An estimated 5 million Americans suffer from fibromyalgia. The chronic, deep aches can have an enormous impact on physical and emotional health. Unfortunately, treatments are few and far between, and those that exist often come with the potential for unpleasant side effects. Natural healing can be a blessing for fibromyalgia sufferers. These gentle, effective complementary therapies can improve quality of life and rejuvenate a body wracked by chronic pain.
Massage is often one of the most effective methods of reducing fibromyalgia symptoms. It eases stiffness, improves range of motion, reduces pain and helps with stress management. A technique called myofascial release is especially suited to soothing fibromyalgia pain. Fascia is a thin connective tissue that covers and runs throughout muscle. Fibromyalgia patients commonly suffer from tightening of the fascia that contributes to pain and muscle fatigue. Myofascial release is a gentle technique that relaxes the fascia and reduces associated pain.
Natural therapies can help from within as well. Research has found that many fibromyalgia sufferers have low vitamin D and magnesium levels. While deficiencies might not play a direct role in the disorder, they can aggravate fibromyalgia symptoms like fatigue, difficulty sleeping and muscle weakness. They can also contribute to anxiety and depression that worsens fibromyalgia. Simple blood tests can be done to determine deficiency, and a doctor can recommend an ideal supplementation regimen.
Vitamins are not the only supplements to consider. A natural sleep aid, such as melatonin, may help. Trouble sleeping can not only contribute to fatigue but also worsen muscle aches and depression. Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that tells the body it is time for sleep. Artificial light, from light bulbs to the glow of computer screens, can interfere with the body's ability to produce melatonin and interfere with restful sleep. Avoiding bright lights and computer screens starting an hour before bedtime and taking a melatonin supplement might help.
Restful sleep is a boon to anyone, but even a fantastic night's sleep cannot always stave off the physical and mental fatigue of fibromyalgia. For that, drinking green tea or taking green tea extract may be of benefit. Green tea contains a substance called l-tyrosine, an amino acid that helps the body create proteins. More and more studies are finding that l-tyrosine has a positive effect on the mind. Green tea combines a mild dose of caffeine and l-tyrosine into a perfect cocktail to achieve a relaxed but attentive mental state.
Learning to understand what contributes to their symptoms is a crucial factor for anyone suffering from a chronic pain condition. A mind/body relaxation technique called biofeedback is designed to do just that. By learning about how their bodies work and learning to control these factors, biofeedback helps individuals learn how to reduce stress. In a biofeedback session, adhesive electrodes monitor changes in the body while the patient is led through simple mental exercises. Patients learn how certain exercises change their body and how they can use these changes to their advantage.
Research into the effects of natural healing on fibromyalgia is not extensive, and a doctor should be consulted before starting any complimentary therapies. However, many fibromyalgia sufferers have found that combining conventional and natural medicine is just what they needed. It is an avenue well worth pursuing.