Part 1 of a three part series on Fibromyalgia and CFS.
I am a long time sufferer of Fibromyalgia and CFS. I defeated the disease and I am now a massage therapist and instructor of massage. In this series I will tell you how to overcome the disease.
I believe that there are a number of avenues of treating Fibromyalgia that are not normally covered by doctors.
Doctors are trained to manage an illness and not trained to CURE it. They are taught only to explore options that they were taught in medical school or through trade journals and sales people pedaling medicines. This leaves other options completely out of the office visit. There are many different approaches to treating/curing Fibromyalgia. I would like you to be able to make intelligent choices on which treatments to begin first. I deal with Fibromyalgia and CFS on a daily basis and have learned a lot about it in the process. The simplest of the things we have learned is that just eating Cherries will help. Yes eating a dozen or so cherries will help with the edema (swelling in the legs usually). Cherries either fresh or dried along with blueberries easily available at most supermarkets will help a lot with reversing the edema. Many people have it since the discomfort of moving around with Fibromyalgia can be intense we tend to sit longer and with less movement the edema (swelling in the feet and legs) gets worse. The blood needs muscle action to be pumped back up to the heart and sitting just does not help it. Sitting too long can lead to painful swelling of the lower legs and while traveling as well and can cause tiny red spots that itch. These are actually small blood vessels that rupture and allow blood to be trapped under the skin when the edema is severe and the legs are not moved very much as in a long trip or sitting at a desk or through a long movie at the theatre. So eat the cherries and try to move as often as you can and sit no longer than 30- 60 minutes at a time without at least some walking.
My story is that initially I had gone to regular doctors but was unable to even get a decent diagnosis to find out what was wrong and why I was in such pain and discomfort. I found a Naturopathic doctor who gave me expensive magnesium shots, which did help and staved off some of the symptoms and allowed me to continue working and taking care of my family instead of giving up and becoming a semi-invalid like he told me some day Fibromyalgia may do. The shots helped significantly and I felt blessed that I had relief but the constant drain of $1500.00 dollars a month for two shots and office visits soon took their toll on the family budget. When the insurance company finally stopped helping to pay for them I was forced to abandon the treatment. Shortly thereafter the doctor quit his practice here and moved to Florida. I was left with no real resource to find a treatment. The magnesium shots I had found helped but were only of a temporary nature and I found myself looking forward to the relief the next shot would bring even though the shots were painful. I had previously had two children using natural childbirth and was accustomed to some levels of pain but the chronic nature of the disease begins to tire you and wear you down. (I later found that Magnesium taken in pill form at least 1000mg a day also helped).
I felt very fortunate at the time that my job as a financial analyst allowed me to sit a lot and I was not forced to stand and move around a lot and have to experience the discomfort I felt more intensely. I later found that this was exactly the wrong concept. I often wondered why my legs became so sore and would almost not bear my weight when I did try to stand. I was far from understanding that good circulation and a more active life was a major key in ridding my self from this debilitating disease. I often had no medical insurance and even when I did seldom found anyone who had even heard of Fibromyalgia much less have an effective treatment for it.
It is now a recognized condition and social security even recognizes it and can pay disability for it. I chose to not go that route even though I know others who did and will give you some advice in other installments on what is required if you would rather not do what is necessary and sit at home with a very low quality of life. (They simply do not pay if you are able to do much and the mind set of admitting you can’t and accepting it causes an even faster degradation of your body). Trust me there really is a LOT you can do to eliminate the symptoms of it. I now live a very active productive life and feel blessed that I can help people on a daily basis overcome this disease.
I discovered that massage worked wonders for me. It needed to be VERY gentle at first as most of my body was in pain. I found that if I mixed the massage oil with several essential oils I felt much better. Lavender oil mixed in along with others caused me to relax and be able to sleep better at night. By either self massaging at night or having help with it I was able to relax and get some relief. I found that as I slept better I did wake up more rested each day and did not tire quite as easily or have as much pain. I found that eating coconut oil would in a matter of days help me to feel better. It only takes 2-3 tablespoons full of oil a day to begin feeling better. You can use the oil to cook with or simply eat it. It is liquid at 70 degrees so it can be mixed into a drink or simply place in warm water as well. The coconut oil also seemed to help my energy levels. Once I was able to sleep better and have an increase in my energy levels I began to look for other ways to help myself and found many. I have found that anything which will increase circulation is a great benefit. Massage, massage cupping and Tai chi exercises are all wonderful ways to do so. If you cleanse your body with a sauna then the sweating does burn calories brings toxins out of the muscles and tissues and relaxes the muscles so the blood can flow easily. We tend to be very tense do to the pain, and that restricts the very flow of blood we need to take the toxins out of our systems.