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The Fibro of my Being

Thoughts on Fibromyalgia and How to Heal

Sara Halevi, MA, CBT

Two Kinds of Doctors

Over the course of my life I have had some amazing doctors. The doctor who diagnosed my Fibro is not only a genius, ahead of her time, but is dedicated to educating herself continually. One day when I came in to her office in a terrible flare, she asked me, “what happened yesterday?” (My daughterContinue reading “Two Kinds of Doctors”

Rejecting the Stages

I follow a number of groups for people with Fibro (since I am one), and I’ve recently been seeing posts about the “Six Stages of Fibromyalgia.” First, let me be clear; I would never, ever, EVER minimize someone else’s experience with this condition, nor would I compare my experience with anyone else’s. But people, let’sContinue reading “Rejecting the Stages”

Life Without Pizza – or Pain

Over the last few years I have adapted an anti-inflammatory diet: no gluten, dairy, sugar, nightshades or meat. Now, I do occasionally cheat. A little. More like “cheating light.” I have a bite of spelt challah every Friday night. Literally, one bite. I will taste something special on a rare occasion, but will not consumeContinue reading “Life Without Pizza – or Pain”

Why Fibro Needs a Manager

While the healthcare profession struggles with much that we do not understand about Fibromyalgia, we do all agree on this: Fibro is complex. It involves many systems of the mind-body, including brain chemistry, nervous system, muscles, tendons, joints, digestion, sleep cycle, and the list goes on. It also involves financial issues, relationship stress and aContinue reading “Why Fibro Needs a Manager”

Meditation Can Help Fibro

It seems the world population can be divided into two: Meditators, and people who think meditation is impossible. The truth is, anyone and everyone can meditate, and you should, especially if you have Fibro. In recent years we have seen an explosion of celebrities taking up meditation (Oprah meditates!), backed by evidence-based claims that meditationContinue reading “Meditation Can Help Fibro”

How Fear Makes Pain Worse

Everyone experiences pain. There are no exceptions to this. In graduate school I often heard a well-worn phrase, “everyone’s pain hurts.” That was brought to teach us not to judge our clients, to accept that everyone has a different ability to tolerate pain, and so we should never think we would tolerate someone else’s painContinue reading “How Fear Makes Pain Worse”

Who Should Be Managing your Fibro?

Primary Care Physicians are inundated with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue cases. In the current climate of managed care,  an ill patient receives an average of 10-15 minutes of attention from the well-meaning doctor, and leaves with a prescription or a referral. A person with Fibro often gets bounced around to a number of specialists, includingContinue reading “Who Should Be Managing your Fibro?”

Why are Teenagers Getting Fibro?

There are many things that are unique about adolescence. It is a developmentally tumultuous time that involves many physical and emotional systems. When a teenager is having a normal day, they are inundated with hormones, physical growth, emotional confusion and intensive brain activity. Introduce stress and sometimes the balance is tipped a bit too much.Continue reading “Why are Teenagers Getting Fibro?”

Are we Making any Progress?

I’ve been researching some statistics for my upcoming training course for Fibro practitioners. The World Health Organization (WHO) now estimates that 6% of the world population may have Fibro. That is a very high number. It would follow, then, that in the face of what appears to be a mini epidemic, cures would be comingContinue reading “Are we Making any Progress?”

The Five Pillars of Treatment

Fibromyalgia is a complex condition that requires multifaceted treatment. In my experience, an effective treatment plan has five main elements, and they are: Medication Meditation Food Exercise Therapy Medication includes any and all substances that address Fibro pain, including SNRIs, Lyrica, opioid narcotics, and cannabis. Treating pain and depression are essential to the management of day toContinue reading “The Five Pillars of Treatment”

The Fibromyalgia Dialectic: Finding the Balance Between Rest and Move

One of the most confusing aspects of Fibro is that often the person suffering does not know whether to rest more or to move more. These two ideas seem to be diametrically opposed. The truth is, they are both right. And that’s the confusing part.There is a new and growing trend in treatment called DBTContinue reading “The Fibromyalgia Dialectic: Finding the Balance Between Rest and Move”

Open the Jar

Clearly, pain is in the body. So when people tell Fibro sufferers “it’s all in your head,” it’s not only unhelpful but it’s offensive. Truly, pain is in your body — and in your head. Nerve centers are responsible for carrying pain signals to the brain, which, of course, is in your head. The mind-bodyContinue reading “Open the Jar”

Why is My Teenager So Tired?

The Fatigue Illnesses Meet AdolescenceThe teens of today are under more stress than ever before. There is unprecedented competition to get into prestigious colleges and universities; jobs are scarce; dating and marriage are wrought with confusing messages, health risks and pitfalls. Stress-related illnesses are under-diagnosed in adolescents; drugs, alcohol and other forms of self-medication areContinue reading “Why is My Teenager So Tired?”

Diagnosis: Sick of It

Boundary issuesThere are a few common themes with young fibro patients, and this is one: Weak boundaries. They tend to be very caring, very empathic with their friends, siblings, parents. They are the family peacemakers, the one the other family members count on to be solidly supportive at all times. Parents see them as veryContinue reading “Diagnosis: Sick of It”

All in your head?

Psyche and SomaFibro is, in the strictest sense, psychosomatic; in other words, there is a clear connection between the mind and body. Stress exacerbates symptoms; relaxation and stress reduction alleviate symptoms. However, this is not to say that the pain is not real, or, as many of my cases have been told, “all in yourContinue reading “All in your head?”

Depression with FMS and CFS

Depression can be viewed as both a symptom of fibro and a co-morbid condition. Often when a teenager is finally referred to me for fibro he will report a long-standing depression. Childhood onset depression is slippery and often overlooked. Interestingly enough, symptoms of depression in children and teenagers can include vague aches and pains,[1] particularly headachesContinue reading “Depression with FMS and CFS”


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