(NOTE: This article is longer than most of our articles, so if time is limited, save to read later, as I put a lot of information here)
Here's the thing about fibromyalgia, it is first of all complex.
Secondly, it has a large number of symptoms. And finally, only a subset of these symptoms are common to all fibro patients.
Therefore, success in having more good days than bad ones relies on having an extensive choice of tools to evaluate for your personal set of symptoms. See what works for you to mediate symptoms, don't think in terms of cure. You'll find the ones that you can rely on most of the time.
I sometimes have to reach deep into my toolbox to deal with a particular symptom or set of symptoms every now and then. Or, I have to use a tool that seems counter-intuitive. Lower back issues often fall into that category.
When we talk about natural
remedies for fibromyalgia throughout our site, they are just that, remedies
for a better quality of life. There are no quick fixes or silver bullet cures
here. We don’t believe in false promises.
We do believe in creating a better quality of life while living with one of the most complex and still misunderstood illnesses of our time.
The “proof” in the pudding so to speak is the many positive testimonies from those who are willing to try a different approach to living with fibromyalgia and all of its complexities.
Living with fibromyalgia and chronic pain since a young age, and also
being holistic minded and working in the field of holistic medicine, I still
believe in the body’s innate intelligence and intuition to guide us to greater
levels of healing.
Too many times, I have seen people veer off the path in desperation when coming to a crossroads where they question how much longer they can go on with intense pain and symptoms.
This is especially true when nobody around them seems to understand the support they really need. It becomes not only physically painful but also emotionally painful when feeling that nobody “gets it”.
"When the little things become big things and every chore and activity
feels like “pulling teeth”, we have to use a better approach. When the drugs
and medications aren’t working or are creating too many side effects, we have to do something different"
When the people around you are creating more stress by their disbelief and/or judgement and your world generally feels like it is caving in around you, we have to use a better approach. That approach” is what this website is all about: natural remedies for fibromyalgia.
One thing that can keep us going when we are living with a chronic illness such as fibromyalgia is empowerment, and that is what living smarter with fibromyalgia will provide.
I have adapted many of the non-invasive treatments, tools, and protocols I’ve tried as a patient by using my experience working in holistic health to create a set of natural remedies for fibromyalgia that empowers us to create a better outcome.
We all deserve a better quality of life whether you are on disability, working a full time job outside the home, or working as full time parent.
Please do not buy into any kind of mentality or thinking that no longer
serves you. No more “misery loves company” or 24/7 support groups that keep you
so focused on the illness that you end up displaying more of the very symptoms
you are trying to mediate or control. You can gain better control; I know this.
I have come to practice many of the natural remedies for fibromyalgia I believe in as a second nature. That is the key here, to practice, apply, and believe in your very best, or, as I like to say, “believe in your greater magnificence”.
The headlines for the following sections of this page identify basic natural remedies for fibromyalgia. Additionally, other related pages in this website are identified for your convenience.
As a person living with MCS (Multiple Chemical Sensitivity) since the
age of 9, I understand the importance of working and residing in a non-toxic
I developed severe migraine headaches during the remodel of my parent’s home at a young age. It is vitally important that everyone living with fibromyalgia understand the correlation to toxins and how they can activate pain in the body.
The new paints, carpets and furniture installed in our new home were too much for me. When I started working as a young adult, I realized quickly that work environments can be really toxic places.
From co-worker's chemically laden body products to air fresheners and cleaners used in the office place. How in the world could I think and learn a new job when I felt like a “lab rat” merely in survival mode?
Do you know how devastating it was when I was accused of not wanting to learn my job? When I was actually just being overwhelmed with pain and symptoms. I was eager to learn and be a part of the workforce. I was also eager to feel “normal” and yet fibro and all of it’s related symptoms constantly felt like a huge burden to handle.
What might be a minor inconvenience for a family member can make all the difference to the person living with fibromyalgia. Toxic body products, cleaning chemicals and any synthetic fragrances around the home must go. Just like with cancer, fibromyalgia is “fueled” by toxic environments.
Essentially this becomes an ongoing “trauma” to the fibro body. We cannot afford that. This is one of the most important of the natural remedies for fibromyalgia.
When we awaken in the morning, our bodies are naturally in a more acidic
state. Drinking coffee, eating processed foods and grains is not a good idea,
but especially in the morning when we are in greater need of alkalinity. (FOLLOW
LINKS TO NUTRITION
TIPS ARTICLE and SUMMARY PROTOCOL)
Also, following the natural remedies for fibromyalgia in our juicing/blending article is a great way to start the day. But again, we don’t have to be perfect, simply work to incorporate more of the alkalizing foods into the diet on a weekly basis.
Nothing will put the fibro body even more off kilter than not sleeping according to the body clock. Insomnia is a major issue with fibromyalgia, yet we must not use any justifications.
One thing I know from dealing with fibro in myself and others is that there are many variables to the sleep issue.
For one thing, many people with fibro actually feel better in the latter part of the day, all things considered that is. And so we end up staying up later just because we have things to do or maybe we just want to enjoy time with our families.
Like I say in the sleep article, the fibro body does a 180 in the sleep
department. For instance, how we feel at 9pm, is how we should feel at 9 am. Also, because of the propensity to greater pain and symptoms upon awakening,
people with fibro actually start to “fear” going to bed.
You feel ok right now, but when you lie down for eight hours and wake up in the morning, well that is a different story. This is not your average morning stiffness of which the average non fibro body will complain; no, this is everything from radiating trigger points, tenderized tender points to all over muscle pain.
Even feeling bruised and swollen first thing in the morning is common with fibromyalgia. Who wants that? No wonder we are like children not wanting to go to bed. Only instead of bounding out of bed in the morning like a 6 year old, we might just wake up wondering what in the world happened.
I like to say that “people with chronic illness tend to be shallow breathers” When pain and symptoms are waxing, we may not be aware that we are holding our breath.
It can be really helpful to become aware of our breath and practice deep breathing when symptoms are not high so that we can get in the practice of these natural remedies for fibromyalgia at any time.
In some cases of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS), it may become difficult to
take a deep breath and/or maintain an upright position.
This can be due to the effect on the heart rate, brain and immune system. Practicing breathing techniques will therefore aid us in being more proactive through the pain. The above graphic is one of the natural remedies for fibromyalgia that can be used at any time. Nostril breathing is great when stress is high or when you feel your adrenal glands surging.
My favorite breathing technique that I have used for many years now is to lie down on back, and do the alternate nostril breathing. Close mouth and one nostril, breathe in and out through open nostril a few times, slowly, then close the other one and do the same. This is great for calming the adrenal glands.
People with fibromyalgia tend to be skeptical about supplements as natural remedies for fibromyalgia. Why? It's because so many scammers have continued to make false claims regarding supplementation and fibromyalgia. On the Fibromyalgia Supplements article here in the website, we make it very clear that supplements are not “cure alls”, and in fact, need to be used with care and caution.
There are however a few essentials when it comes to a better quality of life with fibro. A good multi vitamin, magnesium, malic acid, antioxidants, ubiquinol CoQ10, quality fish oils, and adaptogens are all natural remedies for fibromyalgia.
A clinical trial in Italy looked at the natural supplements magnesium, zinc, and melatonin to improve restorative sleep. Participants took 225 mg of magnesium, 11mg of zinc, and 5 mg of melatonin in a fruit sauce each night before retiring. The participants also wore a sensor to measure the quality of their sleep and the amount of daytime activity.
The results showed a forty-five percent improvement in quality of sleep for the test participants compared to a control group. This combination qualifies as one of the natural remedies for fibromyalgia.
It appears that the results of the combined supplements was magnified over their individual contributions and that each enhanced the effects of the others - a symbiotic effect. The dosage amounts for the zinc and magnesium are within the
U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines.
Beyond natural supplements for sleep help, here on the website, I’ve talked in detail about other sleep help methods to deal with anxiety, 2nd winds, adrenal stress, negative emotions and resetting the body clock; sleep help solutions such as meditation, exercise, and deep breathing are offered in the following links. I hope you will follow them to the significant sleep help available to you.
While on the subject of adaptogens as one of the natural remedies for fibromyalgia, there are a few essentials that aid the adrenal glands and thyroid, and this is essential because we know that there is a connection to thyroid health in fibromyalgia. In fact, many of the symptoms overlap.
If you are like me and have the entire load of FMS, CFS and MCS, then you know that stress relief from adaptogens is critical to helping the body cope with ongoing stressors. We use some natural remedies for fibromyalgia to aid in thyroid and adrenal health. Ashwagandha, Eluthero Ginseng and food grade or liposomal vitamin C are my favorites.
A major part of our lifestyle protocol is getting out in the sun early
in the day. This helps to reset our internal body clock (still not an easy task with fibromyalgia). We can also obtain some natural vitamin D. These two things
alone can help to increase our sense of well-being.
Check out our informative article on Vitamin D .
Think about how the lack of sun can affect us during overcast days and rainy days alike. We don’t use toxic sunscreens, we get our allotted amount of sun and then cover up or get in the shade. Often times, just being outside when the sun is shining is enough to change our mood and outlook.
Remember, 40% of fibro sufferers have low serotonin and our body's serotonin production is stimulated by the bright light of the sun.
Then serotonin causes melatonin (our sleep-inducing neurochemical) to be produced in the pineal gland. Serotonin itself causes a general feeling of well being. These are all good things for a fibro person and qualifies sunshine as one of the natural remedies for fibromyalgia.
There are a few types of "body work" that we find most helpful when living with fibromyalgia and Chronic Myofascial Pain:
Check in your area to see if you can locate a certified Bowen Therapist.
Bowen therapy helps to relax muscles, but in a way that helps your body to adapt and memorize the work being done.
This kind of therapy is often done with clothes on. This work is very gentle yet effective. It appears that for some fibro patients three treatments can provide significant relief for quite a lengthy period of time.
What follows in quotes is a personal account by a reader, Rochelle, of Bowen therapy treatment results she experienced.
"First let me explain my situation. In the past 12yrs I have been diagnosed with CFS/IBS, hypothyroid, hormone imbalance, and much more. I was in a serious car accident in 1989 which left me with chronic back pain, sciatica and numbness in the legs. So when FM came along in 2011, well I just thought I had to suck that up too.
I tried many treatments like remedial massage, acupuncture and podiatry, which did do some good. Then I found Bowen Therapy and it has been miraculous for me. Thanks to the CFS, I spent 4 years bed bound, could barely make myself move to get to the bathroom, so you can appreciate how my muscles, tendons and ligaments were is very bad way. Plus the back injury from the accident on top of the FM pain.
So, the first Bowen treatment stirred up a lot of things. I was in more pain than before, but this, I was assured was normal for someone like me. Other, more active people will not suffer at all. Then after many treatments and with pain positions changing, the therapist exposed that my coccyx was dislocated (Back Specialist and several X-Ray failed to find). With just a minor press, roll and release on each side of my coccyx I felt it ‘move’ and about 50% of my back pain disappeared on the spot. The remaining sciatica, knee ankle and foot pain disappeared as the inflammation subsided and the nerves were able to heal. And my podiatrist (new) also worked in Bio-mechanism of the Body so diagnosed my pelvic twist (think wringing out a cloth ➿). That took several months more but after 24yrs of injury I'm astounded at the healing I have made.
This of course, left me feeling more FM pain in general around the body, and although the Bowen does not ‘cure’ FM (as it has my back injury) it releases the tension, stress, inflammation, nerve pinching etc. It improves flexibility, posture, breathing and lymphatic drainage (detox). It's like a whole of body soft tissue re-alignment, correcting all the minute malformations that join up to cause severe body distress.
I was on all the meds – Cymbalta, Gabbapentin, Lyrica and others. All of which caused me more suffering with side effects and weight gain. I had decided in the beginning (car accident 1989) not to take pain meds daily as prescribed and I have stuck to that. So, for me the only treatment I have for FM is Bowen (I take supplements for CFS/ IBS and hormone imbalance).
The most important point I feel you need to know is, don't think you just have to suffer it out. Find the time and money to ease your pain for life's sake. And, don't think that you cannot have another illness or injury along with FM. No-one said its one OR the other, and until you treat the body not ‘just’ the symptom, then pain relief will be very hard to achieve.
Gentle hugs and wishes for many more good days than bad.
When living with fibromyalgia, there is a lot of stress that gets put on the body. Often times, we feel as if we are constantly "fighting" the pain and symptoms.
Reflexology is done by applying pressure to certain areas of the feet that pertain to areas/organs within the body. This can be very relaxing, and is excellent work for the nervous and endocrine systems.
Here are a few words from Christine, a certified massage therapist and friend to the pages:
"In my experience as a massage therapist there is one therapy that has stood out over others for helping to put my clients in a fully relaxed state. Reflexology when applied with knowledge and the clients issues in mind, can be very effective at getting the person closer to balance within the body.
Fibromyalgia is still not well understood, however there can be no doubt that balance is lacking for each sufferer. Many of us who battle with the chronic widespread pain and muscle soreness feel worse when we lie down or stay still for a long period of time but many also have much discomfort while turning over or repositioning in bed. Reflexology offers the peace of not having to move during the treatment.
If made completely comfortable before beginning, offering proper warmth and additional extras like dim lighting and aromatherapy, my clients have always been able "let go" in a way that a full body massage isn't able to compete with. I've been extremely successful with the occasional session that I do and my students are always amazed when they discover it through receiving and giving to others.
Many people with fibromyalgia and its co-conditions take opioids to deal with pain. These medicines have a bad habit of locking up the bowels. Reflexology along with proper diet high in fiber and water intake and exercise can assist in keeping the bowels moving during this time. Reflexology treats the entire body and all of its systems making it an extremely useful and advantageous modality for people with auto immune disease."
Most of us with fibromyalgia also have areas of the body with many trigger points. Myotherapy is the very best at releasing these knotted areas. You can work with a therapist on the amount of pressure applied, but the positive effect is worth a little discomfort. You live with pain every day, the point is to create a positive healing type of intervention on that pain.
Myotherapy is one of my personal favorites for reducing the burning and radiating pain of trigger points when living with fibromyalgia and Chronic Myofascial Pain. It can be especially effective in the head and neck areas and for the fibro leg pain that most of us endure.
A therapist will use fingers and thumb action to help release those persistent trigger points. Is it painful? Oh yes, it can be, but not more painful than living with burning pain every day. But see, I have also found that with Myotherapy, you can go at your own pace, allowing for less intensive work if needed.
Using a sauna, infra-red if possible, is great for gently detoxing the fibro body. Although we want to go slow, and be careful to not get over-heated when first using the sauna. I use an amazon-far infra-red sauna +negative ion detox here but any sauna will do, just start with 5-10 minutes and work up from there.
We do not want to overdo with any kind of detoxification. Consult with your doctor if you are taking any kind of medications before utilizing sauna therapy, as some medications can cause symptoms with exposure to heat.
Be sure to hydrate before and after and take extra minerals and electrolytes. I like using a sugar free electrolyte mix such as Emergen-C lite with MSM. However, there are other good ones that are also cost effective.
We know that safe and effective exercise is well verified for any treatment plan for fibromyalgia. This is one reason I became nationally certified in fitness training and specialize in fibromyalgia fitness. Living with and working with fibromyalgia, I know that exercise when done properly can change the life of a person living with fibromyalgia for the better.
It is never all or nothing. My approach is different because I have lived with fibromyalgia since a young age, I get it. I am passionate about helping anyone with fibromyalgia live a better quality of life through effective movement, strength applications and better adapting to activities of daily living.
Yes, It’s those activities of daily living, like walking stairs or reaching down to the floor or clothes dryer, or maybe attempting to clean the bathtub, that can really put a choke hold on the fibro body.
I have fibromyalgia. Please understand that my getting nationally
certified as a fitness trainer was one of the most challenging things I ever
did. But it was really important for me to learn and apply ways to sincerely
help the fibromyalgia community through safe and effective exercise.
This didn’t come easy for so many reasons, yet my determination was my driving force. After over two years and a lot of additional study, I had graduated in the top of my class. I have severe fibro and severe MCS/CFS. I had many challenges, and yet, I had 100% attendance and went above and beyond because I was invested in becoming the best fibro fitness trainer I could be. This wasn’t some weekend fitness training, this was me getting it right, doing what I had to do in order to put another piece of the puzzle in place.
Exercise should always be about helping the body to better adapt to daily activities. Through safe and structured exercise we can create a stronger and more resilient body and substantially less fibro pain.
If you are living with fibromyalgia, you might think, “I
really don’t need to be MORE aware of my body". "It already lets me know every
pain and symptom on a daily basis”. Right? But the idea of mind and body
awareness is to help to integrate these two and help the mind to support the
Fibromyalgia is not in the mind, however we have to use the mind in order to not allow the waxing and waning of symptoms to control us. The mind-body articles in the website here can be very helpful to aiding us in exerting greater control. Too often, people with chronic illness tend to become their own worst enemy, masters at self-sabotage. We’ve all been there. You can read more about this tool here.
Again, this is not the matter of doing “too much” on a given day that you feel better. This is a thought process that people have to learn to avoid through mind-body conditioning.
This is a way of changing the years of negativity that ‘fuels” chronic illness. Trust me when I say it doesn’t happen overnight, but that is what the website is all about.
It is getting us in the practice of using these natural remedies for fibromyalgia until they become second nature and we start to notice changes.
See, how could anyone be expected to change physically and mentally if they have not prepared themselves? Science has shown that overcoming a bad habit and replacing it with a good habit takes about 3-months to develop the new neural pathways. You can do it!
No matter where you are with your condition, you can change the course of your fibromyalgia. Aging itself is progressive. Fibromyalgia does not have to be when the right tools are utilized. Are we willing to do whatever it takes to make sure that we don’t allow progression of our illnesses and help to prevent those other illnesses that may be lurking around the corner?
Thank you for reading. Lisa. (FG)