Continued from previous post, Fibromyalgia Cause is Still a Mystery.
People usually undertake integrative approaches to fibromyalgia treatment with the support of their physician. Lifestyle changes with massage and exercises are often recommended to reduce stress and benefit immune and nervous system response. Doctors may recommend medications for pain relief and improved sleep. Some improve from psychological counseling and many benefit from fibromyalgia support groups.
Each person is different, and responses to therapies may vary. Here is a list of solutions that work for some fibro sufferers:
1. Low impact aerobic exercise and strength training to support wellness, reduce pain, relieve tender points, improve sleep, and relieve depression. Even though initial movement may be painful, regular exercise is usually beneficial as a consistent component of fibromyalgia treatment. (Resistance Training for Fibromyalgia)
2. Massage therapy is widely used for symptom relief, with a recommended dose of one to two times a week. (Massage therapy for FM symptoms) Massage therapy can decrease depression and anxiety, relax muscles, increase range of motion of joints, relieve pain and stiffness, and improve sleep. However, caution is noted that it should start with low intensity and build up gradually, and not to add pain. A light to medium touch is usually recommended, as deep tissue can be contraindicated and sometimes creates pain afterwards.
3. Warm water therapy decreases immediate pain for many FM sufferers. Pool exercise might prolong the benefits. (A warm water pool-based FM exercise program and Investigation of the effects of pool-based exercise on FM)
4. Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine have shown benefits for pain, depression, stiffness, fatigue and improving sleep. (Acupuncture for Treating Fibromyalgia and Traditional Chinese Medicine for Fibromyalgia Treatment)
5. A healthy gluten-free diet emphasizing whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, essential fatty acids, proteins with low animal fats, and eliminating sugar, dairy, processed foods, alcohol and coffee can be helpful, as it eases the inflammatory load of the body and improves neurological functioning. Balance it with vitamins and herbal supplements.
6. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) has been shown in some studies (Treating Fibromyalgia with MBSR and The impact of a meditation-based stress reduction program on fibromyalgia) to have benefits for FM. MBSR is an 8 week training program involving mindfulness based meditation, and sometimes includes yoga with good results.
7. The Guaifenesin Protocol is a very strict regime that forbids salicylates, mint, lavender, and limits specific ingredients from medications, the diet and personal hygiene products. Independent research does not support the anecdotal evidence very well, but some apparently find it helpful in reversing symptoms. More at this website and in these research papers: City of Hope Report and other research.
Recent research suggests that muscle tissues of people with fibromyalgia show mitochondrial dysfunction–deficiencies in how cells function. It may be that exercise, warm water therapy, massage and acupuncture help stimulate more efficient cell functioning. Although these therapies have been shown to benefit people with FM, the mechanisms are unknown.
My clients have found that the gentle touch and increased self-awareness of Ortho-Bionomy®1 give good symptom relief.2 There is no deep tissue risk or pain after an Ortho-Bionomy® session. I treat the tender points of fibromyalgia as any other tender point is treated with O-B: move the body into a position of comfort around the tender point and wait for the self-corrective reflex, the body’s signal that it is letting go.
Massage, MBSR, acupuncture, warm water therapy and, in my experience, Ortho-Bionomy®, induce what’s called the parasympathetic response, which can increase the threshold for pain reception. In a relaxed state, the brain increases the signals that block pain, the inhibitory neurotransmitters. Thus these therapies can be valuable additions to your individualized plan for fibromyalgia treatment.
You may call me for a free consultation: 503-708-2911.
1Ortho-Bionomy® is a registered trademark of the Society of Ortho-Bionomy, International, and is used with permission. Rosi Goldsmith, LMT is an Associate Member of SOBI.
2 The Testimonials entries are mostly from people who never heard of Ortho-Bionomy® before.