Food Rules for Fibromyalgia Sufferers

fibromyalgiaFibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread muscle aches and pains often accompanied by fatigue, sleep disturbance, depression and more. Symptoms sometimes begin after a physical trauma, surgery, infection or significant psychological stress. In other cases, symptoms gradually accumulate over time with no single triggering event.

Fibromyalgia is more common in women than men. While treatment with medicines can relieve some symptoms, many say that following a careful diet can help with the rest, or even replace medicines over time. Here are a few tried and true dietary fixes:

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Massage Boosts the Immune System

Recent studies suggest that a massage can not only help you relax, but may also benefit your immune system.

Researchers who provide massage therapy at the Outpatient Physical Therapy Clinic, UAB Rehabilitation Center, identified two reasons why massage can help you stay healthier: immediate changes in the body and cumulative effects of regular massage.

Changes to the body

Immediate changes in the body come from the stress reduction gained during the session. Your heart rate can decrease, your breathing can deepen and slow, your brain gets a few minutes of rest time. There are benefits long term as well:

“Over the long-term, the benefits of massage accumulate; massage can increase a person’s range of motion, strengthen the immune system and provide an improved sense of well-being” A. Kelly, University of Alabama, 2013

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Boost Your Energy, Fight Fatigue

One of the biggest complaints wellness professionals hear from clients is a lack of energy and always feeling tired. You know– feeling pooped, sluggish and wondering why you don’t have more get up and go?

Many of these feelings are caused by natural changes in the way your body operates. Hormonal balance changes with age, so does the speed of your metabolism. As a result, internal organs change the way they operate too, and sometimes those changes effect the processes in your body that create energy. The good news is that very often there are some simple dietary changes that can help compensate for body changes over time and, in turn, pump up energy levels and drastically reduce fatigue.

Here’s a short list of easy-to-do dietary and behavioral tips to keep yourself going strong. Bet you’ll find at least one surprise here!

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Why We Eat Junk Food

Why do we eat junk food so much?  It’s fast, convenient and comforting. It fills us up. But we weren’t born craving Taco Bell or M&Ms. We’re actually born craving simple foods, like vegetables and proteins.  So what happened?

Turns out, it’s literally our environment, where everyone gives in to wants instead of needs when it comes to food and that changes our cravings.  Those desires, which are most certainly learned behaviors, become habits, causing us to eat way more calories than we need and to choose fast food over a more nutritious home cooked meal.

Once we realize that a lot of what we eat is because of habit, not some innate need, and realize that it’s actually easier, and can be cheaper, to eat a more simple, more pure, more natural diet.  And it can make a MASSIVE difference in your overall wellness.

What is “junk food”?

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Laziness is a Choice

Have you ever noticed that laziness fuels more laziness and activity fuels more activity?

Whether it’s dealing with a family matter, pursuing a professional goal, picking up your socks, or managing your own wellness, it’s easy to procrastinate, delay, justify and deny yourself right into a big pile of inactivity.

For many people, stress from making big decisions or dealing with an ongoing stressful situation creates a level of discomfort and confusion in our minds and bodies.  The burden of inaction weighs heavier than we think on the nervous system and on just about every other body system. You can feel guilty for being lazy, especially when you naturally compare yourself to others who you see as decidedly not lazy. It can take a lot of energy to suppress feelings and it takes a lot of work by your body to resist the temptation to transfer inaction into muscle aches, pain, and a general lack of wellness.  That’s why when we’re lazy, we get more lazy.  Our system just finally says “oh well” and gives in.

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5 Food Rules for Chronic Pain

myplatepicblogCan a change in diet help ease aches and discomfort? Probably.

Fibromyalgia symptoms include muscle pain, fatigue, sleep disturbance, depression and more. While treatment with medicines can relieve some symptoms, many say that following a throughful diet can help with the rest, or even replace medicines over time.

And research shows that even if you don’t have Fibromyalgia, you may reduce similar symptoms with some small changes in diet. Check out these five food rules that may help you keep your body balanced.

1. Cut back on the caffeine. There is pretty good research that stimulants like caffeine are linked to temporary imbalance of brain chemicals, some of those that can deprive you of sleep or cause fatigue. Caffeine may give you a quick boost, but it’s borrowing again future energy reserves.

2. Eat fresh. Eating preservative and additive-free foods can ease fibromyalgia symptoms (like irritable bowel syndrome) in increase the health of your skin and body tissues.

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Are You in Control?

backyourselfThe cold season is almost over and you made it through. Lots of energy goes into holiday and cold weather preparation and the actual festivities and plans flash by.  Feeling restless, frustrated, disenchanted, tired and stressed is common after the holiday rush and a wintertime indoors subsides. Many of us break our daily routines, including diet and exercise, during the season and then feel a little “off” by the time Spring comes around.

It turns out nobody is more in control  of your renewal, rebirth and recovery than YOU are and the new year can be a great time to contemplate and resolve to get in touch with yourself again and reach out to seek your passions, your purpose, your dreams, work on your relationships, and think about your wellness.

Here are a few things you can do to help rebalance and regain control after the “cold and hectic times” subside: Continue reading “Are You in Control?”