The struggle to define a fibromyalgia diagnosis has been a long one. It is an example of a reversal of scientific disbelief in the face of consistent reports of unexplained symptoms. Fibromyalgia doesn’t show up on tests. For many years, the mostly women were dismissed as hypochondriacs, or hysterical. Although it was called “muscular rheumatism” in the mid-1800’s to distinguish it from “joint rheumatism,” or arthritis, it wasn’t identified as a distinct syndrome until the last 30 years.… Read the rest
continued from previous post–Fibromyalgia: From Disbelief to Documented
Over the past 12 years, doctors have recognized fibromyalgia as a centrally sensitized pain condition. (This was written in 2013, updated 2015. Research has improved since then in terms of understanding fibromyalgia. It is now November 2018, and hopefully I will again update this article in the next few months.… Read the rest
Chronic Low Back Pain Relief
If you have had back pain from a recent tweak (who hasn’t?), it often gets better without treatment. Chronic low back pain is different. Many people find relief from massage. This has more and more support from research. In one study testing non-pharmaceutical options for low back pain, the massage group “used the least medications…and had the lowest costs of subsequent care.… Read the rest
I learned this from a book loaned to me by my qigong instructor (Opening the Energy Gates of Your Body by Qigong and Tao Tai Chi Master Bruce Frantzis). I teach an adapted version to my clients who have acute localized pain. You don’t need to be a Qigong Master to use this. But you do need to focus your attention on the area with intense pain, and it is helpful if you can reach the area comfortably, or have a friend touch it.… Read the rest
Myths of aging such as belief in inevitable stiffness, inevitable loss of bodily functions, or inevitable cognitive decline activate a feed forward system. Our bodies manifest what we fear the most. We can instead recognize how aging brings wisdom and grace, and awaken postural ease. We can become more resilient.
When we live in a state of chronic stress, we hold chronic contractions.… Read the rest
When we have an incorrect map of where our body parts fit together, and where they live in space, we move according to the body map, not according to our true size, structure and function. We are the only animals that can distort our bodies based on what we believe. Just as imagining a perfect gymnastic routine is a rehearsal that helps Olympic gymnasts win, incorrect beliefs about our body can rehearse our posture into painful distortions.… Read the rest
The Buddhist phrase, “Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional,” has set me to thinking. Events will just happen, they are part of “what is”. There will sometimes be pain. The latest understanding is that the brain creates pain from a perception of threat. It is part of our protective mechanism. Suffering comes from our reaction to our pain.
We can choose to be at peace, whatever comes.… Read the rest
It’s for anyone!
You don’t have to be special to reap the benefits of massage. You can be old, young, out of shape, in shape, in pain, working too hard, stressed about your job, or just needing to relax. It is becoming popular for sports, pre-natal, overall well-being, and as a great addition to self-care.
The health benefits of massage cannot be emphasized enough.… Read the rest
A tight muscle is in a state of chronic contraction, and that makes it unavailable or less available for use. Muscles move joints. A fluidly moving joint allows for normal range of motion. Stiffness or pain from a tight muscle can limit the range of motion of the joint, and you may find yourself limited from achieving your optimum in sports or from doing ordinary daily activities.… Read the rest
What is going on when you experience chronic pain? You have pain nerve signals to various body systems, including the immune system and the brain. You may have muscle guarding, contracting nearby muscles or more distant ones, as you attempt to minimize the impact of pain and continue your life. Other times, you may stop moving to let an area heal, which may even decrease the ability of the body to eliminate toxins because of lack of exercise.… Read the rest