Fibromyalgia is characterised by extreme pain in muscles, tendons and joints throughout the body. It can affect one part of the body or many parts of the body and reportedly affects as many as 1 in 20 people.
What is fibromyalgia?
The most commonly experienced symptoms are:
- extreme fatigue
- sleep disturbance
- aching and stiffness
- concentration problems (brain fog)
- stomach and bowel complaint
- flu-like symptoms
The severity of the condition varies from person to person; some sufferers are able to continue with a relatively normal life, while others are left significantly debilitated.
Fibromyalgia can be difficult to explain to those who have no personal experience of it. Those who have suffered or know someone who has suffered are all too aware of the debilitating effect it can have on a person’s life.
The onset of Fibromyalgia in almost all cases, will be preceded by individual or clusters of recurring symptoms of aches, pains, insomnia, fatigue, bowel complaint or even depression or anxiety symptoms. These can be experienced over a period of months or years before full-blown Fibromyalgia presents itself.
Diagnosis from a medical doctor is usually offered following a series of blood tests that exclude the presence of other conditions. This most frequently occurs when a person has been experiencing widespread chronic pain and tender points for more than 3 months. The tender points refer to 18 localised areas in the hips, back, shoulders and neck, that can be extremely sore or tender to touch or pressure.
What causes fibromyalgia?
Leading edge scientific evidence suggests that symptoms of Fibromyalgia result from changes, irregularities or dysfunctions within the mid-brain and limbic-hypothalamic-pituitary system.
In academic terms this is known as the HPA axis, and is made up of the hypothalamus gland, located at the base of the brain; the pituitary gland, also located in the brain; and the adrenal glands, located on top of the kidneys. The hypothalamus links the nervous system and the endocrine system, it stimulates the pituitary gland to produce hormones and the adrenal gland to produce cortisol and epinephrine (commonly known as adrenaline).
The HPA axis is a major part of the neuroendocrine system that controls and regulates almost everything to do with human survival, including digestion and appetite, sleep cycles, the immune system, mood and emotions, sexual behaviour, body temperature, energy storage and expenditure. It also communicates with several regions of the brain, including the amygdala, which generates fear in response to danger, and with the hippocampus, which plays an important part in memory formation as well as in mood and motivation. In addition, the HPA axis forms part of a complex feedback system that is constantly responding to the environment both internally and externally. In response to the information it receives, the HPA axis regulates and controls the chemicals and hormones that affect body systems.
So what we can begin to see is that when irregularities are evident in these brain regions it wreaks havoc throughout the entire body – and this results in the experience of Fibromyalgia symptoms from mild to severe.
How can you recover from fibromyalgia?
In order to recover from fibromyalgia we need to understand and address the CAUSE of the irregularities within the HPA axis and mid-brain structures.
The first step in this process is to fully embrace the mind-body paradigm where we move away from the notion of the head and body, or psychological and physical, as being separate entities, rather we see them as one flowing interconnected system.
The next step is to redefine the nature of emotion, an energy in motion, and it’s role as a feedback mechanism within body and brain. As a complex physiological process, the emotional system directly modulates brain function. Blockages within the emotional system and the emotional memory system are coded within the mid brain structures. It is these blockages that result in hypothalamic and other mid brain irregularities and dysfunction.
My treatment protocol is underpinned by this new theoretical framework and understanding of the emotional system and it’s role, function and impact on the immune, endocrine and autonomic nervous systems via the HPA axis. The process involves implementing a series of tools and techniques that are designed to identify and unblock the emotional system and recode emotional memory.
Energy-Flow Coaching™ deals directly with the cause of Fibromyalgia and gives you the knowledge and guidance you need to take charge of your recovery and attain health and vitality.
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