Fibromyalgia is a recently recognized disorder that is regarded as a chronic condition associated with the experience of non-inflammatory pain and tenderness in muscles, ligaments , joints and fatigue. Fibromyalgia is a relatively common condition, estimated to affect about four percent of the general population.
It is very similar to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS); Only point of difference is presence of musculoskeletal pain in fibromyalgia and that of fatigue in CFS. Low level of Serotonin is considered to be most important biochemical criteria. The primary treatment goals should include raise serotonin levels, improve sleep quality, and assure adequate magnesium levels.
- Generalized aches or stiffness at many sites for more than three months.
- Generalized fatigue
- Chronic headache including migraines
- Sleep disorder, particularly timings of cycles
- Neuronal and psychological complaints
- Numbness/ tingling sensations
It can be described as 'Mansa Dhatugat and Mansavrut Vata' Fibromyalgia is perceived as a Vata imbalance. Vata is the main imbalance and Aggravated Vata destabilizes the nervous system and can create hypersensitivity leading to pain and tenderness. Accumulation of Ama (toxins) and shrotorodha are also contributory factors.
Ayurvedic Treatment for Fibromyalgia and CFS :
The aggravation of Vata dosha and accumulation of Ama (toxins) are the primary causes and should be treated mainly. Associated weak digestion, constipation, and effects of chronic stress should also be tackled.
Panchakarma Therapy for Fibromyalgia and CFS :
Pre-purification Measures namely 'snehan' and 'swedan are very useful to balance 'Vata' and to loosen the toxins. Snehan is the Herbalized Oil Massage. This oil is applied to the entire body with a particular type of massage. Swedan is sudation or sweating and is given immediately following the snehan. An herbal concoction may be added to the steam to further enhancement of effect.
Daily herbalized oil massage also provides a deeply soothing and balancing effect to the entire nervous system. The motion of massage creates heat and friction which enhances circulation and helps cleanse the areas of chemical impurities that could be aggravating and hypersensitizing nerve tissues.
Diet and Nutrition for Fibromyalgia :
Following is the diet suggested for the patients suffering form Fibromyalgia and CFS
- Vegetable juices and soups
- Coconut water and Coconut milk
- Juice of carrot, Cucumber, Beetroot
- Cooked vegetables
- Spices like cumin, coriander, ginger asafetida.
- Green salad with a dressing of lemon juice and a little salt
- Eating hot, spicy and fried foods.
- Too much tea, coffee, alcohol.
- Sleeping during the day and staying up late at night
- Mental tensions
It is well documented that fibromyalgia is often worsened by heightened stress, anxiety and mental fatigue.
Meditation,Yoga, Pranayama and studying of spiritual philosophy are all recommended for supporting personal healing and relaxation of the mind.
Efforts should be made to increase the Sattvic quality of mind.
Yogasana : Various stretching exercises are known to have a positive effect on fibromyalgia. Yogic breathing practices will also create a state of restful alertness in mind and body.
Progressive deep relaxation, i.e., shavasana is recomended
Lifestyle and Daily Routine :
Regularity in our daily routine is effective in reducing Vata imbalances.
Ayurvedic Herbs for Fibromyalgia / chronic pain:
- Decoction of the roots of ten herbs 'Dashamula quath' is useful
- Daily use of the Ayurvedic compound 'Triphala choorna' is recommended to cleanse the colon.
- Half a teaspoon of turmeric powder with warm water helps to reduce pain and inflammation in Fibromyalgia.
- Garlic is useful for detoxification and to enhance immune system function.
- Guggul is a very helpful herb for relief of pain.
- Licorice root supports the glandular system and acts in the body like cortisone. Use with caution.
- Ginger Tea. Ginger is a good alternative to aspirin to relieve minor aches and pains.