My family has a long history of osteo-arthritis and unquestionably a I have inherited a tendency towards it. It first manifested itself after a cycling holiday when I was 16:the knee joints swelled and subsequently stiffened, and never regained their original suppleness even though the swelling and pain subsided. The problem recurred when I had children. The knee joints were making such a grating sound whenever I bent then that I was sent for X-rays which confirmed that the joint linings had almost completely eroded away. I was given heat treatment and pills, neither of which I persisted with. The pills made me feel like a zombie and the heat treatment was not worth the day long journey into Harrogate hospital for 10 minutes under a ray lamp. I was taught exercises to do which I persisted with for a long time. I also used “Niagra” heat vibrator loaned to me by Relative but it did nothing to ease my condition.
I have to say that throughout this period, some 18 years, my general health was not good. I cooked and ate what my family wanted, heavily dominated by meat (bacon every morning, meat meal at night). I myself felt very run-down and fortified myself throughout the day with countless cups of tea. I did not smoke or drink alcohol, but my health and did not improve. I had a very troublesome chest (I had had whooping cough as a child) and barked my way through every winter. My sleeping pattern was very poor and I suffered from bouts of eczema and hay fever (these last two still happen).
Another severe attack of ARTHRITIS in my knees had the unexpected benefit of recommendation from a friend to go and see Leslie Harrison in York. Leslie Harrison considered my case for a carefully and then put me under the care of his assistant Richard Murrell. I began the process of detoxification recommended, i e I became vegetarian, cut out tea and coffee, reduce gradually my protein intake until it reached “wartime rations”. This was level advised by Nature Cure for arthritis sufferers who will in their view a largely victims of protein overdose. By intake of raw food increased proportionately-salad, fruit, nuts and dried fruits of became (and still are) a major part of my diet.
Alongside the diet I commenced the Hydrotherapy: the hot and cold splashes, the cold waist compress etc. The waist compresses were with me for a very long time, but now I need them only rarely. The hot and cold splashes I still turn to when ever any trouble threatens (and not just a arthritic). Richard (and Leslie) warned me and to expect “healing crisis”. After so many years of poor health, my body, now cleansed of some of its impurities would have a massive “spring-clean”. This happened quite dramatically. I was forced to take to my bed, where I lay in a state of fever and shivering while that my knees swelled up like balloons and throbbed with agonising pain. Had I not had the healing crisis explained to me, and known what to expect it, it would have encouraged me to think that Nature Cure had only succeeded in making me much more ill than I was before. But in the event the crisis passed. I fasted throughout it, drinking water, and compressed and hot and cold splashed both for the duration and for some days after it. It lasted roughly four days. On the 5th day I could get up and eat some melon. I found I was in fact much better than I had been for a long time. My joints were much more supple, the pain went away. My general health was hugely improved and improving. Over the next months and years of I rediscovered the joys of walking up to four to five miles, not fast or strenuous but hugely enjoyable. I begin to ride a bicycle short distances. Over next year my winter cough disappeared, my skin and hair condition revitalised. I am very rarely now experience a cold sore or spot.
However the story was not over yet (probably never will be!). With the onset of menopause my metabolism began to be upset again. I became troubled by migraines, thrush, cystitis. I returned to see Leslie Harrison. Leslie explained that the menopause deprives the body of one of its major cleansing operations, and that it was having difficulty coping with the extra load of toxic waste.
My diet was again heavily simplified compressing began again. At this point I compounded all my problems by falling down some stairs and twisting my knees underneath me when I landed. Both knees, (but particularly the right one) swelled up again like balloons, yellow and green once this time, and I was grounded in bed and shivering with fever and terrible pain. This self-induced healing crisis did not pass as quickly as the first. I was actually pretty ill with it and the after-effects lasted nearly two years. I became very thin and my muscles wasted considerably. I was on crutches for some months and then used a stick which I still now use. I became quite anaemic and could only manage small amounts of effort before breaking into a sweat and feeling giddy and faint.
Leslie and now retired and I became an still am a patient of Atul Shah gradually under his guidance I have returned to health. I realise I will never run or jump, but I walk with a stick and can manage three miles. I can ride the bicycle to the station and back (four miles). I swim 20 lengths every Sunday morning. I still seem proof against winter coughs. I’m no longer anemic and my blood pressure (So Atul tells me) is in excellent shape. Best of all I am free of pain, as though condition is burnt-out. Contemporaries of mine tell me how they’re going for “the operation”. “Oh I can’t wait”, they say “to be free of this pain!” I say nothing. I am keeping hold of my own knees, misshapen as they are, and I’m in no pain. Throughout my entire time with Nature Cure (since 1983) I had never taken a pill or medicine even at the extreme of the pain. And I’m sure as a result I have healed the faster and the more permanently.
I don’t pretend I don’t have any problems. I still get eczema and hay fever attacks as I said earlier. My back gives me problems and Atul manipulates it and keeps it straight. I am occasionally blighted by cystitis and have to go on a fast of water and melon and feel awful for two or three days and wonder-is it worth it? I do get depressed. But it passes and I know then that I am stronger for it. It is hard to have faith in the power of water and your own body to heal you from serious pain and illness, but perhaps this testament may encourage others and help them as I have been helped.
L.H. N Yorks