RJ began experiencing symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis (UC) in his twenties. He would wake up in excruciating pain that he described as the feeling of “being shot in the gut by a shotgun.” Then an immediate urge for bathroom, which mostly resulted in bloody stool/diarrhea. In a given day, this sequence would take place 10-20 times! Yikes. You can imagine the fear that came from just having to leave the house.
RJ took many trips to doctors’ offices, all confirming a diagnosis of Ulcerative Colitis. UC is an autoimmune disease characterized by inflammation of the colon (large intestine), developing ulcers, or open sores, that produce pus and mucous. After the diagnosis, came the prescription meds, expensive and never-ending, and with side effects like potential kidney damage. The doctors told him that he would now be at greater risk for colon cancer, or in need of surgery to remove part of the colon and use a colostomy bag. Go ahead and google “colostomy bag.”
Things continued on as usual after this, with RJ experiencing nausea, lethargy, anemia and irritability. He then decided he had had enough. Like others we have shared about, RJ took matters into his own hands. He started with research. He began taking probiotics, slippery elm, calcium, magnesium, Vit D and enemas. Still no answer. Next, he went extreme: he became a Doctor of Chinese Medicine. WOW! That’s motivation. With his newfound knowledge, he went on a journey to heal himself with: food, acupuncture, Chinese herbs and ZhiNeng QiGong.
Food-He tried it all, Paleo, Ketogenic, gluten/dairy/sugar/alcohol/nightshade free, vegetarian. After trial and error, he knew one thing: he needed to balance his gut bacteria. He ate ORGANIC (pesticides and herbicides destroy the good bacteria in your gut) plants and grass-fed animals. He believes that protein, especially animal protein, is crucial for cellular repair, but should be eaten in small quantities. He made sure all food was cooked, not raw, making the food easier to digest and causing less irritation of the gut. He states that when food is more easily digested, it can be better used for repair and healing. RJ cut out all vegetable oil and began cooking with healthy fats such as Coconut oil, Ghee and olive oil (He suggests using ORGANIC EVOO only when cooking on low temperatures or as a dressing). RJ emphasizes the importance of restoring your gut bacteria through fermented foods such as sauerkraut. He encourages to start small on this!
Acupuncture- According to RJ, acupuncture works by stimulating the Central Nervous System, sending nerve impulses to the effected area of the body, increasing blood flow and nutrition to the targeted area. This leads to healing and repair. Acupuncture helped RJ with pain and discomfort, as well as reducing the bathroom urgencies and frequency.
Chinese Herbs- Being a doctor of Chinese medicine, RJ concocted a particular formula to treat his own UC (It is advised that you see a specialist if you are interested in this treatment).
ZhiNeng QiGong- QiGong, a Chinese method of exercise and breathing, played a key role in helping RJ heal. From this, he was able to get off all prescription medication and go into remission. He would still have the occasional flare, signaling that there was another piece of the puzzle (the areas listed above).
RJ now runs his own practice in New South Wales, Australia. You can check out his work here: http://www.taoistacupuncture.com/