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Fibromyalgia

What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia, otherwise known as Fibromyalgia Syndrome or FMS is a neurological condition. Whilst there can be many symptoms, in short, they can be characterised by:

  • Widespread pain 
  • Fatigue
  • Disruption to sleep

What causes Fibromyalgia?

Whilst Fibromyalgia is classified as idiopathic (cause is unknown) it often coincides with trauma.

It is now considered that traumatic events, including surgery, the death of a loved one, or physical or emotional abuse, can be the initial trigger to Fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia flare-ups can be triggered by stressful events and can be accompanied by anxiety and depression.

When many factors contribute to a chronic condition in this way, they are described as biopsychosocial.

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This acknowledges that the condition is perpetuated, not just by biological conditions, but also by other events.

The combined impact of all these factors causes the body’s nervous system to feel under attack and become hypersensitive.

Known as central- sensitisation, messages between the brain and the spinal cord create an over-amplification of pain.

The body senses danger and locks down the connective tissue (fascia) which wraps around and through the muscles.

This connective tissue, with its many thousands of nerve endings, becomes hypersensitive to pain. 

Booking a Jing Method™ Massage for Fibromyalgia

Treatment-room-n13

Fibromyalgia is complex and individual.

I recommend giving me a call prior to booking.

It will give me the opportunity to better understand your individual experience.

Together we can then decide on how best to tailor an appointment.

Hypersensitivity

With Fibromyalgia this hypersensitivity can be experienced in either of two ways:

  1. Allodynia

This is where the pain is experienced when the body is touched by something you wouldn’t expect to be painful. For example, the touch of a feather could feel like that of a flamethrower.

  1. Hyperalgesia

This is where something that is normally painful is experienced as being much more painful than usual.

The more pain that is experienced, the more stress, anxiety and other symptoms are experienced. This is the continuing cycle of Fibromyalgia.

What are the signs and symptoms of Fibromyalgia?

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There are many symptoms of Fibromyalgia that vary considerably and are particular to each individual. They can include but are not limited to:

  • Widespread pain throughout the body
  • Chronic fatigue/exhaustion
  • Stiffness and aching joints and muscles
  • Poor sleep
  • Difficulty in concentrating, dizziness – “Fibro fog”
  • Urinary problems
  • Painful periods
  • Headaches
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Nausea
  • Hypersensitivity to touch, light, sound or taste
  • Problems with vision
  • Jaw pain

How is Fibromyalgia diagnosed?

Fibromyalgia is notoriously misdiagnosed. Many people with fibromyalgia have had deeply unpleasant experiences of not being believed or taken seriously. It is common for people to have had multiple misdiagnoses.

There is, however, a medical criterion for a diagnosis:

  • Severe pain in 3 to 6 areas of the body
    • Or milder pain in 7 or more areas
  • Symptoms have persisted for more than 3 months
  • There is no other specific reason for the symptoms

How do you treat Fibromyalgia?

A glance at the NHS page showing treatment for Fibromyalgia is bleak. The opening line says there is no known cure. It then goes on to list numerous types of painkillers and antidepressants.

TV doctor, Dr Chatterjee, would beg to differ on this approach. In his TV series, Doctor in the house, he worked with Nicola Singleton. Nicola now describes herself as free of Fibromyalgia. Over a long period of time, she successfully managed to go from 20 pills a day to none.

The Lifestyle Medicine Approach

Chatterjee and Singleton focused on an individualised approach. For Singleton, they identified factors that may be triggering Fibromyalgia, including potential food intolerances.

Through tests, Chatterjee discovered that Singleton’s mitochondria, cells that generate energy, were not working properly. 

Chatterjee introduced some dietary supplements in the short-term and complemented this with activities designed to calm the nervous system and generate energy. 

Singleton, who started sceptical of any lifestyle medicine, says she now truly understands it and owns her own recovery. Part of her journey was learning “to become happy with me.”

Spoonies and the Spoon Theory

Many people with Fibromyalgia say that people find it difficult to understand what they are experiencing.

One way they explain their limited energy resources is through Spoon Theory. Developed by Christine Miserandino in 2003, spoon theory is a metaphor for the amount of mental or physical energy someone has to fulfil everyday activities. 

For healthy people, they have limitless energy (spoons). However people with chronic illness, in her case lupus, have a limited number of spoons, which quickly get used up with everyday tasks.

So one priority is pacing. This could be looking at the day ahead and making decisions around which activities may be done and which may not.

How can a Jing Method™ massage help with Fibromyalgia?

  • The Jing method of massage focuses on working with the nervous system to promote rest and relaxation, allowing the body to move from the sympathetic to the parasympathetic nervous system.
  • The Jing method incorporates heat using hot stones, myofascial release, and light stretches, all designed to calm the nervous system.
  • Each treatment plan is tailored to the individual. The pressure that feels just right for one person, maybe excruciating for another.
  • The Jing method includes a tailored self-care plan, which may recommend other therapies such as mindfulness meditation.
  • The therapist and the individual work together to agree on realistic goals and to measure progress
  • The Jing method massage can be considered one of the key tools in the toolkit

The Jing Method™ Massage for Fibromyalgia in North London

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The Jing Method™ Massage is available in Palmers Green, North London. 

What to expect:
• A warm and heart centred non-judgemental approach
• Collaborative working to achieve our agreed goals
• Tried and tested outcome based treatment

Booking a Jing Method™ Massage for Fibromyalgia

Treatment-room-n13

Fibromyalgia is complex and individual.

I recommend giving me a call prior to booking.

It will give me the opportunity to better understand your individual experience.

Together we can then decide on how best to tailor an appointment.