After reading a ton of theories about what causes Fibromyalgia, I believe there are a few major things occurring in our bodies. I believe our central nervous system has switched into permanent “fight or flight” mode and our body is suffering because of it. Since our bodies are constantly trying to protect us from imminent danger we don’t digest food as well, have alert sleep, experience extremely tense muscles and much more. All of these things occur when people are in fight or flight.
The problem is that our body can’t handle being in fight or flight 24/7, so our systems start to malfunction. A part of our body that is often ignored by western medicine (but studied by eastern medicine) is the fascia. The fascia is the tissue that covers all of our muscles. When you get chicken, it is the white “stuff” that I am normally removing. This tissue is filled with TONS of nerve endings. It is also believed that when people experience feats of great strength from adrenaline rushes (like a mom picking up a car to save her child) that their fascia is working in tandem with their muscles. When our body is in fight or flight mode, our fascia is activated. It stands to reason, especially since tests on Fibro warriors show that our pain is not coming from our muscles, that the pain is coming from our fascia…
I have heard that people get relief from myofascial release therapy (stretching of the fascia) which makes sense if it is indeed your fascia that is in pain. I began searching for a therapist who performed this technique and found a few. However, after further research, I discovered that we are able to stretch our fascia ourself! What a cheap alternative! And… instead of going once or twice a week to a therapist, we can do it every day!
A few weeks ago, I began doing stretches before going to bed and holding them for 2-3 minutes depending on the stretch. All of the stretches I performed are lying down and most of them were yoga stretches. I have noticed a definite improvement in my muscle pain since doing this in tandem with yoga every morning & a 20 minutes meditation. I would recommend to anyone to start yourself on a movement program that involves gentle stretches. I am so much better since doing it myself. My pain went from a 7 or 8 to a 3 or 4 (sometimes a 2). It’s truly been a new lease on life. I’m going to talk in more depth about what I do in my next post. I’m not gonna lie, I’m kinda waiting for the shoe to drop and all the pain to return, but here’s to hoping it doesn’t!
What’s amusing is that not one of my doctors (except my chiropractor) suggested stretching to me. In fact, my physical therapist suggested I not hold a stretch for longer than 5 seconds. I am going completely against his suggestions and considering I felt better than I have in months, I wonder what the hell is wrong with doctors?!?! But I digress.
I recently purchased the book The Permanent Pain Cure by Ming Chew. His book is specifically for stretching your fascia. I have read this book and am just starting to try to poses suggested. His poses are quite different from anything I’ve done before. I tried three of his fascia stretches this morning after doing my usual morning yoga routine. I will say that my trap muscle (the muscle between your neck and your shoulder) does feel a little tighter than it did prior which I’m not thrilled about. I did stretches for my neck & mid back as well and they feel fine. Despite the increased tightness in my traps, I am going to continue doing his stretches.
I will update you about his fascia stretching techniques in a few weeks. Nothing happens overnight, and it will take some time to figure out if this helps. I’m going to do his stretches after my yoga routine in the morning.
That doesn’t mean that you can’t start your own regular stretching routine every night! I think it could be a great first start to regaining some of your life back!