Break out the Furry Handcuffs!

Get kinky!

People who partake in bondage, discipline, sadism, and masochism (BDSM) may be mentally healthier than those who don’t, says research published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine.

blindfoldedResearchers asked 902 people who practice BDSM to fill out questionnaires on their psychological health. And compared to those having “vanilla sex;” and despite past assumptions that BDSM proclivities might be correlated with previous abuse, rape or mental disorders (research has shown that they’re not), this survey found that kinky people actually scored better on many indicators of mental health than those who didn’t practice BDSM, reported LiveScience. According to Reuters, BDSM-friendly participants were found to be less neurotic, more open, more aware of and sensitive to rejection, more secure in their relationships and have better overall well-being.

Foot_in_BondageThe researchers speculate that spicing it up in the bedroom may help you tune in to sexual desires and communicate them. In turn, that could make you more comfortable with your overall identity.

Andreas Wismeijer, a psychologist at Nyenrode Business University in the Netherlands and the lead author on the study, told LiveScience that people involved in the BDSM community may have scored better on these surveys because they tend to be more aware of and communicative about their sexual desires, or because they have done some “hard psychological work” to accept and live with sexual needs that are beyond the scope of what is often considered socially acceptable to discuss in the mainstream.

Maggie Gylenhaal

This research isn’t necessarily representative of the general population since participants were selected on a volunteer basis, but it does support the argument for removing BDSM from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). In the current DSM, BDSM fetishes are listed as “paraphilia,” which essentially encompasses any “unusual” sexual preferences.

Fetish communities have argued for years that harmless sexual tastes should not be listed next to mental disorders. Perhaps this research will help bolster their case.

AND you don’t have to jump into full-blown kinky sex to reap the benefits. Any sort of experimentation can lead to higher levels of well-being and sexual satisfaction, says Ava Cadell, Ph.D., founder of Loveology University, an online resource for sex knowledge. Start with something manageable, like spanking, suggests Cadell.

Here’s how to pull it off: “Aim lower on her butt, rather than hitting the top of the cheek,” says Cadell. Men often make the mistake of spanking too high, but this could actually cause pain—you’re closer to bone, says Cadell. You engage more nerve endings when you make contact with the fleshier area of her cheeks, she explains.

So, peeps, make sure to report back here after your experimentation!

P.S. For the next issue of LIVING WELL with FIBROMYALGIA, I am working on having some-one write an article about kink and FM.

 

 

Too Stress(ed) or Not to Stress (Two)

Visualisation/Imagery Meditation

This is a technique to deeply relax people and allow them to use the power of their mind to make positive changes in their life. Visualisation is the process of actively making pictures in your mind to create the outcome you desire. Visualisation and mental imagery are like mental movies.

When using creative visualisation or imagery in relaxation, you simply imagine a scene, place or event that you remember as safe, peaceful, restful, beautiful and happy. You may spontaneously visualise this scene, which is brought about through your ability to channel when in a deep relaxed state such as meditation. You activate all your senses to hear sounds of nature such as running water or waves crashing on the shore; to smell the air, grass and flowers; to taste the food, water or wine and feel the warmth of the sun. This place becomes an inner sanctuary, to which you can retreat in times of stress. You will often spontaneously experience the most effective images for yourself, as your subconscious mind is free to communicate to you while deeply relaxed.

Other uses of creative visualisation in relaxation involve creating mental pictures of stress flowing out of your body, or stress, negative thoughts, internal chatter and everyday concerns being drawn out and placed in a box with the lid tightly secured. The ability to draw on your intuitive faculties and tap into the subconscious mind becomes easier with regular practice. Many of these examples are used by hypnotherapists, so this style of meditation is extremely powerful.

Applying Creative Visualisation

 

Visualisation is a form of mental rehearsal. A person who is visualising can actually see himself completing specific actions (like going to a disability hearing and blitzing all the questions!). Whenever we want to do anything, the areas of our brain for planning and movement are involved, followed by activation of the motor areas that carry out the action. The brain prepares the body milliseconds before it is about to begin an action. It formulates a motor program based on movements in the frontal and prefrontal cortex. Then onto the motor cortex where the movements are carried out. As you visualise, you can create the same process.

Put simplistically, the more you visualise the more you practise.

How to visualise

Make the situation as vivid as possible in your mind. Be specific when you imagine the activity and use colour and as many senses as possible – smell, touch, sound. The more real your visualisation, the greater the stimulation of your brain. The more you enhance a situation in your mind, the more powerful it becomes. Powerful imagery will help propel you to where you want to go.

Visualisation is done by closing your eyes and concentrating on the point between your eyebrows directly above the nose. This is the prefrontal cortex area and is also known as the third eye, sixth chakra or Christ consciousness. What is interesting about this point is that it has been used for thousands of years for meditation and prayer, before humans even knew what the prefrontal cortex was.

Build some active processes into your visualisations. For example, if you want to get rid of some old emotions don’t just see the emotions getting smaller and smaller in your mind but go through the actions of making them smaller or throwing them away with your hands so that you engage your body in the action.

Engage all your senses. Visualise the touching, smelling, hearing and tasting as well as the seeing. The more senses you engage the more of the mind you tap into. Create visualisations by using all of your senses. If you’re creating a picture of success, feel the success. Napoleon Hill wrote in his classic Think and Grow Rich, “feel the feeling of success.” Use all your senses as you imagine how it feels to achieve your visualisation.

Visualisation can also be used by creating a strong negative association in your mind with a behaviour you want to eliminate. If you are trying to give up junk foods, you can associate them with being nauseated, vomiting and having stomach cramps. If you can, make the picture vivid enough that it creates a real sensation and the sheer thought of eating that food is enough to turn your stomach. Similarly, you can associate some foods with positive sensations and feel good about eating those foods, even without actually eating them. Do this with healthy, nutritious foods.

Once you have harnessed the power of visualisation, you can use it for almost anything. The more you use it, the more powerfully you’ll imprint the desired outcome in your mind and the more likely you are to actually achieve what you want. This, of course, goes hand in hand with actual preparation for the activity.

Visualisation can be used to prepare for any situation where you may come under extra pressure or need a positive outcome. The first part of the visualisation is to create a positive picture of the success of an event, such as imagining your friends and family coming up to you after your hearing and saying, “Congratulations, that was excellent.” The second part is to mentally rehearse the event in your mind. See yourself walking to the front of the room with a confident smile and body language, taking centre stage, and answering any and all questions perfectly. It is best to run through your major points in your mind. It should only take a few minutes the first time and then when you have done it several times, it will become easier.

The more you rehearse, the more you’ll reinforce your ability to achieve the results you want.

Fibromyalgia Fighting with Flower Tops

Remember the uproar (about 6 months ago) caused by a report about illegal marijuana use by FM patients? According to that, 1 in 10 of you use marijuana for medicinal relief to combat FM symptoms, such as unexplained fatigue, and insomnia, widespread pain and other somatic symptoms.

marijuanaHerbal cannabis has been used for centuries as a painkiller, but nowadays it is mainly used outside of conventional medicine. According to the experts, because FM pharmacologic pain therapies provide only modest effects, some patients decide to self-medicate with more non-traditional therapies, such as marijuana.

New research published in Arthritis Care & Research, indicates that patients who self-medicate with herbal cannabis have poorer mental health and although experts believe that cannabinoids may have some therapeutic effect, they do warn individuals against the use cannabinoids until any health issues and psychosocial effects are clarified.

Leading researcher, Dr Mary-Ann Fitzcharles, a professor of medicine at McGill University and consulting rheumatologist at Canada’s Montreal General Hospital of the McGill University Health Centre admitted:

Medical studies of cannabinoids in management of disease, including FM, have been limited. Marijuana is the most common form of cannabinoid, but an illegal substance in most countries, making it difficult to investigate without possible prosecution for possessing an illicit substance.

All 457 study participants were being treated at MUHC’s Alan Edwards Pain Management Unit. All study participants self-reported on their cannabinoid use. The team validated the participants FM diagnosis, examining links and trends of participants’ self-medication with medical marijuana, prescription cannabinoids, or both: 13% used cannabinoids and 80% used herbal marijuana to combat their symptoms. An analysis revealed that 24% of the cannabinoid users took prescription cannabinoids, like nabilone and dronabinol, whilst 3% used herbal cannabis and prescription cannabinoids. Those smoking marijuana reported a daily consumption of up to 6 grams, although 72% stated they used 1 gram or less per day.

marijuana-not-crackThe findings further revealed that the use of herbal cannabis was associated with unstable mental illness in 36% of users. The researchers also observed that 77% of cannabis users were unemployed, receiving disability payments, which according to the team may be because of ineffective pain control to improve functionality or more serious functional disabilities.

Dr Fitzcharles concludes, saying: 

While self-medicating with cannabinoids may provide some pain relief to FM patients, we caution against general use of illicit drugs until health and psychosocial issues risks are confirmed. Physicians should be alert to potential negative mental health issues in FM patients using illicit drugs for medical purposes. Some herbal cannabis users may be dishonestly using a FM diagnosis to justify self-medicating with illegal drugs.

Related Articles:

Caring for Your Carer

If we are lucky, we have friends, family and/or partners to help and support us – but do you let them know how much you appreciate them? Love them? Couldn’t live without them? These are our care-givers. (In case you didn’t know, I love you, Mommy! I appreciate you and I can’t live without you!)

Thank You!

I really appreciate you,
Your helpful, giving ways,
And how your generous heart
Your unselfishness displays.

I thank you for your kindness,
I will not soon forget;
You’re one of the nicest people
I have ever met.

Carers provide unpaid care and support to family members and friends who have a disability, mental illness, chronic condition, terminal illness or who are frail & aged. There are currently over 2.6 million unpaid family carers in Australia, more than 770,000 of whom are primary carers – the people who provide the most care (Australian Bureau of Statistics (2009) Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers).

You Didn’t Have To

Thank you for what you did;
You didn’t have to do it.
I’m glad someone like you
Could help me to get through it.

I’ll always think of you
With a glad and grateful heart;
You are very special;
I knew it from the start!

On average carers spend approximately 40 hours per week providing care.  It is estimated that carers of someone with a mental illness spend on average 104 hours per week in the caring role (Mental Health Council of Australia and Carers Australia (2000) Carers of People with Mental Illness).

Help and Caring

Thanks for doing what you did;
You are kind beyond belief;
Your help and caring calmed me down,
And gave me soothing relief.

Carers often experience reduced physical, mental and emotional health once their caring commences.  Over time the effects of caring may intensify. It is also important for the carers to look after themselves. Carers also need to manage stress, eat well and exercise.

It Doesn’t Seem Enough

I want to tell you “Thank you,”
But it doesn’t seem enough.
Words don’t seem sufficient–
“Blah, blah” and all that stuff.

Please know I have deep feelings
About your generous act.
I really appreciate you;
You’re special, and that’s a fact!

Caring can be physically and emotionally exhausting. Regular breaks from caring can help relieve their stress and exhaustion.

For All You Do

Thank you so much for all you do;
You’re truly a delight;
When my life overwhelms and does me in,
You make everything all right.

The people who care for us often have no choice about their roles. The constant demands of caring and the many changes in family life may bring about a range of feelings and emotions. Some people may feel a sense of satisfaction about being a carer. Others may feel angry and overwhelmed at times. These emotions can be difficult to cope with.

Priorities

Thank you…
for thinking of me
and then wondering
how you could help.
Thank you…
for doing what you did,
instead of being too busy,
or just forgetting about it.
Thank you…
For inking me
on your priority to-do list,
when you have
so many other things to do;
I am honored;
It meant a lot to me.
Thank you.

Maybe it’s time to celebrate and acknowledge the vital role carers play in our lives. Maybe it’s time to say Thank You, I Love You, You’re Fantastic?

 You Made My Day

I appreciate your kindness
More than words can say;
The very nice thing you did for me
Really made my day!

You could drop over with a fruit platter, cake or a bunch of flowers, just to say hello and acknowledge the great job they are doing. You could write a short note of appreciation and leave it in their letter box. You could give them a voucher for a massage or one from a retail outlet like a book shop.

There are so many ways you can say ‘thanks’ to a carer you know or know of.

Poetry by Joanne Kuchs

Riding the Wave – Part 2

…and continuing from yesterday’s post…

5. Create a new self.

If we hang on tightly to the “old self” we were, finding the value of our “new self” becomes increasingly difficult. (You may even exaggerate how fit that person was: “I didn’t need any sleep, I never felt bad, I could do anything!”).

This does not mean we should totally discard our previous conception of self; rather, we need to find a way to integrate the two. In other words, you should seek to find in your new body new ways to enjoy and experience the things that you had done before. Consider all the aspects of yourself that you like, and the things that you most want to do; then step by step, find ways to achieve as many of these as you can. At the same time, recognize that your expectations must shift so that you can once again meet them.

6. Don’t forget the good stuff.

While the physical symptoms of FM can feel all-encompassing, there should be other parts of your life – your social relationships, passions, family – that also exist. By focusing on the positive aspects of your life, you become more aware of how many there are: the friends that stuck by you, the things you still enjoy, and the accomplishments you have been able to make, however small, under very different conditions. Because each task now represents a challenge, we should celebrate whatever we manage to accomplish. As we have been told many times, if we shorten the list and pace ourselves, whatever we do eventually adds up to something to be very proud of.

fran.yetta7. “Oy, it could be worse.” (The Jewish mantra).

As comparisons shape our view, it is helpful to find comparisons that will provide a fuller appreciation for what has befallen us. OK, the ‘eat because children are starving in (fill in the developing country)’ did not work for you as a child. But try to think of it this way: Many bad things happen in the world. The odds are that some of them will happen to you. Not because of anything that you have done, but because, as the saying goes, shit happens. It takes only a short view of the evening news to remind ourselves of the horrors occurring every day. So, this is what has happened to you – you, too, were caught. Let us examine what we have:

  • We know our condition is not terminal, so we need not begin contemplating our pending mortality.
  • As bad as we sometimes feel, our underlying condition is not going to get worse. We have already experienced the worst, and, to our credit, have gotten through it.
  • Although only a few people achieve permanent remission, many improve significantly. As we understand how our actions and emotions influence our general well-being, we can find ways to partake in more and more activities.

8. Keep the hope alive!

I canThere is so much room for hope. It has only been since the 1990s that our condition has acquired any legitimacy from the medical community (okay, mostly!). We are in a far better position than the generations before us who suffered without ever receiving validation. We know much more about the important roles of exercise, medication, stretching, pacing and meditation to bring relief and a sense of control. Furthermore, as medical research increases, it is only a matter of time before better therapies (and perhaps even a cure!) are introduced.

9. Lean on me!

A single most important predictor of how we do is the support network we create. We certainly appreciate what it means when someone helps us when we feel especially lousy. Make sure that, within your abilities, you continue to be a good friend to those you care about. We still have lots to give. During a good moment, write to a friend that you are thinking about her. Help your family and friends find ways to maintain their relationship with you. Invite them to your place to eliminate travelling (and do not worry what your place looks like! They came to see you, not your house-cleaning abilities).

Try to be open with family members, while at the same time supportive of their needs. Put yourself in their shoes as often as possible – it can be scary to have someone you love be sick! Also make sure to seek help outside of your immediate circle so as not to drain your closest friends and family. There are now all sorts of support groups, both live and in virtual computer space (hey! Right here!)

10. Indulge whenever you can.

old-lady-wheel-chair-ballerinaWe have lots of time to focus on our thoughts. Most people do not have the luxury of taking time to relax and think. OK, we did not ask for these ‘time-outs.’ They are demanded by the needs of our bodies. Nevertheless, we have control over how we use this extra time.

Instead of dwelling on what our bodies are not doing, give your fantasy life full freedom. Turn these rest periods around to be indulgent time. In our mental playground, we can practice dance steps we used to know (for there WILL be some times we can dance!). We can use the time to think through problems we face and how we want to spend time when we are feeling ready, or we can analyse a movie we recently saw, say prayers, or mentally write a letter to a friend.

Meanwhile improvements in spirit have an added impact on our entire well-being. Laughter is good medicine; while dwelling on our troubles tends to compound them.

Riding the Wave – Part 1

thinkHave a positive attitude!

How many times have we heard that one?

While our emotions cannot cause FM, they no doubt affect our symptoms. But how can we maintain good thoughts when we feel so lousy? This challenge, of course, does not exclusively affect FM patients, but to any time when things do not go as we wish. But in our case, seeing the positive presents a continuous struggle.

Yet our moods are not necessarily in tune with our physical state. You can probably recall times that despite much pain or fatigue, you were able to cope and even achieve high spirits. Perhaps the weather was perfect, good friends visited, you just accomplished something or helped somebody, making you feel good about yourself. Other times, depression seems to take hold even when our physical discomfort is at a manageable level. Why is this? Answering this question is the key to finding optimism.

FM can feel like a swim in the ocean – sometimes it is dark, grey and turbulent, and it seems you have fallen and the waves continue to crash over you, as you struggle to rise, only to be knocked down yet again. But that same ocean sometimes allows us to find a wave we can ride smoothly to the shore.

What can we do when we feel under the waves? How can we find the strength to climb back on top, and the patience to know that we will?

There are 10 cognitive exercises you can use to maintain a positive attitude. So I don’t overload you, today I will only present 4 and the remaining exercises will continue in tomorrow’s post.

1. Expect bumps!

Aluminum-Speed-Bumps-Ahead-Sign-K-2059It is important to acknowledge that we will sometimes feel down. Who wouldn’t in our condition? But by expecting rather than dreading down time, such periods become more tolerable. In addition, recognizing that we will have blue periods helps keep them in perspective. You will be able to say to yourself, “I was depressed before, and got out of it; this time, too, it will pass.” It is easy to forget that before our illness, there were times we felt down. Now these periods are wrapped up in our medical problems; but everyone gets depressed some of the time. After accepting that you will sometimes feel sad, and even experience self-pity, you can concentrate on ways to shorten these periods and make them fewer and farther between.

2. Track the changes.

Keeping track of moods helps put ups and downs into perspective. During your best times, make a conscious attempt to capture the feeling. Leave notes on your wall attesting to the way you feel. Living with FM easily creates a Jekyll-and-Hyde persona, where your optimistic self and your flare-up self may as well be two different people. When we feel bad, it becomes quite difficult to imagine that things can be otherwise.

Similarly, during times of improvement, it’s amazing how quickly we may forget how bad a previous period was, making subsequent flare-ups not only intolerable but shocking. Counting and measuring the duration of the bad times – as well as the good ones – can put them into perspective. It may be that over time, our worst occurs about once a month, although it feels much more frequent. This knowledge is empowering, because we can remind ourselves that a bad flare is, for example, our monthly temporary setback, and find ways to ride it out until our baseline returns.

3. Stock-pile fun distractions.

What things make you happy? We all need to keep lists of the things that make us happy. One of the cruelties of our condition is that when we need distractions most, we are least equipped to seek them out. For this reason it is important to compile a list of your favourite activities when you are feeling optimistic to be used when you most need them.

People with FM often describe how even their worst pain can be put on a back burner, so to speak, when they become engrossed in an activity. This is not only a psychological but a physiological response: your brains can only process so much input at once. When you are engrossed in a beautiful movie, talking to a good friend on the phone, or listening to your favourite music while lying on a heating pad or in the bathtub, you can trick your pain receptors into leaving you alone!

4. Shape your perspective.

glassIs the glass half empty or half full?

Perspective determines, quite literally, how you view the world.

In Western culture, much emphasis is placed on independence, individualism, and achievement. Through this lens, developing a condition that makes us feel dependent and less productive is likely to be a huge disappointment. You are forced to adapt to a sudden, new condition by adopting a perspective that accommodates change. Your perspective is shaped by the comparisons you make and the expectations you create.

Consider, for example, the immigrant who had been practicing medicine in his home country, but flees to the US to escape a repressive political regime. Here he works as a janitor; after years of medical study, he has lost a prestigious and rewarding occupation. Yet he is thankful for the opportunity to work and wakes each day driven by hope, perhaps, of a better future for his children. Yet his difficulties are also quite apparent. What keeps his spirits up and makes him thankful rather than bitter? His perspective.

…to be continued tomorrow…

 

A Quiet Mind

A University of Sydney study of more than 350 long-term meditators, defined as those who have meditated regularly for at least 2 years, points to improved health outcomes and greater well-being  The area of greatest difference between the meditators and the general population was in mental health where the meditators scored 10% higher. And the most significant factor appears to be how frequently the meditators achieved a state of mental silence.

34. June-12-18,2005-meditationI don’t know about all of you (I think I have an idea) but I love silence…although achieving mental silence (stopping all those thoughts running round and round in my head) seems impossible.

“We found that the health and well-being profile of people who had meditated for at least 2 years was significantly higher in the majority of health and well-being categories when to compared to the Australian population,” said Dr Ramesh Manocha, Senior Lecturer in the discipline of Psychiatry, Sydney Medical School at the University of Sydney, who led the research.

He worked with Prof. Deborah Black, Sydney medical School and Dr Leigh Wilson, Faculty of Health Sciences at the University.

The national study is a world first health quality-of-life survey of long-term meditators. It used the same measurement instruments as the ones used by the federal government’s National Health and Well-being Survey.

While we did expect that there would be differences between the meditators and the general population, we didn’t expect the findings to be so pronounced.

“We focused on the definition of meditation as mental silence and surveyed practitioners of Sahaja Yoga meditation who practice a form of meditation aimed at achieving this state rather than relaxation or mindfulness methods that are usually the focus of other forms,” said Dr Manocha.

The meditators were asked how often they experienced ‘mental silence’ for more than a few minutes at any one time.

Fifty two per cent of respondents said they experienced ‘mental silence’ several times per day or more, while thirty-two per cent were experiencing it once or twice a day.

Most markedly there was a robust relationship between the frequency of experiencing mental silence and better mental health. This definition is based on it being the form of meditation practised for centuries.

Our analysis showed very little relation-ship between how often the person physically sat down to meditate and mental health scores. However, the relationship was clearly apparent in relation to how often they experienced the state of mental silence. In other words, it is quality over quantity”.

meditation

Reprinted from the September 2012 issue of LIVING WELL with FIBROMYALGIA – like it? Subscribe for the next issue HERE

 

Coping vs Hoping

In response to a research study I found, I wanted to ask you guys the same question – to see if our results match the study. The answers may need explanation; and you will find then below the poll.

After we have answers, I will publish a precis of the research study as compared to our answers

  • Trust in Divine Help in response to disease addresses non-organized intrinsic religiosity as an external transcendent resource to cope (i.e., trust in a higher power which carries through; strong belief that God will help; faith is a strong hold, even in hard times; pray to become healthy again; live in accordance with religious convictions).
  • Trust in Medical Help addresses patients’ reliance on an external medical source of health control (i.e., trust in the therapeutic potentials of modern medicine, take prescribed medications, follows advice of health professionals, full confidence in doctors and therapists).
  • Search for Information and Alternative Help refers to external sources providing additional information or alternative help (i.e., thoroughly informed about disease; get thorough information how to become healthy again; find people who can help; search for alternative ways of healing).
  • Conscious Way of Living addresses cognitive and behavioural strategies in terms of internal powers and virtues (i.e., healthy diet; physical fitness; living consciously; keep away harmful influences; change life to get well).
  • Positive Attitudes refers to internal cognitive and behavioural strategies (i.e., realization of shelved dreams and wishes; resolving cumbering situations of the past; take life in own hands; doing all that what pleases; positive thinking; avoiding thinking at illness).
  • Reappraisal: Illness as Chance addresses a reappraisal attitude referring to cognitive processes of life reflection (i.e., reflect on what is essential in life; illness has meaning; illness as a chance for development; appreciation of life because of illness).
  • Escape from Illness (i.e., fear what illness will bring; would like to run away from illness; when I wake up, I don’t know how to face the day”

 

Energy (and Persistence) Conquer All

We have all learned that we only have a certain amount of energy (spoons, pennies, etc.) and we need to make a conscious choice each and every day about how we’re going to expend our energy. But, sometimes, we don’t even realise that we are wasting energy on certain emotions…

Are you wasting your energy on stress, fear, anxiety, bitterness, anger, or jealousy?

These emotions have all been linked to FM (and heart disease, high blood pressure, depression and a host of others.)

There are some wonderful emotions – Love, Hope, Joy – we just don’t seem to lose sleep and energy over them.

It’s the negative emotions that drag us down, leaving us feeling tired and fatigued. Yes, we sometimes need a good cry but, how tired and worn-out do you feel afterwards?

You are NOT alone – we all know (in our heads) that we have each other (and 700 more in the VISIBLE Army); you can see it in the supportive comments here, on Facebook and in the Forum – we all have fears and anxieties….

BUT we all have the ability to create our own realities. Everything we do, everything we feel always begins with a thought.

Thoughts lead to emotions and ultimately, behaviours. Thoughts, especially in humans, are not particularly independent: if someone says to you, “I know that Fibro is caused by…,” subconsciously, you analyse the statement – Do I know this too? Why does he think I care that he knows this? Is there anything else about this that is significant that I am missing? I know that; does he think I’m stupid?

So one simple thought can mean much, much more than that one thought. If the thing the person said was something you didn’t know, it might make you feel stupid, but it isn’t the feeling “I am stupid” that is draining your energy; it is the thought over and over again in your head “I am stupid” that is doing the damage. (This is what cognitive therapy is about.)

Therapeutic pioneers shared one important belief: clients must challenge what they think, feel, and how they behave based on the power of cognitive understanding. The belief behind the theory was that distressing emotions are typically the result of maladaptive thoughts. Change the thought, and the emotion and behaviour will also be different. Change the negative thought and the negative emotion will no longer drain your energy.

So it’s the thoughts that we need to work on:

  • Practice thinking positive thoughts when negative emotions sneak up and you feel yourself sinking.
  • Realize that having negative feelings will just hurt you, not them. So there is no reason for you to have any negative feeling.
  • Practice thinking about what you let in your mind (and life).
  • Realize that you can’t please everyone. In fact, nobody can. Sometimes you need to just let some people go. Realizing this will relieve you from a lot of unnecessary burden so that you can focus on the people who you can positively interact with.
  • Practice thinking positive thoughts all of the time – listen to motivational audio program to feed positive thoughts into your mind; Talk to a positive friend who can encourage you; remember your favourite quotes to give you inspiration and motivation (or have notes with these quotes around you – on the bathroom mirror, on the fridge, on the car dash-board, etc.).

It’s definitely not easy but it will let you conserve your energy for the good things in life……

 

It’s Delightful, It’s Delicious, It’s D-Ribose


I started taking D-Ribose 2 weeks ago. (I wasn’t able to find it anywhere near me so I buy it online from iHerb.com.) My capsules have 4 250mg of D-Ribose so I thought I should be feeling fabulous.

In a study by Dr Jacob Teitelbaum, D-Ribose treatment led to improvements in all categories:

  • 61.3-percent increase in energy
  • 37-percent increase in overall well-being
  • 29.3-percent improvement in sleep
  • 30-percent improvement in mental clarity
  • 15.6-percent decrease in pain

Improvement began in the first week of treatment, and continued to increase at the end of the three weeks of treatment.

Additionally, in her book, Food That Helps Win the Battle Against Fibromyalgia, naturopathic doctor Deirdre Rawlings states that d-ribose supplements can help FM by improving energy transfer to your muscles.

So where was all my great improvement? I had written a post previously so I knew that I only needed 5mg three times a day (and I was taking heaps more!).

But guess what? I messed up (I’m blaming fibro fog, and it’s fixed now) – it was supposed to read 5 grams three times a day!

So, starting today, I am taking one capsule three times a day – it is a bit short of the 5 grams (just 750mg) so I’m still looking forward to some positive effects.

D-ribose is a type of simple sugar (a 5-carbon sugar; unlike 6-carbon glucose sugar)  that plays a role in energy metabolism and specifically in the formation of ATP, or adenosine triphosphate, the fuel that every cell in your body uses for its energy production. In fact, the ATP energy molecule is made of ribose. Ribose is found in limited amounts in meat and vegetables, though your body usually manufactures enough ribose from glucose to meet its daily needs. However, researchers believe that people with FM may have a deficit in ATP production, which accounts for the lack of energy and feelings of fatigue.

No side effects are associated with the use of ribose supplements, according to Tufts Medical Center; however, no long-term safety studies have yet been conducted. The only significant (bad) side effect seen, so far, is feeling hyper/over-energised (oh! wouldn’t that be nice!) in which case you should lower the dose or take it with food.

As with any nutritional supplement, inform your doctor if you plan to use D-Ribose.

I’ll let you know when (I’m being positive) I start feeling fantastic!

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