Session Type: Poster Session (Sunday)
Session Time: 11:30AM-1:30PM
Background/Purpose: Up until a few years ago, my 30+ year journey with Polyarticular Juvenile Rheumatoid was treated mostly with medication management alone. I was diagnosed at age 3 with Polyarticular Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. At time of diagnosis I was expected to be in a wheelchair by age 6. With the help of NSAIDs, prednisone and Gold Injections, this was not the case. Eventually, I began trials of various drug cocktails that included those previously listed with the addition of DMARDs and a rotation of various supplements including shark cartilage and vitamins. The ever changing trials of these cocktails continued until my mid-teenage years when biologic medication came to market. After being unsuccessful long term on any one medication, disease progression continued and I underwent bilateral shoulder replacement surgery in 2018. The integration of additional treatment options such as diet, exercise and mindfulness was the logical next step in my treatment journey.
Treatment: Through desperation in search of a better quality of life due to the progression of my illness, I was introduced to Reiki and meditation. I have added meditation and Reiki into my care plan in addition to current medication treatments and surgical interventions. Meditation and Reiki have enabled me to become more empowered and less fearful of the future of illness. I have studied and become certified as a Reiki Practitioner as well as regularly meditate through various Apps, walking mediation and mindfulness practice.
Maintenance: In order to fully feel the benefits of mediation and Reiki, I practice regularly as well as attend classes, certifications and educate myself about furthering my practice in this approach. By ensuring that mediation and Reiki are a regular part of my current lifestyle, I am able to be more present in the care of my illness and work better with my medical team. This also helps me stay more compliant with medications and medical appointments as my anxiety has decreased regarding these major parts of my life.
Quality of Life: Although physical disease progression continues, I have had a better sense of control of fear and anxiety related to my illness. By practicing Reiki, I feel empowered and more peaceful. Regular meditation has allowed me to reflect on my disease and anxiety related to it. Without incorporating these practices into my treatment plan, I believe that my illness complications may have worsened. These practices have allowed me peace and acceptance with what is and the ability to play a strong, more active role in my disease management on a daily basis.
Disclosure: S. O'Hara-Levi, None.
To cite this abstract in AMA style:O'Hara-Levi S. The Practice of Reiki and Meditation in Maintaining Medical Compliance and Decreased Anxiety in an Adult with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis [abstract]. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2019; 71 (suppl 10). https://acrabstracts.org/abstract/the-practice-of-reiki-and-meditation-in-maintaining-medical-compliance-and-decreased-anxiety-in-an-adult-with-juvenile-rheumatoid-arthritis/. Accessed June 6, 2020.
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ACR Meeting Abstracts - https://acrabstracts.org/abstract/the-practice-of-reiki-and-meditation-in-maintaining-medical-compliance-and-decreased-anxiety-in-an-adult-with-juvenile-rheumatoid-arthritis/