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FIBROMYALGIA AWARENESS MONTH AND WORLD FIBROMYALGIA DAY MAY 12th #SupportFibro…

World Fibromyalgia Awareness Day May 12th and Fibromyalgia Awareness Month May 1st-30th – May is the month we all come together to educate and raise awareness about Fibromyalgia with friends and family, at work, and in our neighbourhoods.

Take part to share the facts, and make a difference for all those impacted by Fibromyalgia, #SupportFibro. Fibromyalgia Awareness Day is May 12th and World Lupus Day is May 10th. Get ready to turn the month of May purple!

Fibromyalgia has many symptoms that tend to vary from person to person, and the NHS describe some of the awful symptoms.

There may be periods when your symptoms get better or worse, depending on factors such as:

  • your stress levels
  • changes in the weather
  • how physically active you are

If you think you have fibromyalgia, visit your GP.

Treatment is available to ease some of the symptoms, although it’s unlikely they’ll ever disappear completely.

The main symptoms of fibromyalgia are outlined below.

Widespread pain

If you have fibromyalgia, one of the main symptoms is likely to be widespread pain.

This may be felt throughout your body, but could be worse in particular areas, such as your back or neck.

The pain is likely to be continuous, although it may be better or more severe at different times.

The pain could feel like:

  • an ache
  • a burning sensation
  • a sharp, stabbing pain

Extreme sensitivity

Fibromyalgia can make you extremely sensitive to pain all over your body, and you may find that even the slightest touch is painful.

If you hurt yourself, such as stubbing your toe, the pain may continue for much longer than it normally would.

You may hear the condition described in the following medical terms:

  • hyperalgesia – when you’re extremely sensitive to pain
  • allodynia – when you feel pain from something that should not be painful at all, such as a very light touch

You may also be sensitive to things like smoke, certain foods and bright lights.

Being exposed to something you’re sensitive to can cause your other fibromyalgia symptoms to flare up.

Stiffness

Fibromyalgia can make you feel stiff. The stiffness may be most severe when you have been in the same position for a long period of time – for example, when you first wake up in the morning.

It can also cause your muscles to spasm, which is when they contract (squeeze) tightly and painfully.

Fatigue

Fibromyalgia can cause extreme tiredness (fatigue). This can range from a mild tired feeling to the exhaustion often experienced during a flu-like illness.

Severe fatigue may come on suddenly and can drain you of all your energy. If this happens, you may feel too tired to do anything at all.

Poor sleep quality

Fibromyalgia can affect your sleep. You may often wake up tired, even when you have had plenty of sleep.

This is because the condition can sometimes prevent you sleeping deeply enough to refresh you properly.

You may hear this described as non-restorative sleep.

Cognitive problems (‘fibro-fog’)

Cognitive problems are issues related to mental processes, such as thinking and learning.

If you have fibromyalgia, you may have:

  • trouble remembering and learning new things
  • problems with attention and concentration
  • slowed or confused speech

Headaches

If fibromyalgia has caused you to experience pain and stiffness in your neck and shoulders, you may also have frequent headaches.

These can vary from being mild headaches to severe migraines, and could also involve other symptoms, such as feeling sick.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

Some people with fibromyalgia also develop irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

IBS is a common digestive condition that causes pain and bloating in your stomach. It can also lead to constipation or diarrhoea.

Other symptoms

Other symptoms that people with fibromyalgia sometimes experience include:

Depression

In some cases, having the condition can lead to depression.

This is because fibromyalgia can be difficult to deal with, and low levels of certain hormones associated with the condition can make you prone to developing depression.

Depression can cause many symptoms, including:

  • constantly feeling low
  • feeling hopeless and helpless
  • losing interest in the things you usually enjoy

If you think you may be depressed, it’s important to get help from a GP or your fibromyalgia healthcare professional, if you have been seeing one.

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REFLEXOLOGY AS A TREATMENT FOR FIBROMYALGIA…

Reflexology is an effective holistic therapy for patients with fibromyalgia. Reflexology is becoming recognised as one of the more profound ways to help balance the body. By working on the reflex points on either your hands or your feet a Reflexologist is able to stimulate different organs, glands and musculoskeletal parts of the body. They call it an internal massage.

In reflexology, the top half of your body represents in the top half of your foot and the bottom half of your body is represented in the bottom half of your foot. The left and right sides of your body are represented by your left and right feet. Using reflexology as a treatment for fibromyalgia is supposed to be easier to understand if you know how your body works.

Reflexologists use a specific form of reflexology to deal with nerve pain, for fibromyalgia by reducing the severity of your symptoms. Reflexology is a homeopathic massage technique designed specifically to relieve pain. The earliest evidence of Reflexology comes from China, circa 2700 BCE. William Fitzgerald developed the ‘zone theory’ after finding that he could induce numbness and reduce certain symptoms in the body by simply applying pressure to specific points on the hands and mouth.

Records dating back as far as 2,700BC show that ancient Eastern Chinese Cultures practised massage to heal a number of ailments. Egyptian tombs have also been discovered to have images of figures being massaged. It is also well known that Julius Caesar underwent daily massages to treat nerve pain.

It has been proven to improve circulation and with improved circulation, the overall pain many of us fibromyalgia sufferers have may decrease in intensity with this treatment. It can also help relieve toxins, release muscle tension and benefit your energy flow and balance. It does not work for everyone but many find it beneficial and have a regular treatment of it.

On the palm and wrist there are some 45 reflex points, and on the back of the hand 28 reflex points, that represent a particular organ, region, or function of the body. Since hand reflexology is performed by applying pressure from fingers and thumbs on reflex points on the hands, the practice can provide an easy, cost-effective and safe way to treat ailments. There are a number of online sites that show you how to apply hand reflexology from WikiHow to AOR Hand Reflexology Explorer where you can move the cursor to view the hand reflexology points and what they correspond to.

Pub Med wrote that data collected showed pain intensity scores were reduced by reflexology, and this decrease improved progressively in the first and sixth weeks of the intervention, indicating a cumulative dose effect. The results of the study implied that the inclusion of reflexology in the routine care of patients with fibromyalgia could provide nurses with an effective practice for reducing pain intensity in these patients.

There are also a number of books with images to show you where to press on your hands but before you try it yourself first check with your GP that he thinks this might be suitable for you.

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FIBROMYALGIA QUOTE OF THE DAY…

With May being Fibromyalgia Awareness Month, I thought a quote on Fibromyalgia might be appropriate.

“People think those with fibromyalgia are just faking it. Actually, they’ve got it backwards – we’re faking being well. Anon