Fibromyalgia is best defined as chronic muscle pain throughout the body. Many conventional physicians and physical therapists fail to realize that fibromyalgia is not due to physical inactivity, which can cause muscles to atrophy and weaken. Instead, it is most common in highly physically active people.
There are two types of fibromyalgia: primary fibromyalgia, which occurs for no foreseeable reason, and post traumatic fibromyalgia, which occurs as a result of physical trauma, such as an accident or injury. Symptoms include:
- Pain in the upper back, hips, knees, and rib cage
- Increased allergies or sensitivities
- Anxiety and depression
- General body stiffness and fatigue
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Irritability and mood swings
- Heightened sensitivity to cold, light, smells, and sounds
- Painful menstruation in women
What Causes Fibromyalgia?
Causes of fibromyalgia are largely unknown, but specific conditions can contribute to the problem. These can include:
- Heavy metal poisoning and environmental toxins
- Hormone imbalances, especially low levels of human growth hormone
- Infections such as influenza type A, or Candida
- Low levels of serotonin
- Sleep disorders
- Thalamus dysfunction
Fibromyalgia is often associated with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (see related entry in this book).
Treatments for Fibromyalgia
Acupuncture can significantly reduce the pain associated with fibromyalgia, as it increases blood flow into the affected joints and muscles. This can increase levels of oxygen and nutrients to the affected area, and also help regulate the brain’s production of neurotransmitters.
Bodywork is highly recommended for fibromyalgia patients, because it can improve nerve function, restore muscle balance, shut off pain trigger points, and eliminate stored cellular waste that can worsen pain.
Diet is very important in treating fibromyalgia. Eat foods that support the immune system and do not impair healthy digestion. An organic, vegetarian diet is ideal, with an emphasis on organic fruits, vegetables, dark leafy greens, organic free range eggs, and small quantities of tofu, beans, and quinoa. Use more extra virgin olive oil, flaxseed oil, and coconut butter or oil.
Herbal treatments can reduce, prevent, or eliminate pain. These include:
- Cayenne and cinnamon to improve circulation and enhance digestion
- Capsaicin cream, applied topically, to ease and relieve pain
- Chamomile to reduce anxiety and tension, and induce deep sleep
- Pure, raw cocoa to increase serotonin levels in the brain
- Fish oil supplements to reduce inflammation and support immune function, and evening primrose oil to help balance your system
- Tinctures of black cohosh, olive leaf, dandelion, devil’s claw, Echinacea, and licorice taken three times a day to reduce inflammation and boost the immune system
- Bentonite clay taken orally to leech out the harmful toxins in your digestive system
Nutritional supplementation can help reduce fibromyalgia symptoms and pain. These include vitamin C, vitamin, E, niacinimide (vitamin B3), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), magnesium, selenium, zinc, and lipotrophic factors.