Fibromyalgia, like chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), which it is often associated with, is a poorly understood disease condition that can manifest in a variety of ways and which has many symptoms, making accurate diagnosis difficult. Also like CFS, the onset of fibromyalgia, which is sometimes called fibrositis, usually follows exposure to infectious microorganisms, such as bacteria, fungi, and/or viruses, or after times of trauma. The chief difference between CFS and fibromyalgia is that the dominant symptom of CFS is fatigue, while in fibromyalgia it is chronic muscle pain throughout the body. As a whole, conventional medicine has achieved limited success in treating fibromyalgia, and in many cases conventional physicians fail to detect it altogether, despite the fact that it is now known that as many as 6 million Americans are affected by it, the vast majority of whom are women and primarily between the ages of 34 and 56. Symptoms of fibromyalgia can be so severe that approximately one out of every four people who suffer from it are unable to go to work.
In 1990, the American College of Rheumatology created an official diagnostic criteria for fibromyalgia, which stated that for a diagnosis of fibromyalgia to be given, a patient must first exhibit pain for at least three months in the majority of the following muscle sites: back part of the skull on either side, the lower vertebrae of the neck (C5-C7), the upper back (trapezius), the shoulder blades, the second rib, the femur (top of the thigh bone), the buttocks, and the knees.
Though often considered a new type of health condition, fibromyalgia was in fact first written about in 1816, and received official medical confirmation as being a separate and distinct disease in 1904. It was not until 1987, however, that the American Medical Association finally recognized it as a disabling disorder. Even today, however, many conventional physicians fail to realize that fibromyalgia is not due to physical inactivity, which can cause muscles to atrophy and weaken, but most commonly occurs in highly physically active people. In addition, many conventional doctors misdiagnose fibromyalgia patients, telling them that they are suffering from psychological conditions, such as depression, and that their symptoms are “all in their head.” By contrast, practitioners of alternative medicine take fibromyalgia very seriously, and employ comprehensive treatment programs specifically tailored to the needs of each of their patients so as to most effectively address fibromyalgia’s many underlying causes.
Practitioners of alternative medicine rely on both conventional and nonconventional diagnostic tests in treating fibromyalgia patients, to ensure that they are able to determine all of the causative factors involved in its onset. Conventional medical tests include blood, stool, and urine tests; stress tests; and testing of the thyroid gland. In addition, they will usually employ tests to determine their patients` nutritional profile, checking for imbalances and deficiencies; hair analysis, DMSA challenge test, functional liver detoxification profile, and other tests, to assess the toxicity of the body`s cells, glands, and tissues; and stress and hormone tests, to determine overall functioning of the endocrine system and possible hormonal imbalances.
Two other nonconventional tests that are often used are darkfield blood analysis and electrodermal screening (EDS), both of which are capable of revealing health issues that other diagnostic tests can miss. Darkfield microscopy involves the use of a darkfield microscope. Unlike traditional microscopes, a darkfield microscope is specially adapted to be able to examine live blood cells that are then magnified onto a video screen. This allows physicians trained in this diagnostic technique to detect evidence of illness via distortions in the walls of the blood cells, and to spot harmful microorganisms, including bacteria, fungi, and viruses in the bloodstream, where they do not belong. Such microorganisms are commonly found in the bloodstream of fibromyalgia patients.
Electrodermal screening is a noninvasive diagnostic technique that measures the electrical output of specific points on the hands, face, or feet that correlate to acupuncture meridian points at the beginning or end of energy meridians. The electrical signals given off at these points provides information about the health status of the body`s organs and organ systems, and can also be used to detect the presence of toxins, energy and hormonal imbalances, and harmful microorganisms. In the hands of a highly skilled EDS practitioner, EDS can often detect hidden contributing factors for fibromyalgia, even when other sophisticated testing methods fail to do so because of the fact that both health and disease are first and foremost the results of balanced or imbalanced energy.
There is not one specific cause for primary fibromyalgia. Certain common features among fibromyalgia patients provide a better idea as to the primary factors that are involved in its onset, however. These include dental amalgam fillings, hormone imbalances, infection, neurotransmitter imbalances, sleep problems, problems with the thalamus gland, and physical trauma. Other factors that can play a role include chemical and food allergies and sensitivities, chronic stress, and dysfunctions in muscle metabolism. Breast implants can also contribute to fibromyalgia because the materials implants contain weaken the body`s immune system.
Dental Amalgam Fillings Dental amalgam fillings are composed of 50 percent mercury, a highly toxic compound. An abundant amount of scientific research, primarily conducted in Europe, where many countries have banned the use of mercury amalgams, proves that such fillings greatly increase the likelihood of heavy metal poisoning in the body`s glands and tissues due to how mercury vapors escape from the fillings each and every day to settle into various areas inside the body. Once in the body, mercury can cause a wide range of health problems, including fibromyalgia. If you have dental amalgams, consider having them replaced by a holistic (biological) dentist trained in their removal.
Hormone Imbalances Many people with fibromyalgia also exhibit diminished levels of human growth hormone (HGH) and cortisol. HGH, which is produced by the brain`s pituitary gland, is important for a wide range of health issues, including the health of the muscles. Although your body`s production of HGH started to decline at an average of 14 percent every ten years after age 20, people with fibromyalgia can also be experiencing imbalanced daily production of HGH, which primarily occurs during the first hours of sleep.
Cortisol which is produced by the adrenal glands, is sometimes referred to as the stress hormone because it is during times of stress that it is most frequently secreted. During times of chronic stress, excessive amounts of cortisol can be produced by the adrenal glands, leaving them exhausted and unable to sufficiently regulate your body`s energy supply. Cortisol imbalances can eventually cause chronic fatigue, muscle pain and stiffness, immune problems, and sleep disorders, as well as diminish HGH production. All of these symptoms are also common with fibromyalgia, with research now showing a correlation between imbalanced cortisol and fibromyalgia.
Infections Many cases of fibromyalgia occur after infections caused by harmful microorganisms. Two types of viruses that are often associated with fibromyalgia are influenza type A, which primarily affects the autonomic nervous system and the lungs, and hepatitis C. Other infectious agents include bacteria, fungal infections such as yeast, (Candidia albicans, which causes candidiasis), parasites, and bacterial infections caused by abscessed teeth and gastritis.
Neurotransmitter Imbalances Research has shown that people with fibromyalgia have higher than normal levels of Substance P, a neurotransmitter that helps mediate the body`s response to pain, and lower than normal levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that acts as a natural painkiller. On average, Substance P is 200-300 percent higher than normal in fibromyalgia patients, causing them to experience pain in situations where pain would not be experienced by normal, healthy people. The lack of serotonin further exacerbates this problem and also interferes with the ability of fibromyalgia patients to experience deep, restful sleep.
Sleep Disorders People who suffer from fibromyalgia often exhibit abnormal brain wave patterns during the deepest stage of dreamless (non-REM) sleep. This stage of sleep is essential for proper repair of your body`s tissues, as well as the production of antibodies to protect against infection, and the secretion of human growth hormone. The inability to enter into this deep, restful sleep stage is considered one of the most significant contributing factors for fibromyalgia.
Thalamus Dysfunctions People with fibromyalgia also often suffer from imbalanced functioning of the thalamus gland. Located in the brain, the thalamus gland regulates and integrates how your body senses internal and external stimuli. When it doesn`t function properly, it can result in normal feedback signals from the body to the brain to be falsely interpreted as pain.
As with all diseases this did not happen overnight. The very first thing you must do is see a licensed health professional. Find a list of practitioners in your local area here
Conventional physicians treat fibromyalgia primarily through the use of painkiller medications. Such an approach fails to address the multiple causes of fibromyalgia, and also carries with it the risk of serious side effects. In addition, this symptom care approach is typical of conventional medicine`s failure to properly understand chronic health conditions such as fibromyalgia, which explains why it so often fails to successfully treat such conditions. Practitioners of alternative medicine, on the other hand, focus their treatment approaches on the multiple factors involved in fibromyalgia in order to eliminate them, while simultaneously stimulating the body`s ability to repair itself. What follows is an overview of some of the most common therapies they employ in order to achieve those goals.
Here are some things you can discuss with your practitioner:
- Eliminate Candida: Click here to find out how
- Do the Hydrogen Peroxide Protocol to strengthen the immune system:
- Drink 3oz of Colloidal Silver, three or four times a day for 60 days www.colloidsforlife.com/ Silver has long been recognised as a powerful natural antibiotic. Colloidal silver is silver that has been removed electronically from its source and then suspended in water. It is used to treat a myriad of diseases.
- Go on a fast to clear your system of toxic waste www.wecarespa.com
Hydrotherapy is the application of water, ice, steam and hot and cold temperatures to maintain and restore health. Treatments include full body immersion, steam baths, saunas, sitz baths, colonic irrigation and the application of hot and/or cold compresses. Hydrotherapy is effective for treating a wide range of conditions and can easily be used in the home as part of a self-care program. Many Naturopathic Physicians, Physical Therapists and Day Spas use Hydrotherapy as part of treatment.
There are several at-home hydrotherapy treatments. For treating rheumatoid arthritis, we recommended constitutional hydrotherapy (apply two to five times weekly) or a heating compress (apply once daily to affected areas). Please seek the advice of your alternative health care practitioner before undergoing these procedures to make sure they are appropriate for you.
- We recommend regular colonics to remove toxicity from the body. Read more about colonics by clicking here. Find a practitioner here.
- Most of the water that we drink is very acidic and in order to heal our bodies need a more alkaline state. During the programme drink alkalised water, which you can buy from Real Water www.drinkrealwater.com/
- Take a bath as often as possible up to once a day with two litres of 35% food grade Hydrogen Peroxide.
Proper diet is essential for effectively dealing with fibromyalgia. This means eating only foods that support your immune system, and avoiding all foods that tax your energy and impair healthy digestion. Consider adopting an organic, vegetarian diet, which researchers have shown can help improve fibromyalgia symptoms such as joint and muscle pain, body stiffness, and sleeping problems. Emphasize fresh, organic vegetables and fruits, eating a large daily serving of dark leafy greens, and select servings of healthy vegetarian oriented protein such as organic, free-range eggs, small quantities of raw dairy products, tempeh, tofu, beans, quinoa and wild caught fish that are low in mercury. Avoid all farm-raised fish, as they are high in antibiotics and dyes, and avoid shellfish, which have a higher concentration of mercury and toxins. For sustained energy, also include complex carbohydrates in the form of whole grains, legumes, red potatoes, squash, and yams. Limit your overall carbohydrate intake to 30 percent of the foods you eat at each meal. This means increasing your vegetables and protein if necessary to balance out the complex carbohydrates. Also, be sure to consume adequate amounts of essential fatty acids in supplement form alternating between fish oil, evening primrose oil and healthy free flowing oils such as extra virgin olive oil, high lignin flaxseed, and coconut butter/oil. Additionally, drink at least half an ounce of pure, filtered water for every pound you weigh.
Avoid all foods to which you are allergic or sensitive. Common allergy-causing foods include milk and dairy products, chocolate, corn, and wheat and wheat products. In addition, eliminate all “junk” and commercially processed foods, sodas, commercially prepared juices, all sugars and simple, refined carbohydrates, and minimize your intake of alcohol and caffeine. If you also suffer from candidiasis, follow the dietary recommendations for candidiasis, including avoiding all fruits, except berries, green apples and grapefruit.
It is important to not add further toxicity to your system so try to adhere to the following:
- Do not consume any artificial sweeteners, such as Splenda, NutraSweet or Aspartame
- Do not consume high fructose corn syrup or mono-sodium glutamate.
- Do not drink any carbonated beverages.
- Avoid all fast food restaurants.
- Avoid all canned food.
- Eliminate conventional dairy products. The best dairy products are raw, unpasteurised and homogenised dairy from grass fed cows. If this is unavailable, then buy organic dairy.
- Avoid conventional beef. The best beef is organic grass fed beef.
www.grasslandbeef.com/StoreFront.bok?affld=104400 The second best is organic meat; this includes beef, veal, lamb, chicken and turkey.
- Take Vitamin D3 50,000-100,000 International Units a day www. for periods of 4 weeks at a time.
- Wholefood supplements are the best way of ensuring your nutritional needs are met. The best we know on the market is Kevin Trudeau’s “KT Daily” product. You can find more details here www.kevintrudeaudailylifesessentials.com/
- Take an Omega 3 supplement:
Prescription and non-prescription medication:
What non-prescription and prescription drugs are you taking? Your non-prescription and prescription are partially the reason that you have this illness or disease – you need to get off these medications but do so only under the guidance of a licensed health care practitioner.
We know that when the body is out of balance, energy doesn’t flow, leading blockages and eventually dis-ease. Here are some things you can do to combat stress and restore balance:
- Go to a Dr Morter BEST (Bio-Energetic Synchronisation Technique) Practitioner.
- Sign up for Energetic Re-Balancing: 2 practitioners to consider are:
- Stephen Lewis, founder of the Aim Program. Find out more by clicking here.
- . Find out more by clicking here.
- Consider using Mary Millers Iching System Products – www.ichingsystemsinstruments.com
- Reiki healing is very powerful in releasing stress and emotional baggage. Find a practitioner here.
- Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) has had remarkable results in dissolving stress. Find a local practitioner here (link) or go to www.thetappingsolution.com orwww.tftrx.com
- Try Hypnotherapy to relax the mind. Find a practitioner here.
As always the fastest most effective way to receive tailored advice to your own situation, you should visit a local licensed practitioner. Find your closest Ayurvedic practitionershere:
Here are some remedies that your practitioner may suggest:
- Decoction of the roots of ten herbs ‘Dashamula quath’ is useful
- Daily use of the Ayurvedic compound ‘Triphala choorna‘ is recommended to cleanse the colon.
- Half a teaspoon of turmeric powder with warm water helps to reduce pain and inflammation in Fibromyalgia.
- Garlic is useful for detoxification and to enhance immune system function.
- Guggul is a very helpful herb for relief of pain.
- Licorice root supports the glandular system and acts in the body like cortisone. Use with caution.
- Ginger Tea. Ginger is a good alternative to aspirin to relieve minor aches and pains.
Traditional Chinese Medicine
To receive bespoke advice based upon your own situation you should visit a local licensed practitioner. Find your closest Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners here:
Here are some remedies that your practitioner may suggest:
Acupuncture: Acupuncture can significantly reduce the pain associated with fibromyalgia because of its ability to increase blood flow into the affected joints and muscles. This, in turn, provides the joints and muscles with increased levels of oxygen and nutrients. Acupuncture also helps to regulate the brain`s production of neurotransmitters, helping to reduce over-active production of Substance P while simultaneously stabilizing serotonin levels to further reduce pain symptoms.
To soothe acute muscle pain, massage the affected areas with the essential oils of black pepper, birch, or ginger. To help ease fatigue, clary sage, lavender, marjoram, and rosemary can all be helpful.
To ensure positive results, always check that the essential oil is a 100% pure plant distillation and that it comes from a reputable source.
Owing to the principles behind homeopathy (link to full description of what it is) it is essential you see a licensed practitioner to receive your own personalised prescription. Find your closest Homeopath here:
Here are some remedies that your practitioner may suggest:
Arnica This remedy is indicated when any area of the body feels bruised and sore, after exertion, overuse of muscles, or injury. Sometimes Arnica is enough to soothe a chronic condition.
Bryonia Used when even the slightest motion aggravates the pain. People who need this remedy often feel extremely irritable and grumpy, not wanting to be touched or interfered with. Warmth often makes things worse and cool applications may be soothing. Pressure on the painful parts (or lying on them) often helps, because it minimizes movement.
Calcarea carbonica Used for muscle soreness and weakness that are worse from exertion, and worse from getting cold and damp.
Causticum Soreness, weakness, and stiffness in the muscles—worse from being cold and worse from overuse.
Cimicifuga (also called Actae racemosa) People who need this remedy are often energetic and talkative, becoming depressed or fearful when physical problems trouble them. Soreness and stiffness of muscles may be accompanied by shooting pains and are usually aggravated by getting cold. The neck and spinal muscles can be very tight, and the person may have headaches and other problems during menstrual periods.
Kalmia latifolia Used when there is severe pain in the muscles, extending from higher areas to lower ones. Shooting pains may occur, along with stiffness, neuralgia, and numbness or a cold sensation. Pains can come on suddenly, and often shift around, being worse from motion and worse at night.
Ranunculus bulbosus This remedy is often helpful with fibrositis and muscle stiffness, especially when the neck and back muscles are involved. Stabbing pains and soreness may be felt near the spine and shoulder-blades, especially on the left. Problems may be aggravated by cold damp weather, walking, and alcoholic beverages.
Rhus toxicodendron If a person feels very restless, with stiffness and soreness that find relief in warmth and motion, this remedy should be considered. Problems are aggravated in cold, damp weather. Stiffness and pain are worse on waking in the morning, and after periods of rest.
Ruta graveolens Used when there is tremendous stiffness of the muscles, with lameness, pain, and weakness (especially after overuse.) The legs and hips are sore and weak, and the person may find it difficult to stand after sitting in a chair. Muscles in the back and neck feel bruised, the tendons may be sore, and the wrists and hands feel painful and contracted.
The following are often recommended:
Chamomile This is a calming fibromyalgia herb that can help induce sleep, lessen anxiety, decrease menstrual cramps and may even boost the immune system.
Echinacea Supports the immune system and may help prevent infections. Take at the first sign of a cold to boost your immune system. This is a studied case where it is not recommended for children because the herb seems to work differently in children.
Cayenne Can help relieve migraine or tension headaches. It is used for muscle pain when made into a salve or ointment.
Ginger Can be used to calm an upset stomach. May have anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
Ginseng Increases energy and relieves stress.
Goldenseal Can reduce inflammation. Also used to detoxify. Not recommended for long-term use.
Lavender Relieves insomnia, depression, and can help with headaches. Generally, this scent is inhaled to give the benefits of aromatherapy.
Licorice Supports the adrenal glands, aids in digestion, and can act as a sexual stimulant.
Pine Bark Reduces inflammation. Can help with circulation.
Milk Thistle Supports the liver and aids in its regeneration thus improving the immune system and hormone production.
Passionflower Helps with insomnia, stress, and anxiety.
Dong quai can be effective in regulating female problems related to the menstrual cycle. Do not use if you are or may become pregnant. It can cause the uterus to contract, triggering a miscarriage.
Saw Palmetto can help men with urinary flow problems.
St. John’s Wort Can be as effective for some as Prozac for treating mild depression without as many side effects.
Bodywork: Bodywork is another excellent therapeutic approach for treating fibromyalgia because of its ability to alleviate the chronic muscle tension that so often accompanies fibromyalgia. Bodywork also improves blood circulation throughout the body, causing joints, muscles, and their surrounding tissues to eliminate stored cellular wastes that can worsen pain. Other benefits of bodywork include improved nerve function, restoration of muscle balance (tense muscles tend to be either shortened or stretched too long) and function, and the shutting off of pain “trigger points” that keep the body in a constant state of heightened sensitivity to pain, as well as other external stimuli, such as cold, light, and sound.
Among the most beneficial types of bodywork for fibromyalgia are Deep Tissue Massage, Lymphatic Massage, Acupressure, Bowen Therapy, Feldenkrais, myotherapy, Rolfing, Shiatsu, Therapeutic Touch, and Trigger Point Therapy.
Energy Medicine: Energy medicine involves harnessing or stimulating the body to heal by interacting with the bioenergy field that surrounds all living matter. Energy medicine has two basic categories: energetic therapies that are similar to the Biblical concept of “laying on of hands,” such as Reiki, Healing Touch, and Therapeutic Touch, all of which can significantly improve fibromyalgia pain symptoms, and which can be taught to patients as a form of self-care, as well as being provided by professional energy healers.
The second category of energy medicine involves a number of energy devices that emit energetic frequencies capable of stimulating healing and pain relief, which can be very useful for fibromyalgia. One of the most well-known of these devices is the TENS Unit, which stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation, and was developed by pioneering holistic physician and researcher C. Norman Shealy. The TENS Unit is a small, portable device that transmits varying electrical frequencies to areas of pain via electrodes that are attached to the body. Not only do TENS Units help to alleviate pain, they are also capable of blocking pain signals and may also stimulate endorphin production, enhancing feelings of overall well-being. In addition, TENS Units can be used as a form of self-care by patients once they are taught how to use them, making them especially convenient for people with fibromyalgia.
The physical postures and breathing exercises comprising the practice of yoga have long been proven by scientific research to promote feelings of relaxation while simultaneously strengthening the body. Research conducted since the 1970s has shown that regular yoga practice not only relieves stress, and stressful emotions such as anxiety and depression, but also improves blood pressure rates and overall cardiovascular health. Yoga is also effective for reducing pain, improving gastrointestinal and respiratory function, and for improving cognitive function and enhancing sight and hearing.
Note: If you are just beginning to explore yoga, it is recommended that you initially do so under the guidance of a trained yoga instructor who can guide you to become aware of the subtleties involved in each yoga posture as well as the corresponding method of breathing.
Is a wonderful form of exercise, breath work and meditation to relieve stress and tension in the body. See article section for more information about the art of qigong.
Two other useful energy devices for treating fibromyalgia are the Electro-Acuscope
Beat fibromyalgia naturally: www.naturalnews.com/035840_fibromyalgia_remedies_solutions.html
Traditional Chinese Medicine – Ancient Healing blogs.naturalcures.com/?s=traditional+chinese+ancient+healing
The best way to cleansing and purification of the body blogs.naturalcures.com/the-best-way-to-cleansing-and-purification-of-the-body/
Mother Nature’s Natural Germ Fighters naturalhealthdossier.com/2012/03/mother-natures-natural-germ-fighters/
Heal Your Body and Raise Your Consciousness – Qigong (from August 2012 newsletter)
Health Care that Won’t Cost You a Single Penny – EFT (June 2012 newsletter)
Become Master of Your Mind – taking charge of your reaction to stress (Oct 2012 newsletter)
Jump for Joy – Rebounding is a great stress busting workout (Oct 2012 newsletter)
Hypnotherapy for stress management – why it is so effective blogs.naturalcures.com/hypnotherapy-for-stress-management-why-it-is-so-effective/
Healing the body meditation http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFh-Km4AXeE&feature=related
EFT for treating disease
Ayurveda home remedies for fatigue: www.homeveda.com/other-conditions/natural-ayurvedic-home-remedies-for-fatigue.html
Success of the raw foods diet: www.naturalnews.com/035843_raw_foods_fibromyalgia_healing.html
Aspartame and fibromyalgia: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/aspartame-fibromyalgia-preterm-birth.html
Conventional medicine ignores root cause of fibromyalgia: www.naturalnews.com/033874_fibromyalgia_causes.html
Science validates homeopathy in fibromyalgia: www.naturalnews.com/031353_fibromyalgia_homeopathy.html
Further Information (links and books)
What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Fibromyalgia: The Revolutionary Treatment That Can Reverse the Disease by R. Paul St. Amand and Claudia Craig Marek; Coping with Fibromyalgia – it’s not in your head, it’s a disease (Boomer Health Book Series) by Othniel J. Seiden MD and Jane L. Bilett PhD
Natural Alternatives to Antibiotics by John McKenna
by Bernie S Siegel
The Healing Power of Nature Foods: 50 Revitalizing Superfoods & Lifestyle Choices To Promote Vibrant Health by Susan Smith Jones
Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Fifth Edition: A Practical A-to-Z Reference to Drug-Free Remedies Using Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs & Food … A-To-Z Reference to Drug-Free Remedies) by Phyllis Balch
Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art by Kathi Keville and Mindi Green
Detox and revitalize by Susana L. Belen
Colloidal Silver: The Natural Antibiotic Alternative by Zane Baranowski
The Secret Language of Your Body by Inna Segal
The Healing Herbs: The Ultimate Guide to the Curative Power of Nature’s Medicines by Michael Castleman and Prevention Magazine
Linda Cheek – healing diseases such as cancer, immune system disorders, autism, fibromyalgia
Andrea Butje | Aromahead firstname.lastname@example.org – aromatherapy
Carrie Vitt email@example.com – organic food recipes.
David Spector-NSR/USA firstname.lastname@example.org – meditation, stress
judith hoad email@example.com – herbalist.
Kath May firstname.lastname@example.org – reiki, tai chi.
Lillian Bridges email@example.com – Chinese medicine, living naturally.
Monika firstname.lastname@example.org – aromatherapy.
Rakesh GAC@AyurvedicLifeStyles.com – Ayurvedic Practitioner.