In: Ankylosing Spondylitis74
Disclaimer: This article is for blogging purposes only. it is not meant to treat or diagnose any disease you may or may not have. For medical advice, treatment and diagnosis please see your doctor or a licensed medical professional. Do not take any of the information in this post as advice of any kind. This blog post is meant only to share my personal experience recovering from Ankylosing Spondylitis.

I consider myself lucky! There are many people in advanced stages who have suffered way too much dealing with Ankylosing Spondylitis pain.

I suffered for 9 years, but that is nothing compared to those who lost it all in the shadows of their disease….

Ankylosing Spondylitis Doubts:

Just like everything in life that goes against the norm and what others believe when I tell people how I healed from Ankylosing Spondylitis they look at me with a funny eye and the first thing that comes out of their mouth is “it’s just remission.”

I usually smile and think to myself, if I can willingly go into remission and stay there what in the world will ever get me to go back into having pains and swelling again?

The next thing they say to me is “you never had the disease, it was probably something else!” and again I smile and say, God bless you and may he hear your words and may that idea manifest into reality.

That way I can have a chance at enjoying my late teen years and early twenty’s again.

I was officially diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis when I was 23 years old. I had occasional symptoms since I was 13 years old but nothing was certain during those years.

I was prescribed TNF blockers but had to withdraw due to experiencing something called “drug induced psychosis” from a drug called Isoniazid (INH).

This pre med was meant to clear my body from tuberculosis after a failed TB test and it nearly cost me my life. I was suicidal for months, the fact that I did not kill myself is a miracle on its own. I experienced every single symptom needed to diagnose someone with the Ankylosing Spondylitis.

My Sacroiliac joints are fused and I am glad that is as far as the disease progressed. Those who doubt that I ever had the disease are the people I love the most, because they show me just how amazing my journey has been thus far.

The only question I ask those people is, “If you and I both had the same exact symptoms and you believe I was misdiagnosed, what makes you so sure you were properly diagnosed?”

The good news is that I no longer have a need nor desire to continue living my life under the never-ending grip of chronic pain. I no longer have a need to “manage” my health with special diets or special exercises.

I live a happy normal life as if the disease had never taken place. There is no desire within me to convince anyone that they too can do what I did. However, I am a firm believer in treating others the way I would like to be treated.

This means that if nine years ago I would have come across a post like this one my life would have been totally different.

This post is dedicated to those who seek possible solutions to their current situation. My method of healing may only be just one of many, and in order for it to reach those who need it I have to at least write about it.

The Others (see testimonials page to see a few others who have also healed)

Before claiming that I successfully healed myself from AS and making myself the center of a controversial topic I had to see this for myself and see if others suffering from AS can experience the same thing I have.

To test this theory I decided to coach as many people as possible with AS to see if teaching them what I have learned can get them relief as well. 11 out of 16 people so far are symptom free, the other 5 are seeing major improvements without diet or special exercises (Since I originally wrote this post I have seen many more).

Some have stopped the meds (with their doctor’s permission) and can deal with the small amount of pain they occasionally experience.

Out of all those people, one stands out the most and for privacy reasons, I will use a nickname (Dan).

I met Dan on Facebook a long time ago, we made contact on support groups for AS mainly because we are both from New York City. Dan was treating his AS with diet and was taking a mild anti-inflammatory drug.

One day he messaged me that he was in a bad flare up after eating some starches. I asked him if he can meet me at the gym that I wanted to speak to him in person about something I was experiencing.

We met and spoke for about 4 hours, had dinner, and went our separate ways.

The next day he texts me and tells me that the flare was gone! This is not rare; some of the others had experienced the same very strange phenomena of waking up the next day nearly completely pain-free. This is when things started to get very weird.

A disease that is sweeping the world and taking away many people’s youth disappears in a matter of days all depending on the person. Before you start to think to yourself it’s total BS let me explain why…

Klebsiella and Diet

Many health care professionals know Ankylosing Spondylitis as a “psychosomatic” disease along with most autoimmune diseases. When I first heard the word “psychosomatic”

I raged in anger because I understood it as something that is all in my head and wasn’t real. How is it possible that something so painful with physical symptoms like inflammation and physical misconfigurations can be all in my head?

The thought of it alone is extremely insulting to anyone who has the disease but let’s continue.

Being the obsessive person that I was at the time. I went on a mission to prove just how real the disease is and how we can manage it through diet and exercise. I learned that the disease started in the digestive system.

In a strange way, my body lost its ability to digest sugars, also known as carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are broken down with an enzyme called amylase.

Which is released in the salivary glands and later on from the pancreas and into the upper intestines. When complex carbs like starches are not broken down properly they make their way into the lower intestines where a bacteria known as klebsiella feeds on the remaining starch.

With a surplus of food, this bacteria overpopulates the intestines and triggers an immune system response where the immune system starts to attack the bacteria.

According to research klebsiella is very similar to certain genetic proteins (HLAB27 amongst many) and when the immune system starts to attack the bacteria it also starts to attack other places where the protein is found such as the major joints and the spine through a process known as molecular mimicry.

Many people take care of AS using a low starch diet protocol where they cut out all starches and sometimes simple sugars as well to starve the bacteria and stop the immune system from attacking. The problem is that not everybody improves on this diet.

If this theory was bulletproof everyone should be able to benefit. I experienced amazing results on this diet but here and there I would still wake up stiff even though I was on a full ketogenic diet (no carbs at all).

To make one thing clear, I do not need to follow a diet to remain healthy anymore.

If you are considering following a diet for healing please do your best to not make it a life long thing. Strict diets can result in malnutrition and may cause even more severe health issues than the one you are attempting to correct.

I ended the diet after I was able to create inner peace and release the anxiety/depression I held in my body for many years. Now I can eat whatever I want whenever I want and not have any issues.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Crohn’s Disease and Ankylosing Spondylitis

The HLAB-27 genetic protein is really all we have to come up with a diagnosis of AS besides all the symptoms that can be observed. This protein can also diagnose IBS/IBD, and Crohn’s.

That led me to question things a little more. If we are improving by cutting starch and eating simple foods then obviously the problem is that we are not digesting our food properly and we have IBS and Crohn’s to prove it. My next quest was trying to improve digestion.

I started to drink only distilled water at room temperature; no more cold beverages and I added a short workout before eating to improve digestion.

I also started to eat slower and chewing my food better. It helped a little and I was able to have some starches, no more than 4 ounces a day but it was an improvement.

Today I know that besides the HLAB-27 marker there are other factors that can trigger the disease. Such as a person’s emotional lifestyle and psychological schema.

The Nervous System

I learned that one thing that helped a lot in digesting food was a healthy nervous system.

The autonomic nervous system is divided into two parts, the sympathetic (fight or flight) and the parasympathetic (rest and digest). The sympathetic nervous system is responsible for fight or flight responses like the ones we experience from panic attacks or when someone spooks us walking down a dark hallway.

Hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline are released when the fight or flight response is activated. In an interesting way the response can be triggered by a tangible real-life physical threat as well as by a nontangible imaginary threat.

Stress hormones are toxic to our body and when the body is stuck in a loop of the fight of flight response it does not digest food properly. Mainly because cortisol drives blood away from the digestive tract and into working muscles. This is what most people call “stress”.

However, the word stress in this case is inaccurate. Stress is what the body or mind experiences when you put it through strenuous activities. This response is more like the one where your body is fighting for its life.

My body was constantly reacting to life as if my life was in danger! I began to practice coherent breathing and certain meditation techniques to slow down the body’s stress response and activate the Parasympathetic Nervous System that allows us to digest food and sleep better.

Again I felt much better and more relaxed but still experienced panic attacks here and there and was still not able to eat more starch than usual.

The more I understood the link between chronic anxiety and AS the better I understood the nature of AS altogether. It wasn’t all in the mind but it sure was rooted there.


My next quest was trying to understand anxiety; I needed to understand why I was anxious and fearful all the time if there was nothing to be worried about. If I wanted to fully engage the parasympathetic nervous system I had to conquer the anxiety so I began to do more research on anxiety and why it was happening.

I learned that anxiety not only causes physical pain but it also causes lightheadedness, chronic fatigue, restlessness, depression, back pains, digestive problems and symptoms of fibromyalgia.

It was an amazing door that had opened. I finally started to understand that, AS is nothing more than an Anxiety disorder that was affecting us emotionally, physically, and spiritually.

It was like being possessed by a demon that literally controlled my behavior, thoughts, and decisions!

If I wanted to heal AS I needed to conquer the anxiety and I needed to understand where it was coming from!

There is lots of research suggesting that a misbalance in the gut flora can cause anxiety, however, it can also work the other way around. Severe anxiety can cause a misbalance in the gut flora by weakening the ability to digest complex foods and the lining of the stomach walls.

Which can then lead to something most people call leaky gut. In my case, the anxiety started the cycle after several traumatic experiences.

Most of which occurred during childhood and many I had completely forgotten about (repressed memories).

For some, it can be the digestive problems that are causing the anxiety and harming the body, but for me, it was my internal and traumatized interpretation of life that was triggering anxiety nonstop and harming my body.

Yeast & The Leaky Gut

It is important to understand that not all cases of AS start the same. For some people it starts in the gut. Where an overgrowth of yeast and other bad bacteria starts to affect mental clarity and other parts of the body.

Leaky gut is a weakening in the lining of the stomach and the intestines. It has been found that lifestyle and the foods we choose can cause this strange phenomena to happen. It is very easy to choose quick and convenient foods when you have so much to do.

Modern life leaves very little room to prepare a meal from scratch after a long day at work.

Unfortunately, the body does not do well with those types of foods. The process that brings our foods from the land and onto our dinner table is far from perfect. Most of the food we find in our supermarket is poison to our body.

When we continuously choose to eat the processed poison we call food. Our body suffers and it starts to break down. Many of us fail to realize that 70% of our immune system is located in our digestive tract.

Once our digestion starts to struggle, the immune system starts to struggle and it begins to attack whatever is poisoning it. In this case, it’s whatever bacteria is over populating itself in your body and everything else that looks like it.

The unhealthy lifestyle we live today makes it favorable for AS to emerge. GMO’s and processed food only make things worse. I have observed that those who benefit most from diet also suffer from other physical ailments like, yeast infections, UTI’s, sinus problems, catching a common cold more often, mild depression, mild anxiety, mood swings, insomnia, and more.

Those who suffer from Ankylosing Spondylitis possibly triggered by PTSD experience very similar symptoms. It is important to point this out because not everyone has chronic anxiety as a root cause of AS. We all have identical symptoms but slightly different roots.

Neuroplasticity & Epigenetic

The brain makes physical changes according to certain thought patterns, behaviors, emotional responses and routines exercised. One of those changes is an increase in the size of the Amygdala, a part of the brain that registers fear and allows the body to go into panic mode to escape danger.

This ability of the brain to change in physical shape and size is called neuroplasticity. The scary thing about developing certain thought patterns is that they become so habitual that eventually the person suffering from them can no longer identify them.

In neuroplasticity the ground rule is very simple, neurons that fire together wire together.

When you feel an emotion, think a thought, feel pain, or simply follow a morning routine there are neurons in the brain that fire to create that experience. Over time the more an experience is done the closer those neurons get. What starts as a conscious action that requires practice and attention eventually becomes a subconscious involuntary action that isn’t even noticeable to the person doing it.

Now why is this important? Because chronic stress can be your neutral setting and you may be totally unaware of it.

The body suffers from this vicious cycle by expressing stress physically in the form of inflammation, digestive problems, stiffness, aches, pains and more.

The next cycle begins when the body starts to fall apart, the person starts to experience emotional stress from the worries that come from having chronic pain all the time. This stress only creates a more lopsided nervous system and a new layer of stress which leads to more physical pain and anxiety.

As your mind changes in thought patterns and habits. Your body starts to express the DNA forms linked to disease. This is called a phenotypic expression and it basically means that you can have the genes (genotype) for AS but it doesn’t mean that you are doomed to develop AS.

The element of internal stress is what triggers the physical (phenotype) expression of that gene.

For example, HLAB27 is one of the genes responsible for AS and O.C.D (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). According to my research, certain genes that express physical degeneration (like HLAB27) are activated under the influence of the environment (lifestyle and psychological schema).

This is what some may refer to as epigenetic or “nature via nurture”.

Nature (your genes) determine what disease you get when the genes are activated and nurture (internal and external environment) determine if those genes should be turned on or off.

Therefore in order to allow my body to heal I had to heal the gut, heal my stress with meditation and other forms of stress management exercises, and make peace with the idea of having AS.

“Bad” genes are activated by a “bad” environment, by creating a “good” environment internally, I was able to turn off my AS symptoms. I had to clear my mind, take better care of my body by watching carefully what I ate, the exercises I did, my sleep habits, and my stress triggers.


The amazing thing about all of this is that, when I was finally able to find balance in my mind, body and soul, the anxiety started to melt away.

If my AS was rooted from yeast and leaky gut the AS symptoms would have left a long time ago.

Unfortunately, it was hidden very deep inside. I had already healed my gut by eating the best foods I could find. I had already corrected my body by doing pre-habilitation exercises, I had already healed most of my stress triggers through meditation and relaxation techniques.

The final challenge on my road to recovery was understanding that my brother’s death and multiple traumatic adverse childhood experiences had affected me a lot more than I thought. I had no idea until now just how amazing and powerful the human body truly is.

My journey was almost like solving a very complex puzzle and every step forward was more exciting than the last! Today I truly understand the ancient African proverbs that states, “There is no such thing as disease, there is only misbalance”.

Finding balance in my life, mind, body and soul was my cure for my autoimmune disease. Something tells me that this may be the same for others. This essay is only telling the short version of this amazing journey.

Otherwise this post would be an entire textbook. The things I have learned, the people I met have all put me on the path that I am currently on. Health coaching for me is a lot more than helping people choose the best foods or the best exercises.

To me health coaching is helping people find balance. So that the amazing machine we call the human body can do what it does best, heal itself, by itself.

Ralph Ruiz is a life and wellness coach in New York City who specializes in helping those living with autoimmune diseases and chronic pain live healthier and more prosperous lives. You can contact Ralph by visiting the “Contact Us“ section of

74 thoughts on “How I Healed From Ankylosing Spondylitis Symptoms”
  1. Avatar john

    Very wise words. Much respect to you.
    I found 25mg amitriptyline tab once a day incredibly helpfull. I wondet if you have come across this atall !
    Keep up the great work

    • Avatar Ralph

      I never did come across Amitriptyline, is it an anti-inflammatory?

  2. Avatar Daniel Rösing

    Thank you for sharing your Story Ralph.

    • Avatar Ralph

      Anytime my friend, I will continue to work on those youtube videos, there is so much information to share that it makes it challenging to get it out there.

  3. Avatar lauren

    Such a great read! Defiently something I needed to read tonight. My fibro has been flaring up and iv been trying to work out why all day. Last night I had an anxiety attack whilst driving. I never made the connection before. Thanks ralph

    • Avatar Ralph

      It’s very easy to ignore these things, breaking out is extremely difficult but very far from impossible.

  4. Avatar pradeep

    I feel better after reading your short essay.,.,started thinking positive,.,I have to work on to over come anxiety,.,.,.,Thanks a lot for your GOOD WORK ..,,..,God Bless

  5. Avatar Amrit

    Wow this makes a lot of sense i cant belive these scientist and doctors havent figured this complex disease out and you have! Keep going ralph spread the word everyone needs to know about your story!

    • Avatar Ralph

      They have figured it out, in my opinion the difficulty is identifying the emotional factors, because we have become so good at hiding those emotions that WE OURSELVES are no longer aware of them. I remember every time I went to the doctors and he would ask me “how are you feeling today?” I would always answer “Not too bad”. My problem was never too bad in my point of view simply because I had trouble expressing how I felt. only because I did not know how I felt, emotionally, if that makes any sense.

  6. Avatar Theresa Moore

    You are blessing others with this information. I am inspired. I would like to get more information to see if I can benefit from what you’ve learned. I am 60 yrs old and have not been officially diagnosed with AS. After all my body had been through though I think I have it. I have two knee replacements so I would need some modifications to the exercises. Can you help me?

    • Avatar Ralph

      Absolutely, I am sure I can of some service to you. Feel free to email me your contact information.

  7. Avatar Kara

    Thank you for your insight on this disease. And most of all, THANK YOU for the hope!!!
    Sincerely, Kara 🙂

  8. Avatar docteurslash

    Good job you did it bro !!! well analysed !
    ( from a doctor and an AS patient in Morocco )

    • Avatar Ralph

      Thank you Doctor. Hopefully someday we can find a way to help many more people achieve better health when dealing with AS.

  9. Avatar Leo Lee

    Ralph, Thank you for posting and you did a great job on diagnosing this disease. I suffered AS most of life close to 40 years to be exact. As a child, I love to eat bread. In fact, my nick name was bread boy. I was always constipated and had poor digestion. Now everything seems to fall into place. I believe AS starts from poor digestion and leaky gut. We just can’t eat certain foods. Medication don’t really work because our body is just trying to correct itself. Anyway, it’s good to hear story like yours.

    God Bless

    • Avatar Ralph

      I agree, once it starts to weaken the gut everything else starts to fall apart. The good news is that no matter how much damage has been done, there is always room for improvement.

  10. Avatar Lily

    Thank you Ralph from the bottom of my heart for sharing your story…it helps me a lot to fight through darkness fear and pain.
    I am from France but I spent years travelling the world, I’ve never been to the US though…I will come to meet you as soon as I get a chance 😉

    • Avatar Ralph

      My pleasure Lily, whenever you are in New York send me an email. I would love to meet you and learn more about your story.

      • Avatar bharat

        I m hlab-27 + and my pain is reduced after few aryuvedic treatment but , the pain is still there does it mean that the part is trying to fuse slowly , I think about that thing a lot

        • Avatar Ralph

          Hi Bharat, I’m not sure what it means if the pain is still there after a few Ayuvedic treatments. Maybe there is still some work left to do.

  11. Avatar chiedza

    very interesting indeed.Found this very helpful

  12. Avatar Rob

    Hello Dear Ralph!
    I am now on the road to heal AS 🙂
    I have a diary with a lot of foods which i cant use, because of flare ups.
    Once I feel very good i start to add new foods to my diet, sometimes those foods unfortunatley came up with painful flare ups. If you have some diet guideline for AS please let me know.
    hit me a mail please


  13. Avatar Vikas

    Hello Ralph,
    Thanks for sharing your story. I have started the low starch diet but this Anxiety is killing me from inside. After reading your story i’m on my way to HEAL this now. Diet and Meditation.

  14. Avatar Kumar

    Thanks for sharing your story, Ralph! I have been suffering from AS for 18+ years now and agree to most of what you have blogged. “Chronic disease are indeed caused due to imbalances” as they say in Chinese Medicine or in Ayurveda or in Homeopathy or any other ancient medication. Sadly, we do not get good practitioners of ancient medicines.

    I am trying homeopathy and get magical relief at times but then experience complete relapse.
    Correct homeopathic remedy should take away the problem completely.

    As far as how much effect can have, I have talked to doctors and some of them do say that for chronic disease to trigger, you do need to predisposition to that disease and a traumatic event.

    And Chronic disease do effect us mentally, physically and emotionally. It would be nice if you share what you ate for the relief to happen.

    • Avatar Ralph

      Hello Kumar, thank you for your comment. It sounds like you still have work to do since your homeopathic treatment is holding the results long enough. I would love to post specifics on the diet that I followed. However I no longer believe that diet is a factor in healing completely from AS symptoms. The approach that the ASVA and myself uses to heal from AS symptoms is truly a very profound and unique approach. Everyone who completes the process eventually realizes that getting their health back was just the cherry on top of the great amount of life changing knowledge and wisdom they acquire.

  15. Avatar Carole Brookins

    Hi Ralph,
    So encouraged to learn that you healed yourself from AS, as I have just been diagnosed (but my problem is stenosis and spondylosis of the neck.) Just to clarify, when you said you are healed did you mean that your sacroiliac joints are no longer fused?? or are you meaning that you no longer suffer from the symptoms of AS?

    Thank you so much for your blog.

    • Avatar Ralph

      Hi Carole, thank you for the question. When I say I healed I mean no longer suffer from any symptoms whatsoever. My SI joints are still fused but that doesn’t affect me in any way. It’s interesting, I always thought fused joints equated to pain but thats not the case. I’ve seen many partially fused people get completely pain free even though they can’t move their neck or the part of their spine that is fused.

  16. Avatar Sagar

    Hi Ralph,

    Just went through this page and all of sudden I saw a ray of light. From last two years I am having severe back pains. Doctor confirmed that it is AS. I could relate my things with what you said above.
    I am also facing anxiety problem. Normally I eat much faster compared to others. I was under high stress for last few years.
    Currently my situation is like I get unbearable pains early in the morning and also when I sit in office for long time. As unbearable pains in morning I dont get enough sleep and now I have become so angry person. I react to small things and that how people go away from me and panic to talk to me.
    So please please suggest me, where should I start from and what all should I try? This will be the biggest help to me…Please help me…!!!

    • Avatar Ralph

      Hello my friend, sorry you are going through a challenging situation. I would love to help however I can. How would you like to start?

      • Avatar Sagar

        I am in India currently, I read your blog and I felt that you can help me.
        Just tell me everything that I should do and I’ll follow the exact things.

  17. Avatar H ASHOK KUMAR

    Hi Ralph
    I write this for a friend of mine who has been suffering from AS for 20 years and has been able to largely live through effort a normal life – a good exercise regimen. Could I talk to you and understand how we can take it forward from here and take my friend out of medication if possible. I found your blog to be straight from the heart and there seemed to an in depth experience to it. I personally have known AS only through what my friend has gone through.


    • Avatar Ralph

      Thank you for being a great friend to your friend. The world needs more people like yourself. Unfortunately due to the nature of AS I can only communicate with the AS patient directly. It is the best way to maintain privacy and confidentially. You can however send me a private message if you so wish to discuss this further. Thank you for your comment.

      • Avatar H Ashok kumar

        Thank you very much. My friend has already contacted you directly.

  18. Avatar Nina W

    I had IBS since I was 9, diagnosed bi polar when I was 19. 11 years ago I started with this pain but was diagnosed with AS 3 months ago. They put me on prednisone which caused more pain, then methotrexate, which caused me to feel suicidal. I started this diet today. ( I think ) is this much like a diabetic diet? I also started with 3 tbsp. of vinegar and read somewhere else. Am I able to contact you as far as foods I can eat?
    Thank you so much for your research and dedication

    • Avatar Ralph

      Hi Nina, good to hear from you. Yes you can contact me for a consultation so that we can discuss nutrition coaching programs.

  19. Avatar RR

    Hi, firstly many congratulations for successfully healing yourself and healing lot many more, as well as many more on the way to recovery.
    I am from Mumbai, India. I am diagnosed with AS too, I have been waiting to hear, what you have to say about it all, i knew that it does starts from one’ s thoughts ( anxiety, stress) and then leads to gut ( digestion issues )and then disease, i sincerely want to work with you and with your guidance i want to work on my root cause and i want to be free from AS, i know using meditation and reading great authors like Dr. Joe Dispenza book ” you are your placebo” i couldn’t agree more with you have to say. please help me by working with me on my anxiety and diet as this is something, i find plays an important role in my recovery process. I shall be indebted to you forever to guide me. looking forward to hear from you soon brother.

    your sincerely


    • Avatar Ralph

      You hit the nail right in the head! Thoughts, stress, anxiety that then gets to the gut and body. Now all you have to do is change your thoughts, let go of the stress, anxiety and your gut will return to its normal functions. 🙂

  20. Avatar Vishal Shrestha

    Hi! Ralph , first of all thanks for writing this post… it’s not just words that u have written here but a hope itself, a triumph.. I wish every single rheumatologist was like u!! M speechless, I don’t have words to express my gratitude. m overwhelmed…anyway just let me get straight to my question… I am able to manage my pain n inflammation from ayurvedic medicine bt I can’t increase my flexibility in both knees n hips – as X-rays shows they are almost fused. I tried manual physio n some yoga bt It did nothing good. When I asked my rheumatologist for a surgery he disagreed saying dat I had still enough ROM. I don’t what good of 45˚ degree of ROM if I can’t sit in a lotus posture?? Do you think is there any medicine exists to get rid of stiff joints?? thank u!!

    • Avatar Ralph

      That is a very good question, I wish I could answer it but unfortunately I am not a doctor and I do not give medical advice, especially when it comes to questions about medicine for stiff joints. What I can say, is that stiff joints is all a part of the disease itself. If you can go into remission the stiffness will leave as well.

  21. Avatar Frances

    Ralph! Thank you soooo much for sharing your healing journey! I haven’t been diagnosed with AS, but I have a lot of Pre-AS symptoms and the HLA-B27 gene. Your story about the link between your anxiety and childhood traumas you didn’t remember having have totally switched on a lightbulb for me. I am responding well to a no-starch diet but the idea of needing to get my stress and anxiety under control has been in the back of my mind and I know deep down I cannot truly be healed until I deal with some childhood issues that I know are there but I can’t seem to access. I have been trying EFT and FasterEFT but I get back to the memories around the age of 4 and I just can’t seem to access what’s back there, but I get totally overwhelmed so I know something is there I need to deal with.

    Do you have any recommendations of techniques or therapies that you used to help you access those childhood traumas and deal with them?

    Thank you and congratulations for your healing and did inspiring and helping others!

    • Avatar Ralph

      Thank you my good friend for your kind words. In terms of getting to the childhood stuff, the method I use for healing AS symptoms does not ever address any past traumatic experiences. Although they are there we do not need to “fix” them, know them, or even try to release them. At your most convenient time please contact me privately so I can share some things with you.

  22. Avatar Jaybo Francswa

    Hi Ralph,

    I use to be very athletic guy with no pain what so ever and I was so good at sport. I then one day had someone squeeze my upper neck and had reappearing stiff necks. I believe having a bacteria chlamydia at the time caused it also. years later I had a physio push my neck with a immobilization technique which caused massive reaction that night and drinking alcohol. Deep down I knew something had gone very wrong. That night I had a dream that the surgeon who knew the physio cut my upper neck to operate. In the dream I saw my spine in a jar of fluid, Very creepy dream but I only got worse after this dream. The autoimmune had begun and went everywhere especially in my sacroiliacs. I couldn’t sit down for 2 years. I recovered to a certain degree but it has been 10 years and still get pain everywhere. I had frozen shoulder and is linked to my spine somehow because I still get stiff neck. I felt miserable because I have tried most things, I even got big lifting weights but since I dislocated my shoulder I have enever recovered because of frozen shoulder. Exercise has made me feel better but I always get injured from strains. I get gastritis, bursitis etc. My gut was like chrons in the first year but noticed it is still sore when I push but not like after the dream(6 months it began to settle). I think I may have deep trauma stored in my mind as I had an abusive childhood and grew up quite violent. I was wondering what you did to correct the trauma you had suffered from. Diet, exercise is a lot easier to deal with. I think the trauma is linked to when the guy grabbed my neck or also when the physio pushed on my spine(hence the dream). Deep down I never trusted anyone and have serious trauma stored from a bad dad and mother. I cant share my emotions or even understand why I get angry. How does one release trauma properly. I think this is the key to my success. Sorry for the long story but its as short as I could write it ahahah I must admit your story sounds like it is true because you need to treat all aspects of the body, mind and soul. I started doing internal martial arts 1 months ago. Hope the qigong can help but I truly miss having a painless body that doesnt tighten up for no good reason. I am so happy for you and others that get better. I couldn’t imagine how good it would be to be athletic again without causing injuries. I strain muscles and joints everywhere now even though it all started in my upper spine. It started to move. I think its connected to my mind because anxiety levels have become very high and I flipp out since I first got sick. Thanks for the write-up I will try all areas of mind, body and soul. This illness has changed me forever even if I was to become cured. I learnt alot about life but at the same time I have had enough. I refuse to take medications or go back to the doctors cause they can’t help. I tried to see a therapist for the trauma and she mentioned I have stored trauma. I wonder how long did it take you to deal with the trauma and was there a lightbulb moment when the auto immune just stopped or did it take time. Thanks

    • Avatar Ralph

      Hello my friend, thank you for your comment. To answer your question on dealing with the trauma, it took me no time at all. To heal from AS symptoms you do not need to fix the past. As a matter of fact my program for healing doesn’t even look at the past. What you need is a method to help you move forward in life and create a happier, more confident and healthier version of you. Please contact me privately at your most convenient time so I can share some things with you that may help you with your healing.

  23. Hello,
    I’m Mrs. Siegmann, I enjoyed your article. The fact that others are improving their life and dominating this disease is encouraging. Happened to gravitate towards this site a couple years late, no time like the present. I can relate almost entirely with being in my 20s with AS. After a very brief time I discontinued modern meds and saught out natural options. What immediately worked for myself was hypnotherapy. Then, in time I had a combo of specific herbal remedies for this diagnosis. Each day is different but my success is tremendous. Hope everyone with any disease can move forward with a positive outcome!


    Abbie Siegmann C.Ht.

  24. Avatar Kyan

    First time I met Ralph I wasn’t aware of the depth of the A.S. roots. I was skeptical about the idea of the pain caused by some traumatic experience. I was so ego driven that I needed to blame somebody for the disease (the genes, the food, the bacterias, my family…). He showed me the change of perspective from an outter cause of the pain to an inner cause. I recovered from that 10 years in paint when I learnt that our true natural state is health. And our relation with the past must be peace and compassion was key in achieving that.
    Thank you Ralph!

    • Avatar Ralph

      My pleasure brother, and thank you for being you. I look forward to meeting you again some day.

  25. Avatar Mayurdhvaj

    hi..! Dear Ralph thanks for sharing your story. I am 27 year old and i have HLA B-27 positive with so much pain in my body. I have pain to toots of my thigh, pain in my lower back and hip, severe pain in my neck and solders. Please help to get rid of these all. I have so many plans for my future and i want it to be fulfilled.

  26. Avatar Brooke


    I have’t officially been diagnosed, but your story has fueled hopeful thoughts for me. I suffer from anxiety and was just hospitalized for five days due to pain in my SI joints. I would love to be able to talk to you and hear your personal story of when you were first diagnosed. Your comment above about being asked how you were and saying you were fine is something that resonates with me so much. I can never put into words how I feel. Thank you for being such a positive force. The world needs more people like you.

    All the best,


    • Avatar Ralph

      Hi Brooke,

      Thank you for your comment. I am glad the message has reached the right person at the right time. Please email me privately so we can exchange contact information. I would love to share more with you about my experience recovering.

  27. Avatar vladimir

    Thank you very much for the blog .. now I know which way to go ..
    It is a story about me … all the same problems. leaky gut + stress + anxiety = Ankylosing Spondylitis …
    Can you please write to e-mail foods without starch you eat ?

  28. Avatar Véronique Charbonneau

    Hi! Have you ever read the book ‘when the body says no’ by Dr. Gabor Mate? He explains how stress, personality and other psychological factors can cause or exacerbate a panoply of chronic illnesses, including AS – exactly like what you’re saying!

    I have AS and unfortunately I feel like the trigger/root cause of mine is more physical than psychological but I’m a firm believer that good mental and spiritual health is one of the necessary keys to management or remission. However I know a girl who is in complete remission since she took drastic steps to manage her stress!

    • Avatar Ralph

      Yes, that book is a great start for understanding the dynamics of chronic illness.

  29. Avatar Deepanshu Srivastava

    Hey, Ralph

    I’m 21 years old from Delhi, India.

    Perhaps I know which phycological stress made me an AS positive individual. I was planning a lot for my future and working hard for it. It was conspicuous to others and even myself that I’m taking too much of mental and physical stress. I had thought certain level of stress will improve my performance.

    Of course, I didn’t have any idea that it can trouble me so massively. My all plans are lying alone on my table and white board.

    What will you advise me to do in order to control my stress/anxiety and to achieve what I always wanted to achieve?

    • Avatar Ralph

      Hello my good friend, thank you for your message. My advise to you if you are struggling with psychological issues is to speak to a psychologist that can help you resolve those issues. In addition to that you can also join my Facebook support group called ‘Mindbody healing with ralphitness’ to learn more about the holistic healing method I use for healing chronic pain. Best wishes to you, get well soon and I hope I answered your question.

  30. Avatar Dave Mitchell

    Hi Ralph,
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts, it brings hope.
    Spondyloarthropathy (AS) , HLA B27 +, 39yo,
    I have H pylori and Klebsiella. I have tried to treat them with Natural remedies and supplements. I feel these can suppress these pathogens, but do not remove them.
    Low starch, low sugar diet does help a fair bit.
    Meditation (Vipasanna) seemed to help. I find Mediation difficult in daily life, but when you cannot sleep because of pains, I find it best to just focus on my breath.
    I’m still experiencing a moderate amount of pain and flare ups … Still looking for additional solutions..
    I have noted that the onset for me was at a time of stress…
    Thanks for your wise words, I look forward to reading more on the face book group

    Dave (Australia)

    • Avatar Ralph

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me Dave. I look forward to seeing you interact with our facebook group and find answers to your questions.

  31. Avatar Diego

    Dear Ralph
    Thank you so much for sharing your incredible healing story.
    I am 42 years old from Quito, Ecuador
    It all started 3 months ago, after suffering some muscle aches for a couple weeks, a doctor, friend of mine recommended to do some routine blood and hormonal tests.
    Bam !… I had thyroid cancer and diagnosed AS (HLA B27 +) and if that was not enough, my youngest daughter (3 years old) was diagnosed with autism (moderate), all this in the same week!

    After surgery to remove the cancerous tumor, the terrible joint pain started until today
    I still cannot believe it… just 4 months ago I was a competitive mountain biker, ultrarunner and triathlete and today I am not even able to tie my shoes. Sometimes the pain is just indescribable!

    I am currently taking a ton of anti-inflammatories, painkillers, homeopathic medicine, acupuncture and I changed my diet completely (The Paddison program – a raw plant base diet) with very slight positive results. I do not even want to think about biological medicine (as my rheumatology has recommended it)

    But after reading your story, I think there is still hope. I deeply believe that we have the power to heal ourselves; we just do not know where to start. Pain-stress vicious circle does not allow seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and we get lost without hope.
    I would appreciate it if you tell me where to start
    All the best,

    • Hi Diego,

      Sorry that you are going through a tough time. Healing from AS is very simple and extremely challenging at the same time. Mainly because besides eating better and adapting new life routines it is also absolutely necessary to explore your inner world. Including your deepest darkest fears. It takes a whole lot of will power, support and proper guidance to make it through the storm. I assure you from my own experience that although the journey can be tough it is well worth the effort and the struggles. I wrote this post to answer the question that many people like you ask me on the daily basis on how to get started. Please read the post carefully and let me know if there is anything else I can assist you with. Best wishes to you and your family during these difficult times.


  32. Avatar Diego

    Dear Ralph
    I appreciate your immediate response and encouragement words
    I’ll read the post as you recommended
    Best for you

  33. Avatar ANAND

    Hi Ralph, thanks a lot for giving hope to those suffering from AS by sharing your story. I’m Anand from India. I’m of 25.
    When I was of 11-12, I started suffering from joints pain after some treatment I recovered but after a gap of 2-3 years it started again and by treatment it again diagnosed and this continues. Since last 2-3 years I have pain in lower back (and in hips), and in back along with spine. Last year I got to know that I am suffering from AS(HLB 27+). I consult with doctors but they told me that there is no proper treatment of AS by which it can be diagnosed completely. They prescribed some anti inflammatory drugs and painkillers. but I didn’t get any relief and I discontinued the treatment.
    After reading your story I think there is a hope to heal from AS completely as you did. please guide me and help me to get rid of this. I just want to live a normal life..


    • Hi Anand, Thank you for your comment. Please email me so we can further discuss this.

  34. Avatar Sang

    Hi Raph, please guide me how to healing from SA. I’m Sang from Vietnam, i’m 21 and Disease detection is 1 year. I want good health for my life. Please send your guide to my email ,tks very must

    • Hello Sang, please send me an email using the contact form so we can discuss this further.

  35. Avatar Audrey

    I am really suffering, feeling lost and hopeless. I lost over 30 pounds. I can barely eat anything without getting nauseous or having diarrhea. I have pain in my hips, legs, buttocks, shoulders, lower back and jaw. I’m taking a anti inflammatory but it’s not helping. Im seriously considering going on a biologic just to get some relief but I’m so afraid. I was taking anxiety medication in the past. I was functioning with pain while on that medication. Ever since I stopped taking the anxiety medication my stomach/gut /insomnia issues have made relentless. Something has to give, I’m desperate.

    • Hi Audrey, sorry you are going through such a hard time. If there is anything I can help you with please send me a private email and let me know how I can help.

  36. Avatar Heather Bryant

    Hello Ralph, I’m a 40 y/o woman in Southern California who was diagnosed with AS back in 2013. I also had a knee injury back in 2007-2008 that I never fixed. Because I let that one knee injury go without getting it looked at by a doctor, it has caused my whole body to get crooked in a nearly zig-zag way, including developing some scoliosis. Also from AS, I am hunching over with a stiff neck with little turning or tilting range of movement, and have discintegrated joints in my shoulders that feel arthritis and lend to limited range of motion up top as well.

    Five years ago, while on Enbrel, I was super active with fast-paced hiking for many miles, even once backpacked 20 Miles owith 20lbs on my back. Then I stopped taking it, let things go, and now have trouble with lots of basic moves, like turning over in my sleep, getting myself out of a car, and climbing stairs. I also sit a lot for work on my computer and phone.

    I love your story and firmly believe in everything you’ve done to turn your overall health around. I am too young to physically be going though this, and want my life (and self-esteem back). I would love to chat with you or email in private. I am from Northern NJ, so can come to NY, too.

    • Hi Heather,

      I would be more than happy to connect with you and further discuss how I can help you regain your health. I will email you directly my contact information and how we can connect.

  37. Avatar Sunny Raj

    Hi Ralph,
    I am Sunny from India. I am 27 yrs old got diagnosed by AS after having six months of continues pain in my lower back and sacroiliac joints.
    It seems my life is gone. I used to play games football , basketball, cricket, running, gyming Everything. I used to be so energetic and entertained everyone around me.
    But last 6-7 months has turned my life upside down. I have so much of pain that I can’t even walk properly.
    Stopped going out just because I don’t want to bother anyone or keep replying to everyone that what has happened to me.
    Can’t see anything ahead.
    I am taking NSAID and doing a little stretching and exercises but those has nearly no improvement in my conditions.
    Please help me out. Don’t want to be as dynamic as I was but at least have a simple painless life . Want to live not just ‘being Alive’

    • Hi Sunny,

      Thank you for your comment. Please message me directly using the contact form so we can discuss this further.

  38. Avatar Anuj Mittal

    Hi Ralph,
    Just got linked to your article from another article about AS. This was very informative. I got to know a lot of things about the condition. Just got diagnosed with AS a couple of months back after suffering from lower back pain for about a year. Physio Therapy and Exercise are working incredibly for me, Exercise and Stretches a couple of times a day are getting me through it. I’m also learning to swim as the doctor recommended which I hope would further help me in relief. Was always curious about what led to this condition, and this post kind of gave me a better understanding of what it could be. I’m Currently overweight by about 10kilos, looking to make some dietary changes. But would like to thank you for sharing your experience, kind of opened my eyes about some of the specifics of this condition.

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