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.

WANTED: Trusted Body Work Shop

People use bodywork to promote relaxation, relieve stress, and reduce pain associated with FM. Bodywork and manual therapy are general terms that refer to body manipulation therapies used for relaxation and pain relief. Massage and chiropractic care well-known forms of manual therapy.

The idea behind bodywork is that people learn – or are forced by injury or stress – into unnatural ways of moving or holding their bodies. This unnatural movement or posture changes the natural alignment of bones, which in turn causes discomfort and may contribute to health problems.

The aim of bodywork is to realign and reposition the body to allow natural, graceful movement. Bodywork, along with identifying possible contributing causes of unnatural movement and posture, is thought to reduce stress and ease pain.

Some of the most common forms of bodywork are:

  • images (1)The Alexander technique, which focuses on proper alignment of the head, neck, and trunk. It emphasizes improving health by increasing awareness of proper posture.
  • The Feldenkrais method, a gentle form of bodywork that increases flexibility and coordination. Feldenkrais exercises are intended to help increase a person’s awareness of body movement and develop new patterns of movement.
  • brochure_pic_1The Trager approach, which people use to help relearn natural movements and exercises so their bodies can function better. Practitioners teach gentle, rhythmic motions to improve flexibility and promote relaxation (called psychophysical integration) and dance-like exercises to increase awareness of body movement (called Mentastics).
  • Deep tissue massage, which attempts to treat chronic tension in deep muscles of the body. Deep tissue massage is thought to relieve pain and increase flexibility.
  • Rolfing, a form of deep tissue massage that practitioners use to realign the tissues that cover and connect all muscles and body organs (fascia). Bringing the body back into proper alignment is thought to reduce pain, improve flexibility and energy, and reduce muscle tension.
  • Dance/movement therapy, which has many of the same characteristics as the types of bodywork described above with the addition of creative and expressive art elements.

Bodywork can be a safe form of therapy when a qualified and experienced practitioner performs it. Talk with your doctor before you start any bodywork program, so you can choose the most appropriate form of bodywork for your specific condition. It may not be safe to forgo your conventional medical treatment and rely only on an alternative therapy.

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!

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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.
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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.

 

Not a Minute Too Soon

Remember trying to get your diagnosis? During the process, you receive all kinds of comments from family, friends and even doctors: ‘It’s just you getting older,’ ‘it’s all in your head,’ ‘do you really think there is something wrong with you?’ Finally, a long time later (for most people)and an exorbitant amount of money, because a correct diagnosis involves at least 3 months of pain and the exclusion of everything else (that’s a lot of tests).

Wouldn’t you have loved to have circumvented that step?

study from the Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice was conducted to help primary-care physicians become more skilled at correctly identifying fibromyalgia. According to the study, half of all primary-care providers from the U.S., Asia, and Europe did NOT know how to diagnose fibromyalgia.

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the potential usefulness of a new screening method using simple measures (achilles tendon tenderness, BP cuff-evoked pain, in tandem with a single patient question).

Patients with FM showed significantly greater sensitivity to digital pressure and BP-evoked pressure pain compared to patients with chronic pain but no fibromyalgia. Further, the patients who had right Achilles tenderness and who endorsed the deep-aching question had an 11 times greater chance of having fibromyalgia.

These results suggest that 2 tests, taking less than 1 minute, can indicate a probable diagnosis of fibromyalgia in a chronic pain patient. In the case of a positive screen, a follow-up examination is required for confirmation or refutation.

 

 

Free Webinar on Managing Fibromyalgia Symptoms

about sue

Susan Ingebretson, a fibromyalgia patient, author of the best-selling book FibroWHYalgia & contributor to our own Living Well with Fibromyalgia, will host a free webinar, to share her story about her path to improving fibromyalgia symptoms.

Strategies for Reducing Symptoms with Sue Ingebretson will take place at 1 pm EST on November 29. 

Ingebretson, like many of us, found it impossible to maintain an adequate quality of life with fibromyalgia. So, she set out to research ways of making an holistic and significant improvement in her life. Eventually, she ended up writing a book about what she had always looked for to manage her own condition.

In the webinar, Ingebretson will tell her story, review natural treatments, explain what is currently lacking in most patients’ attempts at recovery; and, present a work plan called “restoration trio,”  a practical and realistic work plan to maintain a lifestyle that can improve fibromyalgia symptoms over time.

We already know that non-pharmacologic therapies and lifestyle changes have shown that a multi-disciplinary approach offers better healthcare outcomes, and that patient engagement in the care process is essential.

Nonetheless, physicians often rely on traditional medical practices to treat the condition and do not always seek the patient’s feedback, says Ingebretson.

Ingebretson worked to identify lifestyle changes that could help in the healing process of a chronically ill body and mind from a perspective that most professionals do not necessarily have.

A copy of FibroWHYalgia will be raffled off among participants in the webinar.

Ingebretson is a certified holistic healthcare practitioner and program director of the Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Center at California State University. She also has a blog, where news and topics promoting positive lifestyle changes and healthy living are discussed.

For more details about the webinar, please contact Adi Bein at: adi.bein@genefo.com

Beating Fibromyalgia?

I was directed to a link to a documentary by producers Living Whole Body Health and Dr. Tim Weeks called Beating Fibromyalgia

This documentary focuses on the life of Prasad Moss, a 37 years old man who has suffered from Fibromyalgia for over 20 years causing him great pain and disabilities. This 61 minutes long documentary shows Dr. Tim Weeks and Prasad Moss take up a 21-day intensive natural healing protocol to help Prasad find relief from his pain and fatigue, and after the 21 days Prasad becomes pain-free.

This film is available on Amazon Prime Video and can be viewed for free by Amazon Prime Members. It can also be rented for as low as $0.99 for those who don’t have an Amazon Prime membership. (This is NOT me advertising or endorsing this film as) it seems that it cannot be viewed in my area (Melbourne, Australia) so I can’t review it.

I’d love to hear some of your (objective) opinions below.