• Anne Woods-Tinkum

Fibromyalgia: Part IV | The Reconstruction

Updated: Jan 5, 2021

Welcome to the reconstruction phase of healing. In the fourth installment of this blog series I want to explain Fibromyalgia stages 5-8. This is the group of stages where patients feel less pain and perhaps take on too much activity--sending the body into painful fibro flare. We are not to be discouraged, it’s a good sign, but there's more work to do. To continue building upon my analogy of the dilapidated house, the first four stages are about cleaning up the mess and making the body hospitable enough to produce and store the energy needed to get fibro sufferers back to doing the things they love.

Starting at this stage will seal the exterior, drain the leftover swamp, fix the wiring and clear out all the rotting mess: this is your healing body. It gets you out of the worst kind of pain. Stages 5-8 are about reconstruction. At this point, it is imperative to gather the necessary workers and supplies, making sure that clean water and clear air are flowing throughout. Most importantly, the home must be able to retain its warmth. This creates a cozy body you can live comfortably in by having the ability to restore your energy and stamina, repair muscle and nerve damage and regulate the body’s temperature.

Many people in the program report fifty to eighty percent of pain is gone within a few short weeks with the easy to implement breathing exercises, self massage and herbal medicines. These simple restorative practices allow enough healing to begin building energy without over-stressing the body and mind. The key to this perspective on treatment is giving yourself the permission to relax and pay close attention to what your body is telling you. In the next section you'll learn about each stage we’ll work through, one-by-one, guided by the signs and signals your body gives us.

Stage Five:

Mitochondrial Myopathy Fibromyalgia

This type of chronic pain is associated with fatigue, low levels of nitric oxide and muscle weakness. The pain gets worse after movements and worsens with fatigue. It is often accompanied by immunodeficiency (failure of the immune system to protect the body adequately from infection) and shortness of breath.

Big Picture: After the decay has been cleaned away, much of the sharp pain is gone, but there is still a dull pain that increases with exercise. This is like cleaning a house, ripping out the walls, but not having any workers to begin rebuilding. In the human body this is being so tired that it literally hurts. The body is too weak to repair itself and regulate pain signals.

This pain is typically associated with:

  • Fatigue

  • Muscle weakness

  • Poor wound healing

  • The pain gets worse after movements and is worsened with fatigue

  • Often accompanied by immunodeficiency

  • Shortness of breath

Key Signs:

  • Burning

  • Swelling

  • Throbbing

  • Cramping

  • Aching

  • Heaviness

  • Restless legs

  • Leg fatigue

Stage Six: Venous Insufficiency Fibromyalgia

This type of fibromyalgia is associated with impaired circulation, lightheadedness and insomnia.

Big Picture:

Imagine a house in the middle of being repaired. The dead wood has been ripped out. There are workers available, but they need supplies to work with. This stage focuses on rebuilding your reserves so that your body can have healthy intracellular communication, increased oxygen carrying red blood cells and the ability to help repair damaged tissue.

Key Signs:

  • Itching and tingling

  • Pale complexion

  • Fatigue

  • Muscle spasms, twitching or restless leg syndrome

Stage 7: Low DHEA or HPA-Thyroid Dysregulation

This type of fibromyalgia is often associated with thyroid disorders, long-term adrenal response and poor sleep.

Big Picture:

This is where the pipes in the house are fixed and water begins to flow. The sprinklers turn on and water the parched grass. Over time the dead lawn turns into a cool garden. You replace the air conditioning so you can think clearly. It becomes easier to sleep through the night without tossing and turning.

Key Signs:

  • Often seen when fibromyalgia occurs at menopause

  • Associated with estrogen deficiency

  • Associated with night sweats and pain that seems to come from inside the bones

  • Waking in the middle of the night

  • Lumbar pain

  • Pain that is worse when standing for long periods

  • Poor memory

  • Hair loss

  • Night sweats

Stage 8: Hypocortisol Fibromyalgia

Dysregulation of ACTH and Cortisol Associated with Lumbar Pain and Low Body Temperature

This is usually associated with low libido or sexual dysfunction, nighttime urination, long-term depression and the fear response. The body initially increases ACTH with acute pain. Over time the body loses its ability to create its own anti-inflammatory steroids.

Big Picture:

Imagine living in a house that is never warm. Picture a lonely fireplace and cold wind that seems to pass through the cracks in the house and enter into your legs. You can almost feel the cold grabbing tightly into the bones. This creates an understandable cycle of pain and depression. In order to restore comfort to the home it is important to have the chimney cleaned, and the house insulated. Then you get wood and begin to kindle a fire in the hearth. At first the fire is small as the kindling catches. Then the fire slowly begins to warm the entire house. You can finally enjoy warm tea and feel the tight pains in the body begin to unwind. The transition from a rotting hovel to a cozy, peaceful home is complete. From here you may choose to maintain it and enjoy what you have or continue to make improvements.

Key Signs:

  • Associated with lumbar pain, and low body temperature

  • Associated with low libido or sexual dysfunction, night time urination,

  • Often associated with long term depression

  • More common in men around andropause

You must rebuild a dilapidated house in order to make it a safe, efficient, and comfortable place to live. The same is true for your body. Your body, your mind, and your spirit have been devastated by the debilitating effects of Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue. But we can rebuild it with this specific way, step by step, ensuring that you get rid of the pain. The difference here is that you will know how to keep the pain away. You will know how to restore your energy. You will have more tools to focus and create the inner vitality you need for the long run.

Tune in next week for the 5th installment in the Fibro series. I will discuss the treatment strategies for each stage and how to get involved with the program. This process will awaken your inner healing potential, and as you move through the stages in a methodical order, you will transform the pain and move from an overwhelmed state into a more flowing and fabulous ways of being.

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