Growing up in a holistic household, I learned the importance of balancing both Western and Eastern approaches to self-care. In my book, one does not cancel out the other, but rather complement and enhance where the other lacks. So when a dear friend of mine reached out frustrated with the complications of her fibromyalgia and asked for some alternative suggestions, I was more than happy to help.
First, lets start with one of my favorite healing modalities: crystals! Phillip Permutt, author of The Crystal Healer, suggests this combo: abalone shell, amethyst, selenite & rutilated quartz. Hibiscus Moon of the Crystal Academy also suggests honey calcite as well. Find stones to place in the rooms you spend the most time in, but also crystals you can carry with you or wear in jewelry form. Try meditation with your crystals, placing them on pain hot-spots, and visualizing them pulling out the current pain and preventing new. Make sure to cleanse your crystals regularly as well, as needed or with the full moon.
Now lets bring in essential oils to the mix! According to MassageToday, some of the best essential oils are:
For pain relief: spike lavender, sweet marjoram, lavender, petitgrain, Roman and German chamomile, clary sage, lemongrass, helichrysum, peppermint, ginger and black pepper. Spike lavender with peppermint and helichrysum creates an anti-inflammatory synergy.
For stress/anxiety relief: rose otto, frankincense, clary sage, sweet orange, bergamot, grapefruit, ylang ylang, sandalwood, neroli, sweet marjoram, petitgrain, mandarin, lavender, rose geranium, tangerine, jasmine.
For peaceful sleep: lavender, neroli, jasmine, marjoram, Roman chamomile.
For a feeling of harmony and safety: frankincense, lavender, rose, mandarin, neroli, helichrysum.
For headaches: lavender, peppermint, marjoram, Roman chamomile.
For increased circulation: rosemary, ginger, black pepper, peppermint, lemongrass, rose geranium.
I would also look into a few blends by YoungLiving, including PanAway, StressAway, RutaVaLa, Deep Relief, and their Ortho Ease massage oil. Start with one oil, like lavender, and work your way into others. They can be used a variety of ways: Massage into your skin after diluting into a carrier oil like jojoba or coconut oil. Diffuse in a diffuser for a half hour every 4-6 hours, or when desired. Keep a roller of essential oil nearby to inhale for on-the-go aromatherapy. I keep oils in my purse and in my house so I can have them whenever I need!
Another great remedy for fibromyalgia is to consume Omega-3 fats such as flax seeds and MSM. According to UCLA researcher Ronald Lawrence, MD, PHD, "supplementation of MSM often offers a breakthrough in the treatment of fibromyalgia".
Some other ideas:
Soak in the tub! Mix epsom salts and a high-quality lavender essential oil and take a relaxing bath before bedtime.
Stress reduction time! Be it work, life, or home environment, make it a number one priority.
Sugar is off the menu! Caffeine too! Consider a paleo diet or some other inflammation reducing/auto-immune food plan. Join me on a Whole-30 Challenge coming up soon to reboot your diet!
Create a nurturing sleep environment: No screens before bed. Ditch the Facebook, email, or Netflix in favor of a good book, an audio book, or my current favorite: listen to a rerun of an old show with the screen turned off and the volume way low. Black out curtains. Sound machine. Diffuse a calming essential oil.
Meditation: Singing bowls, mantra, visualization, guided meditation... try it all! Find the one that works for you, set aside a time for it each day, and stick with it!
Try a few difference alternative healing practictioners to work with so you can approach it from all angles: massage, accupuncture, vibrational sound therapy, reiki treatments (email me to schedule a distance reiki appointment), chiropractors, etc.
Find someone locally with a Biomat and schedule regular sessions. Or alternatively, save for one of your own (they are pricey but can do incredible healing work).
Give it time, and give yourself credit! Success with Fibromyalgia treatments can be very personal to each individual, so keep trying!
Do you have any other suggestions? What techniques work well for you?
(Boring Disclaimer/Reminder: I am not a doctor, and my advice is not medical. All alternative health should complement instead of replace traditional Western medicine, and should be done so under a medical professionals consultation and care.)