While allopathic treatments focus on easing Fibromyalgia symptoms with painkillers, NSAIDs and anti-depressant drugs… You can't rely on these medications long-term and expect to grow healthier. If you want to heal, (as opposed to taking medication to mask the symptom) it's smarter to make diet and lifestyle adjustments using natural remedies for fibromyalgia. In other words, if it's not natural, it's not good.
Fibromyalgia shares many of the same symptoms as chronic fatigue syndrome. The difference is fibromyalgia presents with more pain and CFS has more fatigue.
Alternative medicine practitioners believe the most effective way to treat fibromyalgia is to combine a variety of natural remedies for fibromyalgia.
Below I've divided the Natural Remedies for fibromyalgia into 5 categories.
Natural Remedies For Fibromyalgia
What is Fibromyalgia?
It's estimated that 3-6 million American's suffer from fibromyalgia. While anyone can suffer fibromyalgia, 86% are women between the ages of 34-56… So, estrogen is believed to play a part.
Let's take a closer look at the symptoms:
- Tenderness of skin
- Stiff muscles and joints
- Intense pain
- Upset digestive system
- Tiredness and fatigue
- Inability to sleep
- Mood swings
- Sensitivity to touch
- Depression and/or Anxiety
- Dry eyes alternating with watery eyes
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Dysmenorrhea (women)
- Restless leg syndrome
Causes of Fibromyalgia
The root cause of fibromyalgia is uncertain, but there are many possible triggering events. Here are some of the most guessed triggers:
- Physical trauma
- Emotional trauma
- Infectious conditions
- Viral infections
- Chronic sleep disorders
- Low serotonin
- Autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus
- Lack of adequate exercise
- Hormonal changes and imbalances
- Poor eating and lifestyle habits
Eat & Digest well
A healthy diet is essential in treating fibromyalgia.
Eat seasonal foods for your body type. Knowing your body type or a combination of doshas is the foundation of Ayurveda. Your constitution is related to 3 vital energies and 20 qualities within your body and unique to you. If you don't know your body type, you can take the test here. Body Type Quiz
Avoid “empty” foods that are low in nutrition and high in sugar and fat. Instead, eat plenty of vegetables, beans, organic poultry, and fish that's not farm raised. Also, steer clear of the flavor enhancer MSG. It's linked to many health issues including fibromyalgia.
Any time digestion is off, your liver has to work overtime to filter out toxins and waste from your blood.
For instance, a study in 2010 found that being overweight could up the risk of fibromyalgia in women by 70%. So try to change your diet so that your BMI levels fall into the normal category. Additionally, losing weight could lower your pain and inflammation, and improve your overall health.
Go Gluten Free
Gluten is wheat protein. Studies suggest that gluten intolerance can trigger inflammatory conditions like fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. For this reason, try eliminating wheat from your diet for 21 days to see if you notice an improvement to the condition.
Avoid Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
MSG is a flavor enhancer used in packaged and processed foods. MSG is the sodium salt of glutamic acid, which is a class of chemicals known to cause damage to certain areas of the brain. A study published in the December 2012 issue of Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology found that MSG contributed to symptoms of fibromyalgia.
Gentle Exercise and Relaxation
Get daily gentle Exercise. For example, Yoga, a 30-minute walk, swimming, gardening can all help to release endorphins, ease the pain, and keep your weight optimal. Reduce strenuous exercise.
Cut out anything that causes stress and burnout. You need plenty of rest and gentle exercise when your energy permits.
Avoid Smoking, Alcohol, Caffeine, and Sugar
These habits have little good to offer you, and they worsen your condition. Along with these, aim to eliminate spicy, fried foods from your diet.
Drink More Fluids
Everyone has a different ideal hydration level, but drink at least a cup of water an hour. Additionally, drink more vegetable and fruit juices, without adding sugar, to help with detoxification.
Make sure you don't have any infections from an abscessed tooth or root canal. Many chronic diseases are related to the bacterial toxins caused from root canals. Google Dr. Mercola – How a Root Canal Can Affect Your Health.
Home Remedies for Fibromyalgia
Check Your Magnesium Levels
A lack of magnesium can result in aluminum buildup in the brain, which can produce fibromyalgia symptoms. Additionally, low magnesium levels can trigger cramps and spasms.
Here are some of the best natural foods to get magnesium naturally:
- Dark leafy greens – Spinach, kale collard greens
- Nuts and seeds – Brazil nuts, almonds, cashews, pine nuts, peanuts, walnuts
- Fish – Pollock, tuna
- Beans and lentils – White beans, french beans black-eyed peas, kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils pinto beans
- Whole grains – Quinoa, millet, bulgar, buckwheat, wild rice, whole wheat pasta, barley, oats
- Yogurt (plain)
- Dried fruit – prunes, apricots, dates, raisins
Acupuncture comes to us from Traditional Chinese Medicine and can help with pain management. There is no downside to using acupuncture, and there are studies to support its use.
“acupuncture significantly improved symptoms of fibromyalgia. Symptomatic improvement was not restricted to pain relief and was most significant for fatigue and anxiety.”
“acupuncture is a useful method to treat patients with fibromyalgia; the improvement in circulation above tender points may alleviate pain.”
Get a Massage
Learn how to give yourself a daily massage. The benefits of daily self-massage are worth your time. Poor circulation and lymph congestion can cause nerve and muscle pain. For this reason, massage is one of the most important things you can do to ease stiffness.
Massage, in general, triggers the release of feel-good hormones, to help you relax and feel good.
Soak in a magnesium rich salt bath to ease your pain and relax your mind. Mix 2 cups Epsom salt in warm bath water along with 2 tsp of olive oil. Soak for about 20 minutes. Do this 3x a week to see noticeable changes.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Unsaturated fats have anti-inflammatory qualities to help ease pain and promote flexibility. You can opt for fish oil supplements or add 2-4 servings of fish like salmon or sardines, to your diet. If you are vegetarian try flaxseed or flaxseed oil, or chia seeds.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Pure unpasteurized apple cider vinegar can help to reduce muscle pain due to its malic acid content. Malic acid in ACV may improve the flow of oxygen to muscle tissue, boosting circulation and energy levels.
Add 2 TBS raw ACV to one glass of water. Swirl in a little honey and sip on empty stomach twice a day for 5-6 weeks to see the changes.
Ayurvedic Remedies For Fibromyalgia
Generally, the Ayurvedic concept of fibromyalgia is that it's primarily a disorder of imbalanced Agni (digestive fire) that leads to the eventual depletion of ojas (immunity). For this reason, it's important to eat according to your constitution and keep your digestion healthy.
Ayurveda treats the person, not the disease… So get to know yourself, learn what combination of qualities you have in your body and mind. When you know which elements make up the majority of your constitution, you will know which conditions you thrive in.
In addition, it's likely you will benefit from seeing a qualified practitioner. This way you'll get a treatment program designed especially for you and your constitution. Again, if you don't know what your constitution is, you can begin by taking the test here.
Ayurveda utilizes diet, lifestyle, five sense therapy and herbal medicine.
Here is the link for general Ayurveda lifestyle recommendation. Ayurvedic Daily Lifestyle.
Common Ayurvedic Herbs for Fibromyalgia
Heat one cup milk infused with 1 tsp turmeric powder for 5 minutes. Cool, the mixture and mix a little honey. Or make “Golden Milk”.
Take either twice a day to see the positive changes. You can also opt for turmeric supplements, but it's always better to “taste” herbs as opposed to by-passing the tongue straight to the gut.
Topical application of turmeric mixed with garlic and ginger can also help in healing joint stiffness.
Include ginger in your diet as ginger tea. Mix 1/2 teaspoon of grated fresh ginger with honey and lemon to aid digestion, ease pain and stiffness.
You can also mix fresh ginger with turmeric powder and apply directly to painful joints.
Camphor oil is one of the most effective Ayurvedic natural remedies for fibromyalgia. It eases the pain by alleviating inflammation and stiffness.
If you don't have access to camphor or the process of making your own oil doesn't appeal to you, try an essential oil.
Apply the oil, while warm, on painful areas. Dip a cloth in hot water and dab on top of the oil applied area to ward off the pain.
Guggul is the resin from a guggul tree. It's a classical Ayurvedic herb known to detoxify the channels of the body as well as to heal inflammatory conditions like fibromyalgia. Also, it helps lower cholesterol levels and helps with weight loss if needed.
Boswellic acid, present in this herb, is known to obstruct the synthesis of the enzymes that trigger inflammatory responses in the body.
Ashwagandha is a rejuvenating herb, especially for the muscles. It's used in all conditions of weakness. It's also an adaptogenic herb that works as an anti-inflammatory and tonic. Furthermore, Ashwagandha has antioxidant properties, to reduce oxidative stress and ease chronic pain and stiffness.
In addition to herbal remedies, teacher, author and Ayurvedic physician, Dr. Vasant Lad recommends these food remedies for Fibromyalgia.
Soak (in water) a handful of almonds overnight. Then in the morning peel them and blend them with 3/4 cup organic milk 1 tsp ghee and 3 fresh dates.
Fresh dates are also good. Remove the pit in approximately 30 dates and let them soak in 1 lb of ghee for one month or more. Eat one every morning.
You can also chop a banana, put it in a bowl and add warm ghee, date sugar and a pinch of cardamom. Eat it between meals to give you energy. Since bananas are a good source of potassium, this will help with muscle fatigue.
At bedtime you can drink a warm cup of milk with a teaspoon of ghee and a pinch of turmeric. Ghee and milk at bedtime is a general tonic.
Essential Oils for Fibromyalgia
Essential oils can be an effective form of natural medicine. All plants have unique qualities that we can use to heal.
Ways to use essential oils:
- Use a diffuser
- Put a few drops on a cold compress and inhale directly
- Massage into your temples or on either side of your forehead (AFTER diluting it with a carrier oil such as almond oil)
These 5 oils help to improve your circulation, relieve stress, eliminate toxins and ease the pain of fibromyalgia:
1. Helichrysum oil: For better circulation, less muscular pain, and improve nerve tissue healing
2. Lavender oil: To ease physical and emotional stress and relieve pain
3. Black pepper oil: To promote circulation, enhance detoxification, and ease aches and pains
4. Eucalyptus oil: To ease inflammation, promote circulation, and rejuvenate tired muscles and tissues
5. Marjoram oil: to ease spasms, soothe sore muscles, and alleviate inflammation
Yoga For Fibromyalgia
Yoga has been practiced by countless people for thousands of years. Once you start to practice Yoga, you will begin to enjoy better health, deeper sleep, a sharper mind, and a better outlook on life.
You'll also notice an improvement in your posture, flexibility, vision and general appearance. In other words, you will feel more vibrantly alive and enjoy better health.
Downward Facing Dog
Downward Facing Dog offers a good stretch for the entire body. But make sure you do it against a wall so that you are not overburdening your sore muscles. Also, this pose helps to promote circulation, which will ease pain and inflammation.
Stand about three feet away from the wall. Lean forward and place the palms on the wall. As you breathe out, slowly slide the palms down, lifting the hips up towards the ceiling. Hold wherever you feel comfortable. If you can do the complete posture, go ahead, but feel free to come out of the posture if you feel too much of pressure in any part of the body.
Watch the YogaDownload video below for step-by-step instructions.
Bound Angle Pose
This is a great pose for opening the hips and groins and strengthening the knees and inner thighs. It is also a great relaxation posture.
Sit with your spine straight and legs stretched out in front. Bend your knees and join the soles of your feet. Interlace your fingers and hold the soles of your feet from under them.
Inhale and elongate your spine and sit for a few breaths. You can place two cushions under your knees for additional support. You can also lean against a wall if you want to stretch yourself for a longer time.
While not classical Pranayama, this technique helps you to become more aware of the way your breath moves. Conscious breathing will help you relax your body and mind, which will help you manage pain in a better way.
Just lie down on your back and stretch out your legs. Relax your body and close your eyes. Focus on the breath. Just notice the way your chest and abdomen expands and contracts with each in breath.
Once you become fully aware, consciously allow the diaphragm to expand with each inhalation… Then allow your breath to fall towards the rib cage as you empty your breath.
Practice for about 15 to 20 rounds to consciously relax the painful muscles.
I've given you lots of natural remedies for fibromyalgia here. So, it can be helpful to read it over again to digest all the information, so please bookmark it for future reference.
The Importance of Action
Now it's necessary to take action. Pick a few suggestions and add them to your daily routine. This may mean learning to modify your diet and/or lifestyle, or learning how to support your body's healing with Ayurveda, Yoga, essential oils, or other natural methods.
Here is the Ayurvedic body/type quiz again. Find out what elements are governing your body/mind type…which environments you thrive in, and which ones you don't. Nobody knows your body better than you.
You'll learn a lot about natural health and healing designed for you and your unique body/mind type. The great thing about Ayurveda is that it's treatments always yield side benefits, as opposed to side effects.
Please promise you'll leave me any questions you have in the comment box below.
http://www.webmd.com/fibromyalgia/http://www.niams.nih.gov/health_info/fibromyalgia/http://www.healthline.com/health-slideshow/fibromyalgia-natural-remedieshttp://www.top10homeremedies.com/home-remedies/home-remedies-fibromyalgia.html http://ayurveda.md/index.php/tion=com_content&view=article&id=115&Itemid=1http://www.planetayurveda.com/herbal_remedies_fibromyalgia.htmhttp://theconsciouslife.com/9-natural-anti-inflammatory-herbs.htmhttp://www.doyouyoga.com/8-yoga-poses-for-fibromyalgia/http://www.yogajournal.com/article/health/pain-relieverhttp://essentialoilsanctuary.com/10-essential-oils-for-fibromyalgia-fibrositis-plus-3-recipes-application-tips/Ayurvedic Perspectives on Selected Pathologies - Dr. Vasant Lad, B.A.M.S., M.A.Sc.Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha: Book by Satyananda Saraswati