Donít be fooled by American culture; you cannot treat fibromyalgia with a pill

 

Since most pharmadocs know little about fibromyalgia, if they accept it at all, new science has surfaced to suggest new methods of effective pain relief for fibromyalgia sufferers.  Below are some of those findings:

 

Battling Fibromyalgia With Acupuncture

Here's a new way to treat fibromyalgia, a frequently disabling muscle condition that affects more women than men, that has nothing to do with taking a potentially toxic drug like duloxetine, sometimes prescribed by pharmadocs. A brief regimen of acupuncture can give sufferers up to a month of relief from some of its more devastating symptoms.  Although it may sound painful, it is actually a very relaxing experience that creates inner healing energy.

Mayo Clinic scientists tested the effect of acupuncture on 50 patients who were moderately debilitated and hadn't responded to traditional treatments. Patients were divided into two groups: Those who received six acupuncture sessions and the rest who were given "simulated" acupuncture treatments over two to three weeks.

Although physical functioning didn't improve, other symptoms -- pain, fatigue and anxiety -- did, and especially among those who got the "real thing." The most dramatic improvements were felt by patients after a month.

But after seven months, the pain, fatigue and anxiety returned, prompting researchers to suggest scheduling ongoing acupuncture treatments may provide more sustained relief.

What is the Emotional Freedom Technique?

 

The Emotional Freedom Technique, or EFT, is the psychological acupressure technique I routinely use in my practice and most highly recommend to optimize your emotional health. Although it is still often overlooked, emotional health is absolutely essential to your physical health and healing - no matter how devoted you are to the proper diet and lifestyle, you will not achieve your body's ideal healing and preventative powers if emotional barriers stand in your way.

 

EFT is very easy to learn, and will help you:

  • Remove Negative Emotions
  • Reduce Food Cravings
  • Reduce or Eliminate Pain
  • Implement Positive Goals

 

EFT is a form of psychological acupressure, based on the same energy meridians used in traditional acupuncture to treat physical and emotional ailments for over five thousand years, but without the invasiveness of needles. Instead, simple tapping with the fingertips is used to input kinetic energy onto specific meridians on the head and chest while you think about your specific problem - whether it is a traumatic event, an addiction, pain, etc. -- and voice positive affirmations.

This combination of tapping the energy meridians and voicing positive affirmation works to clear the "short-circuit" - the emotional block -- from your body's bioenergy system, thus restoring your mind and body's balance, which is essential for optimal health and the healing of physical disease.

Some people are initially wary of these principles that EFT is based on - the electromagnetic energy that flows through the body and regulates our health is only recently becoming recognized in the West. Others are initially taken aback by (and sometimes amused by) the EFT tapping and affirmation methodology, whose basics you will learn here.

Proper EFT Tapping

The basic EFT sequence is straightforward and generally takes my patients only a few minutes to learn. They have the slight advantage of me personally showing them the tapping points, but you should be able to pick up these points relatively quickly. With a little practice, you will be performing each round in under a minute.

NOTE: While it is important to tap the correct area, you need not worry about being absolutely precise, as tapping the general area is sufficient.

It's All in the Fingertips

The first thing to understand is that you will be tapping with your fingers. There are a number of acupuncture meridians on your fingertips, and when you tap with your fingertips you are also likely using not only the meridians you are tapping on, but also the ones on your fingers.

Traditional EFT has you tapping with the fingertips of your index finger and middle finger and with only one hand. Either hand works just as well. Most of the tapping points exist on either side of the body, so it doesn't matter which side you use, nor does it matter if you switch sides during the tapping. For example, you can tap under your right eye and, later in the tapping, under your left arm.

I modified this approach slightly by having you use both hands and all your fingers, so that they are gently relaxed and form a slightly curved natural line. The use of more fingers allows you to access more of the acupuncture points. When you use all your fingers you will cover a larger area than just tapping with one or two fingertips, and this will allow you to cover the tapping points more easily.

However, many obtain quite successful results with the traditional one-handed two-finger approach. You can use either method, but I tend to use my modified version in an effort to be more complete.

Ideally, you will want to use your fingertips, not your finger pads as they have more meridian points. However, if you are a woman with long fingernails you should of course use your finger pads (otherwise you may end up stabbing yourself).

You should also remove your watch and bracelets, as that will interfere with your use of the wrist meridian tapping.

Tap Solidly - But Don't Hurt Yourself!

You should tap solidly, but never so hard as to hurt or bruise yourself.

If you decide to use both hands, I recommend slightly alternating the tapping so that each hand is slightly out of phase with the other and you are not tapping with both hands simultaneously. This provides a kinesthetic variant of the alternating eye movement work that is done in EMDR and may have some slight additional benefit.

When you tap on the points outlined below, you will tap about 5-7 times. The actual number is not critical, but ideally should be about the length of time it takes for one full breath. There is probably a distinct benefit for tapping through one complete respiration cycle.

Please notice that these tapping points proceed down the body. That is, each tapping point is below the one before it. That should make it a snap to memorize. A few trips through it and it should be yours forever. However, unlike TFT, the sequence is not critical. You can tap the points in any order and sequence, just so long as all the points are covered. It just is easier to go from top to bottom to make sure you remember to do them all.

Remove your Glasses and Watch Prior to Tapping

Glasses and watches can mechanically and electromagnetically interfere with EF, so I advise everyone to remove them prior to tapping. For quick sessions conducted upon yourself, this is not critical, as you can easily tap around them, but I think there is always a benefit to removing them when possible.
Using EFT in Public: Eliminating any Embarrassment

Many people are concerned about embarrassing themselves by using EFT in public, especially when implementing my revision of it, which really makes one stand out in a crowd.

After a while of using and perfecting the technique - in private quarters, if you prefer - you will be able to use only two fingers of one hand, and to say the affirmation softly under your breath or silently. This way you can do EFT in just about any social setting, and if people even notice what you are doing at all, it will appear to them that you are merely thinking.

The pioneer of EFT, Gary Craig, has seen similar outstanding results since developing EFT over a decade ago. For more information on finding a practitioner who treats patients utilizing this method, please contact us and state that you are looking for an EFT practitioner in your area.

 

Exercise

Limiting Your Physical Activity Worsens "Muscle Arthritis"

 

New research may challenge those living with fibromyalgia and other chronic pain conditions that live their lives believing increased activity means more pain.

A study suggested that those living with this condition might be able to sustain more activity than they once thought -- and without increased pain.

While the study revealed that patients with fibromyalgia had similar activity levels compared to those without the condition, it also showed that when it came to higher activity levels (quickly walking up a flight of stairs, walking for several miles or engaging in aerobics) their level was significantly lower than those without the condition.

The measurements in the study were conducted by using actigraphs, wristwatch-sized devices that measure movements in various directions. These round-the-clock monitoring devices allowed researchers for the first time to accurately measure the patient's activity level without having to depend on patients self-reporting their activity levels.

 

 

Positive Findings for Physical Activity

People with fibromyalgia tend to report poor physical activity levels and more pain after performing activities because they often think increased activity levels equate to higher levels of pain

  • Exercise, stretches, and physical activity promotes further well-being of those with fibromyalgia.

 

  • A higher activity level in fibromyalgia patients doesnít lead to higher levels of pain.  In fact, it can enhance productivity throughout the day with less pain if done correctly.

 

  • Warm pool therapy is the absolute best form of exercise that a fibromyalgia patient can get to obtain painless exercises, stretches, and cardio therapy.  If you have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, we suggest that you either get a doctorís prescription for pool therapy or physical therapy (pain management).  If you have a doctorís prescription for warm pool therapy and you join a health club there can be some good tax benefits to this plan of therapy.

 

Researchers are hopeful that these findings will shed some light on the mysteries of fibromyalgia and eventually lead to new treatment options for patients suffering from chronic pain conditions in the muscle and soft tissue regions. Relying on this type of evidence-based research can also provide a better gauge on the amount of activity the patients can endure without experiencing increased pain.