Fibromyalgia is a very complex syndrome. I have lived with it for many years and explored many various treatments, and approaches to healing. One of the factors I have found to be very important in reducing fibromyalgia symptoms is the food we put into our mouths. What we eat can help our bodies to heal or to exacerbate or cause symptoms.
I am inspired to write this today because of a flare up of symptoms that I had not experienced in years. I was very baffled about what was happening. It took me a few months to realize what was happening. I had became too lax in my diet and began including foods that I have previously expelled from my diet. With the removal of the foods, my symptoms quickly resolved. That completely reaffirmed my belief that diet is a MAJOR factor in fibromyalgia.
There are 4 major components to consider when considering diet:
- Eating whole, unrefined foods free from additives and preservatives.
- Eating the right foods for your unique body type
- Eating from a place of gratitude and presence.
- Identifying and eliminating foods that your body reacts to.
Symptoms that can be caused by the wrong diet include (but not limited to):
- Physical tension, aches, and pains.
- Burning, itching on the skin and internally.
- IBS, crones, constipation, diarrhea
- Depression and anxiety.
Eating whole, unrefined foods free from additives and preservatives.
Fresh fruits, vegetables, animal foods, nuts, seeds, grains, and oils are the foundation of a healthy diet. Dairy if your body can tolerate it, some bodies cannot tolerate dairy. These foods provide the body with important nutrient to build, repair, provide energy, enhance cellular communication, hydrate, and nourish cells, balance hormone activity and more.
Refined foods are often loaded with chemical preservatives to extend the shelf life and additives to give it back some flavor that is destroyed in the refining process. The refining process destroys important nutrient that the body needs to thrive and heal and can add empty calories (calories deficient of nutrition) that can lead to weight gain and malnourishment. The added chemicals can build toxicity in the body and interfere with the body’s natural chemical processes.
Animal food free from hormones, antibiotics, and other chemicals are preferable. The added chemicals can impact your hormone levels, create a desensitization to antibiotics when truly needed, and create imbalances and toxicity in the body.
Organic vegetables are preferable but start where your feet are, and your budget can handle. Fresh vegetables are preferable, then frozen and lastly canned (which are the most deficient in nutrients)
Eating the right foods for your unique body type
Just as different plants have different needs such as amount of sun and water, temperature, the Ph level, and the right blend of soil and fertilizer, our human bodies have unique needs. If you place a pansy on a hot dry area with direct sun in the middle of the summer, it will shrivel up and die. But if planted in the fall it can thrive all winter. If you give a geranium a lot of water it won’t do well, but many philodendrons love water.
Some people do well on a high protein, high fat diet. Some people do better on a high carb, low protein diet. If you discover the right diet for your type, you will feel a greater sense of well being and balance, reduce food cravings, have a steady flow of energy, and maintain a stable weight.
Different body types do well with different vegetables, fats, and protein as well.
Eating from a place of gratitude and presence
Taking time to eat in a quiet space and chewing your food improves the digestion and assimilation of the food. It allows for full digestion and improves elimination as well. Focusing on the taste of the food and the process of eating assist the body in digestion. Eating in a rush or while multi-tasking reduces the benefit of food and creates digestive issues. It also creates a tendency to overeat as you are unaware of when you body is signaling that it is full, which leads to obesity and further insults the digestive system.
Identifying and eliminating foods that your body reacts to
This aspect of diet is more difficult to identify. Different bodies react strongly to certain foods. Here are some common intolerances: Dairy, gluten, gluten free grains, eggs, corn, soy, Legumes, tree nuts, citrus fruits, and night shade vegetables, shellfish, and coffee. There are also categories of food that contain high levels of natural chemicals in foods that can cause reactions. These include salicylates, amines, sulfites, fructose, oxalates.
Steps improve your diet to enhance your health.
- Improve the quality of your diet by transitioning toward whole foods and away from processed foods. Moving towards organic foods rather than conventional and factory farming. Improve the quality of the animal foods you ingest by finding meats that are free from added hormones and antibiotics. Then discovering animals’ foods that include a healthy environment for the animals as they grow.
- Set aside a time and place for eating that provides a calm and nurturing environment in which to eat and enjoy the process of nurturing your body. Focus on the experience of eating. Tasting the foods, chewing well, savoring the flavor, eating slowly and consciously. This will enhance digestion and can be a mini meditation away from the busyness and concerns of your daily life. Expressing gratitude for the food you ingest, feeds you the emotion of gratitude along with the nurturing foods.
- Discover your unique body type. There forms of body typing that focus on different aspects of our physiology. I have explored many different types of body typing and I find the Metabolic Typing Diet by Bill Wolcott is the most inclusive. His book, the Metabolic Typing Diet is a good place to start. The book educates you as to the importance of body typing, provides a questionnaire to identify your oxidative type, how to implement, and instructions as to what foods to eat and how to refine your diet. He has an advanced questionnaire that offers a more complete assessment by including nervous system type, blood type and hormonal type that is available through a certified practitioner. (If you are interested in that, you can contact me.)
- Explore food intolerances and sensitivities. Educate yourself. There are many good articles on the internet about food sensitivities that include lists and instructions. You can experiment with your own body. Remove one offending food for a week, notice if you feel a difference. Then put the food back in and notice how you feel. This is a very powerful way to use your body to discover exactly what does not work for it. There are blood tests that can identify food sensitivities. (If you are interested in this, contact me).
Learning to feel your body and listening to it is very powerful.
Your body knows what it needs and does not need. By tuning in and listening to your body, you will create a very powerful alliance with your body. It can become your guide and friend, rather than an enemy that is causing you pain. Remember, your body is also suffering. It does not want to be in pain. It also wants to be healthy and can guide you in that direction.
May you discover the healing properties of food,
The Importance of Water
Drinking adequate water is an important part of rebuilding our health and staying healthy. Although we look pretty solid, more than half of the human body is actually liquid – a briny fluid, much like sea water. This fluid keeps us in good working order, cushioning and hydrating our cells, tissues and organs, transporting nutrients and eliminating waste from the body. Water hydrates our body and is essential for many of the functions of the body including digestion, immune function, hormones, communication between cells, mental function, elimination.
Dehydration Impacts our health
When your body fluids are depleted, you are dehydrated. It is as simple as that. Yes, we would know if we were severely dehydrated as we would end up in the hospital. The problem is that most of us suffer from minor dehydration and don’t even know it. We do not understand how essential water is to well-being. We do not understand what happens to the body if it doesn’t receive its daily water requirements.
Minor levels of dehydration can cause you to feel grumpy and tired and make it hard to concentrate. It can contribute to constipation, aches and pains, asthma, hypertension, ulcers, allergies, arthritis, fibromyalgia, insomnia, depression, anxiety, cancer and many other diseases and illnesses. Now, that is something to pay attention to!
Minor dehydration can be easily avoided by drinking adequate fluids throughout the day. Don’t allow thirst to be the only motivation for drinking water. By the time you are thirsty, dehydration has already set in. Feeling hungry between meals is another sign of dehydration.
It is important to have a steady influx of water throughout the day. We get water from beverages that we drink and the food we eat. A good rule of thumb is to divide your body weight in half and that is the number of ounces of water to drink daily. Ideally, you want to spread the amount of water you drink over the day. Drink a full glass or two of water upon waking in the morning and then a full glass 30 minutes before each meal or snack. Add another full glass of water between each meal and you have a good supply of fluid going into your system. Some say it is ideal to drink about 1/2 cup of water every half hour to spread the water intake out evenly throughout the day. Another water tip is to stop drinking fluids about 2-3 hours before going to bed. This will allow a full 8 hours of undisturbed sleep.
Be mindful of what dehydrates you
The body loses about half a gallon of liquid every day through sweat, exhaled air and urine. On a hot day, you lose even more. Exercise vigorously and you sweat off up to an additional quart per hour.
It is important to remember that as with everything we put into out body, there are good fluids and bad fluids. Some beverages dehydrate you and some hydrate you. Fluids to avoid include coffee, sodas, alcohol, sweetened fruit juices, city tap water and many sports drinks. These fluids can contain empty calories, toxic substances and can lead to further dehydration.
The best water to drink
The best fluid intake is pure water. You can get spring water or filtered water. There are many varieties of bottled water on the market, but the best value for your money is simply pure spring water. Another option is to purchase a good water filter for your home. It is more economical and you have more control over the quality of the water you are drinking. Purchase a good water bottle and carry it with you so that water is handy throughout the day.
Water temperature is also important. Excess cold water can be imbalancing to the body, especially the kidneys. Room temperature water provides enhanced health benefits.
Want some creativity and variety?
Infused water can be fun and provide additional nutrition to your beverages. Here are some links to discover fun and delicious infused water recipes. Or get creative and discover your own.
Introspection and tools to increase the amount of water you are drinking.
- Reflect on the amount and types of fluids you currently take in each day.
- Do you drink enough fluids?
- What is the quality of fluids that you drink?
- Are you drinking the right kinds of fluids?
- What baby steps can you take to increase the amounts of healthy water intake?
- What are some fun and creative ways that you can add more healthy fluids into your diet?
May you enjoy the health benefits of water,
Introducing German New Medicine (GNM)
Another look at the connection between trauma and fibromyalgia comes from a relatively new study by a German Physician named Ryke Geerd Hamer. Dr. Hamer was diagnosed with prostate cancer several months after his 17-year-old son was killed in a shooting accident. Dr Hamer intuitively asked the question, “Is my cancer diagnosis related the shock of my son’s death?” To find the answer to that question, he spent many years researching, studying and documenting the relationship between trauma and physical illness. What he discovered was revolutionary and will change the course of health care in the years to come.
Dr Hamer found that the human body is an amazing conscious organism that is guided by divine intelligence. It is more intelligent and capable than the human mind can even begin to comprehend. It is designed to survive, to adapt to changes and challenges in its environment and, most importantly, to heal itself.
The impact of trauma
Dr Hamer discovered that when a person experiences a trauma or an unexpected negative event, a series of changes begin to occur in the body. The event could be a major even such as the death of a loved one or as simple as getting stuck in a traffic jam making you late for an important meeting.
At the moment of the distressing event, we are now considered to be “conflict active” and a lesion appears in the brain in a specific location. Then a biochemical signal is sent to a specific organ or tissue in the body causing changes to occur in the organ or tissue. These changes involve growing or losing cells to make that specific organ or tissue stronger or weaker. The location of the lesion and the organ or tissues in the body that are affected, depends on how the psyche interprets the event.
Our nervous system becomes sympathetic dominant. This is the part of our nervous system that wakes us up, keeps us alert and functional during the day, and rises to the occasion to respond to a threat.
The changes occurring in the affected organ or tissue are assisting us so we’re in a better position to manage the unexpected event. There aren’t many symptoms during this phase, but signs that you are “conflict active” include having clammy hands, nausea, a racing mind, and an inability to sleep.
The Healing Phase
Once the conflict is resolved, your nervous system changes and your body responds by addressing the changes that occurred in the conflict active phase. If you grew cells, you’ll now break them down; if you lost cells, you’ll now replenish them. This phase is called the healing phase. You now experience (there generally were NO symptoms before this) symptoms in the body as the parasympathetic side of the nervous system becomes dominate. This is when we are tired, in pain, and need to rest and take care of ourselves so our bodies can heal. In Dr Hamer’s research, it became clear that the symptoms were simply the body’s way of healing itself, reversing the changes that occurred after the shock and returning to balance or homeostasis.
If the conflict isn’t resolved, the trauma or negative experience can be re-triggered again and again, keeping us stuck in a never-ending cycle of re-traumatization and ongoing symptoms.
Let’s look how this applies to fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia is the medical term for widespread muscle pain of unknown origin. From the perspective on German New Medicine, “fibromyalgia” indicates a long-lasting healing of a generalized self-devaluation conflict affecting the whole person. In my case, working through my lack of self-esteem and self-confidence and trusting in myself and my inner knowing has been a major factor in my process of rebuilding my health.
It seems to be very common for women with fibromyalgia to feel unheard and not believed. They are often misunderstood by others who cannot understand or relate to the difficulties of the fatigue and pain she struggles with every single day. When you add the insomnia and depression and other symptoms such as IBS, daily life can feel like sheer torture.
There were many years when simply getting up in the morning and struggling to be functional was all I could manage. And after years and years of pushing through the fatigue and pain, my body completely gave out. I had to rest. Rather than continuing to push myself, I had to look inside and resolve the underlying metaphysical causes of my fibromyalgia. I continue to work on that but doing so has helped me make huge shifts in my physical, mental and emotional health.
Symptoms vary from person to person based on your own unique situation and the intensity of the pain. However, we gain a new perspective when we learn GNM. We learn new insights into the underlying trauma or negative life experience that began the symptoms and continues to keep them active.
German New Medicine can support us in rebuilding our health
Once we correlate when the symptoms started with the negative events in a woman’s life, we understand the events that created the conflict shock. We can then begin to resolve our relationship to the events and reminders of that event and support the body in releasing the cycle of ongoing re-traumatization and symptoms.
When we understand our symptoms as the body’s process of healing itself we can release the fear and support the body in the healing phase.
If you would like to learn more about German New Medicine, click here to watch a free mini-course on new German Medicine. The mini-course consists of 8 short videos about 4-10 minutes in length. Once you have watched the mini-course, you are invited to contact me for a German New Medicine Consultation. Simply visit my contact page and request a New German Consultation at a discounted price of $97 or sign up for a complementary Discovery Session
Until next week, Bindu
Free Online Chair Yoga Experience
Using Movement, Awareness and Breath
to Reconnect with, Nourish, Recharge and Regenerate Your Body.
“The body is designed to heal itself given what it needs.”
This may seem like a meaningless statement, but this one statement holds the power and secret to being able to rebuild your health.
We have long been conditioned to give our power away. We look outside of our self for solutions to our problems. Yet, we have resources within that contain much power and ability that is hardly ever recognized or used.
In this workshop, we will explore untapped resources within and discover how to use them in rebuilding our health.
We are energy; our bodies are energy
Einstein proved that with the simple equation M=mc2.
A simple explanation of Einstein’s equation, E = mc squared, is that small amounts of mass are equivalent to huge amounts of energy. Einstein’s equation was revolutionary because it showed that matter and energy were different sides of the same thing.
More simply stated. Our body is a solid but also a huge body of energy.
How do we access and use that energy to rebuild our health?
Ancient yogis were able to access and use their energy to regenerate their bodies. We can do the same. It is rather simple. The primary thing that gets in the way is our mind and our beliefs. We have been taught that we are small and powerless. We need someone else to solve our problems for us. That is not true.
The true spirit of yoga
Too often today, many who teach yoga are missing the true power of yoga. Yoga has been reduced to the physical posture but is missing its true power.
The true practice of yoga is about harnessing our energy and uniting our body, mind, heart and spirit to nourish, recharge and rebuild the body.
The breath brings energy (prana, chi, the force) into the body. When you focus your attention on your body while breathing deeply, you are flooding the area you focus on with energy, healing energy. When you practice yoga with this focus, in addition to toning the muscles, you can heal on a deeper level the emotional body, the mental body and connect with your spiritual essence.
In this workshop you will be guided through an experience of simple movements while breathing and aligning the breath with the movement. You will be taught how to discover the integrative edge; how far to move the body into a stretch to get the maximum benefit. You will discover how when holding the movement/posture at the integrative edge, while breathing and focusing on the tension held in the body, that the tension will release and the energy in the body will be allowed to move one again.
The energy flow in the body is a piece of the puzzle in rebuilding your health
The flow of energy in your body, feeds and nourishes your body. Freeing the flow of energy in the body is a primary piece in rebuilding your health. Rebuilding your health is like putting a puzzle together. Each piece or work whether it be diet, exercise, supplements, lifestyle changes, inner work, etc adds a piece to the puzzle.
My Experience with Yoga
I feel very blessed that yoga was part of my life. Even living with extreme pain, practicing yoga kept my body strong, healthy and flexible. I also developed Presence or Witness Consciousness through the practice of yoga. This helped me to be more present and less reactive to situations in my life. It helped me to unravel the mental and emotional pieces of my illness. It has been my constant companion for 40 years. I feel blessed.
Benefits of Integrative Movement – Chair Yoga
- Can reduce chronic pain
- Increased relaxation in body and mind
- Improved relationship with your body
- Can promote quality of sleep
- Increased sense of well being
- Increased flexibility and balance
- Improve breathing
- Can reduce stress
- Can improve mental clarity and focus
The movements we will be doing are gentle and easy. You will be guided to always be aware of your body and honor and respect the limitations in your body. Gently approaching limitation with breath and awareness can reduce tension. Attempting to push beyond limitations is not helpful.
This workshop is offered for educational purposes only. You are reminded to take full responsibility for your experience and follow the guidance of your health practitioners.
To experience this for yourself, join me on January 29 for the free online webinar.
I hope to see you there,
A few days ago, someone told me that I didn’t know how to deal with fibromyalgia pain. You might say that was a pretty big trigger for me. Brought back all the memories of those who didn’t understand the pain I experienced with fibromyalgia. Part of working through this was remembering the worst times of my life. The pain and suffering. The experience of living with fibromyalgia. Of dealing with the pain for 30 years. Of not finding solutions. I do know how to deal with fibromyalgia. To live with the pain of fibromyalgia. Only to well.
Out of that came this post. I know that I constantly say that you can improve. You can rebuild your health. You can move beyond fibromyalgia.
I suspect there are many who doubt me; wonder if I am just pushing some new magic cure that doesn’t really work. Of capitalizing on other people’s pain. Of not knowing what I am talking about.
I am not. I have lived the experience of fibromyalgia and I have improved tremendously to the point where I am not in constant pain and misery. To the point where I have a life worth living. To the point where many days I forget that I have had fibromyalgia. Yes, it is there. It is real. It is possible.
I know your pain.
I may not know the specifics of your symptoms or of your life circumstances, but I know the pain.
I know the pain of being in constant physical pain. Of being in so much pain that you can’t even think. It takes all of your resources to be present with the pain. I know the fear and frustration of not being able to get rid of the pain. The fear of the pain never ending. The confusion of why this is happening and why can’t anyone help me. Why can’t anyone hear me or understand how much pain I am in.
I know the pain of insomnia. Of deadening fatigue, but not being able to sleep. Of night after night lying awake and not being able to sleep. Of waking in the morning feeling like you have been hit by a mac truck . . . maybe two.
I know the pain of being depressed. Of seeing life through a constant cloud of negativity. Of feeling like you are moving through molasses. Of having brain fog so bad that you can’t think clearly. Of wishing you could die. Of feeling like everyone else has a normal life . . . why can’t I. Of wanting to just crawl in a hole and stay there.
I know the pain of chronic itchy burning skin. Of not being able to wear anything except loose soft comfortable clothing. Of not being able to wear jewelry because the weight of a simple neckless pains your neck.
I know the pain of chronic anxiety. Of panic attacks randomly showing up uninvited. Of being triggered by simple normal things. Of feeling unsafe. Of feeling trapped by the pain, depression and anxiety. Of walking through life terrified moment by moment.
I know the pain of endless mind-numbing fatigue. Of waking up totally exhausted whether the sleep be deep or uninterrupted. Of hating the thought of getting out of bed in the morning and facing the day. Of just wanting to sleep for 6 months . . . a year . . . more.
I know the pain of going to a doctor and hear them say there is nothing physical wrong with you . . . when you know there is. Of hearing them say it is all in your head. Of having them give you pills that may or may not relieve the pain and provides a whole new set of symptoms.
I know the pain of loss, unrelenting loss. Loss of confidence in your self and your body. Of losing people, loved ones, family, friends that don’t survive your illness. Of losing jobs, income, security, safety.
I know the pain of insecurity. Of financial stress. Of not being able to trust your body. Of not being able to schedule a lunch date because you don’t know if your body will get you there or not. Of having to cancel engagements at the last minute because your body flares up. Of going and then being in pain and not enjoying the event but feeling tortured the whole time you are there.
I also know how it feels when you are told there is no cure. Of wondering if you can continue to live like this. How it feels to imagine a lifetime of this pain and unhappiness. Of trying treatment after treatment and feeling discouraged with the results. I know.
I know the pain of being criticized, ridiculed and persecuted for having an invisible disease.
I know the pain of missing out on family events. Of not being able to keep your house clean or torturing yourself to clean the house. Of being left behind when the rest of the world is speeding forward.
I know. I have been there. I lived it for 30 years. I am better now, but I remember. I know.
I also know your strength
The strength of getting up every morning. Of facing the day. The pain. The depression, the anxiety, the loss, the feeling unheard. Of feeling powerless. Of feeling unheard, of feeling invisible. Of feeling frustrated.
I know how hard it is to live the life with fibromyalgia as your constant experience. I know how much strength it takes of live that way. I know. I have been there. I lived it for 30 years. I am better now, but I remember. I know.
I know how to deal with fibromyalgia pain. How to live with it ungracefully and how to live with it gracefully (as humanly possible). How to breath, be present with the pain. How to exercise within my limitations. How to eat well to minimize symptoms. How to function on a tank half full. How to set boundaries to take care of yourself. How to manage my lifestyle to accommodate a devastating invisible illness. How to have less than I want or need because of my limitations.
I know. I did that for 30 years. I am better now, but I remember.
I also know that rebuilding your health is an option.
I know that you can move past the experience of fibromyalgia. To end the anxiety and depression. To get a good night’s sleep and wake up feeling refreshed in the morning. To feel good in your body. To enjoy life again.
I know that you can improve. I know because I have experienced it myself. Improvement, release from the pain. Finding a life that offers peace and contentment. I know.
It isn’t a quick fix. It takes commitment, a willingness to make changes in your eating and lifestyle. It means looking within to discover the true source of pain and loving yourself enough to feel and heal your own pain. It means discovering the unhealthy beliefs that rule your life and keep you in negative cycles. It takes a willingness to change who you are. Not from force or willpower, but by allowing life to change you, allowing the illness to transform you into a different person. The important unchanging aspect of you will still be there, but the masks and fake part of your that you adopted to survive will be shifted, changed and/or released. Like the lump of coal that turns into a diamond after its transformation.
It isn’t a quick fix. It is a journey that is very rewarding and fulfilling. You will discover a you that is healthy, whole and complete. Who is awesome and powerful.
If you chose this journey of rebuilding your health, I am here to support you.
I am here to support you, to educate you, to hold your hand if needed. I am here to remind you when the going gets tough that you are not alone. That you can and will make it and you will be happy and thrilled with your new self and new life.
I hold the space for your wholeness and improved health. It is here for you to claim and embody.
My intention is to build a community of women committed to their health and wholeness. Committed to rebuilding their health and the transformation that entails. A community based in safety, compassion and love, where we can come together to discover love, acceptance and healing.
Please join me/us as we grow together in love, peace and harmony.
Join me on January 29 for a free workshop entitled Integrative Movement.
7-8:30 pm via phone or skype
We will use chair yoga, to engage in the experience of Integrative Movement through breath, awareness and gentle movement. This allows you to create a deeper connection with your body, release pain and tension and create a harmonious relationship with your body.
Integrative Movement uses breath, awareness and movement to bring us into a state of Integrative Presence while deeply connecting with and nurturing our physical, emotional and spiritual bodies.
Integrative Presence is the experience of witnessing the body, mind and emotions from a place of compassion and acceptance which allows effortless healing and transformation of body, emotions and mind and a creates deeper connection to our spirit.
More information in the coming weeks.
Always remember, there is hope.
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