Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS)

If you have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia then you will know better than anyone the symptoms you have and how painful it can be.

For those who do not have a FMS diagnosis the main symptom is a pain that move from place to place and between different body systems e.g. skin, bones, nerves and more specific tenderness both sides of the body often located around the lower spine, between the shoulder blades, base of the neck, over the sacroiliac joints, elbows and knees, which is usually how the condition is diagnosed. 

Fibrous nodules can develop in localized areas, although, there is usually no actual damage to tissues or organs. Blood tests and X-rays do not seem to show common abnormalities and this makes diagnosis very difficult. It can take many months and years to be diagnosed and is often a matter of excluding other options. However, many FMS sufferers consistently report a reduction of muscle energy, which makes them tire easily, and an inability to relax muscles but more of that later!

Diagnosis (taken from NHS.uk)

For fibromyalgia to be diagnosed, certain criteria usually have to be met. 

The most widely used criteria for diagnosis are:

  • You either have severe pain in 3 to 6 different areas of your body, or you have milder pain in 7 or more different areas 
  • Your symptoms have stayed at a similar level for at least 3 months 
  • No other reason for your symptoms has been found

Conditions like ME, Rheumatoid arthritis and MS may be ruled out before diagnosis is confirmed.

So what is going on?

It is believed that in FMS sufferers, the central nervous system has gone into overdrive, often due to stress or a trauma.  When the nervous system is in a constant state of anxiety, the brain and spinal cord acts as an amplifier making all pain signals (no matter how small or fleeting) to be heard LOUD and CLEAR! The brain now thinks that most nerve sensations are pain and the actual pain sensations are registered higher on the pain scale (so they feel more painful).

Why does FMS occur?

At the moment there are a number of factors in the mix for the possible cause of FMS and as with many conditions this will be individual to each sufferer.  FMS seems to occur due to one or a multiple number of the following factors:

  • An infectious illness, 
  • Physical trauma, 
  • Emotional trauma 
  • Hormonal changes

A genetic type or hereditary link has not been verified, however some studies suggest that there may be a gene that predisposes some people to the development of FMS. 

Now back to symptoms:

DizzinessAches IBS
Brain fogMuscle weaknessAllergies
Sore throatSleep disturbanceNausea
Heightened sensitivity –
sound, light, smell or touch
Pains –
shooting, muscle, skin and joint tenderness
Mental health:
Depression, Anxiety, Stress
Exhaustion StiffnessPTSD
Chronic fatigueRestless legsMemory loss

These are reported to be the most common symptoms associated with FMS. 

Many suffers seem to lack delta brain wave activity during sleep; meaning the deep non-REM sleep for them is virtually non-existence. As a result waking up feeling tired and being exhausted most of the time is very common. (Disturbed sleep in anyone will often result in similar aches and pains.) The disturbance of sleep has been linked with low levels of Serotonin in the brain, making low mood more likely.

What can help?

Symptoms are all very interesting and despite the randomness of the list above, to a kinesiologist they are all part of the same problem! In order to help we need to address 4 key areas.  BiologistBruce Liptonwrites that we are alla community of 50 trillion living cells that all have the same book of genes and are programmed to help each other to heal and for that to happen we need to change the environment of yourcell community. This will allow them to work in harmony. 

The key areas that will change the environment of your cells are structure, biochemistry, emotions and energetic

Structure: Is your digestion working well? Are you absorbing the right nutrients from your diet? Are toxins leaking into the rest of your body?

Tight muscles, sluggish fluid movement (lymphatic areas) and tension in the ligament and fascia of your body will all contribute to how effectively your digestion moves the foods you eat from one end to the other. However, any type of physical treatment for FMS has to be short in time and gentle so as not to overload the nervous system.

Most helpful structure treatments are:

Reflexology lymphatic drainage: to drain away inflammation, the key to many conditions including FMS

Nerve reflexology: to calm the central nervous system and work on painful areas without overstimulation of the whole body.

Valve fixing: a Systematic kinesiology technique that concentrates on the both the urinary and digestive systems. The structural part is to release the mechanical tension in thegastrointestinal tract, enabling the muscles to tighten and release and move the food and waste along.

Yoga or Tai chi: in particular hatha yoga where the movements are slow and controlled. The beauty of yoga is that you can stop when you need to and move at your own pace. 

Go for a walk in nature: this helps the feel-good hormones to be released and is vital to feel happy and calm. 

Go outside and get some light: when daylight hits the back of the eye this resets the body clock. When you see plenty of natural outside light in the morning you sleep better at night. 30 mins of summer sun will increase your vitamin D levels too

Essential Oils for structure and emotion: MELALEUCA CAJEPUTI (cajuput); MATRICARIACHAMOMILLA (german chamomile); SALVIA SCLAREA (clary sage); CUPRESSUS SEMPERVIRENS L. (cypress); FOENICULUM VULGARE (fennel); BOSWELLIA CARTERII (frankincense); JUNIPERUS COMMUNIS (juniper);LAVENDULA ANGUSTIFOLIA (lavender); MELISSA OFFICINALIS (Melissa); MENTHA PIPERITA (peppermint); CITRUS AURANTIUM AMARA (petitgrain); RAVENSARA AROMATICA (ravensara);PIPER NIGRUM (black pepper) & ZINGERBER OFFICINALE (ginger); when warming helps; For help on the use of these amazing oils see my blog “A for Aromatherapy”

Biochemistry: Do you have food intolerances? Would you be able to tell? Are there foods that pick you up and some that leave you feeling flat? Are you deficient in vitamins and minerals? Or are you getting the right nutrients but your body cannot break them down into their active form and use them?

Nutrient and herbs worth checking for FMS include:

Magnesium, often deficient in FMS sufferers, hence the muscular tension, impaired nerve function and poor sleep. 

Serotonin levels, are initially stimulated by Vit D and also foods with B12, Folic acid, B3, Fe, B6, Zn are needed to raise levels of serotonin

B group vitamins, manganese, alpha-lipoic acid, Co Q10

Ginkgo and garlic for blood circulation 

Cayenne, liquorice, olive leaf, iodine, black walnut (contains iodine and is good for the digestion), 

Omega 3 to reduce inflammation and antioxidants

Vit D levels as these are often sub-optimal in people with FMS

When your digestion is working efficiently the best way of getting these nutrients is by eating a wide range of different coloured foods.

If considering supplements and taking medication you may want to check with a doctor. Otherwise, see a Systematic Kinesiologist and/or nutritionist to help you sort out what is relevant for you.With muscle response testing in kinesiology, I find that supplements should only be taken if they are necessary and are only effective if they are the right type for you (eg you could buy magnesium citrate, magnesium ascorbate, magnesium picolinate, colloidal or nano magnesium and each supplement company will be slightly different – your body will have a definite preference and so we ask it!). How much you need and what time you take it makes the difference between the body being used it and making expensive wee!

Note: a great way of getting Magnesium into the body is to bathe in magnesium salts or spray sore joints and muscles with a magnesium spray. If you are deficient and/or busy and stressed, you may need quite a lot to make a difference, come and see me so I can give you a more specific answer.

Intestinal inflammation, yeast of bacterial overgrowth, parasites (more common than you think), gut bacteria and enzyme deficiency all contribute to how efficient your digestion works, the nutrients your body receives and the environment your cells live in. 

Emotions, Emotions, Emotions!

There is not one disease, ailment or condition without an element of emotion. Emotions affect the environment of your cells in every situation, so it is worth paying attention them.

Emotionally people with FMS are often hardworking perfectionists that burn the candle at both ends and in the middle too. Over time the adrenal glands become tired and this makes it difficult for the body to control pain and inflammation. 

Think about the phrases you say to yourself and the metaphors you like using:

My feet/thepain/back/neck/knees are killing me 

I feel down in the dumps 

I have just got to keep moving forward/keep pushing through – there has to be an easier way!

By now you know what I am going to suggest, muscle response testing can identify the thoughts that you are not conscious of having and I also like to use metaphors and other techniques to make changes in your emotional world.

Other suggestions: learn mindfulness or meditation. Go to regular traditional yoga sessions. Bringing these wonderful emotional elements in is a real life changer.

Have plenty of cuddles: the “cuddle hormone” oxytocin and serotonin is released when we feel love, trust and comfort. So if you need a lift cuddle the family, a friend or the pets

Energetic

There is so much going on in your body that you are not even being of, your beating heart, taking a breath, constant water and hormone monitoring. As a result your body knows exactly what it wants, doesn’t want and is trying to heal. Meridians, chakras and hormones affect the overall balance of the body and its interaction with the world. 

Colours and smells (especially essential oils) can be used to help is this area and with emotions too. Working to balance and harmonise your energetic self can be very powerful and should not be underestimated. 

Don’t take my word for it! As kinesiologists say why guess, when you can test and let’s ask the body exactly what is good for YOU

The essential guide to vitamins, minerals and herbal supplements by Dr Sarah Brewer
The comprehensive guide by Steven Horne
https://www.arthritis.org/about-arthritis/types/fibromyalgia/what-is-fibromyalgia.php
www.nhs.uk/conditions/fibromyalgia
https://articles.mercola.com/fibromyalgia/what-is-fibromyalgia.aspx
Epigenetics and Systematic Kinesiology training