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Posted Jun 10 2009 12:00am

According to Wikipedia ,”Healing, assessed physically, is the process by which the cells in the body regenerate and repair to reduce the size of a damaged or necrotic area.”

I see three sources of healing…medicine, diet/nutrition, and spiritual.

There are days when I can feel dramatically different. On those good days, I still suffer from joint pain and stiffness but it is much less than during bad flares. I attribute most of this to Enbrel because I always feel much better the day I inject the medicine. I can literally feel the healing. In addition to my own case, clinical evidence over 15 plus years shows that Enbrel positively impacts about 70% of RA sufferers.

While I believe that it’s important, it’s much harder to pinpoint the effects of diet and nutrition. I try to be active (this is harder lately), eat well and I supplement with a variety of things such as fish oil, flax seed, and vitamins E and D. I’m sure that these help because they are linked to inflammation reduction and joint health. But I can be quite leery of various claims all over the internet about natural healing of RA. My scientific background causes me to demand clinical evidence. Seattle, where I live, is home to a famous naturopathic training center and clinic. I have yet to go there because of the lack of evidence. But I always leave my options open.

I do believe in spiritual healing for two primary reasons. I read about it in the bible and I’ve seen it happen. There’s also some clinical evidence over the past 20 or so years. I avoid hyped versions of “healing ministries” such as name and claim it, dramatized TV preachers, and the such. But I can cite several instances throughout my life when I’ve seen people be healed through prayer either immediately or over time (e.g. stroke, diabetes, sarcoma tumor). I don’t get too worked up over it or make it the center of my beliefs. Not everyone prayed for gets healed. But it is clear that healing is part of the redemptive nature of Jesus’ work. As in the Lord’s prayer…”your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” I’m pretty sure that there’s no sickness in heaven and Jesus spent considerable time healing people as evidence that God’s kingdom was present. It’s a sign of God’s compassion on people’s suffering. The bottom line is that healing is God’s will.

That leads to my own condition with RA. Being diagnosed in and of itself is a long process that often brings mental anguish. There are often more questions than answers. I can say that I’ve learned to trust God more than just about anyother time during the past 4 years of symptoms and 6 months of diagnosis. I find a great amount of mental peace in my relationship with God and through his words in the bible. Apart from that, I’ve been prayed for numerous times over the past few months by a variety of friends from church. I can’t directly say that anything has happened but I still have hope. I know that God’s kingdom will come on earth as it is in heaven.  I may be healed through medicine, diet, prayer, or a combination. Healing may come now, later in life, or when I go to be with him. It doesn’t trip me up either way…I’ll take it anyway I can get it!

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