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Disclaimer

Information on this and linked website does not necessarily infer endorsement by the Fibromyalgia Support for Worthing and West Sussex.
Any advice or recommendation of a medical or legal nature must always be discussed with a qualified professional.

Registered Charity 1042582

affiliated with FMA UK

webmaster Pete MacKean

January 2014

Fibromyalgia

Self Help

As we all know that the NHS does not have the resources to give us the care we need to be able to manage our health. So it falls on the individual. This is where support groups come in. We are here because we care; we know that we all need ongoing support. Once you have seen a specialist and got your diagnoses you are usually left in limbo because there is only so much they can do for you. As FMS is not curable we are treated with pain killers and drugs to slow down the pain message to the brain, we usually have other conditions that come along with FMS, CFS & ME. So you are given the drugs and maybe given a brief description on what FMS, CFS and or M E are. Some conditions are Mobility disorder, IC, IBS, Digestive problems, Thyroid imbalances, Arthritis, Lupus are just a few. Not all suffer with these. As our body is made up of muscles, tendons and ligaments we tend not to think about eye, ear and sinuses health issues. FMS sufferers can seem like they have a cold for months, we can have problems with our eyes like wet or dry eye due to the muscle weakening. We are very sensitive to noise, one day not being able to hear properly to loud amplified noise.

What can the NHS offer?

• Drugs
• 6 week programme in physio
• 6 week programme in the hydrotherapy
• Pain clinic which offer a 10 week programme about learning how to deal with ongoing pain.
• Prescription for health.

Drugs: Most people find that Paracetamol and Ibriprofen are not strong enough to deal with the pain so they are given Tramadol or equivalent. At first it is trial and error finding out which pain killer helps and works for the individual. Then they can be put on a drug that slows the pain message down like Pregabalin. Amitriptyline is an old drug used to promote sleep and at a dose more than 75ml for depression. Most long term health condition brings on depression. As we are all different and suffer with other conditions, each person can be on different drugs.

There are homeopathic meds that can be used. A combination of both can be helpful to the individual. Some take Bach flower remedies or nothing at all. It depends on the individual and there pain threshold.

Physio: If you have a particular complaint that needs looking at then go and see what can be done.

Hydrotherapy is a useful treatment to have as most sufferers benefit from warmth and exercises given to you are tailored to the individual however it is only a short programme. Worth going so you can learn as many types of pain relief. Over the years you will search for something that will give you some relief so grab what you can.

Pain management programme is for those who are open to gathering other techniques in dealing with your pain. It is also for any persons that have ongoing pain from any health condition.

I have firsthand experience from going to three different approaches of pain management programmes. You can learn a lot over time.

Prescription for health: Those of you that are able can go on this course to learn exercise techniques that you can do for life. It is not just for FMS sufferers it is for all that are able. You should ask your doctor to refer you. You are given an assessment and if they feel you are a good candidate you would start a programme which usually meets twice a week at a gym of your choice that are on their list for a period of weeks. You are given a personal trainer that is experienced in health issues. Once you finish this programme you are given a discount on membership if you wish to take it up.

Support Groups: It would be nice to think that specialists and doctors will refer you on to your local support group; however there are many that do not know these details.

Support groups are here for you. We are here because we know what it is like to feel alone and isolated. Most of us have been through what you are going through and in the end we realise we need support for many reasons.

It does not always come down to money. Whatever situation you are in you can learn techniques to help yourself. It just depends on where you are at on this journey of change and learning what you have and what you can do to live a life that is as normal as possible.

We offer friendship, advice and someone to listen. One of the best parts of a group is you feel relaxed in company of people who truly know what you are going through, because we suffer too.

We meet once a month on the third Tuesday at 6.30/7pm to 9pm. We have an information board, library of books and CD’s, raffle, a different talk each month; we do have occasional speakers that are here for information not a hard sell. Sometimes we will have a demo or a show of a DVD relevant to FMS. We also encourage discussion time. Refreshments ‘are available at a small charge, and we ask for a donation at the door to cover costs.

Self help Techniques you can use

Conserve Energy:

• Fatigue is the second worse symptom of fibromyalgia. You need to learn to set limits, reduce stress, and better manage your time. This is hard to accomplish in the beginning because you do not realise you need to go through a mourning process from the loss of the life you have known. It is a big step to take however the clearer it is to you the easier you will realise you can do it. Your life’s direction needs to change because what you have is not curable and you need to find yourself in a place where you can manage your health as well as have some enjoyment from life. It is hard especially at the beginning but it does change, there are lights at the end of the tunnel it’s a life changing experience that you should embrace instead of fight, it will make your life’s journey easier and you will learn so much from it. I have been in your position before and prayed not to wake up the night day, I have alone with my family been to hell and back with trauma’s and life. You deserve a positive life.

Move wisely

• Learn ergonomic: ways to do tasks that minimise the strain on your muscles and conserve energy. When shopping test the weight of your bags instead of attempting to pick them up while far too heavy for you or pack them in a way you know you can pick them up without hurting yourself and tiring yourself out. A few extra trips may avert a muscle strain on top of a widespread flare up of pain. Don’t hesitate to prop yourself up with pillows to help take the strain of gravity off of your achy body when reading or a drink and holding a baby.

• Feeling Sleeping: tired and exhaustion is a common complaint for FMS, CFS and ME. Sufferers that have created a routine find it easier to deal with their days.

• Using your alarm: is a great way to train yourself to pace. When starting a job put the alarm on for let’s say 10 minutes when it goes off sit down and put your legs up for 15 to 20 minutes, then start the process again until the job is done, this way you get the job done without hurting yourself physically or mentally.

• Sleep: Do you wake up feeling like you have been run over by a bus? Good sleep is the key to refreshment physically and mentally the next day or even during the day. Sleep works with your body clock. You have an area in the brain called your ‘master clock’. It controls when the sleep promoter hormone melatonin peaks in the evening around 10pm and just like clockwork your body creates a wake promoting substances that is released in the morning around 6am. Ideally you want to focus on sleeping between 10pm and 6am. Due to imbalances in our hormones we no longer keep the same schedule, maintaining a consistent sleep schedule should help optimize the quality of your sleep. Better sleep quality is tied to reducing and improving your mood in people with fibromyalgia. Taking a supplement can help to produce the right amount of melatonin as fibro sufferers have less production. So extra sleep promotes happier feelings, thus creating positivity.

• Aid that helps your sleep and rest:
a) Heated Mattress Pad.
b) Body Pillow.
c) Contour Memory foam head and neck pillow.
d) Memory foam mattress.
e) Soft pillows for sleeping and other support.
f) Electric heated blanket for the bed.
g) Electric heated over blanket.
h) Wheat bag.
i) Electric massager.
j) Vibrating moveable mattress.
k) Infra red light.
l) Sauna.
m) Steam room.
n) Jacuzzi
o) Hot baths.
p) Natural sleeping tablets
q) Conventional sleeping tablets.

These suggestions are all useful to help promote sleep as well as pain.

• Breaks: lie down for 10 mins at a time to zone out three or four times a day; this will help not only resting the body but recharges the batteries in your brain. Look around your home and see what are causing you anguish, then think about making life easier, safer and more supportive. Comforts don’t have to be expensive, just accommodating to your needs.

• Exercise: As one of our symptoms is stiffness it is important not just for your muscles but for your whole body to do some exercise. I here you saying’ how can I exercise if I am in so much pain’. I thought the same; however I quickly learnt not just from my fibro but my back op which I am left with metal and tremendous pain that the only way to manage pain is through exercise. You can understand when I say how stiff we get if sitting down for a period, standing and walking can be equally uncomfortable. A good start is when you wake up and am ready stretch your arms up and down several times nice and slowly, do the same with your legs, bend the knees and stretch out. Turning your head each way slowly. Sit round on your bed and stretch way with your arms up and down, if you have pain then just go to the point of the pain and no further. In a short time you will feel able to do more and feel stronger. Try standing up and doing the same exercises. Take something like a can of food and use them as weights. Always drink plenty of water so you do not dehydrate. Take a walk around your garden faster as you go then rest, only do what you can each day. When you are sitting down move your arms and legs, rotate your ankles prop them up as much as possible. Gradually you will feel stronger. However never be repetitive as fibro can be aggravated by it. Listen to your body, it’s yours to look after.

• Dress for fibro: wear loose clothing and comfortable shoes. Fashionable attire may look terrific on you but it is how you feel that really counts. This does not mean giving in to fibro it is about embracing a new you. There are many fashionable clothing that you not just look good in but it makes you feel good. Like make up gives you a boost of confidence.

• Aids to help you in your home:
a) A comfortable stool in the kitchen for sitting
b) Massage or heated seat cushion for home or car
c) A recliner for whole body support.
d) Sole inserts for whole feet
e) For shoes and slippers
f) Lumber support pillows for driving and sitting
g) Toilet seat raiser
h) Shower seat and extensions hose spray
i) Back and neck brace
j) Overstuffed furniture you can never have enough cushions for support.
k) Loose snugly cloths.

• Aids that can help: You may be able to get more done, reduce symptoms or both by using other gadgets and aids to help you. These may include:
1. Kitchen stool on rollers
2. Plastic chair or bench in the shower
3. Grab bars in the bath or shower
4. Grabbers
5. Wheelchair
6. Scooter
7. Cane
8. Handicap parking tag

• Positive outlook and thoughts. Through many types of therapies, counselling, meditation, diet and exercise you can feel positive again. Don’t give up on yourself. Remain calm is a big challenge but not impossible. If you notice your symptoms are getting worse, the best thing to do is remain calm. Fibromyalgia will bring on many emotions, the best support is remaining calm, otherwise you will experience a flare up of pain and fatigue.

• Symptoms are getting worse: the best thing you can do is remain calm and tell yourself you are ok and not to have a panic attack. as you have been up and down with the nature of FMS, CFS and M E, it will be better for you to draw on the self help approaches that have pulled you through past flare ups. Or if you are at the first stages read as much as you can about FMS, CFS and M E and all the self help you can get from Support Groups, Books, DVD’s, CD’s and the Internet. A word of advice, make sure you look at sites on the internet that are reputable. Our website is www.fmswaws.org and our charity website is www.fms.sas.co.uk

• Be optimistic: keeping an optimistic outlook is a 24/7 job. Make sure you are getting plenty of sleep and if you find your mood sliding, talk to your doctor about various treatments.

• Counselling: Some people still think this is not for them, they may be right but research shows that it can help many overcome health issues and challenges that you have been living with from the past that have come back due to health issues and depression that follows many problems. There are different kinds of counselling which your doctor can direct you on the right path for you.

• Depression comes along with any health condition because we are not well, we are mourning our old self as well as dealing with pain, fatigue, discomfort and disruption it can be a big deal finding another life, adapting to it through no fault of your own. They are designed for a variety of needs because we are so different not everyone needs the same treatment. Some do not want to bring up the past; they don’t want to change, even if you will feel better. We find it hard to deal with our health. There are some who feel they do not need to talk. While others know they need it. After a period of time trying to carryon like there is nothing wrong deepens the need for help. One person can manage their health and change of like however getting there and maintaining it is not something I recommend doing y yourself. It is a lonely painful journey.

• CBT is a common type of counselling that helps sufferers deal with past present and future personal issues. You can use what you have learnt at any time during your life. Many suffer with anxiety or panic attacks. Using techniques from CBT will help you. It does not mean you are crazy it simply means you need a little help on to the next phase of your life. Issues from your past can come up at any time especially when you are vulnerable, most of us put it back in a deep place in our brain so we do not need to think about them. If you do not address them your moods will be affected. Snappy, irritable, emotional, angry, are all emotions that your body and brain bring up, most is to do with issues from the past. They also can cloud your mind. You can find yourself not remembering good memories; this creates anger secrecy and other issues. Once they have been able to clear them out of your memory by talking and or using techniques learnt through CBT they will no longer create such mood swings. You will start to remember good times and this promotes warmth positivity and less stress. You will feel happier and maybe start to get on with the person or persons they are directed at. Once you have released your toxic memories you will feel happier and able to manage better.

What to avoid

• Cold drafts: just as moist heat helps your muscles relax, coo drafts y air tends to cause them to tense up.

• Repetitive motions: using the same muscles groups to perform tasks or persistent strain on your posture muscles will make them hurt more. When muscles ache as they do in fibro studies show that they are easier to overload, which leads to more pain.

• Amplifying the pain: Leaning forward, working with your arms out in front of you over a computer keyboard may amplify your overall pain. It can also cause strain on your neck, shoulder and back muscles. Try to find more ergonomic ways to do tasks to maintain upright posture and prevent overworked muscles from developing in to painful trigger points.

• Unsettling foods: Irritable stomach and bowel are already common enemies to people with fibro. If you notice that certain foods in your diet make these symptoms worse, try to avoid them (one at a time ) to see if you feel better. Research is showing that certain foods and preservatives should be avoided because they create more pain and bring on other health issues. So food and drink are a big factor in getting to a more manageable state.

• Avoid comparisons: It is natural for people to compare their abilities from what they did to what they can do now. These types of comparisons will not change anything, but they can really bring you down and hurt your self-esteem. It is hard because you had a busy enjoyable life and now you are confronted with FMS and other health issues that get in the way.

• Doctor’s and Specialists: After a time you no longer can cope and need to see your doctor. Don’t hang about if you do not feel your doctor is giving you the support you need. Change your doctor and do so until you have found the one for you. Ask to be referred to a Rheumatologist and or any other specialist you need. Having a history of pains and not getting anywhere is one of the things a specialist will look at. He will give you the tests you need and so the process begins.

• Rules: Some people with CFS and FM have had success using very detailed and individualized rules to protect them from doing too much. Living by a set of personal rules means not having to think so not to become confused or stressed and also reduces the power of spontaneity to overwhelm good judgment. Rules are planned responses, which you use as a substitute for old habitual behaviours. Over time, the new behaviour becomes a habit. If you like the idea of using rules but are bothered by brain fog, you might consider taping rules in some prominent place, like the refrigerator, bathroom mirror or computer.

• Personalized rules can take three forms.

• First, you might state a few rules crucial to controlling symptoms. One person with a severe case of CFS has three rules for herself: no more than three trips outside the house per week, no driving beyond 12 miles from home, and no phone conversations longer than 20 minutes.

• Another person has three rules: a) turn off the TV and the computer at 9 pm (to wind down gradually for better sleep), b) take two 15-minute rest breaks daily, in late morning and mid-afternoon, and c) take extra rest for two days after apparently recovering from the secondary illness (to avoid a double dip).

• Second, you can develop rules for specific circumstances. For example, after you have defined your limits, you can establish rules for how long you stay on the computer, how long you talk on the phone, how much exercise you do, how far you drive, when you go to bed at night and get up in the morning, when you rest during the day, how long you spend in social situations and so on.

• Such personal rules have an If/Then structure. For example:
1. If I've been on the computer for 20 minutes, then it's time to take a break.
2. If it's 11 am, then it's time for my morning rest.
3. If it's 9 pm, then it's time to start getting ready for bed.

• If you have rules of this sort, you can simplify your illness management program into asking yourself two questions: What situation am I in right now? What is my rule for this situation?

• Third, you might write down your strategies for managing specific symptoms. For example, for managing fatigue, take daily rests, getting enough sleep, limiting the number of times they leave the house each week, breaking up tasks into small chunks and limiting the time spent standing up.

• Personal Guidelines
A variant on rules is personal guidelines. The goal with this approach is to state a few principles to guide your life with chronic illness and to be a reference in times of confusion. The idea came from an experience I had one day early on in my time with CFS. I found myself in a deep fatigue with severe brain fog. The fog made me so confused I didn't know what I should do next. "If only," I said to myself, "I had a few simple directions on a small card, I could know what to do right now." So I decided to create them. I sat down and wrote out just a few guidelines that I could turn to for direction in times of confusion.

Here's what I came up with for myself.

• Live within my energy envelope

1. I believe I can reduce symptoms and regain control by living within my limits. For me, this means taking scheduled rests daily, keeping a daily log, returning only gradually to my normal routine after a relapse or illness and avoiding stressful people and situations.

2. Extend the envelope gradually

3. Recognizing that CFS controls the timetable and extent of my improvement, I will experiment occasionally to expand my activity level, but not more than 5% to 10% at a time. I recognize that not all my experiments will work. If an experiment produces greater symptoms, I will return to my previous level.

4. When all else fails, go to bed

There are times when the best course is to surrender to the illness. This guideline gives me permission to acknowledge that at times I am powerless over the disease and the smartest course is to give in to it.

• Accept that I may not recover: I believe I can create the conditions for recovery but can't control whether I recover. Thus, I try to focus on feeling better, which I believe is under my control to some degree. I can manage my health.

• You will benefit from writing your own rules here are some I use:
1. Limit stress in my life

2. Use moderate exercise and movement to keep my body healthy and reduce symptoms

3. Practice living with an attitude of gratitude instead of self-pity

4. Go to bed when symptoms are high

You may find there is repeated information amongst this information pack. The reason is as FMS, CFS and M E we tend to forget quickly even if we read the first page we would have to read again several times, so to help and read repeated information the brain is likely to retain the information.

• Pacing: Once you have found the benefits of pacing and you have come to terms with your condition it becomes easier. You know in the mornings what sort of day you will have. Being in a routine will defiantly help you to manage your pacing and life. Living day to day is also a benefit. Structure is important in pacing and looking after yourself. A good way to get into it Is, start by making a list of all you want to achieve on the day.

Creating a list

• Example: It is important to give you time as rushing creates pressure and stress thus bring on a flare up and fatigue. It can feel like you are being selfish but it is not, you just have to live a different routine because of your health. Some people have great family members and friends that can give them the help they need however there are that do not have that net work so a support group is great not just for them but for everyone suffering with ill health.
1. What time do you wake up?
2. What time do you get up?
3. How long it takes you to do your exercise, wash, dress have breakfast.
4. Doing your first job of the day.
5. Resting.
6. 2nd job.
7. Resting.
8. Sleep.
9. Dinner.
10. Resting.
11. Spending time with your family.
12. Getting ready for bed.
13. Bed by 10pm.

• Cooking: Choosing a time in the day when you feel up to it, cook the dinner and leave on the side so when it is dinner time it will take you minutes to put on the table which helps because usually at dinner time you are exhausted. When you have free time and up to it cook large meals and portion them down and put into the freezer. So next meal time all you have to do is defrost and prepare.

• Outings: If you have arranged an outing with a friend and or family do not add another job to your list. Always put a time to the event no more than 2 or 3 hours so you do not over stretch yourself as you will go down fast. Remember you have to travel back home and then just simply rest. Physically and emotionally it will be draining even if you have just sat through lunch.

• Having people over: If you have family over for a meal make it simple and structured. Ask for help to prepare and to clean up after woods don’t be proud, the closest to you will want to help you out.

So we have spoken about food, exercise, pacing, counselling. And self help.

Useful Tools to help with your pain: self–treatment or self help is essential if you expect to regain and maintain your health. Ultimately you need to take responsibility for your own well being by following the inner guidance, intuition, gut feeling, heart all culminating in what we experience as conscience.

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• Thera Cane: Acupressure is a technique involving applying gentle pressure on a painful knot in your muscles. Usually you can feel these knots, called trigger points, especially when they get large and troublesome. It is important to not press to hard on the trigger points nodules because it can cause trauma to the muscle and lead to the development of more trigger points. The pressure should only produce mild discomfort, but not to the point of pain. You can use your fingers, or for hard to reach locations, a Thera Cane device can be helpful. Apply gentle pressure for 10 to 15 seconds at a time. You should feel the discomfort melt. Then rota to other areas until you have worked to reduce the size of the trigger point knot. You can purchase this cane from www.theracane.net if you cannot afford this device you can use a Tennis Ball. Place it between you and a wall or lay down on it to target specific trigger points on your back. You can use this in the bath too.

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• Reflexy Cure Probe: Place this device on the floor which is like a long thin pole with a bobble in the middle. Sit comfortably on a chair place, reach out with one of your toes and grip the groove on either side of the ends. Then press it firmly against the floor as you position your other foot over the bobble located in the centre of the long shaft and begin to let it press into the tissues. The search for the K1 Meridian/Solar Plexus reflexology area has begun. Your objective is to comb the target area known to (reflexologists) as the Solar Plexus reflex area. In the midst of this region (between the second and third metatarsal bones) you will find the K1 meridian point. So if you miss on the first try ... continue to slowly roll your foot back-and-forth as you look for that well known pinpoint of pain that will indicate you have hit the bull’s eye. When you find it ... hold your position and begin to increase the downward pressure on the probe bobble. Press until you reach the point of intolerance. Then back off a little and hold steady for 20 to 60 seconds. Take a short break and press again. Do this several times before going to the other foot where you will repeat the whole process for the other side of your body.

• Note: some folks don't experience any significant level of zone/meridian point pain due to good health, or conversely because of dehydration, severe illness, emotional disturbance, and/or excessive use of psychotropic drugs. If you fit into this category ... don't become discouraged because the benefits are still able to occur in many of these instances mentioned ... whether you feel pain or not. However, if you do find other points of painful discomfort in your search for the K1 ... do not allow yourself to become sidetracked from your objective by working other reflexes. You may go back later to any of those other points after you have fully activated the K1 which is buried 1/2" to 1" deep within the plantar muscle ... right in the center of the Solar Plexus (Note: Saran's nerves point corresponds with K1 compared to Ingham's Solar Plexus).

• The K1 is the only meridian that originates on the bottom of the feet (the other 22 major meridians either originate or terminate on the tops of the feet or hands). The K1 is also known as the Chinese Sleep Point, the Well Point and the Bubbling Springs Point ... it is one of the most powerful points found on the foot. Although you can get all of this reflexology activation by walking bare footed on the rocks or standing on golf balls ... the Reflexy Cure Probe is convenient for the busy city dweller in order to easily access this point (some self-helpers have one under their desk at work). Or use it at home while sitting in from of the television or listening to relaxation music.

• Example: "My digestion has been somewhat of a problem since 1979. My foot reflexes have been very tender, so I began stimulating them as part of my reflexology studies. The most recent self-treatment that I performed was with Nicole's Reflexy Cure Probe and it lasted about 1.5 hours (my feet at times became numb from the pressure that I created with the reflexology-wheel of the REFLEXY). This agonizing activation of the sensitive Kidney Meridian origins (encompassing the stomach and small intestine reflexes) on the bottom of both feet, resulted in a deep cleansing reaction which produced pulsing pains deep within my abdomen. This pain gradually diminished as my condition improved over a 7-Day period. "For those first two days after that gruelling self-treatment ... shooting pains would radiate across my abdomen every 20 minutes. I had to run to the toilet constantly, where I once observed expulsion of partially digested food that I had eaten as much as two weeks earlier. However, by the 3rd day the pain was a little better, but I still had the diarrhea.

"During the 4th day there were hardly any pains, and the stool began to firm up. On the 15th day of my ordeal, I still had pain ... but much less: and the stool was getting back to normal. By the 6th day there was very little pain and on the 7th ... the pain was gone. #

" This has been a firsthand (foot-first) learning experience that has demonstrated the virtue of 'shock type' reflexology taught by MIR. This single treatment has started a healing in my body for which I have been praying. I plan to repeat this procedure periodically (as time permits) in order to gain my optimum level of health. (I should mention that I had lost my appetite and couldn't really eat. However, I did drink 3 cups of dandelion tea daily ... those first two days.)"

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Help resolve insomnia and other dysfunctions with Nicole's Reflexy Cure Probe. Or stand on smooth rocks or golf balls to help produce a good "shock" to K1 as pictured above.

Alternative Therapies.
You have accepted that there is no cure for fibro. However you can be in a manageable state. This means each day is structured you work to a time table and if the budget allows treat yourself to therapies that will help your overall health like IBS, Digestive Problems, Stress, Pain, Candida Albicans, Irritable Bladder Syndrome and Well Being and many other ailments.

Little tip: If you live within a distance to a college that offers Beauty, Holistic Therapies and Hair Dressing, you usually can go in as a client to have whatever therapies they are teaching for a smaller fee, yes the therapists are learning however I have never had an unpleasant treatment, have a go you have nothing to loose. I have experience is from both angles, I am a fully qualified Advanced Holistic Practitioner and used to have clients come in for us to practice on. I have also been a client and always found it relaxing and beneficial. There is a Salon at Northbrook College in Broad Water, Worthing.

If you know someone that will be going to college for these therapies ask them if you could be there case study, as they will need some throughout there’re training. It’s wonderful you get free treatment.

• Therapies:

Ghennet our very own therapist that studied with me and we have been very good friends for many years comes every month to offer 20 minutes treatment for a small fee. She is very good we have had several members that see her at the meeting and in her clinic. You really need to see her you will be walking on cotton wool afterwards.

• Reflexology
• Massage
• Indian Head Massage
• Hopi Candles
• Kidney and Liver Cleansing
• Crystal Healing
• Chakra Balancing

These are a few of the treatments she offer’s.

For those who never have had a therapy come and try a mini treatment at our meetings.

Reflexology Foot Chart:

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Technique for Allergies, Asthma, and Sinus Problems using your hands

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Results in reflexology are achieved by applying an exercise-type program of pressure technique to specific parts of the hands or feet. Traditionally, the stimulus of pressure is applied to the adrenal reflex area to create a healthful response by the body to allergies, asthma, and sinus problems.

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How long should this exercise last? There are several strategies. Try a pattern of using the golf ball technique for 15 to 30 seconds and resting for 15 to 30 seconds, alternating work and rest throughout a five minute period. Try this four time though out the day such as morning, noon, dinner time, and bedtime. After two weeks, evaluate your results.

As you continue using the technique, your strategy may change. You may find yourself reaching for your golf ball at the onset of the sniffles or other symptoms. And, then, you may find yourself continuing the exercise until you get lessen the symptoms to your satisfaction.

Warning: This is the application of a hard surface, the golf ball, to soft surface, the hand. It is possible to apply too much pressure or to apply pressure for too long a time. You've done too much exercise if your hand feels bruised or sensitive to touch. Quit the exercise until the sensitivity passes. When you apply technique again, limit your time to maintain your comfort level. The golf ball technique is a self-help technique not a technique for use on others.

Note: This technique is not for everyone. As noted above, a key to reflexology use is its application in a conscientious program. Ask yourself, are you willing to spend some time doing this? Think of this as you would any exercise. Just as a certain number of sit-ups is needed to influence one's waistline, a certain amount of reflexology technique application is needed to get results. Many have gotten results and find it worth their time.

As you can see there is a map of your body on your hands and feet, there is also one on your ears. It takes one to two years to become an advanced holistic practitioner and three to practice on ears. Results in reflexology are achieved by applying an exercise-type program of pressure technique to specific parts of the hands or feet. Traditionally, the stimulus of pressure is applied to the adrenal reflex area to create a healthful response. The adrenals play an important part of the treatment because you are working in the solar plexus area which will bring a sense of relaxation and well being to your body and mind. It is important to help the body to cure it’s self.

Looking at the foot the planter side which is the bottom of the foot, you will see the toes represent the brain, sinus, ears, eyes, face, nose, throat, thyroid, Pineal gland, hypothermic gland and pituitary gland. As you go down you can work on the lungs, shoulders, heart in the left foot, as well as other parts in the body. Once you get to the middle of the plantar side you will find your kidney, your adrenals sits on the top of the kidneys. Your stomach, diaphragm, nerves, liver, the gall bladder is in the middle section of your feet and hands. On the little finger and toes down the outer side you will find your knees and elbow. Then further down the foot you will find the colon, intestines and other organs.

You can use these techniques for many other ailments. Find out on the graph where the organs are positioned and massage away. This is something you can do at any time and continual. Of course lying back and letting a therapist give you treatment is very relaxing but if you can’t afford it you can do it yourself, even teaching a loved one some basic skills so they can give you a treatment. Nice.

Reflexologists find that reflexology helps normalize the bowels. If a client is constipated, I find gentle to moderate pressure reflexology techniques are very effective. Usually, a movement occurs by the next day, if not within an hour or two after a session. Constipation is a common condition. In fact, there are many common problems of the digestive tract, including diarrhea, diverticulitis disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and inflammatory bowel disease, IC and inflamed Bladder syndrome.

By working the middle to wrist area where the lower part of your body is will help these conditions. I recommend just using gentle to moderate pressure. You don’t need to go deep to get great results and you don’t want to have too much stimulation. Thorough is more important. If you make small inching movements with the thumb or fingers, you get to more of the nerve endings. Deep can also be very effective, but it helps to know how you will respond to gentle to moderate pressure first, before going deeper. Children and the young-at-heart need a gentle touch. A reflexology teacher told me a story of how he had roomed with another reflexology teacher at a reflexology conference. They had exchanged reflexology sessions. My teacher said his roommate gave very deep reflexology sessions to the point of bruising. But my teacher gave his usual relaxing reflexology session. His roommate was constipated, but after his reflexology session that evening, in the night he got up four times to the bathroom. In the morning he said to my teacher, “I guess deep…not necessary.”

The area for self help on the feet, for constipation, is in the arch of the foot, especially in the half of the arch closest to the heel. This is the reflex area of the intestines. If you find the metatarsal bump on the outside edge of your foot (about midway) and draw an imaginary line across the bottom of your foot, that line and everything down to the heel in the arch, is intestines, small and large. The inside of the ankle and heel is also a helpful area, where the map of the rectum and anus is. The area of the arch nearest the ball of the foot has the reflex map of the liver and gallbladder and stomach, so these areas can be helpful to rub for digestion, too. The maps are anatomically positioned, so everything on the right side of the body is in the right hand and foot and the same with the left, except the brain is reversed.

Just remember, if an area is sensitive, it is a good area to work. But also remember not to work on swollen areas, recent injuries, hot areas, areas where you have sudden loss of movement, or red or bruised areas.

• Massage: There are so many types like Swedish, Sport Injury, Deep Tissue, Aromatherapy, and Lymphatic drainage massage are just a few.

• The benefits from having a massage are plentiful. It not only helps with tense muscles it gets your blood and lymph’s going round your body faster which in turn helps your organs to work more affluently and the blood runs through your heart to keep you healthy. Your tension in the muscles is relaxed and it creates more energy.

• Fibro sufferers find it relaxing; have the feeling of being lighter and less tense. It is a temporary relief for us however it is important to help yourself by having an occasional treatment to alleviate our pain and tension.

• While most fibro patients prefer warm therapies some choose cold treatments. Either way various products can target warmth and coolness to virtually any body part. If you don’t have access to a hot tub, then a warm bath or hot shower sitting down can be very accommodating. If you don’t fancy cold packs a bag of frozen peas can contour and cool. There are a variety of massage that you can choose from, once you have found the one that works for you I advice to stick with it, you are more guaranteed to benefit from it.

• Some useful tools that are used and you can benefit from:
a) Hot and cold stones.
b) Hot patches or cloths.
c) Odour free Heating cream.
d) Epsom salt for baths.
e) Vibrating beds.
f) Gel freezer packs.
g) Warm wraps.
h) Hot water inflatable spa.
i) Hot water bottle.
j) Wheat bags warmed in the microwave.
k) Soothing rubs.

Sometimes a little gel or soothing cream can target that irritating burn, itch or pain of sensitive skin. Ask your pharmacist about over the counter products that can provide you some relief. Talk with your doctor about prescription drugs that may help you.

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Meditation:

Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue are distressing disorders, characterized by pain, fatigue, and a multitude of other possible symptoms including depression and anxiety. Meditation has been shown to benefit people with Fibromyalgia (FM) and Chronic Fatigue syndrome (CFS) through calming the mind and easing the body.

What Is Meditation?

Meditation is an ancient practice used by many cultures as a way of experiencing a deep spiritual connection, such as a connection to God, inner peace, or a freeing from the struggles of the material world. Its roots have been in the East, but the West has also used meditation techniques like prayer and Celtic nature ceremonies.

There are many different types of meditation, such as following the breath, visualization, repeating a mantra, sound meditation, and mindfulness meditation. Meditation allows a person to take a break from the endless chattering of the mind and the worries and stress of everyday life. It engenders a feeling of relaxation and peace, whilst producing mental clarity and alertness. Meditation helps you to let thoughts or feeling that arise to pass without reaction. The wandering attention is gently brought back to the meditation. Studies show that you don't need to believe in a religion or even spirituality to benefit from meditation. Nor does it seem to matter what technique is used. The main criterion is to practice it regularly.

What Are The Benefits Of Meditation?

Mental/Emotional Benefits:

More even moods, fewer mood swings.
Releasing Depression
Less anxiety
Increased energy and vitality
Improved memory and cognitive function
A sense of peace and calm
Less Stress

Physical benefits of Meditation:

Lowered blood pressure
Reduced heart rate
More balanced nervous system
Better Sleep
May help balance the immune system to help the body resist disease and heal
Less physical stress and a more balanced the autonomic nervous system (which is what governs the stress response in the body.)

How Does Meditation Help People with FM and CFS?

Research has shown time and again that meditation can help people who suffer from chronic pain. It is also one of the most ancient, proven methods relieving stress.

Recently, meditation has been shown to reduce symptoms of FM and CFS. It is one of the most ancient systems for reducing stress, which is a key feature of these conditions. Stress exacerbates CFS and FM, as well as causing more of it, creating a vicious circle. Lowering stress in some way is important for sufferers, and meditation is free and doesn't require leaving the house or depending on others (unless you want to take a class, which is helpful, especially in the beginning). It also doesn't require special equipment or clothing, and there are no side effects.

Meditation has also been shown to improve sleep patterns and increase energy. Furthermore, research has continually shown that it reduces pain levels. It can enhance the body's ability to heal itself, and improve overall quality of life.

Physically, it can lower the level of cortisol in the body, which is a stress hormone. Mentally, it helps you to get your mind off of worries, pain, stress, and illness. It allows you to cultivate a focus on something completely unrelated to your life, your pain, or your illness.
Meditation is not a cure for FM or CFS; it is an ancient tool for relieving symptoms as well as taking control of your illness.

What Are The Downfalls of Meditation?

•Meditation is a simple exercise that is incredibly difficult to actually put into practice. Even for the healthiest people with few worries and anxieties, the mind is constantly flitting from one thought to the next. It takes discipline to remain still and not react to the thoughts, feelings, and stimulants of the world.

However, the benefits of taking this time to be disciplined are many. For people with CFS and FM, taking a break from their mind and illness is incredibly powerful. The best thing to do is to just book the time in everyday and see what happens without being desperate or judgmental of the results.

•It takes 20 minutes of daily practice which can be difficult to squeeze in.
However, if you see that the long term benefits are going to give improved sleep, more energy, and less pain, 20 minutes is probably worth is.

•Some doctors are concerned that people will think mediation is a cure for their illness and be disappointed.

Any good meditation teacher will tell you that meditation is not a cure for any illness or problem. It is a long term strategy that has proven useful to many people for centuries to improve their overall wellbeing.
Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/024813_meditation_stress_benefits.html#ixzz1SUeaGIEq

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Indian Head Massage:
What is Indian Head Massage?

Indian Head Massage is based on the Ayurvedic system of healing. Ayurveda is ancient Indian for Knowledge of Life. The Indian Head Massage is one of the methods used for over 4,000 years to help towards feelings of overall good health.

What may Indian Head Massage be able to help with?
Indian Head Massage may:

• help relieve stress
• reduce tension
• help to overcome insomnia
• help with the short term reduction of tension headaches
• give relief from muscular tension
• reduce stiffness in the neck and shoulders

How can Indian Head Massage help you?
Indian Head Massage is a technique of manipulating soft tissues in the shoulders and scalp. The therapist uses a range of different massage pressures and rhythms to stimulate the head and neck area. A typical massage lasts around 30-40 minutes. The techniques help release muscle tension and stimulate circulation. It also stretches and helps to mobilise the tissues of the neck and shoulders.
The technique can help to soothe, comfort and harmonise the body's natural balance, so helping to promote physical and psychological well being, leaving you with a feeling of peace and tranquillity.

Hopi Candles:

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What is Hopi Ear Candling? Also known as Thermo Auricular Therapy, Hopi Ear Candling is a wonderfully relaxing and beneficial treatment. It can help with many conditions and problems associated with the ear, nose and throat area.

What Are Ear Candles? Ear candles are hollow tubes made from cotton and various waxes.

What are Ear Candles used for?
To treat the symptoms of, amongst others, sinusitis, pink eye, vertigo (dizziness), hearing loss, blocked ears and tinnitus. The treatment normalises pressure in the ear and is an effective treatment for swimmer ear and helps with problems after flying.

Ear candling treatments can stimulate your body's natural systems to remove excess ear wax, debris, Candida infections and fungus, although ear candles will not physically remove ear wax during the treatment.

How do ear candles work?
The treatment increases blood flow and stimulates lymphatic drainage, restoring the balance that enables your body to correct any problems. Physically the heat from the flame creates a stimulating, warming effect and creates a spiral energy vortex. This removes excess mucus in the middle ear, inner ear, sinuses and nose. It also increases the mobility of the white blood cells and improves the immune response. Ear candles do not physically remove ear wax, however they do create the condition whereby your body's own defences restores balance to its systems.

The Ear Wax Removal Misconception
Ear candles do not suck wax out of the ear!
Anything in the bottom of the candle that looks like earwax is from the beeswax component of the candle. There have been studies that prove beyond doubt that none of the material is from the human ear. When examining an ear candle after a treatment, you will see that the entire residue in the filter, ear wax is not magic and does not appear and disappear through filters! Furthermore ear candles do not create any negative pressure that can be measured by modern medical equipment. There is no vacuum and not even a fraction of the power required to extract ear wax. Ear candling does not physically remove compacted ear wax, candida infections or fungus. Ear candles act as a catalyst that affects the body's system and enables us to relax and allows the Eustachian, sinus and lymph’s to open and drain.

Chakra Balancing:
At the central core of our body spin seven main wheel-like energy centres called Chakras. Chakras have the ability to receive, assimilate and transmit energy. Each chakra is a vortex, spinning life-force energy into or out of the body. In fact, the word chakra is from the Sanskrit word meaning "wheel of light".

There are 7 major chakras connected to and a part of the physical body. All are located on the torso and head. Each chakra transmits and receives life-force energy often called "chi" (or "qi"), "prana", or "universal intelligence". There are also many minor chakras, most of which are located at the joints of the physical body.

When we are in a state in ill health, the chakras may be distorted, out of alignment or even stagnant. When this happens, life force energy cannot flow in and out freely and the physical body may suffer. Stress, inability to express emotions, over emotional expression, beliefs incongruent with Truth, disconnection from a higher power, unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, and exposure to toxicity, etc. can cause the chakra system to close down.

Each chakra resonates with a particular frequency of vibration and is an integral part of Vibration Medicine. Chakras are balanced by inviting them back to their natural state of vibration & frequency using colour, light, sound, aroma, touch, etc. By stimulating the senses in a favourable way, the nervous system and therefore, the chakras are balanced.

The physical body is a unit made of many different integral parts that are designed to be self-correcting. The body's job is to maintain balance and the free-flow of energy. The chakras are an energetic gateway, feeding the body pranic energy and providing an outlet for the release and dispersal of spent energy.

The tools most commonly used to balance the chakras are:
• Colour
• Crystals & Gems
• Light
• Sound
• Subtle Aromatherapy
• Sacred Geometry
• Touch Therapies

The Seven Main Chakras:

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Crown, Third Eye, Throat, Heart, Solar Plexus, Sacral and Root Base.

Yoga:

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Research reveals that yoga practice, pranayama breathing exercises and meditation offer many benefits for fibromyalgia patients. The advantage of yoga is that it does not need any special props and can be practiced any time of the day to maintain strength and energy. Yoga practice can be done at home and even on the bed. Read on to learn more about the benefits of yoga for fibromyalgia patients.

Yoga for Fibromyalgia
Yoga poses relax and stretch the muscles, and release fatigue and tension. They relieve the compression of sore and tight muscles, stimulate the hormonal system, and promote circulation of blood and oxygen all over the body. Thus, yoga for fibromyalgia limbers and strengthens the muscles, and revitalizes the body.

Pranayama Breathing Techniques
These breathing exercises dispel lethargy, fatigue and the effects of stress on the body and mind. They involve deep and rhythmic breathing which reduces inertia, anxiety and depression. Depression caused by fibromyalgia affects breathing and reduces oxygen supply to the brain. Yoga poses and breathing techniques improve oxygen flow all over the body.

Meditation for Fibromyalgia
Yoga meditation teaches patients to relax their body and mind by turning their focus inwards and gaining peace and relaxation. The mind becomes calm and serene, which rejuvenates mentally and physically. Patients can also try meditation to improve their sleep quality and reduce the need for drugs. Fibromyalgia patients are affected by disturbed sleep and fatigue, which can be relieved by daily meditation. In fact, during meditation the body and mind can relax in a deeper state of rest than during regular sleep. Yoga for fibromyalgia thus enhances physical and emotional health, and helps the patients cope better with the symptoms.

Research on Yoga for Fibromyalgia
Several research studies have established the efficacy of yoga for fibromyalgia patients. This ancient art reduces pain and improves many symptoms. Thus, yoga poses, breathing techniques and meditation provide many positive outcomes for fibromyalgia patients.
More information please look at www.YogaBodyNaturals.com

There are other classes you can go to or even do at home like Tia Chi and Pilates. Look around in your local community centre where these are usually held. Look on the internet or library, ask a family member or friend if they want to go along with you or do it together at home.

You are the boss of you, you can decide what you want to do, you are in charge of your own health and the way you treat yourself. It is alright to give yourself permission to try to manage your health in the way you want to.


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