The fibromyalgia sufferer sometimes hurts everywhere and sometimes nowhere. Every joint, every nerve, every muscle can randomly scream pain,at times over more than a third of their bodies.
When they get a flareup, even the slightest touch can send then reeling.
One can imagine the stress of living with this, especially when it’s coupled with the fear of the unknown – when will the pain start again this time?
Where will the pain be? Will I be able to take it? With their nervous system in such disarray, the mental state of fibromyalgia sufferers has them often on edge.
The irony is that the disease creates an often unbearable cycle:the FM leaves the system vulnerable to allergies, infection and the like; the allergies, infection and the like make the stressors worse; and then the worsening conditions make the FM worse and the cycle repeats.
It’s unfortunately akin to the chicken and the egg, where there is no clear end and no clear beginning.
This disease, which affects millions of people in the United States alone, is being taken seriously. New research is creating new opportunity for understanding.
Fibromyalgia used to be thought of as a musculoskeletal condition. Research in the past few years is proving it to be something different.
Recent research has linked it to peripheral neuropathy and a reduction in nerve conversations with the person’s brain.
Recent research has pointed to a connection between fibromyalgia and nerve damage, and also to reduced brain connectivity.
The research might prove that people with fibromyalgia have a physical reason for feeling pain differently than others.
It also means that fibromyalgia may not a musculoskeletal disease at all. This is important news for the people looking for a cure and the people waiting for it.
Aruvedic Medicine – A Body, Mind and Spirit Approach
The ability to diagnose fibromyalgia in recent years has significantly improved, but as of yet, there is no cure for the sleep disturbances, chronic fatigue, and widespread pain.
Many people are turning to other modalities (holistic treatments) that work on the whole body for treatment.
One such modality is Aruvedic medicine, which originated in India thousands of years ago.
It is the belief in the balance between mind, body and spirit to keep a person well, focusing on keeping the person healthy rather than treating symptoms whenever possible.
The theory is one of many alternative treatments that regard the integration of the body, mind and spirit as integral to the healing process.
A hallmark of all of them is the idea that we need to change our lifestyle to reduce stress, because stress, and its effects, that ultimately cause the downward spiral into chronic illness.
Attack on the Nervous System
In looking at fibromyalgia, the Aruvedic practitioner looks for the origins of the imbalance in the body.
Practitioners believe it originated with the buildup of impurities and toxins in the tissues, which is a major pathway to the nervous system.
Astoxins build up they effect the nervous system, weakening it and essentially disabling its ability to naturally cleanse itself.
The toxins build up and create the body-wide symptoms that are called fibromyalgia.
The Aruvedic system uses the word “vata” to describe the physiological principal at the root of the nervous system imbalances rampaging through the body of a person with fibromyalgia. Treatments identified are those that strengthen the “vata.”
Aruvedic medicine prescribes lifestyle, herbal and dietary recommendations. Every one of them focuses on balancing this “vata,” which reduces stress.
The reduction of stress then strengthens the persons system enough to be able to fight the toxins.
This treatment works to provide calm for fibromyalgia sufferers who frequently feel that “flight or fight” response.
That flight or fight response, which most of us feel in acute situations when something we are afraid, is also officially called the acute stress response.
It’s the activation of the sympathetic nervous system due to the sudden release of hormones.
The processstimulates the adrenal glands, triggering an increase in blood pressure, heart rate and breathing. (It takes about 20-60 minutes for the body return to normal.)
In many fibromyalgia patients, there are times of their lives when they are in an almost chronic state of flight or fight.
Body, Mind and Spirit Treatments
The Aruvedic approach is a holistic approach, in that looks a systems overhaul not through taking pills to address symptoms, but rather through actions to change the person’s lifestyle.
As the body and mind become stronger, free of stress and open to possibility, the internal systems are strengthened to the point that toxins get a very clear message that they are no longer tolerated.
Therapies are customized for the individual, but all includelifestyle changes that are meant to reduce stress. Specific treatments are the use of meditation, yoga, exercise, diet, massage and stress reduction.
Treatment with Therapeutic Massage
Massage is part of the daily regime to reduce stress, along with yoga and meditation.
Oils made from herbs identified as having specialized healing and calming qualities for each individuals are used in these massages and rubbed in to directly address the “vata” and balance the system.
These herbs penetrate deeply into the tissues. It seems as if no door is left unopened in this total body treatment, because even the masseuse is trained in specific motions that create friction, and then heat.
Circulation is greatly improved and when that happens it begins to cleanse the areas that were holding onto the impurities.
According to Aryuveda, foods affect just about everything, and most certainly are part of the reason that fibromyalgia sufferers cannot get out of the cycle of pain.
Some foods, like fast foods, fats and others, clog the system, and block the release of toxins. This aggravates fibromyalgia symptoms and the cycle continues.
Changing the diet to focus on strengthening the vata, and thereby helping the body release toxins, will significantly reduce pain and fatigue.
When working with an Aryuvedic practitioner, a patient will be queried for the sole purpose of developing a dietary plan customized to their needs.
Moderation is a key, increasing the emphasis on some foods and decreasing others.
Foods that should be significantly reduced are raw foods, fried foods and processed sugar, and astringent foods like potatoes, spinach, cauliflower, cabbage and potatoes, alcohol, yogurt, chocolate, coffee and black tea.
All fast foods, smoking, and drinking to excess (although a little red wine is fine) are on the list of things to absolutely avoid.
With changes in diet, some daily massage, yoga and meditation, the Aruvedic system helps fibromyalgia sufferers by treating the body, mind and spirit.
It is great preparation to doing battle with the toxins that have invaded their bodies, and once they are finished they are left strong to stave off any repeated attack.