A client asked me recently if I have ever worked with anyone who got better without doing all of the things I believe are necessary, such as changes in diet, movement, meditation and cognitive re-framing. The answer I gave her is an emphatic “NO.”
Now, I wish this were not true. I also wish there existed some kind of magic wand I could wave and make everyone better. This is, in fact, what I believe the pill dispensers are trying so hard to achieve. After all, it would be SO much easier to simply take a pill and be cured. In some cases there is improvement with medication, but it is never enough on its own. And that is without even discussing the side effects, which can actually make people feel significantly worse.
The truth is, there is no shortcut. Fibro is a disorder of the autonomic nervous system. In order to see improvement, you have to restore balance by calming the sympathetic nervous system and stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system. This can be achieved through a combination of things, including meditation, yoga, exercise, water therapy, breathing exercises, sleep regulation, acupuncture, herbs, supplements, and learning to calm anxious thoughts. In addition, calming the digestive system requires elimination of inflammatory foods that cause distress, and the addition of beneficial foods that support healing.
All of this is, admittedly, a lot of work. Most people are not able to make deep and lasting changes on their own, and this leads to endless frustration and suffering. To make it even worse, their doctors send chronically ill patients on fruitless excursions to specialists – neurologists, rheumatologists, pain management clinics, etc.; many promise relief but provide little. I don’t see this changing until we can educate doctors to view chronic pain as a resolvable situation, rather than an untreatable disease.
I realize that some of you reading this might be skeptical, and I understand you. But I am not speaking from a place of theoretical results, I am speaking from my own process of healing from Fibro, and the healing I have witnessed and facilitated in dozens of clients. You can feel better. It’s hard work, but it’s worth it.