Sometimes we will read a story that touches us deeply. One such story recently was the inspirational journey of Valerie Lumley, a woman we will hear more about in years to come in terms of those seeking permanent fibromyalgia pain relief.
At 45 years of age she was diagnosed as suffering from Chronic Fibromyalgia Syndrome and was bedridden and unable to keep down food or attend to rudimentary tasks which we all take for granted such as go to the toilet on her own. By all accounts she had been to literally dozens of doctor’s and specialists and all to no avail. Her body it seems was effectively shutting down and she seemed to all intents and purposes to be dying a slow death.
It seems that Valerie had her own theory about what had caused her fibromyalgia. She had suffered a head knock in a motor accident some 35 years previously and believed this to be at the root cause of all her problems. Doctor’s ignored this assertion and continued to ply her with a virtual barrage of treatments, tests and dangerously additive drugs. Nothing worked and her condition spiraled downward.
The message she received loud and clear, as do most fibromyalgia sufferers, is that the condition is degenerative and incurable. The prognosis she was told was grim. So grim that she was led to believe that entry into nursing home care at a very early age was a virtual inevitability.
It is at about this time that a story so full of hope and inspiration truly begins as this brave woman refused to accept the hand which she was told fate had dealt her. Doggedly refusing to literally lay down and die quietly, this courageous woman gathered a team of experts in their fields around her. In total she had four leading specialists in their fields, an osteopath, a classic homeopath, a chiropractor and a psycho therapist.
Her ‘treatment’ included only one prescription drug in the form of a dual neuro-transmitter re uptake inhibitor to normalize the hyper sensitized central nervous system caused by the fibromyalgia syndrome. The rest of the treatment was entirely holistic, naturopathic and non invasive.
Valerie is now in her late 50′s and completely cured of her chronic fibromyalgia syndrome and living a normal life. This is testament to her tenacity and refusal to simply give in and accept what she was told was her fate. The cure was no miracle. It came out of the exact right mix of homeopathic remedies, stress reduction, dual neuro transmitter balancing to reverse pain signal distortion, nutritional therapy, chiropractic alignment of the C1 or ‘Atlas’ vertebrae and lastly but by no means least, gentle restorative yoga.
It seemed that in Valerie’s case a misalignment of the C1 vertebrae from a compound head and neck trauma (exactly as Valerie had thought) had caused her central nervous system to ‘over fire’ up and down the spinal cord creating the environment for system wide ravages of chronic fibromyalgia syndrome.
So, what is the message that we can take out of this truly inspirational story? The lesson to be learned by all those seeking fibromyalgia pain relief is that fibromyalgia is a complex problem and not, as commonly thought a muscular disease but rather, a disease of the central nervous system.
The power to truly overcome this miserable and disabling disease lies squarely in your own hands. If you gather the right professionals around you and take a holistic, whole body approach to combating the ravages of this insidious disease, it is possible, in time and with effort, support and perseverance to take charge of your life and conquer the condition mentally and physically. Fibromyalgia pain relief it seems is very real and very attainable.
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Fibromyalgia syndrome, or FMS, is a disorder characterized by chronic and achy muscle pain that has no obvious cause. Phyllis Balch notes in her book, “Prescription for Nutritional Healing,” that many people with FMS have trouble properly absorbing nutrients. As such, a healthy whole-foods based diet is especially important for FMS sufferers to ensure that they meet their heightened nutrient requirements.
Consume an Anti-Inflammatory Diet
An anti-inflammatory diet may be helpful in FBS symptom management, according to the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition, or CSNN. CSNN recommends FBS sufferers eat a diet high in unrefined, complex carbohydrates, such brown rice and rolled oats. Balch adds that their diet should be made up of 50 percent raw foods. In addition to whole grains, she suggests an FMS diet should consist mainly of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, soy, and skinless turkey and chicken.
Avoid Refined Carbohydrates
CSNN recommends avoiding the consumption of refined carbohydrates, such as
white sugar, cane syrup, corn syrup, white bread, croissants, bagels and
anything containing high fructose corn syrup. These foods are stripped of
essential nutrients and their consumption may increase inflammation and
Reduce or Eliminate Animal Products
Balch recommends avoiding red meat, dairy products and all other foods high
in saturated fats because they are thought to interfere with circulation and
promote inflammation. CSNN adds that animal meat may be especially problematic
because not only does it contain saturated fat, it also contains arachidonic
acid, which is another pro-inflammatory substance.
Reduce or Eliminate Nightshades
Balch suggests also limiting consumption of nightshade vegetables, which
include potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants and peppers. Tobacco is a nightshade as
well and smoking cigarettes may also be problematic. The problem with
nightshades is they contain a substance called solaninine, which may cause
muscular pain and discomfort, says Balch.
Increase Your Intake of Omega-3s
Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to decrease inflammation and CSNN
recommends incorporating cold water fish into your diet because it is high in
omega-3s. Other foods high in omega-3s and recommended by CSNN include tofu,
walnuts, flaxseeds, dark leafy green vegetables, wheat germ and game meat. In
addition, CSNN recommends taking a fish oil supplement, particularly one that
contains 1 to 2 g combined of essential omega-3s EPA and DHA. Other fats that
may be helpful include olive oil, hemp oil and cold pressed coconut oil.
Consider Chemical and Food Sensitivities
According to Balch, recent research suggests that chemical and/or food
sensitivities may be responsible for the pain associated with fibromyalgia. As
such, reduce your exposure to toxic chemicals, such as household cleaning
products and artificial scents, and work with a health care practitioner to
identify and eliminate possible food allergens.