Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)



First Advisor

Robert J. Nash

Second Advisor

Fiona Patterson


Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) and Chronic Pain Syndrome (CPS) can be treated in many different ways. I found a problem in the balance of healing modalities surrounding diagnosis and care of illness and disease. This struggle is not singular to AS and CPS, but universal to physical and mental concerns. Some effective treatments and therapies are not recognized as such or are just beginning to become so. The scope of my work reflects on the course of my life. It was heavily influenced by the way my medical care was managed from an early age and how it evolved over the years. Through my educational program, I examined the necessity to bridge the gap between treatment paradigms and to expand on a broader, more inclusive, healing rubric. This rubric includes a broader emphasis on skill-based and complementary and alternative medicines. The viability to incorporate holistic health therapies earlier in life is explored through my use of the Scholarly Personal Narrative (SPN) qualitative research method. I chose this methodology because scientific fact could be argued either way for one therapeutic approach over another. By incorporating lived experience through SPN the union and cohesion necessary in all healing modalities, and their positive aspects, can be seen. The truth becomes self-evident.

The results of this examination showed awareness earlier in life toward alternative and holistic treatments being paramount. Parents and educators lack information concerning modern therapeutic approaches. It also showed each situation will vary, but choice in treatment for ailments and illness of all kinds is not only viable, but highly recommended and researched. Access issues such as health insurance remain obstacles with some treatments and therapies, while others are a matter of cost prohibition, such as nutrition therapies. The implications of my work indicate a need for earlier incorporation of holistic healing programs and skill based therapies alongside perpetuated medical models in early childhood development and education.

In conclusion, awareness towards medical concerns and how we as a society treat them can be improved upon by systemically incorporating less harmful therapies earlier in life. Fostering relations between medical providers, care providers and educators for students' wellbeing should be the foreground of any educational policy. Educators and parents alike should be made aware of and take advantage of effective skill-based treatments before a physical or mental condition surfaces or medication only approaches are authoritatively recommended. Integrating programs that build strong mental resilience and focus on youth development and education can reduce the necessity for more invasive treatments or medications should an ailment or illness develop.



Number of Pages

64 p.