Mindfulness for Fibromyalgia
In order to provide patients with the best possible treatment in our holistic approach at our Multi-disciplinary Clinic we try to consider everything available and as part of that we’ve looked at many non-drug therapies over the years. Many of these treatments or therapies are for reducing the Sympathetic Nervous System over stimulation (or the heightened fight or flight reaction most readers will have heard of) of Fibromyalgia have been studied and now part of our scientific treatment.
One therapy that’s getting a lot of attention lately and is thought to reduce the Sympathetic Nervous System over stimulation and has shown improvements in Fibro symptoms is Mindfulness. Kim Jones, PhD recently completed a clinical study on Fibromyalgia and Mindfulness and it was the cover article in the USA Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Life Winter Magazine 2014 issue, where they state “These results indicate that practicing mindfulness techniques may be a low-cost, side effect free option for people wishing to reduce the severity of their fibromyalgia.”
Basically practicing mindfulness techniques starts with the concept of living in the moment and not looking back into the past or forward into the future. Try to keep your mind in the present moment of whatever you’re doing, so if you’re ironing, doing paperwork or walking, just focus on those things in your mind and don’t think about other things. My best Mindfulness moments are when I walk my dogs, no matter how stressed I am at the beginning of the walk I come back….calm.
Another good principal is to stop multi-tasking. You really can’t be calm if your mind is racing, trying to do several things at one. Try to just do the one thing and do it well, then move on to the next thing that needs doing and just focus on that one thing.
Finally, meditation and deep breathing are also essential to obtaining Mindfulnesses possible stress reducing effects, which should then hopefully reduce the Sympathetic Nervous System over stimulation and possibly help reduce your Fibro symptoms. The body can’t heal if it feels it’s under threat, so being calm and rested are thought to be essential to one’s recovery.
There are many sources of Mindfulness online and most CBT (Cognitive Behaviour) Therapists will be familiar with it and be able to offer advice. So relax and don’t stress if you don’t get Mindfulness at first – as that defeats the entire purpose!