By Jamuna Rangachari
Rafael Llenas Ruiz was diagnosed with the debilitating ankylosing spondylitis at the age of 23. While exercise and diet helped, it was freeing himself of fear, worry and stress that healed him completely, says Jamuna Rangachari
Time and again, life reminds us that it is love that is the greatest wellness mantra of all. For it is in loving and accepting ourselves unconditionally that we are freed to lead a complete life. We profile a victor who reiterates the fact we are born to remain healthy, and all health issues will go away when dosed with the tonic of love.
Rafael Llenas Ruiz (Ralph Ruiz) was born in the Dominican Republic and moved to the US as a six-year-old child. He experienced the first symptoms of Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) when he was 14 years old in junior high school, though he was not diagnosed with the ailment then. In fact, he had begun his career as a fitness and health coach back in 2006 when he was 18 years old as he was sick and not able to work. At that stage, he was evicted from his apartment and his car was impounded. He declared bankruptcy and moved back with his father. He was then diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis in 2010 when he was 23 years old.
Another challenge struck when in 2012 in preparation for biologic medication he was prescribed a nine-month trial of antibiotics because of a failed tuberculosis test. Actually, he never had tuberculosis. After two months of being on those antibiotics he experienced a numbing in his arms and legs, and started having very lucid dreams. The doctor told him to stop the medication immediately and when he did so, he he went into what the doctor later diagnosed as 'drug-induced psychosis'. He was suicidal and couldn’t tell if he was dreaming or awake.
Before the psychotic episode he was on a low sugar diet and a rigorous exercise programme that kept him feeling well most of the time. After the psychotic episode he went deeper into finding better natural solutions so he began exploring stress management much more seriously.
He got on to Youtube and began to share his experiences with people all over the world. Many had found relief through diet and exercise. Shortly after starting the Youtube channel he began holding Skype calls with other people with AS and realised that there were many things AS patients had in common. A difficult childhood was only one of them. He began to suspect that
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