How I Healed From Fibromyalgia
Disclaimer: before I tell you my story, I am not a doctor or specialist in this field (professionally speaking) but so I am not offering you any medical advice. However, I did suffer from fibromyalgia for years, most of them undiagnosed, and I done a hell of a lot of research and experimenting on my body to find out what worked and what didn’t work.
I am writing this in the hope that it can help even one person who is going through that dark time in life, suffering from this mysterious, invisible illness, where it feels like no one understands (or believes you half the time), doctors have no answers (except pills) and life just feels like one big, dark, empty hole. I am here for you, and want to share with you how I recovered.
I had actually diagnosed myself with fibromyalgia before the doctor told me, thank you google! I had already been diagnosed with IBS and Crohn’s disease a few years before and the symptoms from them were still persisting thanks to my determination to avoid using medication and find a natural healer. I was a few years deep on my quest for natural healing when I started to get the pains. It started off as tingling in my fingers, which then developed into my hands, feet and then entire body. Every day was a new area of pain, throbbing or constant. Fibro does not discriminate, any body area is fine pickings. Then came the extreme fatigue, to the point where I would be sat at my desk at work and have to close my eyes for 30 seconds to try to regroup and then continue my work. I would play games with my body like ‘OK, let’s go for 10 minutes and then you can close your eyes for 30 seconds’ just to try and stay awake. The disturbed sleep was annoying and restless leg syndrome kicked in and made things way worse.
Then I began to get brain fog, forgetting things all the time. This caused me to get even more stressed at my already stressful job, causing anxiety almost every day. I had a headache around 5 days a week, sometimes this would turn into a 3 day migraine with nausea. Leaving me a grumpy, irritable, depressed human.
My social life was a firm 0/10, the old ladies going to bingo seen more weekend action than me. I constantly cancelled plans because I just had no energy.
On top of all this the stomach and digestive issues were still raging on.
At this point I had tried hundreds of supplements, diets, magical herbs and powders promising me relief, but nothing was really making much difference.
SOME HELPFUL TIPS PART 1
I found some ways of coping with certain symptoms that took the edge off (but these are not what healed me completely, keep reading for that)
EPSOM SALT baths were a literal LIFE SAVER after a long day at work, I make my baths HOT and pour 3 cups of salt in and would lie there until the water went cold. Most people with fibro are deficient in magnesium, which Epsom salts is rich in and it soaks into your body topping your levels up. This can help with sleep, relaxation and pain. And I always found such a pain relief in the bath.
Hot water bottles and hot wheat bags (hot owls are my fave) - I started to sleep with 3 of these on my body, each one at whatever part of me was in pain that night. Putting one on my legs also helped with the restless leg symptoms a bit.
Legs up the wall yoga pose for restless legs - this is a game changer, sit with your legs up the wall for 5 minutes (or longer if you want), I like to put a cushion under my low back for comfort.
Cutting out meat and going vegetarian and then vegan completely took away all my digestive issues, within 1 week! It was such a relief when this happened as I had tried so many diets to get this under control (gluten free, paleo, fodmap, clean eating, juicing, smoothies) but simply cutting out meat made the biggest difference ever.
YOGA and WEIGHTS - I first started going to Crossfit, thinking back I have no idea how I managed to drag my exhausted ass to each class but after each session I would feel energised and the building of muscle seemed to help a bit with the pain. Then I got an injury at Crossfit so went to a hot yoga class to see if that would help me rehabilitate and I fell in love with the practice. Stretching, restoring and sweating (in hot yoga) healed my body so much, for that hour of practice my symptoms would be gone, my stresses left my mind and I was just immersed in the beautiful present moment. I have also heard so many other people speak of how yoga helps them manage fibro, and as a (now) yoga teacher I would highly recommend it to anyone suffering. It is so much more than the physical aspect of the practice, it’s the breathing, the going inside of your body to release, the meditative aspect, the letting go of all the shit from the day that stressed you out.
THE REAL GAME CHANGER
All these things really helped me but the number 1 thing that changed the game, and my life at this point, was when I started learning about the power of the mind. Specifically how we can literally manifest disease in our bodies via our external world. And when I heard all of this an actual lightbulb went off in my head.
I manifested this.
I gave this illness the power to grow and take over my body.
I fuelled it’s take over via the emotions, thoughts and feelings that I was letting control my life.
I was stuck in an unfulfilling job, where I worked long, stressful hours for minimal reward. I was constantly daydreaming of better days, but this would then pull me back into my current reality and I would feel so stuck, so depressed, so angry that I had let myself get into this situation.
And all these negative thoughts, stresses and emotions were part of my day, every single day, for YEARS!
I was living in a chronic stress state. And stress is one of the main causes of disease.
Our bodies are not made to be in this state, our stress response is designed to help us during life or death situations, such as being chased by a bear. Adrenaline and cortisol levels rise in the body in preparation for attack, and then return to normal once the perceived threat is over. But for so many people we live in this heightened stress response state, meaning our hormone levels are all messed up, and our bodies shut off or limit the energy it is giving to certain functions (such as digestion) in order to send all the energy to the stress response. Thus resulting in disease. And in my case IBS, Crohn’s and Fibromyalgia.
My first step when I learned all this was to start meditating, I began with 5 minutes per day, then increased to 10 then 15 then 20, now I do 45 minutes every single morning, this is non negotiable for me, I see the effects if I ever miss a day and it inspires me do do it every single day. I also began going to yoga more regularly, and devoured all the mindset books and content I could find. I practiced forgiveness, letting go of any grudges I was holding on to (why do we hold onto so much crap??) forgiving everyone and everything (including myself), earthing, I embraced a positive mindset (most of the time), practiced gratitude every day, began doing more things that made me happy, released people from my life who brought me down, and every time I felt pain, I would mentally zap it away.
These things can sound a bit weird and hippy if you have never practiced or heard of them before, but after everything I have learnt, read and witnessed, I know they are the biggest life game changers. (Read Joe Dispenza’s books for the science behind it all if you are sceptical, and to have your mind blown)
The last thing left to do, I realised, was to quit my job. I knew this was the root cause of my stress and my stress was causing my illness. This was a crazy, scary step for me because I had hardly any financial fall back. I had began building a business on the side but it was in such early stages. But, with my new found positive mindset and positive belief system I took a massive leap and quit.
By cutting these energetic bonds I had to all the stressors in my life, I freed up that energy back into my body so it could heal.
Within 2 months I was PAIN FREE, sleeping like a baby, and a million times happier. Plus my business was growing, I was working from home with the freedom to do what ever I wanted when I wanted.
It is now 14 months later and I feel like this is the perfect time to share all this. I write this now because a few weeks ago, I went through a really stressful week, I had never been in stress like this since I was at that job, and the pain started to creep back into my body. When I realised what was happening, I went back to everything I had learnt, and within a few days it was gone, I released the stress and the pain released with it.
MY BEST TIPS FOR HEALING
If you are looking for somewhere to start with all this I would say try this out and see what happens (and get a journal so you can document what changes take place so you can see what helps and what doesn’t)
Write a list of everyone, and everything you need to forgive so you can release it from your mind. You can use hypnosis, meditations, journalling for this.
Write down areas in your life that cause you stress and why, and then how you can improve this.
Try meditating, even for 5 minutes a day so you can quiet the minds chatter (seriously so powerful) but try increasing it up to 45 minutes a day. Getting up earlier in the morning is how I do it.
Go to yoga, hot yoga, yoga flows, restorative yoga. Any yoga that you find you love. Or any exercise/movement practice that lights you up.
Surround yourself with positive people who bring you up instead of bringing you down (make a list) and get rid of the Debbie downers if you can
Write down a list of things you are grateful for every single day - or just shout them out loud. It can be so easy when suffering to think everything is crap but I bet you can fill a few pages with things you can be grateful for. Such as having a home, access to the internet, having fingers and toes, being able to see, nature, the sun, the ocean, seriously I could go on and on. Gratitude is so powerful, it has been proven to boost feel good chemicals in the body that strengthen the immune system, has huge benefits on mental and physical health. And if you spend your days living in a state of gratitude, then the universe rewards you with more things to be grateful for.
BREATHE - Sitting taking some deep breaths when your stressed can help calm and relax the body, switching off the stress response.
Earthing - Get outside and get your bare feet on the earth, it helps promote deep sleep and reduce pain
Start doing more things that bring you joy, during my worst times I would get up half an hour early in the mornings, do my meditation and gratitude list and then do some colouring in with those adult colouring in books, starting the day off in a positive way instead of rushing out the door.
I hope some of this helps you in some way. And if you have any questions just send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org I am always here to chat.
Just know that without the darkness there can be no light, and the light will always come back up, see the darkness as a time of growth, learning and deep healing, so when the light reappears you are ready to expand and live in more joy.
Have a beautiful day,