Fibromyalgia – a mindbody phenomenon

Fibromyalgia – a mindbody phenomenon

I read a really good update on Fibro today by an experienced bodyworker (fascial work is his thing). Find it here. The criteria for diagnosis may have changed (which is a good thing as it used to pretty much ignore the gut and other symptoms to focus exclusively on the trigger point pain pattern. This would exclude some people for whom the condition hasn’t fully expressed itself yet.

My understanding of Fibro is elucidated in my book The Scar that Won’t heal – I think it’s a mindbody phenomenon brought on my stress, nutrient depletion and hormonal dys-regulation that ultimately affects the mitochondria so they can’t produce enough energy. In that is shares much in common with chronic fatigue. But in fibro the body expresses this as poor muscle and connective tissue function so that pain and tightness dominate other symptoms. Lactic acid formed from anaerobic respiration in the tissues causes pain and then the nervous system becomes sensitised to pain so that even non-painful stimulus becomes painful. This brain pain is called central amplification and is a theory proposed by Prof Daniel Clauw which I support. There have been other interesting theories like problem with the small blood vessels of the hand which fail to divert blood to the periphery (hands and feet) properly and another about problems with the heart (POTS). All of these I think are secondary to the stress response (from trauma).

Why is fascia involved? Well fascia is the bodystocking that transmits force throughout the body and it reads subconscious processes in the limbic system, which , if they are activated in a stress response, causes everything to go tight and restricted. It’s a fascinating mind-body link which few people outside the body work profession are looking at. In my holistic practice, I use both bodywork and emotional release to help resolve these subconscious tensions. We are not saying everyone can recover completely only that there is much relief to be had and some people DO recover. It is my believe it is possible for everyone but you have to approach the hidden emotional part of your brain and not everyone is willing and not all practitioners are able. We need a new model of the mind and body as interlinked in order to tackle these new phenomena.

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