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Understanding Fibromyalgia- Part 1

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For a more in-depth discussion of this topic you can watch my Facebook livestream here.


Fibromyalgia is a growing problem, and most people take 5 years to get a diagnosis. Because there are no lab tests that confirm a diagnosis, doctors use a set of symptoms, along with ruling out many other diagnoses that have similar symptom pictures. If you or someone you care about suffers from these symptoms, this series of articles will help create a deeper understanding of the condition and the action steps that help. I've helped literally thousands of people to overcome this condition since 1990. There IS hope!


Symptoms of fibromyalgia

  • Extreme Fatigue- this fatigue is present almost constantly for most people. The things that usually help to relieve fatigue, like sleep or exercise, seldom help to relieve the fatigue of fibromyalgia. People look fine on the outside, so others don't understand the depth of exhaustion that this condition can cause.
  • Pain- this is another symptom that is constantly present for most people. It can be sharp or aching and appear in muscles and/or joints. The whole body feels inflamed, because it is.
  • Anxiety- many people are diagnosed and treated with Rx drugs for anxiety as their physicians try to understand and treat what is going on in their body.
  • Depression- again, people with fibromyalgia commonly get diagnosed and treated with Rx drugs for depression. These symptoms of anxiety and/or depression are partly present because of the physical stress on their body and partly present because of constantly feeling the other symptoms of fibromyalgia listed above.
  • GI disruption- these symptoms are less common, but a significant number of people with fibromyalgia suffer from them. They include things like constipation or diarrhea, and gas or bloating.
  • Brain fog- people with fibromyalgia have an extremely difficult time thinking clearly, and most describe this feeling as having a foggy brain.


I consider people with fibromyalgia heroes!


I've seen so many people with fibromyalgia soldier through life, dragging themselves to work or daily tasks or in severe cases, even to the bathroom by themselves! In spite of pain. In spite of exhaustion. And most of all, in spite of having NO one truly understand what they are going through. If this went on for a week, it would be horrible. Imagine living like this for years. Others might see them as weak or fragile, but I know that they are actually badass to the core. Which is why I love bringing hope and healing to folks with this condition.


But what is fibro really?


I always address fibromyalgia as a nervous system disorder with multiple causes. It's complex, and each person has different factors that have worked together over time to create the condition. But the common theme in all fibromyalgia cases is repeated insults to the nervous system. These insults can be physical, like accidents or injuries, they can be chemical, and/or they can be infectious.


Healing is a marathon, not a sprint


In this series of articles, I will take each type of nervous system insult and help you to understand what to do to heal yourself. It's important to understand that your body can take a lot of insults over time, but when the straw that breaks the camel's back comes along, those dominoes all come crashing down. The most important understanding I want to communicate to you today, as we start this journey together, is that even though you will recognize insults that happened many years ago, they are still important to your healing today. There's no way to avoid ALL factors that stress your nervous system, but when you remove all you CAN control and give your body the tools to heal, you will get improvement.


The first factor to address


I cannot over stress how important it is to have a bedroom free from electromagnetic fields. I'm including below a handout I use that instructs you how to be a detective in your home and create a sleeping environment that will allow your nerves to heal, instead of being constantly irritated during the most important hours of renewal- your sleeping hours.


Be sure to watch out for next week's article!



  My #1 secret to getting good results


All naturopaths follow a similar basic philosophy. Rather than treat a diagnosis with natural remedies, we look for the combinations of stress and toxic exposures that caused your health to deteriorate. Once these have been identified, we work to remove the toxic burdens and support your healing with nutrition, herbs or homeopathic remedies. Sounds pretty simple, right? But there's one major stumbling block to success, and that is getting your body to switch from "go-go-go" mode (or "stress" mode) to "relax & heal" mode at the end of the day. Which brings us to my #1 secret.....


Creating a sleep sanctuary: It might surprise you to know that electrical devices in your bedroom are the biggest interference factor to getting your body to relax and rejuvenate when you go to bed at night. Not only does this make you more vulnerable to health problems, but it contributes to faster aging. And nobody wants that! When I first started working with clients in 1990, it was pretty simple- Get the tv out of the bedroom. Those were the days before cordless phones, cell phones, computers, iPads, etc, etc, etc. Today, creating that sleep sanctuary can involve a lot more (including getting your spouse on board with the idea!)


Here are the basics- Remove any electronic devices you don't have to have in the bedroom, especially your wireless router. Small emitters (clock, fan, etc.) should be 4 feet from any edge of your bed. Big emitters (cordless or cell phones, computers, televisions, anything that recharges) should be 8 feet from your bed. The transformer plugs (the ones that look like a small box with the plug prongs sticking out) should also be 8 feet away. Measure not just from your head, but from the closest edge of your bed. Walls do not block electromagnetic fields, so you have to be sure that there's nothing adjacent to your bed in another room. Additionally, something below you on a lower floor of the house will affect you, so you have to imagine you drop your bed to the floor below and be sure any devices comply with the 4-8 feet away guidelines.


Unplug your router and either unplug or turn off Wi-Fi mode on all wireless devices (printers, etc.). Put cell phones and iPads on airplane mode, in addition to turning their Wi-Fi mode off. I know it's a hassle factor, but it is essential to getting your best results from your treatment.


Want the hard science? Read The Body Electric by Robert Becker (an online search gives you a PDF version for free) or go to www.emfscientist.org. The science is definitely there. But the most important proof is your own results.


Wishing you sweet dreams!


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