“What I am looking for is not out there; it is in me”, Helen Keller
The idea that fibromyalgia can be ‘cured’ through medications is erroneous. Drugs such as Neurontin or Lyrica can sometimes be effective to control the symptoms in some people with fibromyalgia some of the time. Is this really treatment or merely masking the symptoms?
I will make this blog very short and suggest that the best way to treat fibromyalgia is 1) to remap the brain; 2)control the excess arousal of the nervous system; 3) unlearn what we have believed to be either a biological/viral/bacterial cause of fibromyaliga; 4) stop the talk therapy that only brings up the same negative stories we have told ourselves over and over and continues to reactivate our nervous sytem; 5) stop looking for a ‘cure’ with medicines.
My suggestion is the following: 1) mindfully living moment to moment by attending to the stress, anxiety and pain in our lives through being aware of the actual physiological responses we have to them, ( e.g. a stressful experience and being mindful about where the pain/stress is felt in our bodies at that moment) . As Schwartz and Begley have written: “The most noteworthy result of mindfulness, which requires directed willful effort, is the ability it affords those practicing it to observe their sensations and thoughts with the calm clarity of an external witness…” (p.11) , 2) diaphragmatic breathing, 3) movement, such as gentle yoga, TaiChi, QiGong, or if those are too strenuous, then walking f or short periods frequently every day.
Meditation for a few minutes each day may be helpful but without actual movement while being aware of specific ‘symptoms’ only half the job is being done. Shivering, trembling, shaking movement of different parts of the body in any directions it chooses to go must be integral to these three steps. This is how one ‘unlearns’ or ‘unfreezes’. This is the ‘magic’ of changing the brain, of actual ‘remapping’. It requires discipline, moment to moment awareness and movement. Please accept the challenge I present here and practice this approach to treating the symptoms of this dis-ease. If possible gentle touch therapy which will activate the nervous sytem to change the negative responses of the brain should be part of this treatment.
It seems that the cure is within ourselves. It won’t be easy and I am finding (sadly) that because of my age there is more for my brain to unlearn than for that of a younger person. However, there is little else out there that I can take on for treatment that I haven’t tried before. I believe this is the best remedy of all.