- Acupuncture. Traditional Chinese medicine, which includes acupuncture, is gaining in popularity, though it hasn’t yet been rigorously studied for fibromyalgia. A review of existing research — 25 studies involving a total of more than 1,500 people, published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, reveals that acupuncture treatments can reduce the number of tender points on the bodies of people with fibromyalgia. Acupuncture combined with cupping therapy (which applies heat and pressure to select spots on the skin) can cut down on overall pain as well as depression.
- Biofeedback. In a UCLA study of 15 patients comparing those who received biofeedback training with those who did not, researchers determined that biofeedback helped to improve attention level and reduce the perception of pain, tender spots, fatigue, and morning stiffness.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy. CBT, long used for fibromyalgia treatment, helps patients identify negative thought patterns and change them. Researchers in Spain who recently evaluated people with fibromyalgia found that both cognitive behavioral therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy combined with hypnosis improve fibromyalgia symptoms such as pain, compared with use of only medications for treatment.
- Craniosacral therapy. This is a type of massage that focuses on specific pressure points on your neck and head. Researchers compared the use of craniosacral therapy with a placebo treatment in 84 patients and found that those who had the massage experienced less pain, anxiety, and depression and also saw improvements in their daily living.
- Mindfulness training. This therapeutic approach is similar to meditation in that you learn to be more aware of your thoughts and your pain in order to change your response to the pain and in turn reduce it, improving your quality of life. Researchers in Canada have developed a pilot computer program they say helps patients reorient the focus of their attention away from their pain. Nick Carleton, PhD, assistant professor in the department of psychology at the University of Regina, says, “Most patients did not know what we were doing, but they benefited from the program.” After two mindfulness sessions a week for four weeks, fibromyalgia patients saw a 40 percent reduction in pain.
- Music therapy. Research in Pain Management Nursing suggests that learning to visualize a relaxing scene in combination with specific music on a CD can help ease fibromyalgia pain. This is just one approach to music therapy for pain management, says Joanne Loewy, MT-BC, director of the Louis Armstrong Center for Music and Medicine at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York. Music therapy includes a wide variety of options, including making music with others, singing, and drumming, all of which are promising options for fibromyalgia pain.
- Physical activity. According to data in the Journal of Pain, by watching the brain’s response to pain during physical activity and while study participants were simply sitting, researchers determined that the brain is effectively distracted from pain by physical activity. So, get moving — almost any type of movement will do, and the more fun, the better. .
- Pilates. Scientists in Turkey have demonstrated that patients who participated in an hour of Pilates three times a week for at least 12 weeks reported less pain at the end of the three months as well as a decrease in the impact of fibromyalgia on their daily lives. Consider making Pilates part of your fibromyalgia pain management plan and you’ll also make important strength gains.
- Qigong. Qigong is a technique taught in traditional Chinese medicine that uses specific postures, breathing exercises, and mental focus. A study reported in the journal Disability Rehabilitation compared women with fibromyalgia who learned this technique with similar women who did not and concluded that qigong may offer some relief from pain as well as other fibromyalgia symptoms.
- Tai chi. Hourlong tai chi sessions twice a week for at least three months can help reduce pain and improve other fibromyalgia symptoms, such as sleeplessness, according to research published in the The New England Journal of Medicine. This research was done with the Yang style of tai chi, but you can try other approaches with certified teachers as well.
- Yoga. Researchers at the Oregon Health & Science University developed an eight-week pilot program of yoga instruction that focused on greater awareness of breathing, meditation, and poses. All the women from the 53-person study who participated in the yoga sessions (rather than standard care only) found significant relief from fibromyalgia symptoms such as pain and fatigue and improved coping strategies as well.
Ready to get started? Here are 11 natural approaches to fibromyalgia treatment that you may want to look into. Remember to mention any treatments you’re considering to your pain specialist first, to avoid any potential negative interactions with pain medications.
One of the most powerful books you'll ever read and apply to your life at this moment. This book generates a sense of peace that will be deeply ingrained in your core soul forever.
A Course in Miracles, also known as "the Course" or ACIM, was scribed by Dr. Helen Schucman. It is a self-study course that aims to assist listeners, readers, and students in achieving spiritual transformation. ACIM presents a purely non-dualistic philosophy of forgiveness and includes practical lessons and applications for the practice of forgiveness in one's daily life.
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It’s more than just a garnish on your dinner plate. Parsley is one of the best disease-fighting herbs and has been used as a natural medicine for centuries. The health benefits of drinking parsley juice can help fibromyalgia suffers with better digestive and anti-inflammatory effects. After just 2 weeks, your body will start to reap these amazing benefits!
I can attest the properties of parsley are highly underrated, and need to be noticed. Parsley makes a great addition to salads, smoothies, and juices. If you're on one of our diets you may already be implementing the Fibromyalgia Juice Recipe.– It tastes incredible and provides the body with a host of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients to help the body heal and protect it from harmful effects of chronic pain.
Strengthen Immune System
Parsley has been shown to suppress over-stimulated immune systems, helping fight against allergies, autoimmune and chronic inflammatory disorders. Its high flavonoid content also provides it with the ability to enhance immune system response, as well as suppress various stages of the cancer process.
Parsley is a great natural diuretic, making it a wonder-herb for lowering blood pressure, and helping flush the body of excess toxins. It’s diuretic effects help eliminate excess sodium in the body, which is also great for getting rid of excess water weight.
This medicinal herb makes a great anti-inflammatory food. It is high in vitamin C, which is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent and helps provide relief in those suffering from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. It also contains a volatile oil called eugenol that has been shown in studies to possess strong anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic properties.
Blood Tonic and Purifier
Chlorophyll in parsley helps to alkalize the body, form new red blood cells and purify the blood. Polyacetylene found in parsley contains anti-platelet-aggregatory properties that help prevent cardiovascular disease and stroke. It also contains a host of beneficial flavonoids that neutralize free radicals and strengthen the heart.
Strengthens The Bones
The high vitamin K content in parsley makes it a great herb for helping strengthen the bones. Vitamin K deficiency has been linked with higher risk of bone fracture and osteoporosis. Consuming enough vitamin K (which just 1/2 a cup of parsley provides) improves calcium absorption, reduces urinary calcium excretion and modifies bone matrix proteins, all of which help improve bone health.
Prevents Bladder Infections
By stimulating urination, parsley juice helps flush out bad bacteria in the urinary tract that can cause urinary tract infections (UTIs). It is also an effective antibacterial herb (see below), making it great for getting rid of bacterial infections of the bladder and urinary tract.
Heals The Kidneys
Parsley juice helps flush the kidneys by stimulating urination. When my bladder infection went up into my kidneys I juiced up to 2 bunches of parsley a day (along with my raw vegan diet), and it went away naturally after 5 days. How’s that for a natural medicine!
Parsley stimulates the appetite and improves the digestive process. It contains a host of different enzymes that help in breaking down food during digestion, as well as vitamins, minerals, and other phytonutrients that aid in absorption and utilization of other foods we eat.
Parsley juice can help relieve an upset stomach and indigestion, thanks to its high vitamin C and folic acid content.
Parsley contains twice the amount of iron found in spinach. Iron is the oxygen-carrying component in red blood cells, and helps prevent iron-deficiency anemia. Just 1 cup of parsley provides 3.7 mg of iron, or 21% of your daily recommended intake!
Folic acid in parsley is a nutrient required for proper cell division, and so is important for cancer prevention of the colon and cervix where cells rapidly divide. It is very high in vitamin C (3 times higher than oranges!), which is important for scavenging free radicals and preventing DNA damage (a main contributor to cancer cell growth). Parsley also contains the compound apigenin, which increases levels of glutathione reductase and superoxide dismutase and has been found to shrink certain breast cancer tumours.
Regulates Blood Pressure
The diuretic effects of this herb help lower sodium levels and thus helps lower high blood pressure. Parsley also contains folic acid, which helps convert homocysteine into benign molecules, thereby preventing damage to blood vessels and reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke.
This powerful antibacterial herb, with the ability to inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria like E. coli and B. subtilis, is a must if you want to prevent bacteria-related illness.
Good Source of Copper
If you need some copper in your diet, parsley is the way to go! Copper is an essential trace mineral found in the liver, brain, heart, kidneys and skeletal muscle. It helps with the formation of collagen, plays a role in energy production and increases the absorption of iron.
Improves VisionParsley is a good source of the pro-vitamin A carotenoid, beta-carotene. Consuming a diet rich in beta-carotene lowers your risk of age-related macular degeneration, and improves night-blindness.
Fibromyalgia Juicing Recipe attempts to address the dysfunction of muscle cells and the buildup of lactic acids that can attribute to muscle pain and soreness. I make this juice blend upon rising every day. You want to ensure that these essential nutrients get immediately to the cells in need before having any food intake.
1/2 beet with tops (If tops are available)
1-2 celery sticks
3-7 parsley, stems included
Put all through a juicer and enjoy! Within minutes you'll notice a revitalized energy!
No other produce toots summer quite like watermelon. But there’s more to watermelon than just its flavor: It boasts some powerful health benefits. At 46 calories per cup, watermelon offers 20% of your daily intake of vitamin C and 17% vitamin A, according to the USDA. That’s not all.
“Watermelon contains dietary fiber for digestive health as well as potassium, a mineral that helps keep blood pressure capped,” says Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, Health‘s contributing nutrition editor.
No wonder there's a whole month dedicated to this fruit next month - July is National Watermelon Month.
Did you know
It has more lycopene than raw tomatoes
In just one cup, watermelon has 1.5 times more than a large fresh tomato, 6 milligrams compared to 4 milligrams, according to the USDA. That matters because lycopene is thought to act as a super antioxidant, stopping free radicals from damaging your cells and messing with your immune system. Some research even suggests that lycopene, typically found in red fruits and vegetables, may help fight heart disease and several types of cancer. Pro tip: “To retain the most antioxidants in this delicious superfood, store your watermelon at room temperature before slicing,” Sass says.
The juice can relieve muscle soreness
A Spanish study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that drinking watermelon juice can actually be quite soothing after a grueling workout. Athletes who consumed a little more than 16 ounces an hour before exercise had less muscle soreness and a lower heart rate within a day.
That may be because watermelon contains a natural substance called citrulline that’s been tied to improved artery function and lower blood pressure. In fact, its ability to relax the blood vessels led Texas A&M University researchers to say watermelon has Viagra-like effects. But you’ll need to look beyond the pink flesh if you really want to load up on citrulline—it’s concentrated most in the rind. If that’s not your thing, you can always save it for pickling or preserving later, Sass says.
It’s a fruit AND a vegetable
Like most fruits, watermelon is the product of a seed-producing plant and has a signature sweet taste. But it can be traced back to the squash, pumpkin, and cucumber family known as Cucurbitacea. You can also eat the rind. The dual nature of watermelon makes it all edible, so there’s no excuse to leave any part behind.
It’s packed with water
This food has some serious hydration power. Watermelon is 91.5% water, according to the USDA. That’s a big deal seeing as how being dehydrated is bad for your health. A study published in The Journal of Nutrition found that women with even mild dehydration experienced headaches, poor concentration, fatigue, and worse moods. Dehydration also promotes muscle pain in patients experiencing fibromyalgia.
Improves Insulin Resistance
Insulin is a hormone in the blood that regulates blood sugar by helping it enter cells. PubMed Health explains that when the body does not respond properly to insulin blood sugar stays in the bloodstream. To counteract that occurrence, the body produces more insulin, and the excess insulin and sugar in the bloodstream have a negative effect on the kidneys and triglyceride levels. Watermelon's L-citrulline content raises L-arginine levels which helps reduce circulating blood sugar levels, excess fat and cholesterol levels in animal and human subjects, according to a study in the December 2007 issue of the "Journal of Nutrition."
Here's a great weekender movie to stream that will relax your senses and allow some healing for the upcoming week.
Until he was downsized, affable, amiable Larry Crowne (Hanks) was a superstar team leader at the big-box company where he's worked since his time in the Navy. Underwater on his mortgage and unclear on what to do with his suddenly free days, Larry heads to his local college to start over. There he becomes part of a colorful community of outcasts, also-rans and the overlooked all trying to find a better future for themselves...often moving around town in a herd of scooters. In his public-speaking class, Larry develops an unexpected crush on his teacher Mercedes Tainot (Roberts), who has lost as much passion for teaching as she has for her husband. The simple guy who has every reason to think his life has stalled will come to learn an unexpected lesson: when you think everything worth having has passed you by, you just might discover your reason to live. -IMBd
There are no true roadblocks to traveling with fibromyalgia it's not unsafe and you shouldn't feel excluded from vacationing when you have the condition, says board-certified rheumatologist Marcia Genta, MD, of the Dallas Arthritis Center and the Methodist Dallas Medical Center.
What's tiring for most people on a vacation though can be downright exhausting for someone with fibromyalgia. Why? Dealing with traffic, long lines at the airport, security checks, and getting around in a place you don't know is stressful, and stress can increase the pain of fibromyalgia.
Traveling is also physically draining. Carrying around luggage, especially lifting bags into overhead compartments, can lead to injury. Long days of sightseeing without enough rest can also make fibromyalgia symptoms worse.
To enjoy a vacation, take these steps to lessen the impact travel can have on your fibromyalgia.
After an enjoyable vacation, what's the protocol for getting back to everyday life? You'll probably struggle a bit to get back into your daily routine, just as everyone does, Genta says. If you've thought out your travel plans ahead of time and you didn't overdo activity while you were away, you shouldn't need a vacation from your vacation.
Here's a mainstay I used whenever we have family barbecues. It seems as the years fly by there isn't enough energy for these fun family outings. In order to feel refreshed and rested, I've found my crock pot to be one of my closest friends to get me through that affair.
All you need to do is open a few cans of already made beans, add a few ingredients, and you have an amazing side everyone will think you spent time on.
(2) 15 oz. cans of store brand baked beans
1/3 cup well-chopped onion
2 tsp. yellow mustard
2 tab. real bacon pieces (optional)
2 tab. molasses
3 tab. brown sugar
Add all ingredients to slow cooker. Stir well. Cook on low for 3-4 hours. When through, let rest before serving so the beans suck up the extra juice.
I know you're dreading trying to prepare all those necessary sides for a Memorial Day barbecue. Well, with a little ingenuity you can prepare those sides with a bit of ease. By all means don't spend the day cooking and resting in between to keep your stamina up. Pop this in the slow cooker and one item will be ready with no fuss.
Concentrate on the things that need to be done immediately like tidying up, decorating, and handing over grilling duties. Then make sure to carve out a bit of quality time for yourself.
8-10 ears of corn, shucked
1/3 cup water
Break ears in half and place in slow cooker. Add 1/3 cup of water. Set on high and allow to cook for 3 hours.
Remove corn and add your favorite seasonings: butter, salt, pepper, herbs, and/or lemon juice. YUM!
Sometimes enough is enough. You can go along in life doing everything fundamentally possible to keep yourself fit and healthy, and then, all of a sudden, be struck down from another unseen force. A wise rheumatologist once told me, "Fibromyalgia leads to other chronic illnesses. Do as much as you can naturally to keep your symptoms at bay."
I've had several email requests on how to apply for SSD with fibromyalgia. If you're at the end of your rope, then now is the time to add more quality living time to your daily life. After all, if you're home you can concentrate on YOU and not the finances.
Although fibromyalgia is a mysterious disorder with subjective symptoms, the pain and exhaustion it causes can severely impact a person’s life. The condition is characterized by over ten different symptoms including widespread and chronic pain, allodynia (i.e., pain caused by pressure), fatigue, sleep disturbance, stiff joints, difficulty swallowing, bowel issues, bladder issues, numbness, tingling, and cognitive dysfunction. The cause is unknown and the symptoms vary from person to person. In the weeks an months before your final decision to apply keep these points in mind:
Because of the subjective nature of the disorder, you will need to work hard to win your case. It’s all about working with your doctors to establish your disorder, proving your case with strong evidence, and staying determined through any necessary appeals. Begin now by picking out a local attorney you'll feel comfortable with. You may even want to call to "get acquainted" letting them know of your plans. You must apply and be denied to retain an attorney, but it doesn't hurt to call and feel comfortable about your "back up" in case your application is denied.
To get Social Security disability for fibromyalgia, I highly recommend that you work with a disability representative. Not only will he be familiar with the system and ready to answer any questions that you have, but he will also monitor your case and stand by you throughout the application and appeals process.
In July 2012, Social Security issued a ruling explaining when fibromyalgia should be found as a medically determinable impairment. The ruling directs claims examiners and judges to rely on criteria issued by the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) to determine whether an applicant has fibromyalgia, and thus has an MDI "medically determinable impairment".
First, to be considered an MDI, the patient should have evidence of chronic widespread pain, including pain in the back, neck, or chest, and a doctor must have ruled out other diseases (such lupus, hypothyroidism, and multiple sclerosis) through the use of lab tests or x-rays. In addition, the patient must have one of the following:
The claims examiner assigned to your claim will review your medical records to see if they include evidence of the above criteria. The examiner will read your doctor's notes on your complaints of pain, fatigue, and possible cognitive difficulties on all your doctor visits. To assess the credibility of your complaints, the claims examiner (or judge, if on appeal) may ask your doctor to provide information about the extent and duration of your impairments, his or her opinion of how well you are able to function, what treatments were tried and whether they were helpful and had side effects, and how long the doctor expects your ability to function to be limited. The longer your medical record includes evidence of fibromyalgia symptoms and treatment, the better.
If the SSA determines that you have the medically determinable impairment of fibromyalgia, Social Security's evaluation is not over; in fact, it has just begun. The SSA will probably will develop a "residual functional capacity" (RFC) assessment for you to determine if there is any work you can do, including your past work. An RFC assessment is an evaluation of your ability to perform various exertional levels of work; for example, if you can't lift more than 10 pounds, you will be given a sedentary RFC. The SSA bases your RFC on your medical records, opinions from doctors and specialists, and statements from you and possibly your family members. In assessing your RFC, the SSA will rely on your doctor's opinion as to your abilities, like how long you can stand, sit, and walk, how much you can lift, and how well you can focus and remember instructions. These functional limitations are the key to showing the SSA why you can't work.
After creating your RFC, the SSA will compare it to the types of jobs available for someone with your RFC level and limitations. If your RFC rules out all jobs, even sedentary work, you will be found disabled. For more information, see our articles on how Social Security uses your RFC and Tips on Winning Disability With Fibromyalgia.
Valerie utilizes an extensive amount of research producing this blog. Categories are purposely set up in stages, rather than topics, so you can easily implement one step at a time.