The Systemic Treatment of Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Fibromyalgia is a common and disabling condition affecting an estimated 3.5% of the Australian population.
A common story I hear of living with fibromyalgia would be as follows. You wake up and you dread getting out of bed because you know as soon as you get up there will pain coursing through the body from the feet through your legs up up your back to your neck and shoulders. It takes whats seems an age to even get showered and changed due to the high levels of pain and fatigue. You are not refreshed from sleep as you have had difficulty falling and staying asleep. Your body never feels rested. If you go out you feel you are attacked by the elements of the wind and cold leaving you feeling vulnerable. Living like this unable to work, enjoy hobbies or even socialize with friends leaves you feeling depressed, anxious and extremely frustrated.
The medical treatment often involves taking an ever complicated mix of medicines designed to manage symptoms. Thus might include medicine to reduce inflammation, another to reduce muscle spasm, some for nerve pain others to help with mood. The problem of course is that one medicine might help one symptom briefly but over time tends to make other symptoms worse and pretty quickly you don't know what you should take.
The fundamental problem with management of Fibromyalgia is that often people are looking for one cause where in reality there are general multiple causes all going on at the same time. The issue with management is if you do not work with the multiple causes in a correct order it often leads to poor results.
The best way to understand this is to think of a body suffering from fibromyalgia like house in desperate need of a renovation. There is multiple issues including faulty plumbing and electrics, water damaged carpet, faulty roof and poor insulation. If you decide to start by replacing the carpet before you fix the hole in the roof you will just have to replace the carpet again once it rains. To correct the faults in the correct order Dr Jin Zhao a 5th generation Chinese Doctor who regularly sees 150 patients a day formulated an 8 stage process to address every body system.
Stage 1 - Fix the roof ( The Immune System)
Stage 1 involves fixing the roof which is our protective layer the immune system. This is our ability to fight off infection, inflammation and changes in weather/temperature. This phase is also focused on pathogens that get trapped in the mucous linings of the body leading to waves of illness. Common presentations in this phase is pain that moves from place to place particularly in the neck and head.
Stage 2 - Fix the water damage (Gut Dysbiosis)
Stage 2 involves controlling water metabolism by addressing gut health. The gut and the microbiome if not functioning correctly can lead to leaky. gut which is involved in autoimmune issues along with contributing to IBS and fibromyalgia. Symptoms of this phase include abdominal bloating, reflux, foggy brain, IBS, heavy joints and morning fatigue.
Stage 3 - Fix the Wiring (Elevated Cortisol & Nitric Oxide Dysregulation)
Stage 3 is where the wiring of the body the nervous system gets addressed. Stress on the nervous system presents as elevated cortisol (the stress hormone) and nitric oxide dysregulation. This stage symptoms include teeth grinding, jaw tension, shoulder tension, headaches, burning pain and insomnia.
Stage 4 - Fix the plumbing ( Blood Circulation)
Stage 4 focuses on removing blockages to blood flow. When blood does not move freely it leads to chronic, stubborn and fixed pain. Poor blood flow can also lead to poor sleep, energy and anxiety.
Stage 5-8 Insulating the house ( Boosting any weakness left in the body)
In a culture that has access to plentiful food most fatigue is actually caused by blockages that are addressed by the previous 4 stages. If there is any left over weakness it can be addressed by one of these last 4 phases.
Treatment for each phase includes.
1 - Plant based herbal medicine with a different formula for each phase.
2 - Specific breathing technique for each phase called gaso-transmitter therapy.
3 - Acupuncture with a different focus on each phase.
4 - Diet and lifestyle advice to compliment your journey through the phases.
If you have any questions about Fibromyalgia management or would like to book an initial exam to discuss your particular history please contact us on 93121274.