By KRS Edstrom
I was told I have fibromyalgia. It involves the nerves and chronic pain almost every day for the rest of your life. There is no known cure for this, so I have tried to live with it and accept it. Is there any new information out there that I haven’t tried?
Living With Fibromyalgia Pain
Dear Living with Pain,
You’re not alone. It’s estimated that 3-6 million Americans suffer from fibromyalgia.
First, let me try to give you a little hope. While a certain attitude of gentle acceptance helps the healing process, I also believe in the “never give up” mentality. There may be no conventional medical cure for fibromyalgia, but please start resourcing the ever-evolving alternative healing modalities such as acupuncture, healing visualization, herbs, homeopathy and others.
For example, natural anti-inflammatory alternatives include evening primrose oil or quercetin. Find out what has worked for others (contact others through the web or the National Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia Association, P.O. Box 18426, Kansas City, MO 64133. Tip: Spend less time swapping symptoms with your contacts and more time seeking wellness, as health is a state of mind, as is illness).
Be sure you have a good conventional M.D. who has experience with fibromyalgia (again, ask others about which doctors they like); there are still doctors who don’t really understand it and believe illnesses such as fibromyalgia are “all in your head.”
Eliminate caffeine and gently introduce exercise into your life to help regulate
your sleep. One of the lessons fibromyalgia has to offer is in understanding
your own very fascinating energy system. By learning where and how energy is
blocked in your body, you can better unblock it, eliminate pain and illness and
return them completely.
I walk 7 days a week — 3.5 miles in 55 minutes. Should I take a “day off”? I have been told that aerobic exercise is okay to do everyday.
One of the best arguments for not missing a day is that you keep up the HABIT of doing it. In other words, you don’t have to make the “should I?/shouldn’t I?” decision on a daily basis, you just DO it every day.
The counter viewpoint is that it is good to not only give your body a rest, but also your mind. People tend to get tired of the same routine, day in and day out. After a day off there can be fresh enthusiasm for doing it again.
If you are happy exercising daily, just mix up your routine a bit and perhaps
have some days be your marathon days and others be your maintenance days. If you
are inclined to take some days off, just be specific on which days are which, so
you don’t slide into forgetting and eventually fading out entirely.
I think I am a type A personality because I get angry very easily. For example, if someone cuts me off in traffic or if I don’t like the way someone looks at me in the market, it can set me off. Since these seemingly normal occurrences go on all the time, I tend to be worked up most of the time. The result is that it has now developed to where I get so upset that I vomit, I am now on migraine headache medication. I would like to loosen up. Is there anything I can do to help myself?
Angry at Everything
When emotions are unexpressed or “pent up” they can often come out “sideways” in inappropriate circumstances.
1) Emotion-releasing exercises. Take a tennis racket or something similar and hit your bed or a cushion. You can also use your fist or an actual sponge-type bat sold for this purpose. Forget about feeling silly and hit as hard as you can. Scream, yell or let any words come out as they will. Don’t worry about forming sentences or being proper. Let it come. Do it until you are exhausted, then rest for a bit, staying focused. Then repeat the exercise until exhausted again. Repeat one more time (3 times total). Should tears come, think of them as a positive release of your trapped anger and welcome them. Repeat this exercise daily until you feel your anger coming into balance.
2) Try meditation techniques. One technique I use is to name the area of your body where the anger is located. Start by sitting quietly with your eyes closed and relaxing for a moment. Then imagine being cut off in traffic. Really get into it (you can even do it right now). Then, ask yourself where you are feeling that anger in your body. It may be a small area or your whole body; it doesn’t matter where it shows up. The point is to relax into those uncomfortable sensations and feel them completely. BE with the sensation. Exactly how does it feel?
Can you just allow it to be there as you breathe and relax into it? Keep
working on this and you will notice that tension around the anger will start to
dissolve, and with it, the anger. It’s very powerful, exciting work that will
help you with more than just your anger.
KRS Edstrom, M.S., is an author, lecturer and columnist. She is available for private sessions (by phone or in person) and seminars on meditation, motivation, stress, pain, weight loss and other personal growth issues. Her books and audios offer solutions for healthful, conscious living. For free soothing guided meditations and more, please visit KRS’ “Serenity and Meditation Corner” at www.AskKRS.com For more info call (323) 851-8623 or e-mail: KRS@AskKRS.com
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