Fibro-Girl's Protocol Summary of fibromyalgia treatments is essential to avoiding the pitfalls that can occur within fibromyalgia such as the progression and worsening of symptoms, increased pain levels, loss of independence, weight gain, depression and more.
My protocol, or fibromyalgia treatments, for living smarter with fibromyalgia and other
chronic illness begins with how we start our day. Yet we are not talking about
starting our day in the morning. No, the day starts the night BEFORE.
1. We start each day/evening by practicing and learning what our individual bodies need in order to get to bed early. This is the first step in our protocol, treatment of fibromyalgia. We must establish patterns that support our wellness. Did you know that one of the hardest habits for people to change is late night TV /social media? Our bodies are meant to have darkness, rest and regeneration at this time. Yes, this is a challenge, but let us not continue to sabotage ourselves through tv, internet or anything else over-stimulating to our bodies.
When we allow ourselves to get a second wind, regeneration is compromised, our immune system AND our endocrine system are also severely compromised. We cannot afford that.
Start with where you are right now, and then work to get in bed earlier, until the normal bedtime is 10:00 pm or as far before midnight as possible. Our bodies are starting to naturally regenerate by 10 pm, so this needs to be our very highest priority, and with fibromyalgia, this will be our most challenging task.
Turn off the computer and cell phones. Train your mind and body or there will never be an end to the vicious cycle of non- regenerative sleeping patterns.
Also, using natural sleep aids, low dose amino acids or 5-HTP may be necessary, yet the key is to take them at scheduled times. Sleep CDs can be used but consistency is key.
If you have already established regular bedtimes and get a good amount of sleep BEFORE midnight, then you are one step ahead and can go on to utilize the following suggestions.
2. The second step in my fibromyalgia treatments is morning sun/outdoor light. We need to get 15-20 minutes of sun in the morning when possible. Using bright interior light in the winter months is also an option. This will help to RESET our circadian rhythm and support our minds and bodies to living within the parameters of the body clock.
Research has shown many fibro people have low levels of serotonin which is a critical brain chemical that controls mood and is a precursor for the brain to secrete key neurochemicals that support our sleep cycle. Read more here, Treatment For Fibromyalgia With Serotonin , and you'll learn that sunshine triggers serotonin production.
The best time is first thing in the morning within a half hour after waking up. Go outside where there is a good amount of sun and without looking directly at the sun, just gaze to either side. Never look directly at the sun because your eyes can be harmed by the sun’s UV rays with even a quick glance.
I strongly urge that you combine this protocol item with the morning exercise in item 6. (Below) by taking a moderate 20-minute walk. Take your canine with you if you have one, it’s good for them too. Especially in winter, when most of us are low in Vitamin D, we should get out in the sun everyday. Read more about Treatment of Fibromyalgia: Vitamin D.
3. For the third step in my protocol of fibromyalgia treatments, I recommend taking endocrine or other supplements first thing in the morning, for example, thyroid and adrenal glandulars AND adaptogens such as Rhodiola, Holy Basil or Ashwagandha, to aid the body in handling stress and increase energy. Refer to the article here in site (use the SITEMAP) called "Underactive Thyroid" for extra support using Modifilan and/or other effective endocrine support. Also, checkout Treatment For Fibromyalgia: Amino Acids and Natural Remedies for related information.
Check with your naturopath or doctor for your personal dosages.
Then, because the body is acidic when we wake up, we want to have an ALKALINE breakfast. A blender drink with a safe protein powder and additions like greens, berries and seed meal is the best option; however, use variety to keep it interesting. I recommend A non allergen protein powder like Plantfusion to start the day with protein rather than excess carbohydrate foods which only feed the cravings and blood sugar surges .
4. For the next step in my protocol of fibromyalgia treatments, we need to create and write a schedule every day. I suggest using a written daytimer and/or notebook. I schedule my day the night before. This is essential for those with chronic illness, especially those who do not have a structured work schedule. It really makes a difference in staying on track and keeping your head above water with chronic illness. Write down a daily schedule and food and fitness plan but also allow for any variances or changes when needed. Again, this needs to be done on paper, not on the computer. It is too easy to get distracted on the computer and when it comes to daytiming and journaling, this must be done with pen in hand for best results !!
5. Avoid all stimulants, especially in the morning ..Sounds backwards doesn't it?? My fibromyalgia treatment includes avoiding all stimulants because they add to adrenal stress. Caffeine, sugar, and excess electronic device usage should all be minimized or eliminated. In the case of caffeine, if you are used to drinking coffee in the mornings, work to get off the roller coaster. Caffeine does not give true energy; it drains the endocrine system and is highly addictive. We cannot afford that.
Starting the day right means starting the day with CLEAN energy, not toxic, fake energy in the form of stimulants that will not last anyway.
A great coffee alternative that I have used and recommended for many years is Gano Excel coffee, this is real coffee but caffeine free, alkaline instead of acidic and contains the healing reishi mushroom which helps to calm the fibro body. Available on the ADRENAL STRESS article here on site.
6. Exercise is a key fibromyalgia treatment item and should be done at the time best for YOUR body. For most with fibro and/or osteo issues, morning time is best for a simple, moderate 20-minute walk or hike in nature. Afternoon is best for more intense exercise when joints and muscles are loosened and blood and lymphatic flow are greater. Refer to Fibromyalgia Exercises for more details.
Safe and effective exercise is essential for maintaining strength and agility as we age and live with a chronic illness. For Chronic Pain Management techniques, refer to Lower Back Pain and/or Lymphatic System.
If you do not have access to a trainer or therapist like myself who truly understand fibromyalgia and related conditions, start slow and keep working to get support. Follow here as we add more suggestions and videos. One treatment technique especially helpful when undertaking a fitness program when you have fibromyalgia is Treatment For Fibromyalgia Using Myofascial Release.
7. My fibromyalgia treatments protocol urges that if you must have a nap, again, it needs to be part of the schedule. If you want greater control of your fibro, then plan ahead, and don’t let the illness dictate so much. Keep daytime naps to a minimum, an hour or so, to avoid insomnia at night. Pace yourself and rest when needed.
8. Nutrition is a major facet of my fibromyalgia treatments protocol. Use extra or spare time to prepare healthy foods instead of watching TV or spending too much time on the computer. We ALL have more time when we use it wisely. Having food prepared ahead of time is crucial to avoid ‘convenience’ eating (which often consists of grains and sugars)
Refer to the RECIPES section here on the website for anti-inflammatory and grain free recipes; get creative and start making healthy food preparation part of your daily lifestyle.
For the best meal plans, refer to the Food Planner and Nutrition Tips. This will support digestion and energy in the fibro body and is an important protocol item.
NOTE: Refer to Site Map for these links if needed.
9. Schedule in extra tools to be used every day. One day it might be taking an epsom salts bath to sweat and detox your fibro body, another day it might be getting a massage or preparing vegetable juices.
Use a written daytimer to schedule in these self care tools. I have coined my own phrase ...the "straw theory" meaning that too many straws will break the camel's back, yet having a written schedule ahead of time will bring clarity and keep us empowered every time we 'check' off a self care tool used. So just like a 'to do' list, one tool used and checked off empowers us to keep going. Basically, avoid getting overwhelmed which will only add stress to the mind and body, which leads us to #10.
10. A critical fibromyalgia treatment component is Meditation. It must be done 2 times per day for 20-minutes in the morning and again in the evening without fail. Refer to Mind Body Connection and scroll down to Deep Breathing and Meditation for an effective and easy way to meditate or take a local class. You will find this is one of the simplest and most effective tools you can use. Use it consistently.
The 2 X 20 will take some time, however the key is to remember that it doesn't have to be perfect, especially in the beginning. The point is to set aside that time. An investment in healing. Prayer is also included in this 2 X 20, and it is important to remember that meditation in itself is not meant to replace prayer or individual spiritual beliefs, it is simply the art of 'listening' to our inner healer, our higher self.
11. Avoid excess "symptom talk". It has been proven that what we focus on increases. Do you want MORE symptoms? Neither do I. Keep this kind of talk for the doctors office or on occasion when needed to better understand or remedy the symptom.
12. Lastly, we need to always be asking ourselves, “What MORE can I do to be smarter with my fibromyalgia treatments?”
Successful treatment for fibromyalgia also means avoiding exposures to toxins and chemicals that contribute to acute and secondary symptoms, staying on schedule, utilizing tools, staying positive, and focusing on wellness.
As I talk about on the "Reducing Toxicity" page, family members need to be on board when it comes to keeping a safe, non toxic environment. We cannot control every environment we are exposed to on a daily basis, but where we reside and sleep needs to be free of chemicals, synthetic fragrances and any allergens as well.
Living lighter, living smarter.
Thank you for reading and continuing to believe in your greater magnificence. No false cures, no quick fixes. Lisa. FG.