Have a DIY Spa Day for Your Aches and Pains

Andrea Wyckoff avatar

by Andrea Wyckoff |

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(Photo by Andrea Wyckoff)

I am honored to be joining the team here at Ankylosing Spondylitis News. I have been living with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) for the past 20 years, so I am very familiar with the ups and downs of having a rare disease crash land into your life and snatch control of your body. AS is no joke, and it can be a jerk to live with at times.

One thing living with AS has taught me is the importance of self-care. I now treasure the time I set aside for my weekly DIY spa, which is as follows:

Green juice

I call green juice “nature’s pain relief in a glass.” I am not kidding when I say I will take green juice over an NSAID or pain pill any day. 

There is something to be said for getting a full day’s serving of fruits and vegetables squeezed into a cup of liquid green sunshine to revitalize and recharge the body. The act of pulverizing veggies into a “predigested” juice, soup, or smoothie makes all of those important nutrients much more readily digested. 

I plan to write a column about the two-week “juice fast” I did that was truly life-changing for me. I have found that even one to three days of juice fasting can provide much-needed relief from my flares. 

Andrea’s AS-kicking Green Juice Recipe: 

  • 1 green apple
  • 2 large handfuls of spinach (or kale)
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 inch chunk of ginger
  • 1/2 bunch parsley

Run each ingredient through a juicing machine, or order this juice at your local health food store’s juice bar. 

For those new to juicing, check out this article by Dr. Axe, in which he walks readers through how to make a similar anti-inflammatory juice recommended for fighting pain and arthritis. 

If juicing just isn’t your thing, check out this nutrient-dense “Kick AS Green Soup” from our own Janneke Phung. This savory green soup has been a staple for Janneke on the AS low/no-starch intro diet. 

For those days when I don’t have access to a juicing machine, I still enjoy my green juice by buying it off the shelf, such as R.W. Knudsen’s Mega Green Juice, which costs about $4.29 per 32-oz. jar. 

Epsom salt soak

I had been hearing about the wonders of Epsom salt baths since first joining the Kick AS community eight years ago at KickAS.org. I now love having this inexpensive pain-fighting therapy in my cupboard. This article by the website CreakyJoints features a recipe for an Epsom salt bath, along with a list of studies showing favorable results in which Epsom salt baths helped to improve the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, and psoriatic arthritis. 

Epsom salts are inexpensive — usually under $10 for a good-sized bag — and can be found in most pharmacies, grocery stores, and farm supply stores. 

Meditation vibes

It’s amazing how much better I feel both emotionally and physically after listening to a relaxing meditation in a hot Epsom salt bath while sipping on my green juice, puffing on a joint, and listening to inspirational speaker Abraham Hicks. Hello, my favorite time of the week! 

Listening to Hicks’ calm and nurturing voice always helps guide my mind back to a state of well-being, with good vibes flowing freely. 

Here is a meditation from Hicks you can listen to while soaking in the bath or simply lying in bed under a cozy blanket: 



Having access to some of the most blessed cannabis on Earth has been another game-changer in my lifelong quest to kick AS. I look forward to sharing future columns about how cannabis has become a wonderful ally in helping me to live pain-free every day, and about how it helps me get restful sleep. 

For my in-home spa days, I love to enjoy 10 mg to 20 mg of THC in edible form from our local marijuana retail shop, such as a gummy or infused chocolate. You’ll probably catch me taking a few hits from a spliff while in the bathtub, too, because it just feels so nice!


Whether you go infrared or steam-powered for your sauna session, there is no doubt that sweating it out in a sauna helps me feel better every time! Check out listings for day spas in your area, where often you can find 30- or 60-minute sauna treatments for about $30 per session. This is a nice way of treating yourself to feeling better. 

What are some of your favorite self-care methods? Please share in the comments below! 


Note: Ankylosing Spondylitis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Ankylosing Spondylitis News, or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to ankylosing spondylitis.


Janneke avatar


It's posts like these that inspire me to live my best life with AS! Thanks, Andrea <3

Leslie avatar


What did your rheumatologist do to definitively diagnose you with AK?

Andrea Wyckoff avatar

Andrea Wyckoff

Hi Leslie,
It was a chiropractor who x-rayed my spine and first diagnosed the AS as so much fusion was present. He then referred me to a rheumatologist who ordered MRI's which again showed fusing in my lumbar, thoracic, and cervical spine. Because I went so long mis-diagnosed, I was already quite fused when I saw the rheumatologist.


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