Ayurvedic treatment for fibromyalgia relief can hold a lot of promise for those willing to follow all of the treatment recommendations.
Ayurvedic medicine shares the same understanding as Western medicine of the causes and symptoms of fibromyalgia, but the approach to helping those with the disease is slightly different.
What may surprise you as you learn more about the Ayurvedic treatment for fibromyalgia is how much of this centuries old approach has been adopted by modern medicine as a treatment protocol.
What is the Western treatment for fibromyalgia?
Western medicine is only just starting to come to grips with fibromyalgia as a serious illness. It has taken a long time to be recognized because the symptoms can be so pervasive, vary from person to person, and aren’t traceable with a medical test.
When it comes to applying for disability, a diagnosis of fibromyalgia is only accepted if it is fully supported by reports from doctors, psychologists and other professionals; it is more common for people to receive benefits if they have an associated (and more traditional) disorder or disease as well. More and more people have sought treatment for pain and discomfort, plus the depression and anxiety associated with fibromyalgia than ever before.
As Western medicine has begun to build a more complete history of the illness, there has begun to be more widespread acceptance of it in medicine. The general treatment for fibromyalgia is a course of pain relieving medication, anti-inflammatory medication and physical therapy. Management of the symptoms is the goal, as there is no cure for it as yet. Fibromyalgia comes in waves, or it can be chronic.
What is thought to cause fibromyalgia?
To the Western world, fibromyalgia has been traced to possible genetic causes and traumatic ones as well. There is more evidence that brain trauma can trigger fibromyalgia in individuals than ever before. What is known is that there is a definite change to the immune, digestive and hormonal system in the body that tends to occur in people between the ages of 30 and 60.
It strikes more women than men. Ayurvedic treatment for fibromyalgia recognizes these potential causes but places them within the context of understanding a disturbance to the Vata of the body. The Vata is the energy system that controls the hormone balance and digestive process of the body. When it is over or under stimulated, the hormone balance can change and digestive issues – such as IBS, a common complaint associated with fibromyalgia – will occur.
A disturbance in the Vata means that the Pitta and Kalpha states in the body are also thrown off. This explains the weight loss or gain, non-restorative sleep patterns, depression, anxiety, and pains in muscles and joints that are also hallmarks of the disease. From the Ayurvedic viewpoint, the problem isn’t just that the hormonal and immunological system has been disturbed – it is that the person’s whole balance of energy has been thrown off.
What does Ayurvedic treatment for fibromyalgia involve?
The first goal of the treatment is to reduce the pain, inflammation, stress and digestive discomfort that are the most common experience of those suffering from fibromyalgia. The approach to do this is by using changes to diet and the inclusion of herbal treatments, plus massage and gentle movement to stimulate and relax the body. Common herbs might include:
- White willow
The oils used in the massage will be infused with warming and healing herbs and fragrances. Aromatherapy features heavily in the Ayurvedic treatment for fibromyalgia. It is something that is easy to incorporate in your daily life, while you will have to make arrangements for the massage sessions. Yoga postures, asanas and other gentle movements will also be introduced.
Why do they want me to move when moving causes so much pain?
There are numerous studies that support the use of physical movement in treating fibromyalgia, something that Ayurvedic practitioners have recognized the importance of for centuries. The Vata controls hormones and the immune system; it also controls the digestive process which not only includes the process of gaining nutrients, but of removing waste from the body. Movement stimulates the circulation of the two main systems of cleansing the body. It improves the heart rate, which is the pump that drives the blood through the body which provides nutrients to the cells and removes wastes to be filtered out. It also moves the lymphatic system, which is even more important.
What is the lymphatic system?
Many people are not aware that there is more lymph fluid in the body then there is blood, and that the fluid – while it removes less waste than the blood does, removes the more toxic waste that the blood cannot handle. The lymphatic system has its own network of circulatory veins that very much follows the arteries and veins of blood circulation – but it doesn’t have its own pump. While blood is pumped by the heart, the lymph system is dependent on muscle contraction to move through the body. By getting you to move in specific ways, you can stimulate the lymph system to clean the body out more frequently. Detoxifying is one of the main goals of Ayurvedic treatment for fibromyalgia.
IBS is a common complaint of those with fibromyalgia. When the Vata is disturbed, the first place it is apparent is in problems digesting food and passing waste. The diet and lifestyle changes, plus the herbs recommended in the Ayurvedic treatment for fibromyalgia focus on improving the health of your digestion. It may seem off to think that how you eat and how you go to the bathroom is so important in dealing with chronic muscle and joint pain, but the digestive system is what nourishes and allows for the body to remove wastes and toxins. Following the Ayurvedic treatment for fibromyalgia can bring you much relief from your symptoms, but it means that you must make a commitment to changing your lifestyle too.