Today’s guest shows how it is possible to come off medications and live a great life in a very short time with the Paddison Program for Rheumatoid Arthritis.

We discuss in this interview:

  • Bassima’s first diagnosis after a severe case of COVID
  • How methotrexate proved ineffective and she was put on Arava, that she then gradually tapered down
  • Her discovery of the Paddison Program through another successful member
  • Drastic changes to diet with immediate results
  • The many ways pain can impact our lifestyle
  • Finding familiar tastes in the new diet
  • Getting rid of old habits
  • Upper body exercises
  • Developing the right mindset

Clint – Today we have a very happy, smiley woman all the way from Jordan, and she is going to share with us a transformation with her rheumatoid arthritis. She has been through a lot in a short period of time, but wow, what an outcome. She’s not taking any medications now. And I have a lot of excitement to share this interview with you. Let’s get stuck into it with Bassima from Jordan. How are you?

Bassima – I’m good. I’m feeling great.

Clint – Well give us an update or give us a sort of a that was then, and this is now. A quick snippet of how far you’ve come.

Bassima – Okay. Um, when all of this started, I was really in so much pain. It started after a severe case of Covid, and all my joints were achy. I couldn’t walk, uh, even walking the dog in the street like I have a Labrador, I have to walk him every day. I could barely walk. The smallest, let’s say, step would take immense effort. I have stairs in my house, and I could not go up the stairs, I was dragging myself up and down, and going to the doctors, but they all thought it was long Covid, it took five months to be diagnosed until I went to this doctor and she said, why? Why are you in so much pain? I was then on medication already on, um, cortisone, steroids. And now, after a year and one month on the program, I’m off all medications. I’m so happy.

Clint – Now, Bassima means you said smiley girl. Is that correct?

Bassima – That is, and it brought the smile back to my face. I tell you, I was dragging myself. You know, I’m a very, uh, fit lady. You know, I’m strong. I’ve been doing yoga for the longest time, and I couldn’t sit cross-legged. That was just awful for me.

Clint – Wow. Now, which drugs will you put on besides the steroids? Because you would have been put on some kind of rheumatoid arthritis medication, right?

Bassima – When I was properly diagnosed, I was put on methotrexate. And, um, I was taking that every day. But with the blood test, it shows that my body was not agreeing with it. It was messing up my liver functions, and we had to wean me off of that. And then I took a Arava, and I’ve been on that until last month.

Clint – And did you taper the Arava down or did the rheumatologist decide just to abruptly stop?

Bassima – No, we had to taper it down like I would remove a pill maybe every two weeks or three weeks.

Clint – I see.

Bassima – Until I was like for the last month, I was on two tablets a week. And then she said, that’s almost nothing, just get off of it.

Clint – Yeah, brilliant. Okay. And how do you feel today?

Bassima – I feel great. Honestly, honestly, I mean, even I don’t even have the urge to, uh, cheat. I was a meat lover, you know, I love meat, I enjoy, okay, I’ve always eaten, uh, healthy. I’ve been healthy, like, no deep fried food. Um, because I do yoga as well. I’m very aware of what I eat, and, um, I have other medical conditions, so, um. Yeah, but, you know, I miss my burger, I miss my shredded steak, you know? But yesterday I went out to dinner with my friends to a sushi bar, and I thought I would cheat, but I stuck to my miso soup and my poke bowl, the veggie. I mean, I was very impressed with myself.

Clint – Well, that is wonderful, congratulations on that. So you mentioned the program before, and every now and then we do these interviews and in the comments below, they’re like, what did she do? What is the program she followed after half the episode in because I’ve made some assumptions that our audience always knows what we’re talking about. What we’re talking about, the Paddison Program for Rheumatoid Arthritis. How did you come about learning about this program? Who introduced you to it, or did you just do a Google search? And then after you tell me about that, what was it like getting started and, and those sort of things?

Bassima – Okay, so when I was still in a lot of pain, I went out and saw a friend of mine and she said, what is wrong with you? You can’t barely walk. And I said, well, this is the story, I told her about the rheumatoid arthritis. And she said, you better get in touch with Dina. Dina is another success story with the Paddison Program, and she’s been on it for, I think, coming up to eight years. And I called Dina up and she said, it’s the Paddison program, just look at it and, um, get in touch with them. And I got the program and I started on it, you know, right after my conversation with Dina. So Dina introduced me to it, and I’ve been in touch with her all along. I update her with my blood results, and like I did, I followed it religiously, everything. But I didn’t do at the beginning, I couldn’t do the cleansing. The first, you know, the juices and all of that, it didn’t agree with me because I take medications for other things, you know. But everything you said in the program, I did the early sleep that I’ve been doing yoga all my life, but I stuck to yoga, although it was really painful at the beginning and the food. You know the combination, the baby spinach, which I didn’t like at the beginning. Everything. Everything.

Clint – So first of all, with Dina, she’s been an amazing advocate of our program. And in fact, she’s kind of the, um, the national ambassador for the Paddison Program in Jordan. She has connected many people, uh, to us. And also she’s helped many people without connecting to us just because people reach out to her from an episode that she, uh, featured on, as you said many years ago here on the podcast. Everyone should watch that episode if they’re interested or want to connect with Dina from that part of the world. So when you started this program, how different was the eating compared to how you were eating before, and how did your body respond in the first few days?

Bassima – I tell you, I’m a meat lover. And I used to have eggs all the time, the hardest was the cheese. I tell I haven’t had an egg in a year and one month. I tell you, I look forward to the day I’m going to break that and have an omelet. And I only had meat once when, okay, our national dish is um, called mansaf, which is lamb, and, uh, some sort of yogurt. And I broke once, I had that only one time, which is, you know, quite amazing for me. But I stuck to the program, I ate everything that you said we should introduce. Like I never used to get papaya or, um, eat a lot of pineapple, occasionally you’d have pineapple or so. And the baby spinach and the. We used to have salads all the time, we have salads on a daily basis, but the first few weeks I just said, okay, I’m going to do this and I’m going to do it religiously. And believe it or not, Clint, I was pain free within five weeks. From someone who could barely get out of bed. I mean, my knees would not respond when I wake up in the morning. I couldn’t get out of bed, I was just in pain. I would go to my yoga class, but I could not do the cross-legged, you know, sukhasana or I would just sit next to the wall barely do anything, you know. But, um, I said, little by little, this is going to be okay. I trust Deena, and I’ve watched all the videos that are online, and I just believed in it, you know? And it took only five weeks, five weeks from immense pain to no pain.

Clint – What impact was the pain having on your life besides struggling to get out of bed? Were there impact on your work, your relationship? Was it impacting, your perception of life itself? I mean, where was your mind during this stage?

Bassima – Okay. Pain messes with you really. I have been through a lot of things in my life. But, you know, um, I’m a teacher. I’m a design teacher, product design teacher. And, you know, holding the tools was difficult. Talking to the kids, not losing my temper, staying calm, it just alters all your life. You know, you wake up in the morning and you just want to look at the sunrise and say, yeah, it’s a beautiful day, but it’s then, okay, not so, you know, with the pain you do you want to be positive, but it’s really hard. And, um, uh, it was difficult, it was very difficult seeing myself, uh, crumble that way. The bare minimum of tasks I could do during the day. At school, I work, um, not at the ground level so I had to go up the stairs, go down to recess, and trying to make jokes out of it, like the students were looking at me and saying, what is wrong with you? And I would say, you know, my knees are not being cooperative, my elbows are just taking the week off. You know, you try to joke about it, but it’s really, really hard. And my daughters don’t live here. And I remember one time they all came back from different places and they looked at me and they were like, oh my God, mom! And with that, I just said, this has to change, I can’t stay like this.

Clint – When you started to feel better. Was that when you came off the steroids, or did the doctor take you off the steroids when you started the Arava?

Bassima – The doctor was scared to take me off the steroids when I was telling her, she said, you started this program and the doctor knows Dina. By the way, she is Dina’s doctor. So she said, but let’s take it easy because you’re so excited. And I was rushing the doctor to get off the meds. You know, I was I just didn’t want to be on medication. And she started reducing the cortisone, you know, the steroids. And I was so, because I was sticking to the program, I didn’t want to change my diet at all, and the results were awesome. And I asked the doctor, please, let’s get off the steroids. And later on I want to get off all medication. She said, don’t think you will get off the medication, you can’t mess with the immune system like that. If you start the medication, you know, it’s a one year thing. And we’ll assess at the one year mark. And I kept watching your videos saying, it’s okay to be on meds, and it’s okay if you’re following the program. It is all right to be on meds as long as you’re feeling good. But I was just so determined, i want to be off meds.

Clint – Yeah.

Bassima – And it worked.

Clint – Would you say that that was the number one thing in your mind? Was that the thing you wanted above all, the thing that was most important to you, which was to come off medication? Was that driving you?

Bassima – Actually, the one thing that was on my mind is I want to be pain free. I don’t want to be in pain. It is just so tough to be in pain day in and day out, day in, day out. You know you start, you can’t enjoy your life like that. And I thought, okay, now I’m pain free in a way, like reduced by the fifth week. I said, okay. And you keep saying to put the goals on the fridge so I would write down the goal like I would, um, you know, my left knee, my right knee. Pay more attention to my shoulders the way I sit or I was practicing my guitar and it was so hard to hold the guitar. You know, the chords, whatever, all of that. I just wanted to be pain free. And when I was pain free, I wanted to be off the meds.

Clint – Yeah. Lovely.

Bassima – And the doctor kept saying you have to reintroduce things. I said, no, not really. Reintroducing brings back the pain. She said, really? I said yes. And believe it or not, I want to tell you one thing. I mean, it was so nice when I went to her. The doctor herself is starting to promote your program with cases that is so hard. She told me that there’s a young patient, she’s only 25 years of age, and, she did not respond well to all medication. Okay. And then the doctor said, you know, you have to go on this program, I give up.

Bassima – It was funny. When she told me the story, I said, I’m going to say it on the interview.

Clint – That’s great to hear, I’m hoping that’ll happen a lot more. When I publish my book, it’ll become much more accessible to everyone. It’s going to be published in multiple languages, and so hopefully we can take a giant leap forward in the worldwide community of medical doctors, rheumatologists and patients together. All be on the same page for what works based on the scientific evidence and of course, all the case studies, just like yourself and everyone before you. I think that that that’ll help the medical community so much because they can say, go and read this book. And it’s just so heavily referenced with the medical literature. You can’t pick a hole in it because every third sentence has a reference to some kind of journal paper that was published. So, um, well, that is really cool. That is really, really cool. When you started to feel better, did you start to sort of. It’s like the story that people say, like, a lot of people don’t want to get rich because they feel that then when they’re rich, they fear that they’re going to lose it all. In the same way did you start to fear that your feeling better would be lost when you started to go further through the food reintroductions, or if a stressful event came your way, or if you started to taper the Arava? Like, to what extent were you afraid of losing the regained health, or did you feel a great deal of confidence and control?

Bassima – I was very confident, you know, it is. You feel it immediately, you know, once you start the program. And I believe me, I have tried many programs before in my life. You name them, I’ve been on them because I have a lot of allergies and they kept, you know, uh. Like ten years ago, a whole lot of food, uh, programs came out like eating right for your blood type and, you know, trying all these things. And I was gluten free for the most of it. Okay? I have gluten free bread. I try to balance the rice with the we we basically here in the Arab world, we eat a lot of rice and bread. Not so much potato, but bread for breakfast for, you know, with cheeses and with Lebanese, which is like, you know, like, uh. This is our daily breakfast and dinner, and mainly lunch has rice. I’ve been on many programs before to try to improve my allergies, but with this you see the difference very quickly, you know it’s tangible. So no, I wasn’t afraid. I mean they just stuck to it. And, you know, I believed in it. And I’m a very scientific person, you know. I read the references double crossed. I mean, I would go and check and because I became like a bookworm, I was just reading and reading more, you want to know more. You want to learn more, this is your body. And the blood tests were showing it. And, I mean, I went to the neurologist a few weeks back and he looked at me and he said he was flipping through the papers of the blood test and he said, uh, really? Plant based? And I said, yeah, really? Plant based. Look at the results I brought the one year before and the most recent. So he was comparing and I had them circled, you know, and uh, he was looking I mean, my numbers were scary, Clint, when like, the ESR was 50 and now it’s down to two. And with that, I’m not just saying the rheumatoid factors and all of that. I’m talking about also the like the calcium. I thought I was worried about the calcium, you know, no cheese, no eggs, no all of that. You know, you worry. But the the calcium is high. And all of these things that, you know, you think about the B12, the B12 is the success story, you know, no meat. Where am I going to get that? But whatever you said I followed, I get the nori, I chop it up, I put it in the soup, all of that.

Clint – How likely are you now to revert to some of the previous ways? You mentioned eggs before, but what about sort of the bulk of your diet going forward? Do you think this is for life?

Bassima – Yeah, definitely. I’m scared, you know, I’m scared too, because I know it will somehow, like, uh. Shall I tell you? A few weeks ago, I tried, and we eat a lot of falafel. Okay. Falafel and hummus, that’s just part of our diet. And we have something that is similar to bread, but it just. It is so good. And it’s much better than bread. It’s like, um, it’s like bread, but puffy with a lot of sesame on top. It’s called cake. Okay, so I brought this cake, you know. And it’s, um. It’s a big piece of bread. Okay. Like this. Okay. This big stuffed it with falafel and tahini, tomato sauce and whatever. And I ate that for lunch and for dinner. And then the next day, I was suffering, I suffered. My knees, my my shoulders, basically. And I’m like, not so fast, is it? So yeah and after I had my traditional dish I was six months ago. Also, you suffer immediately like the day after. It is so strange how it affects your body. So quite honestly, in a year and one month maybe I cheated 3 or 4 times. That’s it, so I know I’m not going to go back to that way, no. I might every once in a while yes, have one thing.

Clint – What are some messages that you’d like to share with others who might be listening or watching this? What would you like to impart to them?

Bassima – I would like to say, you know, don’t hesitate, this works. I thought I was eating healthy, you know, always having a lot of vegetables, I don’t deep fried food, I don’t eat out all the time, I wasn’t having more than two cups of coffee a day, really. And we eat a lot of olive oil in the Mediterranean olive oil is it. I thought I was healthy, but when the pain hits, don’t hesitate, this actually works. And the yoga, I’ve been doing yoga all my life, but we combined with the yoga and the early sleep and all of that, you regain your life, you become, you know, happy again. You end up seeing people, you spend quality time with your family, like, uh, we, we live by the Red sea, and, uh, I don’t dive. I used to, but my, you know, I enjoy swimming, I could do that again. Before, I was really scared that I would drown in a wetsuit. I was scared, I couldn’t move my legs or hands you know, I would wear the wetsuit just to go snorkeling because I felt safer, I was in so much pain. So, um, you know, don’t hesitate. This actually works in such a short amount of time, and after you try the Paddison Program, you don’t want to be off of it.

Clint – One time getting on, trying to put on a wet suit when I was at my worst, and it must have taken me ten minutes to put on a wet suit. And at that time, it was very early diagnosis for me, like maybe six months in. And it was probably the first time where my body just would not operate in a functional way, like I couldn’t use my hands to, you know, how tight the wet.

Bassima – To pull the wet suit.

Clint – And then shoulders, elbows trying to pull it over and you’re trying to zip.

Bassima – The zipper up.

Clint – Oh I mean, it’s like a nightmare when you’ve got raging ra. But now I haven’t thought of that for ten years until you just mentioned that. And I just thought, wow, that’s right. I tried on that wet suit one time and then on that same trip, there was a boat, and my friends were all swinging out from the boat. There was a rope, and they’d swing out and jump into the water from the deck. And I tried to do it, and then my hands gave away on me, and I, uh, just basically dropped off the edge of the boat instead of swinging out. I just, like, I couldn’t hold my own body weight on the rope. These memories, I haven’t thought about this stuff for ten years, so. Yeah. It’s crazy. Yeah.

Bassima – And you know we live, you know, the Red Sea, our city on the Red sea is called Aqaba. Aqaba is like the Aqaba Gulf, so it’s like no waves, it’s very calm. Excellent place to dive. You know, you’re very you feel very. No. Hardly ever any current or not very rough conditions. Okay. And I couldn’t do that, I was like, no way, no way. I want to go back to swimming, I want to enjoy yoga, I want to go back to doing all what I can do in yoga, like the, uh, you know, my favorite poses. Gomukhasana. I couldn’t sit with my, you know, legs like that or forget the headstand, I didn’t even dream of going back to headstand. And walking the dog, you know, when you want to get on the sidewalk from the street, I would look for a place where a driveway for the car so I don’t have to go up this much, imagine that. So I wanted to regain my life, being able to go out for a walk with a friend, all of that, to be a good teacher again, that’s a big part of it.

Clint – Forgive me, but do you teach yoga at your own studio? Is that your main profession? Because you mentioned a lot of academics and science as well. What exactly do you do again?

Bassima – I teach product design for little ones. I teach product design, the introduction of product design. I’m not a certified yoga teacher, I’ve just been doing yoga for 22 years with the same teacher, and when she saw me like I couldn’t do anything, she was, oh my God. But at school, no, I teach product design and um, I tell you, carpentry tools I couldn’t use it was just killing me. I was with my students trying to show them things and struggling, you know. And these are little ones, you know, they don’t fear asking you questions like they go, what is wrong with you? I don’t know what is wrong with me. I’m going to get better, though.

Clint – Yeah, great. What would you say to people who have not yet had the kind of progress that you’ve experienced? And they’re intrigued by your story, but at the same time thinking to them as themselves. How come I haven’t made that progress? Like, what insights might you provide?

Bassima – I say stick to it. I think sticking to the program, you will see the difference after a while. And sometimes it’s hard to give up old habits. So what I do, I use the gluten free bread. I put the vegan cheese and I try to put the baby spinach everywhere. Get the papayas and like, you know, why has not some of the things are very hard to find here, okay? Or at least I didn’t find the resources. You know, at the beginning I was struggling because I didn’t know where to get, uh, oat milk. I didn’t know whether. Okay. Quite honestly, I have to admit one thing. I still have one coffee a day, every day in the morning, i couldn’t get off of that. I have the rooibos and all the things that you’ve suggested during the day. But the coffee, that coffee is just sacred, you know? So where do I get these things? Where do I get the oat milk? Where do I, you know, um, have the papaya. Where do I bring in kale? Kale is weird, okay, but where do I get these things from? So that’s introducing things into the diet. Just stick to it and you will find nice recipes later on. Like the way I do the buckwheat is a totally different story, but I do it similar to boron. We have boron. You know, we put that in our the crushed wheat. So it becomes, you know, you will find the same taste in the food that you ask us to eat or similar. You will get used to your salad without the olive oil, but you just add a little bit of balsamic and it will be okay. And if they stick to it, I think you will see the difference. I mean, maybe we can’t find the same yoga that you go to, but there are yoga studios everywhere I do. iyengar, iyengar is very, like, rigid, strict, and the alignment is everything. Not so much heat, but it works.

Clint – Okay, I’m going to keep probing for some more information that can help people. When it came to your shoulders and knees, which sounded like your vulnerable spots, the ones that tend to show up quickly when things are a little unbalanced. What were your go-to exercises or interventions that you did to quickly get them under control?

Bassima – Okay, my daughter lives in Australia, funny enough. Okay. She lives in Perth and she got me this oil with her one time. So sometimes, you know, you go to, uh, homeopathic things and they work. I do dandasana, which is the seated pose for my knees. I try to do that even at work, you know, I practice yoga out of the class, you know, so these things help a lot. And for the knees I try to sometimes I would use Epsom salt, anything that would.

Clint – You’d have a bath?

Bassima – Yeah. Like a little bit or even if I dip a wet towel and put on it, you know, that’s for the knees. For the shoulders, sometimes I would go for a session with acupuncture when it’s really bad. Okay. Other than that, I try to keep my shoulders very warm, cover up a little bit. That would help in the winter, you know? Um, I do the shoulder exercises, anything and lots of water.

Bassima – But when it’s painful, I just take it easy. I’m serious.

Clint – Yeah. You would reset for a few days on the simple Foods. Back to baseline. Let the shoulders and knees just settle down through dietary. Yep. And then you would start to move them, keep the shoulders warm and then start to get back into your activities again. Yeah.

Speaker1 – And I have to tell you what is very important is you go back to, you know, the Paddison Program, read a little bit more because or watch another video. You have a lot of videos. So I would watch one of the videos again and, and see write down notes and put them on the fridge again or put them in my bedroom or somewhere else. Remind myself that I have to do this, do that. You have to have a lot of reminders. Otherwise you forget and you sit and I’m in pain. Oh my God, you know, like that.

Clint – And there’s so much content as well. Like I’ve been posting daily videos, just these little shorts on YouTube and Instagram and, um, there is just so much that I can think of to say. And I’m thinking, if people are trying to piece all this together from these little short videos, it’s like, that’s an immense amount of content that needs to be shared because there’s so many nuances. There’s so many nuances just with how do we, let alone what to eat or when to eat and why you should eat like that. And that’s just surrounding like some foods and then it all aspects of it. There’s just so much detail and nuance, which is why the book has taken so many years for me to put together because, um, I’m always just tweaking and finalizing some things and adding some new things and realizing that that’s slightly, you know, it’s just there’s just so much to learn, isn’t there? So I completely agree, continually filling the mind with practical information to substitute the worrying thoughts that keep you in pain.

Bassima – And to remind yourself all the time, like there is something I can go to. Like there is maybe if I search, I will find that video. Maybe if I do this and I practice that, not to give in to the pain or this is something that I haven’t tried, this vegetable or this thing. I will venture into that. That’s why once I was at the very, very beginning and I couldn’t find everything that you’ve asked for, and I wrote you an email, I said, come to the Middle East, try our vegetables and food, you know, do something here. And just invitation is still, you know, uh, whenever you want to come. Of course, you have a home here, but but it’s true. You try finding other things, things that I couldn’t find. I find a different green leafy vegetable and see how that works, you know?

Clint – One thing that I do with, uh, people that I coach in a small group community sort of setting. When people are doing really well and have gotten to where you are after several months or longer, I then challenge them to say, what next that would even surpass your level of health and fitness before this happened? So that you’re not only back to where you were, but beyond. Because the more fitness, strength and resilience we build into the body. The more insurance or money in the bank that we’ve put in to prevent any setbacks in the future. So I’m curious because you’re already really, really proficient at yoga and you’ve already become very, very acclimatized to the foods, and you’ve mentioned some foods that you can eat comfortably that show that you’re in the advanced stage of the reintroduction process. Where do you want to take this? Like what’s next? What is your next most important thing for your health?

Bassima – I think what has been on my mind recently is to strengthen my upper body. And from the yoga workshop that I went to, she gave us a lot of good tips to do on daily basis. Like, you don’t have to do a full yoga session, you can just do this ten minutes at school. Let’s say if you have a break, uh, before you eat your lunch or something like that. So that’s what I want to do. And I think it will help with my, uh, shoulders and my elbows. So that’s what I want to do. Other things that I eat a lot, believe it or not, I don’t, um, I stick to what you’ve said, but I put more vegetables in between, I don’t want to get hungry during the day. I have worked seriously at not eating late at night. For us getting together and dinners late dinners is like, uh, you know, a way of life here in the Middle East. Okay. So it’s, um, it’s a common thing to go visit people at eight and have dinner at nine, you know, a big meal. So I’ve been working on that, reducing, having meals at night, sleeping earlier, which is hard at my age. You sleep early, you wake up so early in the morning like 4 -00 and it doesn’t work, you know, worked, um, up at four. If I sleep at ten, I wake up at four. That is crazy. No, but, uh. Yeah, you said sleep early. I have been sleeping earlier than the normal hour I used to. So these are these are my, you know, goals for the next year, hopefully.

Clint – They’re good. Have you tried doing pull ups yet?

Bassima – Pull ups?

Clint – Yeah.

Bassima – I have been trying. I mean, no. But I don’t know, you do chaturanga. Chaturanga in yoga, which is, which is really tough, you know, from going. With your elbows close to your body and you push yourself up. That is quite challenging, and I haven’t been able to do that since I got the pain. Yeah.

Clint – So this one we warn people about because what tends to happen and you may have seen this for yourself, is that. Because of the worldwide human behavioral pattern, which is to lean in and head down, to look at screens, to drive your car, to read a book, to, uh, cuddle and nurse a baby. Everything is concave chest behavior, yeah, everything. Everything. Almost nothing in our daily lives bring us to open our chest and to strengthen our upper back. This is why I, uh, see that when people try to do the downward facing dogs and chaturanga and this sort of, um, postures in which you’re using your chest muscles and, um, pushing down against resistance or the floor can trigger symptoms and create imbalances. Whereas when we engage in back exercises, we open the chest and stretch it while strengthening the back, and it starts to undo and reverse a lot of those accumulated, uh, imbalances with time. So I would urge you that on the days that you’re having a day off of yoga to work on strengthening the upper back, either through some yoga exercises in which your backs engaged and your chest is not, such as lying on the floor, palms face down, stretched out, out to the side, and then just coming up off the floor. Yeah, just coming up using your back to come up off things like that or standing up and then just almost like a, a sun embrace, like you see those, those pictures of people standing on the edge of a mountain, like you’re looking up at the sky, that sort of stuff. But if you want to take that to the next level, get an overhead bar and start to hang and start to try and do pull-ups, because this is the ultimate way to strengthen the back and to build strength that’s protective and counteract the problems I’ve just talked about. So I love, love the mechanics of trying to hang and do pull ups for the human body.

Bassima – Sorry to interrupt. At school, there’s the monkey bars okay, so since the pain, I’ve been trying to go with the little kids, and I’m trying. But at one time, I was successful. There was no pain, but I just felt it here. I was so sore for a long time, so I was like, okay. And you know how if you’ve been, uh, fit for the most of your life, you know, and to feel like so restricted since the pain, uh, when you see a little bit of improvement, you just lose it. You don’t, uh, pace yourself. You might go a little bit. To the point where you might hurt yourself. So I keep that at the back of my mind. Uh, like, I’ve been doing yoga all the time, and you know how they tell you no competition. You compete with yourself. But, of course, I’m very competitive, you know? And I look at people and I say, this is where I’m going to go. So yeah, I try.

Clint – You’re absolutely correct. We see this all the time, someone gets like three, four days in a row where they’re starting to feel better again and they’re thinking, wow, wow. Like my body’s responding so quickly and they go to do something that they used to do before it hit them. And then they have a big setback because just we get excited and we we step outside the plan. So I would if you want to go down this path, just start with hanging and hang with your hands, palms facing forward, away from you. Uh, and then just hang and just do it for like a few seconds with your feet off the ground. And the next day see how you feel. If you’re okay, do four seconds, okay? See how you feel. Yeah. And then you slowly. And then the progression from hanging is to do what’s called scapular pull ups, which is to hang. But then don’t move your arms at all, you just move your scapular. So you’re only seeing that much movement. You’re only seeing an inch movement in your body going up and down. And it’s you’re only engaging the scapular in the back. They’re called scapular pull ups. And you do them, you do them, you do them, and when you get and we’re talking now like six, eight weeks and then start to use the arms as well. And then eventually your body would start to move up. You know, you’re like, Holy crap, I’m moving up.

Bassima – Yeah, well that’s great. I’m going to write that down before I forget it. Thank you so much.

Clint – When you can hang for 30 seconds, then you’re well on your way to doing the to getting there eventually because your grip strength is great. If you can hang for 30 seconds, you’re well above average, your grip strength.

Bassima – Thank you. Thank you so much. I will start.

Clint – Let me know how you get along. Is there anything else you’d like to share with us? Uh, some, like, thing that you do each day that you think. Well, Clint’s never mentioned this. This works for me, though. Or something that we do talk about in these episodes that you think that is the most important thing for me. What are your thoughts on that?

Bassima – Okay. Uh, one of the things that have really worked for me is when I feel you wake up in the morning and you feel something is off, you know, like a shoulder and elbow or whatever, a hot shower does the trick, you know, hot shower and just keep at it during the day. Don’t sit stiff, even if it hurts, it hurts. Okay. My shoulder hurts. Okay. Just I can’t raise my elbows a lot, i can’t do this anymore. It’s fine. Just do this. Go a little bit. Every, you know, every few hours. Do something to get it moving. Like if my knees are hurting, I don’t take the dog for a half an hour walk. I take him for 15 minutes, 20 minutes and come back home and then go out and, you know, a few hours, even if it’s late at night. These things. I feel they work and they keep you. Uh, okay. Not feeling like, uh, man, today my knees are hurting, I’m not going to do anything, I’m just going to take it. But if it’s a bad episode, then they hurt a lot. I just take it easy. But, um, this small movement every few hours keep it in mind. Put reminders, I put reminders on the keyboard at school, although I really don’t sit behind my desk. It’s not. I’m someone I’m moving all the time. I hardly only for report cards, that makes me sit down. Other than that, I don’t use my laptop often. But I’m very careful, you start paying more attention to the shoulders, over the hips, and when you stand up, even when you’re doing the dishes, like, you know, put your eyes up, you don’t have to see how clean the dish is, just raise your head. Things like that these are small tips, but they work.

Clint – Yeah. Love it, love it, love it, love it. You’ve mentioned this a few times and I think this is something worth underlining from your message. One of your messages today is that it’s really crucial to manage the thoughts that are going on when things aren’t well, to be able to take action as opposed to get into sadness, you know what I mean? I think that’s something that you’ve said a few times that really comes through and I completely agree, completely agree.

Bassima – Because if you’re gonna fall into that hole with the pain and the illness and, oh, I have a blood test. Okay. So what? Blood test. So what? You know, we’ve had the past year, I’ve had so many blood tests, you know, I was like, hey, the people are becoming my buddies and I tell them, I want the butterfly. You know, the butterfly needle that is for babies. You know, you just become what? So what, another blood test. Okay, I look forward to the results. You stop going against it, you flow with it, you go with the flow. That’s the attitude towards the whole thing. You know, if the spinach is going to make my stomach upset, no worries off spinach for a couple of days. Have the, you know, the sweet potato and the lettuce, the cucumbers go back to it. You know, it’ll be cool, but you just need to see it from a different angle.

Clint – I love it.

Bassima – That’s what I think.

Clint – Well, you’ve certainly lived up to your name and the meaning of your name. You’ve been very happy and joyful, and it’s been a pleasure to meet you. And thanks so much for sharing all this with us and inspiring other people, because your story is wonderful and congratulations. I’m really, really happy for you.

Bassima – Thank you for the continuous research and, you know, meeting the people, listening to our stories and, inspiring so many who are in need to find a way out of this. It is hard when it hits you it is hard when you feel down and you just want to hang on to something. Thank you for being there for us.

Clint – So because you’ve done so well, has this gotten the attention of other people around you? And like, is your husband or your friends or anything also changing their ways, like, have you inspired other people?

Bassima – I would tell you, like my daughters are now, one of them has been, uh, eating plant based before. I have three daughters, but the other two are incorporating that more in their diet. Like there are three, four times a week, they have a strictly plant based food. My mama, who is a 80 plus just because I go there often to check on her and have meals with her, of course she’s cooking, venturing into your way of cooking and like, you see baby spinach all the time there. And I get the papaya and I share with her and she chops it up and use it in her fruit salad or something like that. So it’s impacting everyone around me. I mean, even the teachers with me at school, you know, everyone, the kids at school are very, very interested, the little ones. What are you eating? I say, I’m having my fruits or I’m having my vegetables. Without dressing? Yes, without dressing. It’s nice to see that the small community around me are also changing and seeing the benefits, really seeing the benefits of all this.

Clint – And how does that make you feel, knowing that you’re creating a positive influence, like a ripple effect?

Bassima – I am sure you know the answer to that. You know, because I’m sure the people around you have seen the difference. I will just tell you this. Okay? This is a funny story. My dog is 11 years of age, and instead of giving him treats now, all he gets is lettuce. He doesn’t like spinach, cucumber and carrots. Instead of treats, even the dog is walking better. It’s true. Every everyone around me has been affected by this.

Clint – Wow

Clint – Great. Well, thank you so much again. All right. Bye.

Bassima – Bye bye.

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