend one yoga or tai chi class this week, whichever you prefer OR buy and complete an entire yoga
or tai chi for DVD in your own home.

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Chapter 11: Everything Under the Rising Sun -Ancient Asian


Arthritis Cures That Work Today
On my second trip to Asia, when traveling in the
mountains of Thailand, I had an arthritic flare up of epic
proportions. At this point, I was fairly well versed in
natural arthritis cures, but I wanted relief and I wanted it
in the form of a fistful of Aspirin.
Unfortunately (or fortunately, actually), the tiny mountain village I
found myself in had no pharmacy whatsoever. Stumbling back to my
bungalow, I asked the owner if he had any painkillers on hand adding
that I would pay him any price he asked.
Apologizing and saying that he had none, he told me that whenever he was in pain he simply went down
the street to the towns acupuncturist. Acupuncturist! I said in such shock and disdain the bungalow
owner looked like he lost his balance. I may be open-minded, I thought, but theres no way Im letting
some strange guy put needles in my back.
A few hours and many moans and groans later, writhing in pain, and with a hiking trip scheduled for
the next morning, I built up the strength to head to the acupuncturists office. As I opened the wooden
door, the smell of incense and burgundy wafted through my nostrils. I was expecting a Mr. Miyagi
lookalike to walk through the door and greet me, but instead, I found a well-groomed young man no
older than 35. Before I knew it, I was fawning over his countless certificates and degrees from respected
Universities and institutions around the world.
Impressed but skeptical, I went through the curtain and lied down
on his table. Feeling nothing, he inserted needle after needle
into my back, hands, legs, and feet. A few minutes later, with the
needles tenderly removed, I felt like a million Baht!

A few minutes later, with the


needles tenderly removed, I
felt like a million Baht!

It turned out that I had acupuncture all wrong. Its not some
funky, outdated practice where people jab sharp things into
your body. Acupuncture and other forms of Chinese traditional
medicine are scientifically supported practices with thousands of
years of evidence backing it up. For example, when I got back home from that trip and did a literature
review on acupuncture, I was stunned to find that modern-day scientific journals had been espousing
the benefits of Chinese alternative medicine for decades.
One review paper, titled Traditional Chinese Medicine in the Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis: a
General Review, said that, Furthermore, greatly enhanced life quality of RA patients was obtained
using acupuncture and massage to relieve pain, expand joint motion and modulate emotion which

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mainly correlated with the possible modulation of immune system, nerve system, endocrine system,
etc.
The brave souls who decide to give these ancient cures a shot largely find their arthritis pain gone after
one or two sessions.

Acupuncture Basics
Acupuncture is one of the first forms of medicine. While acupuncture originated in China, it quickly
spread to all points in Asia (and beyond). The theory behind acupuncture is that the needles help
realign your chi, or the energy that flows through all living things. Thinking that the root of all health
problems was a disturbed chi, acupuncture was, and still is, considered a primary treatment for almost
any ailment you can think of especially chronic pain.
Modern medicine has found that acupuncture has a more
scientific and physiological explanation for its effectiveness. The
needles, when properly placed, cajole the brain into pumping
out massive amounts of endorphins the same stuff responsible
for runners high. Acupuncture has also been shown to reduce
chronic inflammation levels and to relax tight muscles that
aggravate arthritic joints.

The needles, when properly


placed, cajole the brain into
pumping out massive amounts
of endorphins.

In fact, the evidence for arthritis as an effective arthritis treatment


is so strong that both the World Health Organization and the US NIH endorse acupuncture as a reliable
and safe arthritis treatment.
For example, a group of researchers at University of Exeter looked at the effects of acupuncture on
people with chronic knee pain. In over 1300 people, the results clearly showed that acupuncture
provides quick and long-term pain relief. Another high-quality randomized control trial published in
the Annals of Internal Medicine found that acupuncture improved pain levels, physical function, and
well being in a group of 500 arthritis patients.

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Massage
Arthritis and massage have a long and storied history. The father
of modern medicine, Hippocrates was one of the first Westerners
to recommend rubbing a painful joint for pain relief. But people
have been using massage as far back as 3 B.C.
Today, massage as an arthritis treatment is more popular then
ever. Not only is it essentially risk-free, but massage tends to
work extremely fast (often after just a few minutes). The benefits
are so clear that The Arthritis Foundation wholeheartedly
recommends massage for arthritis sufferers.
The great thing about arthritis is that, unlike a pill, you can easily use it to target where you need it most.
And research shows that massage thats focused on one area of the body can instantly relieve the amount
of pain that you feel in that area. For example, one study found that massage of the hands helped reduce
pain, improve flexibility, stopped stiffness, and even boosted grip strength.
One study in the Archives of Internal Medicine reached some extremely promising results. After a few
sessions of massage on people with long-standing osteoarthritis, clinically significant scores for wellbeing, pain, flexibility, stiffness, and walking speed drastically improved.
Massage works in two ways. First, massage can release tight muscles (known as trigger points), which
tend to form around arthritic joints. Also, a nice massage reduces stress and causes endorphin release
(the cause of the ahhh you instinctively let out after you feel the first rub of your muscles).

Aromatherapy
The popularity of aromatherapy for arthritis is exploding. People
in all walks of life are finding that scents from certain medicinal
oils can melt away pain. Scientists, following suit, have found
that aromatherapy reduces inflammation, pain levels, and even
depression in people resistant to traditional arthritis treatments.
One research study out of South Korea recruited 40 people with
severe RA. After smelling a mixture of lavender, marjoram,
eucalyptus, rosemary, and peppermint oils, the oils were found
to fight arthritis pain and reduce anxiety. The study authors
concluded that: the result of this study clearly shows that
aromatherapy has major effects on decreasing pain and depression levels.
Another study found that, when combined with massage, aromatherapy is even more effective.

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Reflexology
This practice, a Chinese medicine staple, involves stimulating pressure points in the feet to help heal
other areas of the body. Evidence shows that by promoting blood flow around the body and reducing
chronic inflammation, reflexology can help with RA (sorry, the evidence isnt as clear-cut for OA).
A case study from the British Medical Journal found that weekly reflexology helped reduce chronic pain
stemming from RA.

Balneotherapy

Finally, we have balneotherapy. Used mostly in the Japan, balneotherapy, an arthritis treatment using
hot water, is picking up steam stateside.
The exact techniques vary, but essentially balneotherapy uses a
man-made hot spring for you to relax in. Besides melting away
stress, scientists now understand that the hot water and the
minerals it contains melt away arthritis pain just the same.
A review of 6 studies of balneotherapy for arthritis concluded
that: One cannot ignore the positive findings reported in most
trials.

Hot water and the minerals it


contains melt away arthritis
pain just the same.

For those of you reading this with psoriatic arthritis or fibromyalgia, take note. Researchers recently
took a group of patients to the Dead Sea (yes, really) for a session of balneotherapy. They found,
Statistically significant substantial improvement in the number of active joints and tender points in
both male and female patients with fibromyalgia and psoriatic arthritis.
If you dont have the Dead Sea in your backyard, dont fret. Any place that practices balneotherapy will
have a bath on hand with the same mineral-rich composition.

How To Do It Right
Alternative and complementary medicine, while generally safe, isnt something you want to jump into
uninitiated. Heres how to make sure you get all the benefits and none of the risk:
Check for Credentials: Acupuncturists and massage therapists have accredited bodies to make sure
that their training and experience is up to snuff. For example, to be a licensed massage therapist you not
only have to go through a rigorous training and education program, but complete 300 hundred hours of
supervised practice.
These credentials dont come easy, so when you see them, you can relax knowing that youre in the
hands of a professional (literally).

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Experience Matters: This isnt the time to be someones first client. You have arthritis and you want
relief you dont have time to work with someone who hasnt worked with dozens of arthritis clients
before.
Before you sign up, be sure to ask your potential practitioner how often they come across people with
arthritis and what special techniques they use for relief.
Ask Around: The best way to seek out an alternative or complementary medicine expert is via word of
mouth. Ask your friends and neighbors if they know anyone who is good. Chances are that if you ask
enough people, youll find that theyll not only recommend someone that helped them but are usually
so excited about the results they experienced that theyll personally bring you to them.
Try Before You Buy: The only way to know whether something works for you is so try it. Ask them if
they offer a trial session, for example, a short, 10-minute aromatherapy trial. Those that are confident in
their stuff wont hesitate to offer this.
Dont Overpay: Sure, arthritis relief isnt something that you want to cut corners with, but that doesnt
mean that you should write a blank check for any place that has an OPEN sign on the front door.
This type of thing often carries a hefty price tag. For example, its not uncommon to shell out $100 for an
hour massage session!
You can save some serious cash on your appointments by a) signing up for package deals, b) asking for
discounts at off times, and c) seek out massage schools that can offer upwards of 90% off a regular price
without sacrificing in the way of quality.
Be sure to compare the cost of these treatments to your out of pocket expenses for doctor visits, co
pays, medications, and over the counter meds that youre already paying for. Nine times out of ten, the
complementary arthritis therapies are much more cost effective than the standard, medical approach.

Chapter 12 Action Steps (Day 21)


1. The take away point from this chapter is that alternative medicine shouldnt be an alternative
to Western medicine for treating arthritis it should form for foundation. The research-backed
alternative treatment methods I discussed are all safe and effective ways to treat arthritis. Choose an
alternative therapy to try this week. The exact practice is up to you. Pick the discipline that spoke to
you or one that you can afford.
2. Make an appointment and attend at least 1 session of acupuncture, massage, aromatherapy,
reflexology or balneotherapy. Because these are particularly effective and research-backed, any of
these five therapies are almost guaranteed to make you feel better.
3. Balneotherapy, the practice of taking warm baths in mineral water is particularly effective for
people with fibromyalgia or psoriatic arthritis .For those with psoriatic arthritis or fibromyalgia: try
balneotherapy.
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Chapter 13 Wrapping Up
When Im older and greyer than I already am, I know that when I look back at the moments
that had the biggest impact, my meal with Jane will top the list.
Not only did I find arthritis relief when I was at my wits end, but I got a lifelong friend out of the deal (not bad,
huh?). However, as amazing as that first cup of ginger tea was, it wouldnt have lasted unless I decided to take
further action and dig deeper.
When I dug, I found a medical system letting people down time and time again and taking their hard
earned money from their pockets. I found dirt-cheap natural arthritis therapies buried by multimillion-dollar
marketing messages from Big Pharma. And I found that most people approach arthritis completely backwards.
Its clear to me, and Im sure its clear to you now, that the techniques Ive picked up from my friends in Asia are
needed over here more than ever. With arthritis rates on a meteoric rise, we need to look at treatments that are
natural, but also have the backing of science. I believe that its the one two punch of ancient wisdom and modern
science that will ultimately cure America (and the world) of its arthritis epidemic.
Ultimately, this information, while incredibly powerful, was enough to change my life and the lives of many
people I cared about. You now have it in your hands. The only question now is, what are you going to do about
it?
The real change in my arthritis didnt come from simply reading the stunning results in some dusty medical
journal in the corner of a library. Only when I took action, and made significantly and long-lasting changes to
my life did I feel my joints renew.
Thats why, along with presenting you with the most cutting edge and effective natural treatments for arthritis, I
also handed you a step-by-step 30-day program. I dont want you to close this book and go back to sitting on the
couch with a bag of chips and a bottle of Tylenol. I want you to commit to the 30-day plan. If youre like most
people, it wont take 30 days for you to find relief. Especially if trigger foods are the root cause of your pain, you
may get better in a matter of days.
Regardless, I encourage you to continue with the 30-day program to the finish line. That way, youll suppress
inflammation to the point where it wont come back and bite you in the butt when you least expect it.
I can guarantee that at the end of the 30 days, not only will your arthritis completely vanish, but youll likely feel
more energetic and happier than you have in years.
Its my sincere hope that this book has not only changes your perspective on arthritis, but your entire life as well.
From my friends in Asia and I, heres to an arthritis-free life.
Warmly,
Shelly Manning
79

Blue Heron Health Guide to Heal


Arthritis 21-Day Plan
Day 1: Find the type of arthritis that you have. Fill out the questionnaire on page 11 to find out which
class of arthritis that you have. If youre like many others, youre not sure which type of arthritis youre
struggling with mostly because doctors dont take the time to differentiate between them. Its important
to know which arthritis that you have because certain nutrients and approaches are especially beneficial
to certain types of arthritis.
Day 2: Calculate your inflammation score on page21. No matter what type of arthritis you have,
the root cause is the same: inflammation. For some, their inflammation is a raging inferno inside of
their body leading to dozens of potential health issues. Your inflammation score lets you know how
aggressive you should be towards reducing your inflammation through the strategies discussed in this
book.
Day 3: Record everything you eat. Even if you think that you know what youre eating, its impossible
to keep track of every morsel that enters your mouth. Thats why I recommend recording everything
you tend to eat. Once youve done this, you can identify potential trigger foods that either cause your
arthritis pain or make it worse.
Day 4: Record everything you eat.
Days 5-7: Start the caveman elimination diet as described on page 27. Low level allergies are an
extremely common, yet little known, root cause of arthritis. Allergic reactions can make your immune
system go haywire shooting inflammation levels skyward. The caveman elimination diet tosses out the
top 9 trigger foods as well as many of the processed foods that contain trigger foods. Essentially, you eat
like a caveman for three full days and note whether your symptoms improve. If they do, you know that
allergies cause or contribute to your arthritis.
Day 8: Eat fish 3 times per week or take flaxseed supplement. Omega-3 fats are more powerful than
any anti-inflammatory created by man. These special fats slow down the production of cells that ramp
up inflammation and promote the production of anti-inflammatory cells. EPA and DHA, the omega-3s
in fish are especially powerful. However, if fish isnt your thing, you can take fish oil capsules or flaxseeds
which are nearly as good as fish.
Day 9: Add fresh, unprocessed plant-based omega-3 sources to your diet. For an omega-3 boost,
start eating plant sources of omega-3 fats. Plant sources of omega 3s help balance out the out of whack
omega-3/omega-6 fat ratio that most Americans have. By eating more plant omega-3s, youll reduce
painful inflammation caused by your fat intake.
Day 10: Choose 3 antioxidant-rich fruits and veggies from the list of 20 and start eating them every
day. Nearly all fresh fruits and vegetables are great sources of antioxidants special nutrients that reduce
oxidation and inflammation. However, there are 20 in particular which stand above the rest in terms of
antioxidant quantity and quality. Along with a produce-rich diet, eat 3 of these foods everyday.
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Day 11: Pick 2 superfoods to eat every day. Antioxidants are great, but they may not be enough. Thats
why I included a thorough list of superfoods that have lots of antioxidants, plus a special nutrient or
compound for knocking out arthritis. After reading them over and considering the pros and cons,
choose two of your favorites to include in your diet everyday.
Day 12: Take vitamin D according to the dosage given at end of chapter 7. Because we spend so much
time indoors, we miss out on one of the most important vitamins: vitamin D. Scientists know that low
levels of vitamin D dramatically increase inflammation and arthritis risk. Fortunately, vitamin D is fairly
easy to get enough of. Spend time in the sun, take supplements, and eat foods rich in vitamin D. As I
touched on in page 35, replenishing vitamin D is often enough to completely cure arthritis.
Day 13: Find a high quality multivitamin and start taking it with breakfast daily. To fight infections,
arthritis, and keep arthritis under wraps, your body needs literally dozens of nutrients. A healthy diet
(like the Blue Heron Diet For Curing Arthritis) goes a long way towards reaching your nutrient needs,
but it doesnt hurt to have a little boost in the form of a high quality multivitamin. Its dirt cheap, has a
broad spectrum of nutrients, and generally covers your bases in terms of nagging vitamin deficiencies
thats making your arthritis worse.
Day 14: Take vitamin C and E, in supplement or food form. Vitamin C and E are a powerful
antioxidant tag team. Oxidation, if left unchecked, can make your joints flare up in unbelievable
pain. These two vitamins are powerful oxidation-fighters that have the unique ability to knock out
free radicals. Even better, vitamin C is a crucial component of connective tissue that can help repair
damaged joints. If you have RA: take a B complex vitamin. Scientists arent sure how it works, but B
complex vitamins have been an effective treatment for RA for centuries. A B-complex vitamin, along
with a diet full of vitamin B rich foods, is a must for people with RA.
Day 15: Record your height and weight. Use these numbers to calculate your BMI. Every extra pound
on your body increases your chances of both OA and RA. The weight itself puts extra strain and stress
on your joints, and body fat boosts inflammation levels. Studies show that losing weight improves
arthritis symptoms and quality of life.
Day 16: Set 5 specific, actionable weight loss goals that youll stick to. Losing weight isnt easy.
However, setting goals is one thing that definitely makes it easier. Instead of vague goals that dont stick,
set actionable goals that can be tracked and measured. Research shows that these types of goals improve
weight loss results while dieting.
Day 17: Set up a tracking system for your progress, whether its weighing yourself regularly, or
measuring your waist. Knowing where youre going is a must for any journey losing weight is no
exception. Therefore I strongly recommend that you keep track of your weight as you go along. This can
also be a powerful for of motivation. Imagine the feeling of stepping on your scaleonly to see yourself
5 or 7 pounds lighter because of your hard work.
Day 18: Start your range of motion and strength training exercises today. People who exercise
regularly rarely get arthritis. And for those already with arthritis, exercising has a laundry list of benefits.
First, it reduces inflammation the underlying cause of arthritis. Also, exercising can improve your

81

strength so that you can go about your day with less pain.
Day 19: Walk today for as long as you can without pain. Continue to increase your walking time
everyday. Walking is an ideal form of exercise for people with arthritis. Its easy, doesnt require any
equipment, and can fit into any schedule. Walking helps strengthen your legs and cardiovascular system
prepping you for more intense forms of exercise that can push arthritis over the edge.
Day 20: Attend a yoga or tai chi class, or do a DVD. Yoga and Tai Chi are two superstars in the world
of arthritis relief. Because theyre relatively easy to do and light in your sensitive joints, these two ancient
forms of exercise should be made part of your new anti-arthritis exercise routine.
Day 21: Make an appointment and attend 1 session of complementary medicine for arthritis.
Also, be sure to celebrate! Youve made it through the entire program and you should not be pain free.
However, if youre one of the few who arent completely cured after 21 days, dont fret. Im sure youve
seen some progress already. For one reason or another, your arthritis just needs more time to heal.
Make sure to stoically move forward with the progress youve made and sit tight, because as long as you
continue, relief will come.

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