The following natural remedies can relieve symptoms on their own or improve the effectiveness of other treatments.
I will elaborate on these remedies in future blogs, so stay tuned.
1. Complementary therapies
Many people with fibromyalgia turn to complementary therapies to manage symptoms. These strategies include:
- massage therapy
- guided imagery
2. Physical activity
According to a 2015 study, there is a link between a sedentary lifestyle and chronic pain. Being physically active may prevent muscle wasting and stiffness that can make a person hurt more.
The following often helps fibromyalgia symptoms. Options supported by research include:
- aerobic exercises such as walking, stretching, or swimming
- tai chi
Start gradually and do one or more that works best for your schedule and lifestyle.
3. Talk therapy
Some studies suggest that talk therapy can help people with fibromyalgia. This does not mean fibromyalgia is "all in your head." Pain can be psychological as well as a physical experience.
The stress of this illness and lack of social support can make your pain worse. Talk therapy can offer an outlet for the challenges that people with Fibromyalgia face because of decreased mobility, dealing with the medical system and insensitive people.
4. Nutritional supplements
Specific supplements can help reverse deficiencies that contribute to fibromyalgia symptoms. For example, low levels of vitamin D or magnesium might cause fibromyalgia symptoms. There are tests to determine if you have deficiencies.
5. Dietary Changes
The evidence is that certain foods make fibromyalgia symptoms worse, and others help relieve symptoms. However, this doesn't happen overnight. It usually takes at least three weeks.
Because fibromyalgia is believed to be linked to chronic inflammation, an anti-inflammatory diet may help. An anti-inflammatory diet encourages eating foods such as berries, fish, and nuts. Processed foods and alcohol can increase inflammation, so people with fibromyalgia should avoid those. Eggplants, peppers, tomatoes, and potatoes are members of the nightshade family. These vegetables naturally contain the chemical solanine, which can aggravate pain and inflammation.
Talk to a doctor before making significant dietary changes and consider seeking support from a certified health coach to plan a diet that is balanced and healthful.
You can find out which foods trigger your symptoms by keeping a food diary of everything that crosses your lips and tracking your symptoms. List every day of the week down the left side of the page and Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snacks, and Symptoms across the top. Food sensitivities (as opposed to allergies) can take up to 72 hours to produce symptoms.
6. Managing stress
A lot of people with fibromyalgia find that stress makes their symptoms worse. Therefore, if you are living in a stressful situation, stress management techniques may help. Some people have friends or family they can turn to, while others find that hobbies or distractions work for them.
Practicing mindfulness meditation or other techniques improves both mental and physical health and may help relieve symptoms of fibromyalgia.
A 2014 study found that Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction significantly reduced stress, sleep disturbance, and symptom severity, with gains maintained at follow-up.
These are among the most common triggers for fibromyalgia flares.
Lifestyle plays an important role when you have fibromyalgia. Some examples include:
- practicing deep breathing
- using a comfortable but ergonomically sound chair, especially when working
- developing a sleep routine, including going to bed at the same time each night
- investing in a comfortable mattress and pillow
9. Working with a supportive medical team
A healthcare team that understands and treats the underlying conditions of this illness is critical to getting the best possible medical treatment. Physicians who practice Integrative, Complementary, Alternative, or Functional Medicine can be beneficial to getting treatment tailored to your specific needs. It often takes three or more healthcare professionals to meet the various needs of people with fibromyalgia.
We would love to hear about your natural remedies. Post your comments below.
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