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FIBROMYALGIA IS NOT A DISEASE
For those who live with Fibromyalgia, there is no part of their life that it does not affect: sleep, energy, movement or mood. To what degree it affects one’s life varies from person to person. Some people’s symptoms are so mild, they are not even aware they have a disorder. Other’s are so severe they can think of nothing else except their pain and misery.
I have been living with Fibromyalgia for years now. It may have started around 1998. I was the statistical average in that I suffered for five years before being diagnosed in 2003. Fortunately, I was on the path of alternative modes of healing when this news came to me, and I believe this has given me an edge over the establishment in learning more about this unfortunately named disorder: my mind was and still is open to many possibilities. In fact, it is all of the possibilities that make understanding Fibromyalgia so difficult. Especially in a society where black-and-white thinking has become the norm, and observation, analysis and critical thinking obsolete. If you can’t see it on a blood test or in an MRI – it doesn’t exist. This is nonsense, of course, but it is amazing how many people, especially physicians, believe it.
Toward more fully understanding your world and your body, I present my observations and findings on Fibromyalgia so that you, too, may become a part of your own healing process – and if you are lucky, find more sleep, more energy, more physicality, and more joy in your life.
Of the people I work with who have Fibromyalgia (FM), these are the following similarities:
Generally Sensitive: The moment I meet a client who feels pain at the slightest touch, I begin to ask questions about their lives and their general health. Most report frequent colds and flu’s, trouble with taking medications due to unusually unpleasant side effects, difficulty sleeping, fatigue, etc. When I compassionately suggest that they are very sensitive people, their eyes mist up and reflect an immediate sense of both “you so get me,” and “how did you know that?”
High Stress Levels: Invariably, FM sufferers have unusually high stress levels. If you ask about their lives, they will often only be able to see and speak of their stress. Due to their highly sensitive natures, usually both physically and emotionally, I sometimes wonder what came first, the sensitivity or the stress. Stronger individuals with stronger immune systems tend to handle life stressors with relative ease compared to their sensitive counterparts. And to be clear, sensitivity is not a weakness, it is a hyper-neurological state that we are born with.
Sugar, grain, starch, and Refined Foods: This is where I usually meet resistance: I will ask about where the sugar is in their diet, and they are either proud to announce that they are sugar-holics or embarrassed to admit it. Occasionally, a client will say that they don’t like sweet things, but they drink alcohol. This is when I inform them that alcohol addiction is sugar addiction. Take alcohol away from a regular drinker, and they suddenly develop cravings for sweets. Having omitted all sugars and most bread, I still struggled with pain and inflammation. It turns out that the other forms of sugar found in grains and starchy vegetables are also problematic to sensitive people.
Food Allergies/Sensitivities: With the food supply the way it is today, who doesn’t have at least one food allergy or sensitivity, but these people tend to be allergic and/or sensitive either to a lot of different things or to entire food groups.
Synthetic or Chemical Intolerance: This conversation usually coincides with the sensitivity one: it begins with, “I can’t take this or that medication” and ends with a discussion of how sensitive individuals tend to have issues with all things synthetic. In an effort to open their eyes about where the synthetics are, I mention a few of the basics: Now that the pharmaceutical industry owns most of the major supplement companies and have begun replacing once natural ingredients with synthetic ones (like vitamin E – d-tocopherol vs. dl-tocopherol), more people are often reporting an “allergy” to vitamins. Synthetic hormones tend to cause problems regardless of sensitivity, but natural bio-available hormones do not. Artificial sweeteners are used by many sugar-addicted sensitives to help them cope with their sugar-loving guilt, yet these synthetic sweeteners are only adding to their health problems and pain.
Electrical Sensitivities: This is a subject all its own and I no longer advise on it, professionally, but suffice to say these clients tend to work or live in areas of high electro-magnetic fields of varying sources.
Cellular Dehydration: The ultimate commonality in FM individuals is what I refer to as, “a form of cellular dehydration.” I say this because this is what the scientific community needs to investigate and give a name to. When they do this, I am confident that they will find that this cellular dehydration causes the “connective tissue disorder” that is now being erroneously referred to as Fibromyalgia. Please note that electrical fields and sugars are both dehydrating.
FIBROMYALGIA IS A CONNECTIVE TISSUE DISORDER
Connective tissue exists throughout the body. It not only wraps every muscle fiber the same way that a transparent, tough film wraps a chicken breast, but also wraps every other tissue, organ, and gland in the body and fills the spaces in between and even our bones are connective tissue, albeit denser and more mineralized. Connective tissue is called such because every molecule of it, from the connective tissue in your big toe to the connective tissue in the back of your head – is connected, literally. Most of us are familiar with the body’s primary communication system: the nervous system. I believe and now scientists are beginning to believe that the connective tissue system is the premier - or wireless - communication system of the body. I take it one step further and see it as the communication bridge between the physical body and the energy - or bioelectrical - body. It has already been proved that the human body has both a physical and an energetic component. A scientific understanding of how the energy body works is for our future researchers to discover, but I will guarantee you that the connective tissue system of the body will play a significant role. And, it is when this connective tissue becomes disturbed at the fibrillar and water level that people begin to experience the myriad of symptoms such as with FM sufferers.
Con Edison once loaned me a report from the government regarding electromagnetic fields (EMF) and cancer. Although they could not definitively prove that EMF caused cancer (and why would they considering who was sponsoring the research,) the scientists were quoted as saying that they did notice significant changes, damage actually, at the cellular level in the presence of extremely low-frequency EMF and that further exploration was highly recommended. I believe that this cellular damage is a form of dehydration that is negatively impacting the connective tissue body which has a negative domino effect on the connected organs and tissues.
Dehydration also occurs when ingesting sugars, (including starches in grains and vegetables,) alcohol, and caffeine. Dehydration can also result from an over-active immune system such as one dealing with allergies, stress, and the need to detoxify the body from rising synthetic chemicals.
When the body’s connective tissue system begins to dehydrate, not only is communication going to break down, but the connective tissue, itself, is going to harden. Under normal circumstances, this occurs over decades and is referred to as “the aging process”. In today’s world with the incredible onslaught against the body of so many pollutants in our air, water, food supply and the invisible realm of technology wave patterns, this aging process is accelerating at an alarming rate and is sometimes mislabeled as Fibromyalgia.
More women suffer from FM than men — probably due to the fact that women tend to be more sensitive than men. But the tide is changing. In my practice I am seeing more men, sensitive men, with this disorder. Perhaps, when enough men begin complaining, the syndrome will be taken more seriously and real research will begin on the phenomena. Politics aside…
HEALING YOUR CONNECTIVE TISSUE
Let’s look again at our list of FM similarities and apply logic to the healing process:
These suggestions may seem like over simplifications. It is an unfortunate fallacy that complexity makes something meaningful. Even when designing large, apparently complex computer systems, I found that simplicity is what made them operate accurately. Of course, the more simple something is the more accuracy matters. Now that I am observing the human body and working to solve pain problems, I also find that the simpler solutions are the best.
The most pro-active suggestion I have outside of re-hydrating with plenty of water on an ongoing basis is to stretch. Unfortunately, when I make this suggestion most people either give me blank looks or loud groans. There tend to be two types of exercisers: those who do and those who don’t. Both groups dislike stretching. Both groups find it tedious and boring. I have made an interesting observation, however: The immune system problems and injury rates of both exercisers and non-exercisers are about the same. Exercisers (also known as gym rats) heal faster, have better circulation and generally more trim and toned bodies, but they get the same injuries and they, too, suffer from FM. This is because FM has nothing to do with muscles. Pumping iron is about muscle tone and strength. Stretching is about exercising and toning the connective tissue system. You want to feel better? Spend five minutes every single day stretching gently, yet firmly. It will take time, but eventually you will not only be more limber, have more range of motion, but also a stronger immune system and a healthier connective tissue system. Better yet, get to know The MELT Method for a similar quality of deep, yet subtle, healing movements found at my shop. MELT is the only self-treatment method that is both fully encompassing and gentle for the whole body and that puts the connective tissue needs, first.
Putting the health of our connective tissue, first, for the sake of all our organs and other tissues, is as important as putting on the oxygen mask for ourselves, first, so that we can be there for others.
Fascia Congress I, 2007, Harvard Medical, Boston, USA
Fascia Congress II, 2009, Vreja University, Amsterdam, NL
Energy Medicine, The Scientific Basis by James L. Oschman, PhD
Job’s Body, by Deane Juhan
Molecule’s of Emotion, by Candace B. Pert, PhD
The Field, by Lynne McTaggart
Publication Notice: Originally written and posted March 2007. Date of latest update is up-top.
2009 Notice: Since the original writing of this article, I have continued my observations concerning fibromyalgia and the connective tissue system of the body. What I have found is that some people appear to have ‘sensitive’ connective tissue (likely due to more nerve endings than regular folk) which puts them at risk for a myriad of problems, including a diagnosis of fibromyalgia. Consequently, the advice offered here applies to all persons who are considered ‘sensitive’. And, as connective tissue is now being studied by science, it is my fervent hope that the scientists will one day find out why some of us are sensitive and reactive. In the mean time, the best we can do is educate ourselves and others and minimize our exposure to the things that make us feel worse.
Solutions to everyday stress involve identifying where we are emotionally unhappy and then taking action to correct or curb the circumstances involved, and that means finding out what’s at the root of a given problem, before seeking solutions. I love this kind of problem-solving and happily share for those seeking similar unique yet ubiquitous solutions. Consequently, the topics here may vary within health, lifestyle, and work/business.
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