HS57 Arthritis And Rheumatism


We are placing these two problems together because the approach for self-healing is quite similar. Much of the information concerning diet and fasting here comes from the research done by Paavo Airola on this subject as presented in his book How to Get Well.

What people who suffer from the various forms of arthritis must realize is that there is much more they can do for themselves then they believe. Unfortunately many are told that they will have to live with pain and that there is no cure. There are, however, many natural means through which these people can live a painless and productive life. Exercise and proper diet are the basis of this method self-maintenance.

It has been proven in many scientific studies that proper exercises can enable a person with arthritis or rheumatism to live a completely natural life and in most cases, without pain.


1. Hereditary tendency. 2. Toxins in diet which accumulate in the muscles and joints. 3. Constipation or inefficient removal of toxins. 4. Bruise or irritation of a joint or muscles. 5. Humidity and cold. 6. Lack of exercise. 7. Over movement of a part of the body. 8. Suppressed emotions. 9. Hormonal disturbances – especially adrenals and thyroid.


1. Drink plenty of water; 6 to 8 cups a day. A little lemon added to the water aids in detoxification. Or you can make a broth by boiling barley in water and drinking the broth throughout the day. (One cup of barley in six cups of water).

2. Be careful to avoid meat, fish, poultry, cheese, bread, salt, white flour and white sugar. Some may have to avoid milk and milk products as well as wheat. Others can tolerate them. Goat’s milk is better and even healing.

3. All fresh vegetables and fruits are good. Especially beneficial are alfalfa (as sprouts or in capsules), watercress, potatoes, sweet potatoes, celery, parsley, and garlic. Among the beneficial fruit are sour cherries and sour apples and grapefruit.

4. Wheat products are best avoided. You can get your proteins and starches from vrious vegetables and goat’s milk, brown rice, millet and various seeds such as sesame, sunflower, pumpkin (not too many) and mung beans. Milk and cheese can also be made from soybeans.

5. Fasting is much advocated by Airola for removing salt build up in the body. The goal is to make the blood alkaline and have plenty of fluids flowing through the body. Fasting can be done with green juice made from wheat grass and other green leafy vegetables, or with juices from cherries or potatoes, or with barley broth of vegetable both or with vegetables such as carrots, celery, and beets (with the tops). During any of these fasts, you should drink plenty of water. Read the section on fasting and do not more than three days of fasting without the okay from your doctor.

6. Raw Potato Therapy is a traditional cure in many parts of the world. Cut a potato in thin slices and place them in a glass of water overnight. The following morning drink the water on an empty stomach. Or cut a potato into small sections and put them in a glass adding water. Make them into a puree with a blender and then drink this solution in the morning on an empty stomach.

7. The following food supplements are suggested by Airola: Bromelain (a pineapple enzyme), C. Potassium, Dolomite and B6.

8. Castor oil compresses can be applied to painful areas to stimulate the proper blood flow and relieve the pain (No. 74). This should not be done when the area is in a state of inflammation.

9. Sunlight and a dry climate are recommended, whenever possible.

10. Hot water or hot wax baths for the area which is affected can do much to stimulate blood flow which is both pain relieving and detoxifying; especially if your diet is pure and are drinking alkaline juices or the potato juice.

11. Movement is absolutely essential. Here the saying «Use it or lose it» applies well. When you allow your stiffness to stop you from moving, it will just get more stiff. You MUST exercise; especially the parts of your body which are affected. Walk, run, dance, swim, work in the garden, play a musical instrument, cook, clean, do anything which makes you feel happy and creative. Be cautious, however, not to over do it. When an area is highly inflamed, do not over work it. Make gentle movements, and gradually as the days pass increase your repetitions and extent of each movement as your body becomes more flexible and you fee less pain.

12. Shiatsu massage can be useful in relieving the pain and tension which builds up.

13. Reflexology can help accelerate the process of detoxification and build up your hormonal harmony.

14. Spiritual Healing can relieve pain and help to calm the mental and emotional factors involved.

15. Physiotherapy is beneficial in almost all cases.

16. Accupunture can work as an essential removing the pain for a period of time.

17. Some may find help through homeopathy.

18. You will do well to consider any of the emotional factors which may be at the root of this problem; such as suppressed emotions or feelings or resentment or pessimism. Work on them through the section on attitude changes in this book. Get involved with group of people or a seminar on this subject. Understand your real feelings and learn to express them.


The following techniques are designed to: 1. Bring blood to the affected areas and also insure blood removal from them. 2. Improve elimination of toxins by stimulating the kidneys, liver, intestines, and lungs. 3. Free the spinal nerves connected to all organs concerned. 4. Revitalize the adrenals, so that they may excrete sufficient cortisone.

The exercises which are most beneficial for each will depend on the where his problems are and what the cause of his problem is. If constipation is involved then be sure to remedy that situation. Here we will give one series for the neck and upper part of the body and one series for the lower part of the body.

It must be understood that these exercises are suggested for those who are able to do them without forcing or feeling too much pain. If you have any problem doing any of them, do only those which come easy and consult a yoga teacher or physiotherapist concerning what movements you can do so as to prepare your body slowly for those exercises which you now find difficult.

For Neck and Upper Part of Body


Head Rolls (5R, 5L) No. 31

2. Swing (20T) No. 1

3. Back & Forth St. (3T) No. 20 below)

4. Cat (7T) No. 8

Prayer Position (5L) No. 37

Balloon Breath (1:1:1:1) No. 65 Relaxation


7. Head Rolls (5R, 5L) No. 31 Other head movements (see comments

Salutation to Earth (3T) No. 93

9. 1/2 Shoulder Stand (with series 3 & 4) (20L) No. 29

10. Deep relaxation

For the Shoulders, Arms and Fingers

Same as the above exercises, but you must add various movements for the shoulders, elbows, wrists and fingers throughout the day. These movements are especially beneficial when done in the 1/2 shoulder stand as the area is being supplied with extra blood. You can make all kinds of movements to the side and back and forth with all the joints involved, make also circular motions with all the joints. Be creative and sensitive to your body’s needs and to what relieves as you create your own movements in this position. Movements of the fingers can also be done in a basin with hot water or hot wax.

Exercise No. 9 above calls for «other head movements». You can bend your head downwards and then backwards; then turn it to the right and then to the left. Bend it to the right and then to the left bringing the ear towards the shoulder. All these movements can be made 3 to 5 times.

For the Hips, Knees, Ankles ad Toes

A special note on knee problems. The knees must not be forced in any exercise. Avoid especially sitting in the lotus or cross legged position. The knee needs movement but not pressure or force.


Swing (20 to 40 T) No. 1

Cat (7T) No. 8

3. Salutation to Earth (3T) No. 43

4. Cobra with turning (3R, 3L) No. 23

5. Leg lifts (3R,3L,3B) No. 6 (20 L) No. 29

6. Rotating Legs (3R, 3L) (see below)

7. Wind Relieving Post. (3R, 3L, 3B) No. 4

8. Bicycling on Back (20 to 50 T)

9. Balloon Breath (1:1:1:1) No. 65

Deep relaxation


Cat (7T) No. 8

12. Wind Relieving Posture (3R,3R,3B) No. 4

Torsion (3LR, 3LL) No. 41

14 1/2 Shoulder Stand (with series 1,3 & 4)

15 Deep relaxation


1. The cat, leg lifts, wind relieving posture, and breathing techniques can be done with the balloon breath for the first three months. Then you can switch to exhaling from the nose. The balloon breath as a breathing exercise can be changed to alternate breathing or simply complete breathing with exhalation now through the nose.

2. As you proceed in the cat, you can eventually add the movement of the leg back and forward and under as explained in the description of this exercise.

3. The leg lifts can be made with the knees bent in the beginning if it is difficult with them straight.

4. The morning rotations can be made lying on the back or in the 1/2 shoulder stand; whatever you prefer (this applies also to the bicycling). Rotate your legs one leg at a time making circles from the hips in one direction and then in the other. Then do the same with the other leg in both directions. Breathe in any way you are comfortable, but try to synchronize the breath with the movement in some way.

5. If a part of the body is inflamed, then exercise the other parts of the body until that part calms down.

6. The 1/2 shoulder stand is extremely important and all the aspects of the three series suggested should be done with care.

7. When the legs are considerably better, you can proceed on to the exercises given for the leg joints various Yoga books Be careful, especially if you have problems with your knees.

8. The deep relaxation is as important as the exercises. It can be done in the ordinary position or in the 1/2 shoulder stand. Imagine light penetrating and healing the areas of the body which are affected. Imagine your self healed, moving freely without stiffness, without pain. Imagine your self running, dancing, doing whatever makes you happy. This visualization will have very significant results, if performed every day.

9. Later you can add exercises like the 1/2 fish, forward stretch, cobra, salutation to the earth and others.


Pain or stiffness or lack of movement in the shoulders is usually a result of arthritis or rheumatism. Thus we will refer you to the section on arthritis and specifically the guidelines and exercises for the upper part of the body.

In employing those exercises be aware of these points.

1. While exercise is absolutely necessary, overdoing it can cause a worsening of the problem. You can overdo it in two ways. One is to force the shoulder or arm beyond its present limit of movement. The second is to make too many repetitions of a movement so as to aggravate an inflammation. You must exercise daily, but you must also respect your limits of movement and repetition. Work slowly increasing the extent of the movement and the number of repetitions. Soon your shoulder will be much better.

2. Get the blood flowing also with other means such as heat and massage. Reflexology is especially effective in freeing up the shoulder, because it can get the blood flowing there without irritating the area at all, since we work with the reflex points on the bottom of the foot. Learn where this point is from and experienced reflexologist and then continue on your own with the help of a foot roller or bottle.

3. Eat a pure diet and drink plenty of water to help remove the salt build up.

4. Start out with the exercises which you can do easily. Gradually move on to those which are more difficult, making each movement only to the point where you feel pain or resistance. The next day work again to that point. Gradually you will be able to do all the suggested exercises.

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