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New Techniques for Managing Fibromyalgia

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Fibromyalgia (fi·bro·my·al·gi·a) is a condition that causes pain all over the body (also referred to as widespread pain), sleep problems, fatigue, and often emotional and mental distress. People with fibromyalgia may be more sensitive to pain than people without fibromyalgia. This is called abnormal pain perception processing.” The CDC estimates that about 2% of the U.S. adult population — 4 million people — suffer from this condition. Its cause is unknown.

There are no repeatable, objective tests for diagnosing fibromyalgia, and as a result, some medical professionals doubt its very existence. Fibromyalgia sufferers must take an active role in their care and choose providers who take their condition seriously and will not try to “gaslight” them into thinking there’s nothing wrong with them. And because nobody really knows what causes fibromyalgia, nobody has a cure for it. Treatment consists of managing the symptoms.

There are medications for treating the pain of fibromyalgia: pain relievers, antidepressants, and antiseizure drugs. People suffering from fibromyalgia may also get some relief, and even empowerment, from lifestyle changes. Some of the lifestyle factors that sufferers have reported success with include diet, yoga, acupuncture, physical therapy, and exercise. The Healthline site has a fairly comprehensive list of strategies.

In addition, researchers are increasingly finding unconventional methods for managing fibromyalgia. Stress seems to be associated with fibromyalgia flareups and “bad days.” Some fibromyalgia sufferers find relief from both stress and pain in floating. At the Laureate Institute for Brain Research, scientists study the neurobiology of floating, and they have found the floating experience dramatically reduces all stress indicators and reduces pain. A new mini-documentary following two fibromyalgia sufferers shows their experience of floating. The film is produced by EndPain, and you can find it on their site. If you’d like to see if floating can provide relief from your fibromyalgia, book a float pod session at Peak Recovery & Health Center. It is an hour that could change your life.

Some sufferers also report success in managing their fibromyalgia with whole body cryotherapy (WBC). According to the site Fibromyalgia Treating, in response to extreme cold, “the body produces special proteins, called cytokines, that help the body repair the damage and reproduce cells despite the cold. The benefits of this are regulation of pain, repair of damaged tissue, and increased circulation.” Research on WBC in the management of fibromyalgia is still in its early stages, but what studies have taken place have been positive. If you suffer from fibromyalgia, however, there’s nothing to stop you from doing your own experiments. WBC is safe and noninvasive and, handled properly, has no side effects. You can find out for yourself by booking a WBC session with Peak Recovery & Health Center, where our technicians can guide you through a three-minute experience that may give you a world of relief.

Photo: “Fibromyalgia Motto” by Forsaken Fotos. Creative Commons license.