19 Dec The Three Simple Steps to Help Relieve Fibromyalgia Pain
For years we have used these three simple secrets in our clinic to help relieve pain associated with fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia is a catch-all term in Western medicine, used as a label for unexplained, chronic pain. Most times nothing shows up in Western medical scans or tests to indicate a problem and Western medicine usually has difficulty treating problems it cannot identify the specific cause of. Patients are therefore often told that its all ‘in their head’ and that they should ‘try to relax more’.
However, in Chinese medicine Fibromyalgia has definite causes. In our clinical experience Fibromyalgia is due to the following.
Being too cold – your body is designed to run at 37.0 degrees. If you are even 0.3 degrees under that your body cannot produce certain digestive enzymes and hormones. This will adversely affect your digestion and circulation and contribute to the next two causes. [Go ahead and check your own temperature: when you wake but before your get out of bed, take your oral temperature and take note of the temperature. If it is below 36.7 degrees then you are too cold. If it below 36.0 degrees than you are REALLY cold.]
Too much inflammation – poor digestion and a bad diet leads to a lot of what we in Chinese medicine call ‘Damp’. Damp is basically inflammation. Inflammation generates heat (which is often why some fibromyalgia sufferers feel warm/hot even though their temperature is too low) and it also affects your circulation and generates pain. It also generates the ‘brain fog’ that so many people experience.
Poor blood flow – your blood contains oxygen, nutrients, hormones and many other goodies your body needs. If your blood flow (circulation) to your muscles and joints isn’t good enough this will starve those areas of your body of oxygen and nutrients and those areas will be in pain as a result. Being too cold and having too much inflammation affects your blood flow.
All three causes often also result in fatigue, insomnia, irritable bowel, foggy head and anxiety/depression.
We have had a lot of success in helping people with fibromyalgia by addressing the above three main causes using acupuncture, Chinese herbs and diet.
How You Can Help Address the Three Main Causes of Fibromyalgia at Home
Here is what you can do at home to help address the main causes of Fibromyalgia and reduce your pain.
- Warm yourself up – if you find that your body temperature is less than 36.7 degrees, you need to warm yourself up. The best way to do this at home is:
- Stop drinking cold drinks and eating cold foods. No more icy cold drinks and cold food straight out of the fridge! Consume room temperature or warmer drinks and foods.
- Always add some grated fresh ginger to salads (ginger is warming and helps offset the coldness of salads).
- Routinely add warming spices to your foods – ginger, cardamom, paprika and cinnamon are great examples. But be careful not to have too much very hot spice like chilli or curry as this can generate too much heat to make your inflammation worse.
- Reduce your level of inflammation. Most fibromyalgia inflammation comes from a poor diet. Reduce your sugar, dairy and highly processed carbohydrate (bread, white rice, cakes, etc…) consumption. These foods turn your body into a ‘Damp’-(inflammation)-producing factory.
- Improve your blood flow. The best way to improve your blood flow at home is to MOVE. Sitting on the couch or at your office desk for hour after hour is bad for your circulation. I am not saying that you should run 10 miles a day (in fact this is usually a bad idea as many fibromyalgia sufferers also have fatigue). I recommend low impact movement like Qigong, tai chi, gentle yoga or gentle walking a few times a day. There is a basic Qigong move called a ‘Basic Swing’, which is a great exercise for fibromyalgia sufferers.
If you suffer from fibromyalgia pain, try all three strategies at home. Our experience is that it will help ease the pain in milder cases of fibromyalgia. If you have more moderate or severe fibromyalgia pain you will need specific treatment.
Note: Do not eat foods you are allergic to or that you know give you health problems.