Fibromyalgia is generally considered to be a chronic illness which is, at worst, chronically disabling. As there is currently no recognised cure, treatment simply consists of the management of symptoms.
The word fibromyalgia itself is comprised of the greek roots myo– (muscle) and algos (pain) added to the word “fibre” and the most prominent symptom of this intractable condition is indeed muscle pain. The fact that discomfort is felt in muscles and ligaments is what distinguishes the condition from arthritis in which it is the joints which are chiefly affected.
Pain is commonly experienced in the neck, shoulders, back and hips. The tenderness and stiffness is worse in the mornings and has been described as flu-like burning, throbbing, aching or stabbing.
Another complaint associated with fibromyalgia is fatigue. Some doctors consider fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome to be associated – if not identical – conditions.
Symptoms of mental haziness, inability to concentrate, memory loss and depression may occur in conjunction with fibromyalgia and this condition is called “fibrofog”. Other symptoms which may also be present include headaches, dry eyes and mouth, nervousness, restless leg syndrome, skin sensitivity, dizziness and intestinal disturbances. However, by no means everyone who suffers from fibromyalgia will experience all of these.
A conventional diagnosis of fibromyalgia is based on physical examination and history as it cannot be confirmed by a simple blood test or x-ray. There is no single treatment which will relieve all the symptoms associated with the condition however Lyrica is the drug which doctors currently tend to favour. It has been shown to be capable of reducing pain by half in around 30% of fibromyalgia patients. However, its use can be associated with serious allergic reactions. Another approach used in conventional medicine is low doses of antidepressant. Most sufferers get a degree of relief by using a combination of therapies which may include acupuncture, massage and relaxation techniques.
A fibromyalgia patient seeks help
Lynn is a 66 year old retired hairdresser with fibromyalgia. At her first visit for a Spinal Touch treatment she spends some time describing her symptoms and telling her story. She has been suffering with muscle pain for some thirty years. She aches all over, even in the muscles of her eyes! Back pain, headaches, neck pain, stiffness and general discomfort are all part of her symptom picture.
Also, she had a prolapse of the bowel and bladder in the past which she had surgically repaired. She said that it felt as if her “insides were not attached anywhere”.
On top of these complaints she suffers with indigestion, acid reflux and hiatus hernia – in short, a big health challenge for the client and a challenging case for the practitioner!
Postural assessment & individualisation of treatment
Making an assessment of Lynn’s posture is important, both to identify the cause of her problems and to gauge the specifics of her treatment. When she stands on a footboard against a plumb-line her body is in a load-bearing position and the full impact of gravity on her posture can be observed. In Lynn’s case:
1) Her shoulders have dropped forward and downward.
2) The curve in her upper middle back has begun to look humped
3) Her head and neck are dropping forward and downward.
4) Her primary lordotic curves at the lumbo-sacral region have increased. She exhibits a very pronounced lumbar curve.
In addition, Lynn’s ribcage and diaphragm have dropped and her abdominal organs are bearing down and pushing out her lower abdomen. With her internal organs unsupported and freely subject to the force of gravity, it is not surprising that she reported the feeling that her insides are not attached.
The consequences of distortion like this can include constipation, swelling of the extremities due to fluid retention, kidney and bladder problems and hernias. Unsurprisingly, Lynn has a number of these. Also, the fact of her head being bent forward and downwards would explain her headaches. The position of her ribcage and diaphragm could be expected to be directly contributing to her digestive troubles.
As Lynn’s pelvis is tilted forward due to her pronounced lumbar curvature, the weight of her upper body is being borne by her hips! Hips and knees bearing a disproportionate amount of the weight of the upper body is common to many people. It is the primary reason why so many people end up needing hip and knee surgery. The design of the human body is such that the proper focus for upper body weight is the centre of gravity – a point on a plane lying between the fifth lumbar vertebra and the base of the sacrum. Thus treatment to realign this centre of gravity is of primary importance for all patients, whatever their state of overall health.
In Lynn’s case it is clear that Spinal Touch treatment could be a key intervention. It has the potential to realign her centre of gravity and so correct her posture allowing her internal organs back into their proper positions relative to each other and to gravity. Correct positioning of the organs will facilitate the better functioning of all the systems of the organism.
Applying the Spinal Touch Treatment
During treatment, Lynn’s body is guided to correct postural imbalance. To this end, the practitioner maintains a leverage contact point specific to Lynn’s needs. With the other hand, the practitioner applies a light “rub-out” technique to more than a hundred different points lying on meridians and at muscle insertions. The treatment has the effect of relaxing Lynn and encouraging the elimination of the acid residues accumulated in her body tissues.
After treatment, at reassessment, Lynn is found to be standing appreciably better. The excessive lumbar curvature is reduced and her abdomen has come back. Her pelvis is straight. She says that she feels lighter and more relaxed.
By her third appointment, Lynn continues to feel better but there is still a degree of discomfort. To enhance her body’s ability to retain and build on the benefits of Spinal Touch treatment she is given specialised dietary guidance and alkalinising supplementation. In addition her treatment is supported with the indicated homeopathic remedies.
Three months after her initial appointment, Lynn reports with enthusiasm “For the first time in thirty years I am pain-free”.
There is no doubt that correcting posture by gentle realignment of the body’s centre of gravity – together with right diet and nutrition – can achieve “miracle” cures. © Susanna Terry
For information about treatment & training in Spinal Touch contact Susanna Terry on our Contact Form at www.lightouch.co.uk/contact-us.