I have been to Bikram the last 4 days in a row and the warmth in that studio is enough to temporarily make me forget how cold it is outside.  I run from my car to the studio to avoid the crisp air and then sprint from the studio back to car to really avoid the deadly cold. I wish I could bottle up the warmth I feel in the Bikram studio and use is it as I need it throughout the day.  In general my body temperature runs warm and layer for even added warmth benefits but when I hit the outside temperatures my body temp drops fast and once I get cold it is hard to warm back up.  I used daily bikram last winter to combat that cold feeling and hoping that I find enough time each day to do the same thing this winter.

Raynaud’s is my biggest MCTD symptom and I am considered having a severe case as my fingers are purple most of the time.  They no longer turn white and very rarely do they even tingle but they seem to be permanently discolored a purple tint.  My toes are the exact same way.  They do start to turn pink again the Bikram studio but it happens after I have been in there for a bit of time.  I was listening to a podcast that I generally like but someone said what are the ways to relieve Raynaud’s and the answer was daily exercise. If it was that easy I would be cured.  I realize that exercise helps with many things and someone might actually see and feel some benefits regarding Raynaud’ s by incorporating daily exercise, but I have been exercising every day without fail for many years and I’m not where cured.  Also, there is more than just changing diet as well for me and my Raynaud’s.  I do feel grateful that I don’t have to take daily medication in the form of a blood pressure pill to help my Raynaud’s and that there are other things I can take like Niacin or exercise or use Bikram instead.  Bikram helps with so many things for me especially my mental clarity.


6 thoughts on “4 DAYS OF BIKRAM

  1. Phoenix Health Coaching January 22, 2013 at 3:20 pm Reply

    Hi there… I started following your blog recently as I, too, have been diagnosed with MCTD. I am starting to realize that everyone’s paths and symptoms are different. But, I also have Raynaud’s and it is very frustrating. I also am an athlete and have realized that this issue has placed certain limitations on me. I accept that. I am wondering how you eat? Are you on an anti-inflammatory diet? I just quit teaching English to 8th graders in Las Vegas because the stress of that job caused me to flare and after 17 years, it just wasn’t worth it. I’ve started nutrition school through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition because I believe it will be the key to my success…. Do you feel that nutrition staves off your flares? Besides stress, I can’t seem to figure out what causes me to flare… It drives me nuts. My last flare was Dec. 22-24. I finally had to break down & take prednisone, but I REALLY don’t want to do that. Have you found out anything that works for you??

    I also started a blog recently. I have only one post, but I found yours so comforting…


    • mevsmctd January 22, 2013 at 5:23 pm Reply

      Good question on the triggers. I’ll give a brief history of my situation to kind of help you understand my journey. I was diagnosed in 2003 and would have multiple flares a month but they were quick. In 2005 I started a daily journal and each entry starts the same way for me “Today is _ number of days without flare” There was a time when I hit 90 days without a flare and knew that I could go long periods without flare but I had to really start paying attention to everything that was happening in my body. This past year I went a total of 197 days without a flare but ended up causing a flare due to being in cold temps too long so I had a temperature induced flare. I have realized that I can go long periods without a flare but I have to really keep my stress in check, sleep well night after night, do some sort of exercise every single day even if it just means walking. I changed my diet in June and got strict in Sept with cutting out grains, legumes, most dairy other than butter and some organic cheese, and nightshades. My diet is protein, good fats, vegetables and fruit and I do add nuts and seeds. There is an autoimmune protocol that eliminates everything above along with eggs, nuts, seeds, and all dairy. I haven’t experimented with the autoimmune protocol yet but I do see it in my future.

      I use physical therapy as a type of alternative medicine as well as my yoga and especially Bikram. I do take medications daily and yes have taken prednisone for the last 10 years but I’m also able to do what I want most days so I call my medications “management” you are right when you say we are all different even though our diagnosis name is the same. Our journeys are different and our solutions are different. I wish you well in your journey and hope you find some ways to lengthen the time between flares for yourself.

  2. It’s great that you do Bikram’s yoga. My husband and I did it a few years ago at home, although it was hard to get the house hot enough. There were a few poses that I couldn’t really do.

    • mevsmctd January 22, 2013 at 7:46 pm Reply

      I too have tried Bikram at home but part of what makes the practice so great is the heat and humidity. My body doesn’t naturally get into those poses without being warm so a home practice of bikram didn’t work fo rme. A home practice of vinyasa works really well however.

  3. Phoenix Health Coaching January 27, 2013 at 3:25 pm Reply

    That’s great info. Thanks so much for your response. I’ve somehow thrown myself into another flare, going 33 days this time. The problem is, I am on medical leave from teaching and now I don’t have the ability to go to the doc. I have a little bit of Prednisone left, maybe 3-4 flares left 😦 and I am feeling a bit stressed…

    I just wanted to ask you… What have you learned that causes your flares? I have noticed stress… that’s really the only one I can identify for sure… but above you mentioned cold (the temp here is SC just dropped drastically) food, lack of sleep… What else have you noticed as I have only had this maybe a year…

    I recently read a book called The Autoimmune Epidemic… very interesting in looking at possible causes (written by a journalist who suffers from one herself) and she mentioned that most of them are environmentally triggered. I suspect mine came after having 2 mercury fillings removed from my mouth improperly (without adequate protection). I watched a documentary called A Beautiful Truth (on Netflix if you’re interested) that said in minute 21… 63% of all persons who have their amalgam fillings removed incorrectly end up with an autoimmune within 6 months. Mine were removed in January and I was in the cardiac ICU in April… Crazy, huh? I think in addition to other chemicals & pesticides as well as vaccinations I had to have in July 2010 that I took before volunteering in the Galapagos for a month- it just tipped my system over the edge- Do you have any suspicions as to what has caused yours?

    I have been studying relentlessly about how to correct this as much of the research I have done suggests that it can be corrected… I am particularly interested in the work of Dr. Mark Hyman (he has a wonderful website chock full of information that sincerely has changed my life)… I would like to go see him, but his clinic is in Mass. & I don’t have the $ right now. I went from being a very successful teacher (extremely high stress teaching middle school English in Las Vegas) to no income at all… & it’s just not in the cards for me right now. Being in the south right now (I followed my Love-active duty military- to Ft. Jackson-South Carolina until the 9 month deployment in May…I’m here. This place does not have very many alternative holistic health type of people…

    I have chosen to not go on daily meds, at the moment. Plaquenil’s side affects sound horrible… I don’t want the Prednisone unless I really need it. Besides the sleep, diet, stress & cold you mentioned above… once you’re flaring, have you found anything that will bring your flare down? Or, maybe better worded, in your experience, what will bring your flare down? You mentioned no grains or legumes… I was surprised to read that. What impact have you noticed on your system without those?

    In the new year, I started an all raw diet/juice fast… now the flare… can help but wonder if the two are related.

    Thanks for your time,


    • mevsmctd January 27, 2013 at 10:31 pm Reply

      I’m glad you are keeping track of your flares it will actually start to show you some triggers. I haven’t been able to pinpoint the cause of flares unless it was obvious stress or the cold was a trip to a football game and sitting in 20 degree whether for 4 hours that was my last flare. When I get a sore throat, or my hair feels weird or I’m way over tired and can’t snap out of it I know I’m on the verge and I usually just make sure I eat extra well that day, nap if I can and just use those days for walking nothing strenuous. I use to do many hours of exercise but I was really just stressing the body and causing flares. The gluten free diet came as a recommendation from my PT several years ago but the problem back then was I would eat the same things just gluten free varities. That doesn’t work for me, I actually need to be more strict with no processed foods and honestly I have never felt stronger.
      I love peppers very much but they are nightshade and I cut them out. I tried eating a sweet red pepper recently and my hands starting hurting really bad. Was it is the pepper or is it the fact that we are zero degrees her in Maine? Both probably.

      I truly believe most of my success has just come from living with this for so long that I’m capable of managing it instead of just fixing symptoms at this point. I take my meds daily, plaquenil, prednisone, mobic and have for 10 years. I don’t like meds but the thought of not being able to live my life the way I want is not an option either. I’m starting to decrease meds in the hopes of coming off of them some day but not at the sacrifices of missing out on days with my newphew. My goals is for him to always know a strong, healthy, lively auntie!!

      Keep counting your flare-free days and give yourself a rest when you feel one coming on. They wil come on but the duration may become more infrequent.

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