What is Fibromyalgia? Many people have it, but most of us really don’t know what it is. Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition where you have muscle and joint pain throughout your body. It may also present with things like fatigue and tender points in multiple muscles. Some people may even experience things like stiffness in the morning, sleep problems, stress or anxiety, and even IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).
The best way I can describe Fibromyalgia to you is comparing it to anxiety. When you have anxiety, it’s an umbrella feeling that is composed of many different feelings and emotions that you are not aware of at the time. When you begin to understand what is going on behind the scenes of anxiety, such as resentment, anger, guilt, vulnerability, etc…, your anxiety will begin to diminish. This is the same for Fibromyalgia. When you suffer from Fibromyalgia, it is an umbrella condition/symptom that is being driven by many other things within your body that you are not aware of. If you have seen the movie Shrek, he talks about how Ogres are like onions, they have many layers. This is such a wonderful way to describe how chronic conditions are like onions, they have layers.
Let’s break this down a little to make it more understandable. There are three different types of stress that we deal with on a regular basis: physical stress, chemical stress, and mental/emotional stress. When our body has stress, it has tools that it utilizes to deal with the stress (i.e. adrenals, neurotransmitters, organs, etc…) When these tools are working properly, our body is able to handle the stress and we become stronger for it (i.e. I walk a mile, then my body gets more endurance and I am able to walk a mile and a half).
In the case of chronic issues such as Fibromyalgia, the tools that we have to deal with stress are not present or are not working efficiently. In this case there is a huge delay in healing. The stress that we’re dealing with now has the opportunity to play ping pong throughout our body causing more issues. At this time, the body must learn how to adapt, so it will borrow from Peter to pay Paul. In other words, areas in your body that are hit the hardest with stress are given assistance from neighboring areas of the body. It’s as if the healthy parts of the body are putting band aids on areas that are affected. The unfortunate thing is that the part of the body that gives itself to help begins to weaken itself. This creates another situation where this part body now needs help from another part of the body. All this leads to multiple adaptations that resemble an onion. After many layers of adaptation, your body finally shows a symptom. Unfortunately many of us are programmed to address the symptom that is happening right NOW. We don’t think about the layers that are beneath it that have driven the symptom in the first place.
Remember, we can pull the head of the dandelion off all day long, but if we don’t get to the root of the problem, it will continually grow back.