Meditative Movement

Tai Chi is an ancient practice proven to reduce pain and improve your mental and physical well-being. I go to a modified class for Arthritis, held by the Arthritis Foundation.

In 1997, Dr Paul Lam, a family physician and tai chi expert, worked with a team of tai chi and medical specialists to create the Tai Chi for Arthritis program. The special features of this unique program are that it is easy to learn, enjoyable, and provides many health benefits in a relatively short period of time.

So lesson one: Tai Chi for Arthritis is based on Sun style tai chi (pronounced “soon” as in– I will soon be learning tai chi!). This style was chosen because of its healing component, its unique Qigong (an exercise which improves relaxation and vital energy), and its ability to improve mobility and balance. The program contains a carefully constructed set of warming-up and cooling-down exercises, Qigong breathing exercises, a Basic Core six movements, an Advanced Extension six movements, and adaptations of the movements so you can use a chair for balance, or even sit on the chair for the entire class. Also incorporated into the program is a safe and effective teaching system.

Medical studies have shown that practicing this program reduces pain significantly, prevents falls for the elderly, and improves many aspects of health. For these reasons, Arthritis Foundations around the world have supported the program. And that’s why I’m at Arthritis Victoria today…they also provide the cheapest classes (and I received an added discount due to hardship!)

Supposedly, tai chi will help you:

  • Reduce stress
  • Increase balance and flexibility
  • Feel relaxed
  • Improve your overall mind, body and spirit

Clinical Rheumatology reported that the Oregon Health & Science University’s Fibromyalgia Research Unit held a randomized controlled trial of 8-form Tai chi to gauge any improvement in symptoms and functional mobility in fibromyalgia patients.

Previous researchers have found that 10-form Tai chi yields symptomatic benefit in patients with FM. The purpose of this study was to further investigate earlier findings and add a focus on functional mobility.

Participants met in small groups twice weekly for 90 minutes over 12 weeks.

Of the 101 randomly assigned subjects, clinically and statistically significant improvements were seen in:

  • pain severity
  • pain interference
  • sleep, and
  • self-efficacy for pain control

No adverse events were noted.

Accordingly, the study reported that tai chi appears to be a safe and an acceptable exercise modality that may be useful as adjunctive therapy in the management of FM patients.

Tai Chi for Arthritis involves 12 movements or positions that are designed to be safe and beneficial for people with arthritis. Instructors of the program are trained to understand arthritis and ensure the movements are safe for participants. Tai Chi for Arthritis classes begins with warm-up exercises (lasting about 10 minutes) where you start at your head and move all the way down to your ankles. Each joint has two exercises, to reduce the chance of injury during the movements.

The leader then demonstrates and teaches one or two movements per lesson, encouraging us to learn the movements properly and slowly, working within your comfort limits. This week, we started with the Single Whip and Wave Hand in Cloud.

Single Whip

I start with my feet in a duck position (outward facing) and my hands by my side. Slowly lift your wrists, straight out and up, like two helium balloons are attached, up to shoulder height. the slowly lower them.  Then, while stepping forward with your right leg (heel first the toe), push your hands forward like you’re handing a ball to someone. Bring the ‘ball’ back (and your foot at the same time) to hold in front of you – then spread your arms by opening up your elbows. Allow your left hand to keep moving outwards (and slightly back) and watch it by twisting your head as far as you can go. Your right hand sort of just sits in mid-air waiting for something to do.

Ta Da! We’ve learnt our first form.

Wave Hand in the Cloud

From the position we left above, now move your left hand forward again, until it looks like you are trying to say stop. Your right hand moves beneath your left elbow – now you look like a traditional policeman trying to stop traffic. Take a step to the right, landing with your toe first followed by your heel – then wipe your right hand in front of your face, while your left hand moves to your right elbow. Remember Karate Kid? Wax on. Let your left leg move across to join your other leg (remember toe then heel) and wax off with your left hand. We do that 3 times, moving across the room. Then do it the opposite way. This is where we all get tangled up and obviously need to practice. My head doesn’t change direction that fast!

But hey! we’re doing tai chi! I think that was all the movements – at least, what I can remember from my first one hour session. It is all very slow, controlled and relaxing – just like in the movies – sort of like a moving meditation, as you’re concentrating so hard on breathing, moving hands and feet that you can’t think about anything stressful.

The lesson ends with cool-down exercises, lasting about three minutes.

I feel very calm and relaxed.

The Dance of Life

biodance (1)Biodance, more commonly known as biodanza, literally means the dance of life.

It is described in Wikipedia as “a system of self-development that uses music, movement and positive feelings to deepen self-awareness. It seeks to promote the ability to make a holistic link to oneself, emotions and to express them. Biodanza also claims to allow one to deepen the bonds with others and nature and to express those feelings congenially.”

Biodanza was created in Chile in the 1960s and is now practiced in at least 30 countries.

343d9da3-f609-4f36-b258-d5dfcede22c9To analyse the effects of an aquatic biodance based therapy on sleep quality, anxiety, depression, pain and quality of life in FM patients, researchers assigned 59 patients to 2 groups: experimental group (aquatic biodance) and control group (stretching), for 12 weeks.

Significant differences in the experimental group were seen on sleep quality (49.7%), anxiety (14.1%), impact of fibromyalgia (18.3%), pain (27.9%), and tender points (34.4%).

This video discusses and demonstrates what Biodanza is all about.

In this next video, Biodanza is performed in the water.  Although the voice on the video is speaking Portuguese, you can still see what Aquatic Biodanza looks like even if you don’t understand Portuguese.

Anyone tried this one yet?

Bend and Stretch – Brazilian Style

Exercise is an important part of managing fibromyalgia symptoms. Studies since the 1970s have shown that exercise can benefit patients. Staying physically active can relieve pain, stress, and anxiety. A key question left unanswered was the benefits of specific types of exercise.

Researchers at the University of São Paulo show that stretching improves patients’ physical functioning and quality of life, while resistance training helps combat depression, “Muscle stretching exercises and resistance training in fibromyalgia: which is better? A three-arm randomized controlled trial” published in the European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine.

Because movement can increase fibromyalgia’s pain, many patients develop an inactive lifestyle. But in the long run, this can lead to both physical injury and emotional distress.

The study consisted of 44 women, aged 30 to 55. Researchers randomly assigned them to a stretching group, a resistance training group; or, a control group.

The stretching group went through a 12-week supervised training program. Twice a week they would take 40-minute stretching sessions without a therapist’s assistance. The trainers increased the intensity of the workouts over time.

Trainers put the resistance group through a similar 12-week, twice-a-week program. The patients did eight repetitions of resistance exercises, adding more weight each week.

The control group received standard fibromyalgia treatment but no exercise.

At the end of the 12 weeks, those in the stretching group were able to endure pain better and showed significant improvement in symptoms and quality of life. The resistance training group showed both physical and symptom improvements.

Analysis indicated that stretching significantly improved patients’ ability to deal with pain and to function better physically, while the biggest of resistance training was reducing patients’ depression.

The controls had the highest morning-fatigue and stiffness scores of the three groups, and the lowest score for vitality.

Researchers concluded that stretching had the biggest impact on patients’ quality of life, while resistance training had the biggest impact on fibromyalgia symptoms and on patients’ physical functioning, vitality, social interaction, and mental health.

“The muscle stretching exercise program was the most effective modality in improving quality of life, especially physical functioning and pain, and resistance training was the most effective modality in reducing depression,” the team wrote.

The key is to start slowly.

Dance Like No One is Watching

Belly dance (also known as Middle Eastern dance, Danse Orientale, Raqs Sharki, Ciftetelli, Rakkase, Danse du Ventre) is a celebration of a woman’s body.  It is a unique style of world dance that intertwines improvisation originating from ancient folk and gypsy movements with trained professional choreography originating in the harems.

There is no definite origin of belly dance, but one can see traditional associations with many fertility rituals of the ancient world and the dances in the ancient Indian temples. The fertility rituals were meant to celebrate the reproductive aspects of life, both human and in nature. The movements developed into being used by female only groups for strengthening muscles and spirit for birthing. In this sense, the dance was seen as a private, sacred art. The undulating movements strengthen muscles and breathing techniques, making it easier to control your body.

The common people and travelling gypsy groups later performed belly dance movements on the street (the higher class did not dance in public). Eventually this moved into the harems, where beautiful slaves and dancing-girls learned to entertain their host.

With harem girls began sophisticated dance and music training, incorporating choreography and “props”, and the dance was also taught to the higher-class female family members, who also lived and were educated in the harems.

So, it’s kinda weird that it was researchers from Brazil who found that, after beginning a belly dance program, FM sufferers reported reduced pain and improved functional capacity, quality of life and self-image.

Researchers studied 80 women with FM who were randomly assigned to either a dance group or control group. The dance group participated in 1-hour belly dance classes twice a week for 16 weeks, with movements involving the upper limbs, scapular girdle, trunk and hips. A masked physiotherapist evaluated pain assessment, functional capacity, quality of life, depression, anxiety and self-image at the beginning, 16 weeks and 32 weeks.

The dancing FMers significantly improved from baseline to 32 weeks in pain, emotional aspects and mental health scales.

Health benefits of Belly Dancing (not just for FM sufferers)

  • Stress reduction

Belly dancing requires tremendous relaxation and concentration, as you must focus on isolating various parts of your body. The flowing movements of belly dance help to calm and soothe the mind. The repetitive movements of the dance and the concentration needed to do them can help a mind filled with daily stress to “let go” for a while and relax. It’s hard to worry about deadlines at work when you are thinking about getting that next drop just right, or while making sure that you are in time with the music.

One effect of stress is that our bodies tense up, causing contractions or spasms in muscle groups, such as those in the neck, shoulders, or back. Belly dance, on the other hand, gently stretches and uses these vulnerable muscle groups, and as they are utilized, blood flow increases and lactic acid is flushed away. Stressed muscles relax as they are gently exercised, relieving the “clenched” muscles often seen in FM sufferers. The body becomes supple and limber, and practitioners frequently report that pain diminishes in the back and neck areas.

  • Fitness and Muscle Building

Belly dancing is vigorous and will make you break a sweat. The fast movements of the hips and shoulders are enough to really get your heart pumping, offering tremendous cardiovascular benefits. When performed as exercise, belly dancing can be compared to any other aerobic workout.

Belly dancing is also a wonderful way to strengthen the major muscles of your body. When performed correctly, belly dancing can also stretch and release tension in the back. Because it is a low-impact form of exercise, belly dancing won’t jolt or jar your body.

  • Weight loss

Belly dancing can have a positive impact on your weight, improving your self-image. If performed regularly, belly dancing can actually encourage weight loss, as it burns calories as well as increases your metabolic rate. According to Dr. Carolle Jean-Murat, M.D., belly dance can burn up to 300 calories per hour. This estimate will vary, of course, depending on the intensity of your dancing.

Belly dancers come in a variety of body types and sizes. Belly dancing will make you more aware of your posture, grace, body language and facial expressions, all helping to improve your self-image. If you attend a belly dancing class, you will probably see several different sizes of bodies, all just as beautiful as the others.

  • An Internal Massage

Belly dancing can be very beneficial to the health of your internal organs. It is sometimes said that belly dancing was developed as a way to prepare the body for childbirth. Since belly dancing centres around controlling the muscles of the abdomen, it may make carrying and delivering a baby easier on your body. For women who desire natural childbirth, this form of exercise through dance, with its emphasis on muscle control not only facilitates natural childbirth, but also makes an excellent post-natal exercise that helps encourage abdominal tone.

Also, many women notice that belly dancing helps to relieve menstrual cramping.

Belly dance seems like a fun, healthy way to exercise. As we are continually being told, exercise is important in the treatment of FM. The Brazilian researchers concluded, “Patient education regarding how to initiate and continue exercise is crucial to the success of treatment. … Belly dance leads to improvement in pain, sleep pattern, functional capacity and self-image in patients with fibromyalgia. [It is] a safe, effective therapeutic strategy for women with fibromyalgia.” It can be a creative outlet that conditions, tones, and allows a woman to tune into the natural movements of her body. It can refresh, relax, and/or exhilarate. So why wait?

Caution: Many doctors have suggested belly dancing classes as part of rehabilitation from injury; it is, however, important to check with your own medical provider before starting any new form of exercise.

 

Full of $#@!

So, here’s a new use for poo…

WHAT? you say – there is only one use for poo and that’s to go down a toilet. WRONG!

798035-fecal-transplants

Faecal Microbiota transplantation has been viewed by many doctors as the crack-pot end of medicine but a recent study has suggested it might have a use.

What I’m talking about is a healthy person, with no nasty infections, donating their poo to have it mushed up with saline and then inserted via a tube into the intestine of the recipient. The idea is that medications like antibiotics kill off the natural bacteria in our bowels and that the usual probiotics containing lactobacillus may not replace the full range of natural organisms we need for health.

To explain the process simply, stool is put in a blender with saline (salt water), and poured into a syringe. The sick patient is then given the freshly homogenised human stool via a colonoscopy, which is done through the rectum.

The transplants are currently used to treat gut bacterial conditions such as colitis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Clostridium difficile, or C. diff – an infection which causes diarrhoea so severe that it kills thousands of people every year.

Tests are also being done in Europe to look at what else FMT can be used for – it is thought to be effective in treating metabolic issues, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and neurological conditions including Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinsons.

“Contrary to popular belief, stool has no waste in it – it’s a mass of good bacteria,” says Professor Borody, director of the Centre for Digestive Diseases , who does one to six transplants a week in his Five Dock clinic.

“The incoming bacteria are capable of killing bad bacteria and recolonising your gut, restoring your body’s balance and leading to a resolution of your symptoms.”

While it might sound gross, the results speak for themselves. Prof Borody has had people flying in from as far afield as Paris to undergo stool transplants in his surgery.

Many of his patients are C. diff sufferers who have been plagued with recurrent diarrhoea for years, but are cured within days.

So if FMT is so successful, why isn’t it more widely available?

“Some people just can’t get past the ick factor,” says Prof Borody. “It’s similar to any new theory or practice when it’s introduced – is very hard to get old dogs to learn new tricks. Little interest has been shown within the pharmaceutical industry. Young doctors are very much on board with FMT, it’s the old farts who are holding us back.”

Some enterprising individuals have taken up doing the job of doing it on their own by recruiting stool from their spouse or family. Some have had surprisingly good results as far as combating Crohn’s or Irritable Bowel Syndrome symptoms (but all the links I found in regards to this had been deleted – so, perhaps you might not want to try this one alone.)

Don’t Mind Me…

249. stressing out (1)Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a program that helps you learn to calm your mind and body to help you cope, not only with illness and/or pain, but also with stress in your everyday life.

MBSR teaches “mindfulness,” a focus only on things happening in the present moment. For example, you may sit quietly and think only about how your body feels. You might focus only on the sounds around you or how your food tastes and smells. When you are mindful, you do just one thing and you pay close attention to that one thing (basically, the opposite of multi-tasking).

To help you focus your mind on the present:

1. STOP

Stop everything! EVERYTHING! PAUSE…BREATHE! Allow everything to be exactly as it is, Release all resistance and attachment

chronic comic 164Imagine yourself hanging on to whatever you’re holding on to, with your hands, for dear life, with a big black hole beneath you. Now, LET GO and allow yourself to fall, fall down the black hole, keep falling, until you land on a beautiful, soft platform of golden light. The Universe, God, or whatever you might believe in holds you, loves you and supports you. ALLOW IT!

2. FEEL

Breathe…feel your body.

Breathe some more.

Breathe all the way down to your feet. Feel your feet touching the floor, wiggle your toes, push your big toes into the floor. Breathe deeply, sigh or groan as you breathe out. Try this at least 10 times.

What are you actually feeling?

Feel it! Express it! if you need to cry or scream, do it – it will leave you SO much lighter.

3. RELAX

chronic comic 163Not necessarily meditation or a formal way of relaxation – I mean do something you LOVE and can fully engage with, which will switch off your mind chatter (it can still be meditation if that is what you love).

4. OPEN

Open up to new possibilities.

73. miserableAsk questions without having specific answers in mind already, and without wanting them answered immediately. Simply ask and then forget about it. Allow space after the question, to free yourself from intellectualising it, and rather to be free to receive the answers when they come.

Questions like:

    • What else is possible?
    • What would the energy of my life be like, if I was living it for the joy of it?
    • How could this situation be even better?

Studies show that MBSR can reduce stress and help people relax. MBSR helped some people cope better with symptoms and improved their quality of life. Research also shows that MBSR helped people sleep better and feel less anxious, and it helped ease depression symptoms.

A Little Loving

It’s 9pm. You’ve just put the kids to bed. It’s been a long, exhausting day. It feels like 4 in the morning and you’re ready to fall over. Suddenly your other half looks at you in that way, smiles and strokes your arm, and you know he/she wants to ‘make lurve.’

So, what’s your reaction?

Decreased sexual interest is not considered a common characteristic of FM. Nonetheless, a 2005 Turkish study demonstrates that female patients with FM have distinct sexual dysfunction compared with healthy controls.292.FM Lovesong

What is Normal Sexual Function?

For women, sex is a complex issue because it involves both physical and emotional reactions. Normal sexual functioning, however, may be divided into specific stages that include:

  • Desire
  • Arousal
  • Orgasm
  • Relaxation

They are all tied together with feelings of fulfillment, satisfaction and pleasure. For a woman, this is achieved not simply through physical touching. It involves psychological and emotional engagement. It may be difficult at times to remain sexually engaged when your body is in pain or fatigued or you are experiencing low self-esteem.

Types of Sexual Dysfunction in Women with Fibromyalgia

Sexual dysfunction refers to the inability to either engage in or enjoy the sexual act. It occurs for a number of different reasons that include illness, the impact of medications on the body, or emotional distress.

Women with fibromyalgia may suffer from one or more types of sexual dysfunction. The more common types include:

  1. Decreased sexual desire or drive
  2. Less arousal but maybe adequate sex drive
  3. Difficulty in achieving orgasm
  4. Increased pain with sexual intercourse or vaginal contact
  5. Failure of the body to co-operate with the desired position or movement

I am not even pretending that I know how to help with the first three types. I feel I can offer some suggestion on the last two.

We already know that FM is more foe than friend.  While many of us are too tired for sex, it is the muscle pain that leads to pressure and a squeezing of the pelvic area and lower back that ultimately result in muscle cramping during sexual intercourse. This naturally causes a great deal of discomfort, making it difficult to engage in certain sexual behaviours.

Sex may eventually become something that is no longer pleasurable (I can’t believe I said that!), but a negative experience. One’s natural tendency is to avoid such physically intimate situations, especially given that one is too tired or sore for sex.

sexSo, who can be bothered? (Pick me! Pick me!)

Further, taking a toll on one’s sex life are FM medications that decrease libido and a man’s ability to attain or maintain erection. Anti-depressants can also take a toll on a person’s sexual functioning. A person living with FM may react negatively to bodily changes, like weight changes and the loss of muscle mass.

As lovers feel less connected in the boudoir, their sexual relationship takes a hit (ie: unless you take steps to stay mentally and spiritually connected while attempting to be physically intimate). It’s important to realise that the release of hormones and endorphins during sex can help to relieve FM symptoms, like pain and depression, and boost well-being. This double-sided sword is that while sex can relieve symptoms of FM, FM itself may result in a decreased libido, and, definitely, fatigue and pain that hinder a person’s desire and ability to engage in sexual intercourse.

Maintaining your sex life is vital to your health and well-being. Consider adopting a plan:

  • Plan ahead to make this the night for sexual relations. Practice acceptance. Adapt. Make peace with the fact that you need to deal with this condition, and then allow yourself to reclaim your life in every way. This means ensuring you do not wear yourself out earlier during the day. You need to be well-rested so pace yourself.
  • If you have stiffness of your muscles or joints, consider ways to reduce the stiffness. Do some stretching to relax the muscles and make them limber.
  • Practice reducing stress. You can do breathing exercises. You can also combine exercise with stress reduction by playing soothing music while you do yoga. For some, a guided meditation or visualization will produce the desired result.
  • Take a warm bath or shower. A bath is excellent because it means you can pamper yourself. Play soft, romantic or sensual music and indulge in an sumptuous bubble bath
  • Prepare the room so it is relaxing, comfortable and reignites your passion. Clean, fresh, fragrant sheets can help. Pillows you can place to make positions easier are good tools to have handy. Soft lights and even softer music can also be effective in setting the right mood.
  • When it comes to the actual sex act, talk to your partner. Consider some positions that do not cause any discomfort but result in pleasure for both of you. Allow your partner to be more active during sex if possible (Absolutely nothing bad about THAT!) Talk it through.
  • Experiment with different sexual positions. There are plenty of activities and positions that are ideal for fatigue; and many ways to avoid painful sex. And have fun trying them ALL out! (see the attachment)
  • Enjoy each other despite flare ups. Part of this is not being so goal-oriented during a love-making session. Allow things to happen as they can.
  • Stay physically connected by just cuddling (unless such is not made possible by allondynia, where the brain misinterprets neutral or pleasant stimuli for pain).

The important thing is to learn what has produced your sexual dysfunction and to make an effort to maintain interest in sex. You can discuss any concerns you have with your doctor and your partner or spouse. Being honest with your intimate partner will help you maintain an active sex life.

Finally?

Don’t give up. It might feel like you’re never going to want to have sex ever again – but that’s the fibro talking, not you. Lust strikes at the oddest moment, and people can have sex in a myriad of ways. So have fun exploring what works best for you. and you’ll feel IT again.

And when you do, take advantage of it, and enjoy it!

lrg_Ornamental_Divider__Englische_Linie

For those grown-ups among us (and those NOT easily offended), please check out these recommended sexual positions that require less physical exertion. This is adult content –  By clicking “I Agree” below, you are agreeing to the following:

  1. You are an adult, at least 18 years of age, you are familiar with and understand the standards and laws of your local community regarding sexually oriented media. You represent that, based on your familiarity with the standards and laws of your local community, you will not be violating any applicable standards or laws by requesting, receiving, downloading or possessing any of the video, audio, graphics, images or text (“Adult Material”) available on this Website.
  2. You hereby acknowledge that any use of this Website is at your sole risk. You understand that by accepting the terms of this Agreement, you are agreeing to hold the Publisher of this Web Site harmless from any responsibilities or liabilities related to your use of this Web Site and the Adult Material contained herein.
  3. You will not permit any person(s) under 18 years of age to have access to any of the Adult Materials contained in this Web Site.
  4. You are voluntarily choosing to access this Web Site, because you want to view, read or hear the various Adult Materials that are available. You agree to immediately exit from this Web Site if you are in any way offended by the sexual nature of any Adult Material.
  5. If you use this Web Site in violation of these Terms, or use this Web Site where such use is illegal, you may be in violation of local and/or federal laws. You agree that you are solely responsible for your use of this Web Site and agree to indemnify Publisher against any claims arising out of such use.

button 1button 2

cafepress affiliate

Q. How Did the Hipster Burn his Tongue?

He sipped his coffee before it was cool!

 

With over 39 debilitating symptoms possible in the fibromyalgia picture, treating each symptom with a pharmaceutical drug ends up with chemical cocktail and drained finances. Treatments for FM include drugs for pain, drugs for fatigue, drugs for irritable bowel syndrome and candida, if they are present. Then there are drugs to counter the side effects of the drugs.

Understandably, many patients try to avoid all of this with alternative treatments.

With 25 days ‘til Xmas, let’s look at 25 alternative treatments…starting today.

Coffee Enemas

Coffee enemas were discovered in the 1930’s by a German doctor and naturopath named Max Gerson. Most people do not know that coffee is a pain killer. It is also a mild colon stimulant. When coffee is used in an enema, it helps to cleanse and support the liver.

enema-portal-venous.jpg

A coffee enema is an enema, just like a water enema, only the solution is made of coffee.  Although there has been no medical research performed with coffee enemas and fibromyalgia patients, there is anecdotal evidence to support its use.

Dr Gerson, MD, became famous for using coffee enemas as an alternative pain reliever for German soldiers when supply lines failed during WWI.  He found that coffee enemas relieved discomfort in the body as it removed toxins from the liver and blood.

When Dr Gerson defected to the United States and began practicing medicine as an oncologist, he used coffee enemas as a safe pain reliever with his cancer patients.

He recommended a gold roast coffee which has a higher caffeine content than commercial coffee which is intended to be sipped.

What is a Coffee Enema and How Do They Work?

The coffee enema solution is delivered the same as a water enema, through the enema tubing into the rectum.

Once the enema therapy coffee is inside the rectum, the hemorrhoid veins absorb the caffeine in the coffee.  From the hemorrhoid vein it then goes up to the portal vein, which carries the blood supply to the liver and to the gallbladder.

The effects on the liver by the caffeine and palmitic acids in enema coffee are immediate and brought about by the caffeine, which is an irritant to the liver.  This irritant stimulates the liver bile ducts to open.   Once open, the toxins can be released.  A liver can accumulate a lot  of toxins over the course of one’s life.  Today’s air, water and food is greatly contaminated, placing a serious burden on the liver. Detoxification of toxins can help you to stay healthy.

What Does a Coffee Enema Do?

The coffee enema is a gallbladder flush and liver flush.  The coffee enema, without question, will provide prompt relief from pain – even severe pain.  Why is it such a great pain reliever? Because the toxins in the body pollute the blood, which in turn creates havoc in the body? Once the toxins are gone, the pain anywhere in the body is relieved.

When the body is detoxified, you can experience calmness, more vitality all over, normal bowel movements, mental clarity,  joint relief, headaches relieved.

Coffee enemas can strengthen the body overall by removing toxins from the blood.

Coffee enemas help eliminate bacteria’s and candida in the colon.  Coffee enemas can strengthen and tone the colon.

Are Coffee Enemas Safe?

You should always seek the advice of your physician before taking coffee enemas.   Coffee enemas are not for everyone, but many people have had good results. Coffee enemas are used as part of the Gerson Therapy cancer cure: reading Gerson Therapy books will tell you who can and who cannot use coffee enemas.

Coffee enemas are not the same as drinking coffee. Drinking coffee can upset the intestines from its acid. But coffee given through an enema will not affect the intestines negatively. Certain individuals, such as those who underwent chemotherapy, should take great caution and should consult their doctor beforehand.

 

The Bionic Woman

by Kim Stowers

Kim Stowers was introduced to Fibromylagia when she was 21 years old. She was devastated when the symptoms took control of her life. As a passionate college student with an eye on graduate school, waking up every day with the pain and fog has been challenging. Her dream to become a research psychologist keeps her going. In the meantime, Kim lives life one breath, one flare-up, one nap, and one foggy effort at a time.

Do you ever feel helpless in the face of your pain? I think we all do at one time or another. Living with fibromyalgia can be exhausting for both the body and the mind. Biofeedback has made a tremendous difference in my management of pain. Yes, I still have pain every day, but I am no longer scared of it or controlled by it. Thanks to biofeedback, I am able to control my pain instead of letting it control me!

What is biofeedback?

Biofeedback is a way of training people to control bodily processes that normally happen without our knowledge. With biofeedback, you can learn to slow your heart rate, lower your blood pressure, equalize your skin temperature, and decrease muscle tension. All of this can be done with your mind.

Wait, what?

The idea of controlling your own body in such an intimate way may sound bizarre, but it is perfectly doable. With some help from a biofeedback therapist, some fancy equipment, and diligent daily practice you can become a mind-master in just a matter of weeks. You have more power than you think you do!

So…How does it work?

There isn’t complete agreement among researchers and doctors about how biofeedback works. However, it appears to be a matter of learning to relax properly. All of the things I mentioned above are characteristics of being in a relaxed state.

Of course, relaxing is easier said than done, especially if you’re in constant pain. That is why successful biofeedback relies on guidance. Your biofeedback therapist will hook you up to equipment, lead you through mental techniques for relaxation, and allow you to view your body’s activity on a computer screen. Over time, you will be able to see your own success as your vital functions slow down and you learn to relax properly. Eventually, you will be able to relax on your own!

But how will it help me?

Learning to relax properly has far-reaching benefits. Your body works less when you are relaxed, allowing you to breathe more easily, sleep more easily, and cope with pain more easily. In contrast, when you are stressed, your body can have a hard time relaxing, causing disruptions in sleep and daily functioning. For this reason, biofeedback has been found to be particularly useful in people who are experiencing high levels of mental and physical stress. By bringing the mind and body from a stressed state back to a relaxed state, many difficulties can be alleviated.

People with fibromyalgia experience chronic physical stress through pain, making fibromyalgia patients great candidates for biofeedback therapy. At the same time, having such overactive pain signaling systems can make the journey more challenging for fibromyalgia patients than for people in the general population. The important thing is to be willing to practice and persevere!

What should I expect?

You will be hooked up to several devices. Devices used in biofeedback therapy can vary with the therapist. You may have items attached to your fingers for measuring pulse, blood pressure, and skin temperature. You may have a probe attached to a shoulder to measure muscle tension. You may have probes attached to your head to measure brain wave activity, or a probe attached to your wrist for measuring skin conductivity.

These items are non-invasive and usually held on with tape. But to a fibromyalgia sufferer, anything that touches the skin may feel invasive. If you feel too sensitive, try going to therapy on days when you are in the least amount of pain, or talk to your therapist about alternate ways of learning to relax.

You will need to have several weekly sessions. Start biofeedback therapy during a time in your life when you know you can find a reliable way to go to therapy on a weekly basis. Each session will likely last less than an hour, but your therapist will recommend you come in for 5-10 sessions, or even more.

You will need to practice every day. Biofeedback therapy is a type of training. You are training your body to learn new habits, and you are training your mind to take control. You won’t get far doing this once per week and then forgetting about it for six days. If you want to feel the long-term benefits of biofeedback therapy, you should practice what you learn at each session for several minutes every day following that session.

What will I learn?

The following are techniques I learned over a span of 5 therapy sessions. You can do them on your own, but it is easier to master them when you are hooked up to equipment and able to see how your body is reacting!

Diaphragmatic Breathing: This is the easiest technique to learn. It involves breathing deeply and slowly through the nose while monitoring the expansion of your diaphragm. If you are breathing properly, your stomach should expand more than your chest. Once you master this, you can take a true deep breath.

Progressive Relaxation: This is a relatively simple way of learning the difference in how your body feels when it is tense compared to when it is relaxed. Simply tense each muscle in your body, one at a time, for 5 seconds, then let it relax for 20 seconds.

Deep Muscle Relaxation: This is like progressive relaxation without the tension. Instead of tensing each muscle and then relaxing it, just relax each muscle one at a time. This takes a bit more skill than progressive relaxation, because you must be absolutely sure of what the feeling of relaxation in each muscle is. Once you truly master it, however, it can be a great tool during flare-ups and spasms.

Autogenic Training: This is a more specialized way of interacting with your muscles. The goal is to warm up your muscles, especially in your extremities where blood circulation may be restricted. In the same way that you relax one muscle at a time during muscle relaxation, you attempt to “heat up” one muscle at a time by thinking of phrases that induce warmness. I like to think of sunbathing in 90-degree weather.

Guided Imagery: This is the most advanced technique taught in biofeedback training. It involves taking all of the other things you learn and using your imagination to incorporate them into creating a “safe place” in your mind. For example, I like to pretend I am lying on a secluded beach, in hot weather with a gentle breeze. I feel the sun on each muscle, and then I feel each muscle relax. I feel the breeze as it comes into my nostrils and I take a deep breath. Peace at last!

More Information

Find a biofeedback practitioner:

http://www.aapb.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3281

More information on biofeedback:

http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/biofeedback-000349.htm

Poke those Heart Disease Perils

From the Healthcare Medical Institute:

Acupuncture Reduces Heart Disease Risk

Researchers have concluded that acupuncture reduces the risk of coronary heart disease in patients who have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. A massive sample size of over 158 420 patients with fibromyalgia were included in the study. A total of 81 843 patients received acupuncture treatments and 76 582 patients never received acupuncture. A total of 12 522 patients developed coronary heart disease during the follow-up period. 4 389 patients receiving acupuncture developed coronary heart disease but 8 133 patients, that did not receive acupuncture, developed coronary heart disease. The researchers conclude that acupuncture “significantly decreased the risk of CHD [coronary heart disease] in patients with fibromyalgia with or without comorbidities.

203. acupuncture

Acupuncture decreased the risk of coronary heart disease equally for both men and women. The risk of coronary heart disease increased with the age of patients; however, acupuncture decreased risks across all age groups. In addition, acupuncture decreased the risk of coronary heart disease regardless of whether or not patients took steroid medications, NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), or statins.

Patients receiving acupuncture averaged a total of 7.45 acupuncture sessions. A total of 85% of patients received manual acupuncture, 3.6% received electroacupuncture, and 10.7% received both manual acupuncture and electroacupuncture treatments. The duration of needle retention time averaged between 20 – 30 minutes per acupuncture session. The elicitation of deqi was a basic requirement by the TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) doctors.

Most TCM doctors applying acupuncture in the study had a baccalaureate degree from a 7 – 8 year medical doctor program of study. A smaller number of TCM doctors had a post-baccalaureate TCM degree from a 5 year medical doctor program. Acupuncture point selection was individualized based upon differential diagnostics. Importantly, this differs from the majority of research where there is a protocolized, fixed set of acupuncture points assigned to all patients.

The researchers note that prior independent investigations demonstrate that acupuncture is effective for the treatment of fibromyalgia. This study did not investigate clinical efficacy towards alleviation of fibromyalgia itself, but rather investigated whether or not acupuncture prevents coronary heart disease in patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia. The researchers conclude that “the incidence of CHD was significantly lower in the acupuncture cohort than in the no-acupuncture cohort.”

The researchers cite this interest in acupuncture’s ability to protect the heart from damage because pregabalin was the first FDA approved medication for the treatment of fibromyalgia. Pregabalin has been proven to reduce pain, improve sleep, and reduce fatigue in patients with fibromyalgia. The researchers note that “pregabalin has cardiac adverse effects because it may induce heart failure” and acupuncture attenuates “both ischemic injury of the heart and heart failure.” Based on these findings, the researchers recommend a study to determine if acupuncture ameliorates the adverse effects of pregabalin in an effort to reduce risks associated with drug therapy.

The researchers note that the prevention of coronary heart disease may be due to acupuncture’s ability to improve sleep quality. The research team cited prior research demonstrating acupuncture’s ability to alleviate insomnia. They add that insomnia is “highly associated with fibromyalgia and CHD.”

Common fibromyalgia comorbidities (e.g., hypertension, diabetes, heart disease) are associated with elevated levels of systemic inflammation. The researchers note that the prevention of coronary heart disease may be due to acupuncture’s ability to reduce inflammation. The researchers note, “Many previous studies of acupuncture were focused on the analgesic effect of acupuncture, but additional studies in recent years demonstrated that acupuncture attenuated inflammation. Acupuncture attenuated inflammation through the vagus nerve mediated by dopamine.”Untitled