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Natural Medicine : FIBROMYALGIA

-How to manage
Symptoms are often relieved by warm and dry weather, a hot shower or bath, local heat, restful sleep, general relaxation, moderate activity, massage, stretching exercises, and swimming Exercise

Controlled trials have demonstrated improvement in fibromyalgia patients who underwent cardiovascular fitness training. Low-impact exercises such as fast-walking, biking, swimming, or water aerobics with stretching techniques have been the most helpful.

Physical therapy
Ice seems to help some patients while heat may make things worse. Put a heating pad on high until it gets hot. Turn it off and lie down with your back on it, then put the ice packs on the hips and thighs. It can take several hours of ice on and off to bring the pain down. For joint pain it can be a toss-up between heat and ice, whichever feels best.

Find out where your muscle knots (trigger points) are and do stretching, starting with these painful muscles first. Hot packs will help relax them, and then massage and stretching will make them go away (for a while). Getting rid of the knots eliminates a lot of pain.

In addition to routine, daily stretching, I would suggest doing stretches in a hot tub once or twice a week. The only time some patients have been able to achieve a remission they had had a hot tub for the previous year. Stretching exercises in a hot tub 4 to 10 times a week, temperature about 103o or whatever is comfortable, for 20 to 30 minutes. Remission for one patient on this routine for one year built up gradually, starting after the first month and continued at about 80 per cent after the hot tub was discontinued.

Many who treat the fibromyalgia type of pain recommend taking baths in water as hot as can be tolerated for at least 15 to 20 minutes. This may be fatiguing, and is recommended before bedtime. Try to stay warm and flexible through whatever means. Try not to stand or sit too long, and wear support stockings and good shoes with arch supports.

You may wish to try lymphatic drainage massage if you have it available in your area. Alternating hot and cold packs can be most helpful, 3 to 5 minutes of hot, 30 to 60 seconds of cold. Manual vibration (not mechanical) as well as ice massage, ice wrap or ice pack as tolerated. Behavioral therapy

Regularize your sleep cycle. Go to bed and get up at the same time each day- weekends or weekdays. The patient may worsen the condition by anxiety, stress, or consumption of coffee or tea.

Diet and supplement
1. Magnesium chloride
Try a three-month course of oral magnesium chloride. The pharmacist can make it up in a 25 per cent solution. The usual dose is 1 to 2 teaspoons a day. However, it should be diluted in water or another liquid so as to make it palatable. Fibromyalgia patients are nearly always deficient in magnesium. If calcium, magnesium and potassium are available in one dose, try it. Magnesium peroxide formula called Superoxide-Plus has been used with success by some to reduce pain and increase energy.

should be taken at 50 to 300 milligrams a day, B-6 at 60 to 200, C at 50 to 500 milligrams per day, magnesium citrate or aspartate can be taken at 200 to 500 milligrams per day, and carnitine at 250 to 1,000 per day. Magnesium: Nuts, well cooked whole grains, legumes and peanuts, carrots, spinach and other greens.

2. Vitamins
Some patients note improvements in pain and fatigue when they take vitamin supplements of B-1 (100 mg.) daily, B-6, B-12, folic acid and vitamin C. Try a three month course. There are certain nutrients involved in making sugar metabolism in muscles more abundant, and in correcting biochemical abnormalities in sugar metabolism in fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome patients. These nutrients are vitamins B-1, B-6, C, and the mineral magnesium, and the substance called carnitine. There are foods high in each of these, but it is also possible to take them in pill form.

3. Herbs
Try using one tablespoon of flaxseed twice a day; Boswellia Plus, two capsules, four times a day; St. John's wort, 1 cup three times a day of the tea. or 2 capsules three times a day; and white willow bark tea, 2 to 4 capsules every 4 hours while awake. Herb mix: 2 parts wild yam, 1 part licorice root. To one quart of water add one heaping tablespoon of the herb mixture and simmer gently 20 minutes. Strain and drink the quart in one day. Make fresh daily.

4. Copper
Research by Dr. James Penland revealed that those on low copper diets requested pain medications more often than those on diets containing normal levels of copper. Find foods high in copper from a library.

5. Garlic
Garlic also helps. Use 1 to 5 fresh cloves sliced thinly at each meal for a 4 week trial, or use 3 Kyolic capsules, 3 to 4 times a day.

6. Non-fat vegan
"I have had very good results in dealing with my fibromyalgia symptoms by following a non-fat vegan diet," so goes the testimonial of one fibromyalgia patient.

7. Fruit, grain and vegetables
Oranges, tangerines, melons, figs, raisins, whole grains, nuts, spinach, dry beans, limas, peas, lentils, soybeans, smaller amounts widely distributed in natural foods. Whole grains, legumes, potatoes, bananas, and oatmeal. Small amounts in vegetables and fruits. Raw fruits and vegetables, salads, cooked potatoes and cabbage, etc.

Some have suggested a relationship between systemic candidiasis and fibromyalgia.

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