How I Defied Medical Advice and Healed Myself Through Nature and Lifestyle Changes

Carmen Rao

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A journey from chronic psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis to complete remission, and what it taught me about holistic health.

A video of me hiking in Glacier National Park, during my summer of healing

The Genesis of My Autoimmune Health Journey

Four years ago, my life was a far cry from what it is today. I was grappling with debilitating autoimmune conditions, tipping the scales at well over 200 pounds, and was burdened with chronic psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

Medical professionals had me convinced that my conditions were irreversible and that I would have to live with them for the rest of my life.

However, I made a life-altering choice: I embarked on a 2000-mile trek along the Wild West Trail. This transformative journey did more than just change my physical appearance; it provided me with invaluable insights into the intricacies of my body, energy levels, nutrition, and physical activity.

This is my story of defying conventional medical wisdom and healing myself through a symbiotic relationship with nature and lifestyle modifications.

The Struggle with Autoimmune Conditions and Traditional Medicine

The Symptoms and Diagnosis

I was perpetually drained, plagued by joint pain, and tormented by digestive issues. My quality of life had deteriorated to such an extent that I was desperate for any form of relief.

After numerous consultations with healthcare providers and specialists, I was finally diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder and chronic psoriasis.

The Medical Quagmire and Its Limitations

Traditional medicine often focuses on symptom management rather than addressing the underlying issues.

I was ensnared in this therapeutic loop for years, with no tangible improvement in sight.

My obesity only exacerbated my health problems, as it is a well-documented risk factor for autoimmune diseases[¹^].

The Wild West Trail: A Pivotal Moment

A Google Map image of the Wild West Trail, spanning Nevada, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming.

The Decision and Transformation

Frustrated and desperate, I took a radical step for the sake of my well-being. I committed myself to a 2000-mile hike on the Wild West Trail, a journey that spanned 115 days.

Astonishingly, most of my symptoms began to subside within the first fortnight of the hike.

The combination of physical exertion, communion with nature, and dietary changes had a miraculous impact on both my physical and mental states.

Psoriasis as a Health Indicator

Post-hike, I came to understand that the manifestation of psoriasis plaques was my body’s way of signaling internal imbalances.

It essentially became a health gauge, indicating when something was amiss in my system.

What I Learned: The Nexus of Holistic Healing


I adopted a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods such as turmeric, ginger, and omega-3 laden fish, while consciously avoiding processed foods, sugars, and dairy products.

The right nutrition can be a game-changer in how you feel and function on a daily basis.

Physical Activity and Vitality

Regular cardiovascular exercise had a profound impact on my skin condition and joint health.

Exercise is not merely a weight-loss tool; it serves as a catalyst for energizing your entire system.

Mindfulness and Emotional Well-being

Stress management techniques like mindfulness and meditation were integral to my healing journey.

Physical activities release endorphins, which serve as natural mood enhancers, thereby improving mental health.

Obstacles and Adaptations

Every journey has its share of challenges, and mine was no exception. I encountered setbacks such as dietary lapses and exercise plateaus.

However, the key to overcoming these obstacles was unwavering commitment and timely adjustments to my regimen.

Final Thoughts and Your Next Steps for Holistic Health

Two girls in a tent at sunset with a backdrop of the Wild West landscape.

My journey serves as a compelling testament to the transformative power of holistic health.

If you find yourself ensnared in the clutches of chronic ailments, I urge you to explore avenues beyond conventional medicine.

For personalized guidance on embarking on your own journey towards holistic health, feel free to reach out to my coaching service.

I hope my story serves as a beacon of inspiration, encouraging you to seize control of your health and make informed decisions for a more fulfilling life.

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[¹^]: [The Correlation Between Obesity and Autoimmunity](
[²^]: [The Positive Impact of Lifestyle Changes on Psoriasis](

Note: This article is grounded in personal experience and is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice.

By sharing this comprehensive account of my journey, I aim to inspire and empower others to take proactive steps in managing their health.

Remember, you are the best advocate for your own well-being.

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