Fibromyalgia Is NOT a Mental Disorder!

We've all heard about it, you know people with it– that insidious syndrome of widespread muscle pain, persistent fatigue, sleep disorders and depression. Most people who have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia experience a feeling of helplessness as to what to do about it. No one else seems to understand how they feel, know what to do for them, or worse yet– say it is all in their head!

Fibromyalgia is NOT a mental disorder!

Objective verification of the biological abnormalities of Fibromyalgia patients has made it clear that Fibromyalgia is a metabolic disorder. As with most biological disorders, it may be modified by psychological factors.

Some people seem more likely than others to develop Fibromyalgia, but patterns do emerge among those that do. Most of the patients that I see appear to have these trends:

– "Type A" personalities that are always "go-go-go", taking care of everyone except themselves, and end up burning themselves out (there are a high percentage of nurseries and schoolteachers that develop fibromyalgia).

– Traumatic stress. Long term physical or emotional stress, as well as victims of abuse.

– Prolonged chemical exposure, to substances such as synthetic drugs, petroleum, Agent Orange, and Gulf War chemicals.

Sound Familiar?

Other factors that contribute to fibromyalgia are poor diet and nutritional deficiencies, physical de-conditioning, interacting medications and imbalances of other hormones. For patients to improve or recover, the effects of these factors must effectively be reduced or eliminated.

This is where our protocol comes in. We work to rehabilitate the metabolic functioning of the body so that it may return to rebuilding itself rather than fighting itself and breaking down. This form of treatment provides marked improvement or complete recovery that is sustained long term for most patients. Consequently, they require either minimal or no further health care services under the diagnosis of Fibromyalgia!

A major component of the Protocol is the feedback from objective measures of the Fibromyalgia status. We monitor the patient's status at intervals using objective measures, and post the data points on line graphs. This insures compliance to the Protocol by demonstrating clinical improvement over time in an objective format.

How does this work?

The body is electric, and as such, generates very small electrical potentials. The nervous system is electrical and controls all the functions of the body. The metabolic processes are electrical – indeed, chemical processes themselves are electrical in nature (bonding of atoms through pairing of available electrons which interact like tiny magnets.) Therefore, the resulting electrical potentials naturally have a polarity, which when functioning properly, contribute to the overall electromagnetic flow of the body. When the electromagnetic flow is disturbed (ie the Meridian system), the cycles of the body are affected, which alters metabolic systems and the rhythms that should naturally sequence through the body.

For example, while stress (real or imagined, physical or emotional) can aggravate pain, stress definitely causes disturbed sleep patterns; this in turn produces Fibromyalgia symptoms, especially in individuals with borderline metabolic functioning. The disturbed sleep further slaps metabolism enough to cause symptoms of hypo-metabolism. Studies show, however, that individuals with high levels of aerobic fitness are resistant to developing Fibromyalgia symptoms when they are subjected to disturbed sleep.

It has been observed that sedentary people are more prone to develop Fibromyalgia symptoms. This observation provides a clue that varies the metabolism in certain tissues is slow enough to cause symptoms of cellular damage. This in turn stimulates the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight), while depressing the autonomous nervous system (resting and digesting), so that the body is in a constant state of alarm. This is a vital protective mechanism in times of danger, as the body is designed for survival– but there is a long-term cost.

Chronic stress breaks down the body.

Our Protocol addresses this.

Recommendations are provided for rebuilding the body nutritionally using highly concentrated, vitally active foods. This allows the body to regain the ability to regenerate itself from the inside using the proper building blocks needed to feed the cells at that level. Unadulterated foods have the electrical signature that nature intended. Synthetic products (including foodstuffs!) May have the same chemical "formula", but will have different electrical signatures. This is due to the fact that processing breaks apart molecular bonds and reforms them into other arrangements, resulting in isomers of each other – that is, with unnatural electrical signatures!

Man can not improve upon Nature.

We also work with the body itself to facilitate the Healing process innately present in each of us and all living beings. By working to restore proper functioning of the nervous system, the automated processes (resting and digesting) can increase, which decrees the sympathetic processes (fight or flight). The body can then operate more efficiently.

What next?

The initial Evaluation consists of an intensive questionnaire designed to document scales of Fibromyalgia Symptom Intensity utilizing:

1. Visual analog scales of the 12 most common Fibromyalgia symptoms:
Sleep disturbance
Bowel disturbance
Cognitive dysfunction
Difficulty with Exercise

2. Pain Distribution by percentage of the body affected.

3. Tenderpoint evaluation

Pressure measurements are taken of all 18 tenderpoints and charted (using an algometer). A change in pain threshold to pressure reflects a generalized change in the pain affecting both tender and control points.

4. Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire and Zung's self-rating Depression Scale.

A self administered pencil and paper questionnaire that measures physical function, work status, depression, anxiety, sleep, pain, stiffness, fatigue and sense of well being.

5. Toxicity Questionnaire

An assessment of symptoms indicating systemic toxicity.

Each score is posted to a separate line graph so through through subsequent valuations, the Fibromyalgia status can be charted over time and one can easily see the trends of progress documented. Only substantive changes in patient status are likely to show up as trend lines on the graphs, therefore reflecting changes in patient status that are clinically significant.

Based on the individual's presentation, a nutritional regimen will be recommended, as will physical modalities most likely to be effective in facilitating the road to recovery.

Max Norris, DC, Dipl.Ac.