Are you tired all the time, have achy joints, headaches and can’t seem to remember anything? In 2008 I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia following years of chronic pain and extreme fatigue. Because nothing was evident on blood tests, Dr’s could not diagnose the problem, so I was left to deal with the pain/fatigue and continued to try and perform all activities as normal; but the more I did the worse I felt. In those first few years, I tried numerous medical techniques: some were radical, painful, useless and expensive. When I finally found a GP that linked all the symptoms, the diagnosis actually brought a sense of relief, firstly that I wasn’t going mad, but it was then an opportunity to research the condition and look for solutions. Fast forward a few years, I am now a personal trainer, yoga teacher and Pilates instructor and I live relatively pain free of the debilitating symptoms of fibromyalgia. So what helped me?
- Taking control of the condition and learning as much as possible is empowering.
- Getting quality restorative sleep. Now this is easier said than done if your stressed, in pain and tired all the time. A GP can offer short term medications that may help with sleep.
- Learn to listen to your body, rest when you need to.
- Minimise stress and prioritise the important things in life.
- Find a yoga teacher that understands the condition. Living with the condition and reading about it are two different things. I couldn’t find a yoga teacher, so I studied for 2 years and became a teacher. I now have a specific yoga sequence that helps with Fibro pain, I still use this sequence when I can feel the symptoms creeping back in.
- Don’t race off believing all yoga classes will help, steer clear of power yoga for the time being, choose a slow sequence that is customised to you, as the more difficult postures may cause a flare up.
- Gentle massage, deep tissue massages tend to cause flare-ups.
Finding good health care professionals that understand fibromyalgia. I have a great physiotherapist and massage therapist.
So what is Fibromyalgia?
“Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder marked by widespread, unexplained pain in the muscles and joints. It’s not a disease. It’s a syndrome, which is a collection of symptoms that occur together. Although many people think of it as an arthritic condition due to the symptoms, it’s not a type of arthritis.
The condition is often associated with tender points, which are termed “trigger points.” These are places on the body where even light pressure causes pain. According to standards published by the American College of Rheumatology in 1990, a person can be diagnosed with fibromyalgia if they have widespread pain and tenderness in at least 11 of the known 18 trigger points. Common trigger points include:
- the back of the head
- tops of shoulders
- upper chest
- outer elbows
- A consistent dull ache through the entire body is also common. People with this disorder may also have:
- trouble sleeping
- Although the causes are unclear, fibromyalgia flare-ups can be the result of stress, physical trauma, or an apparently unrelated systemic illness like the flu. Symptoms may be a result of the brain and nerves misinterpreting or overreacting to normal pain signals. This could be possibly due to an imbalance in brain chemicals.”
- For more info http://www.healthline.com/health/fibromyalgia
Want to find out more about Yoga that can help with your condition, give me a call or