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Articles by Tamara Der-Ohanian, DSHM

Homeopathic Medicine for Fibromyalgia; Natural Remedies to Alleviate Pain and Fatigue

As published in the April 2014 issue of Vitality Magazine

Fibromyalgia is often misunderstood, and even misdiagnosed, when symptoms first appear. It is difficult to diagnose because fibromyalgia’s main symptoms, including widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, sleep problems, mood disorders, headaches, brain fog and Irritable Bowel Syndrome, often overlap many other conditions.

The term fibromyalgia means pain in the fibrous tissues of the body; muscles, ligaments and tendons. It is usually accompanied by profound fatigue, which has no apparent cause or reason.

Scientists believe that Fibromyalgia is the resulting dysfunction of how the brain and body communicate. It is believed to be a pain amplification syndrome; it amplifies the sensation of pain by affecting the way your brain processes pain signals. Therefore fibromyalgia is a central nervous system disorder, rather than a musculoskeletal one.

The diagnosing criteria consists of pain being present in four quadrants of the body for a minimum of three months, and having 11 out of 18 tender points in the neck, shoulders, chest, hips, elbows and knees. For a comprehensive understanding of fibromyalgia and its natural treatments visit http:/EverythingFibromyalgia.com

Traditionally, fibromyalgia patients are prescribed pain killers, low dose antidepressants, and various other medications corresponding to their symptoms. Pain diminishes, symptoms are palliated, but the patient remains ill and tired, unsatisfied with their overall health and searching for better solutions.

In contrast, homeopaths prescribe one remedy, at any given time, which corresponds with all physical and emotional symptoms experienced by the individual. The remedy is therefore personal. It is an energetic stimulant nudging the body’s healing power to re-awaken and start the recovery process. The results are encouraging. Patients report reduced pain, more energy, better sleep and feeling happier overall. Over time, symptoms disappear – and health, vitality and balance are restored.

What Causes Fibromyalgia?

Sometimes symptoms begin after a physical trauma, such as a car accident or surgery. Other times, the triggers are emotional traumas such as divorce or loss of a loved one. In many cases symptoms gradually accumulate over time with no single triggering event.

There are varying schools of thought on how fibro-myalgia develops. Some researchers link fibromyalgia to immune disorders and a compromised immune system, some think it’s viral, while others say hormonal imbalance plays a crucial role.

Dr. John Lowe, DC, is a leading expert on treating thyroid disease with natural medicine. In one article he discussed hypothyroidism and the lesser known “thyroid hormone resistance.” Dr. Lowe argued that lab tests are not the most useful tool for diagnosing thyroid disease, and that thyroid dysfunction can be linked to fibromyalgia. (1)

Melanie’s Story

Two days after being vaccinated in preparation for her trip to Africa, Melanie experienced high fever and achiness all over. Shortly after that came burning pains in her neck and shoulders. She then grew increasingly weak and tired and was forced to cancel her trip.

Numerous doctors’ visits, blood tests, and scans couldn’t pinpoint the cause of her ill health. The search continued for eight months. Melanie’s first specialist suggested the problem may be psychological and recommended that she see a psychiatrist.

Frustrated with no diagnosis and convinced that her aches and pains were not in her head, Melanie continued to search for solutions. She saw a second specialist who diagnosed fibromyalgia and prescribed pain killers.

Uncomfortable with the idea of taking prescription medications, Melanie decided it was time to turn to alternative treatments.

Melanie changed her diet and started using supplements to boost her immune system. Her symptoms improved a little and her brain fog lifted over time, but many of her aches and pains remained unchanged.

Then Melanie’s friend suggested homeopathy.

When Melanie came to my office, she had burning pains in her neck, shoulders and thighs. Her legs felt weak with some tingling and numbness. She complained of extreme fatigue and feeling unmotivated. Two hours was the longest she was able to sleep during the night. She had migraine headaches weekly. Her bowels were consistently loose and she had nightmares of being chased, attacked, and scenarios of people “coming to get me.”

With the homeopathic remedy Lachesis in various potencies, Melanie’s health began improving. Over a period of seven months her pains gradually diminished, her sleep was restored and the fatigue lifted. Melanie also reported that the migraines were only occasional, her bowels became mostly normal, and the nightmares had disappeared.

Homeopathic Remedies are Very Personal

It is important to note here that the remedy Lachesis will not work for all Fibromyalgia patients, even if they experience symptoms similar to Melanie’s. In order to benefit from this remedy, you need to have a certain constitution, personality type and temperament, have a specific type of pain (one that possibly moves from left to right side of the body) loquacity, be predisposed to glandular affections, prefer cooler temperatures, and so on. In order to arrive at a suitable remedy for your fibromyalgia symptoms, a homeopath will be interested to investigate your reactions to life circumstances leading up to the illness. The homeopath will also want to understand who you are as an individual and how you experience your world and your life.

A classical homeopath will carefully explore each physical symptom experienced in different parts of your body, such as whether the pains in your shoulders are dull, sharp, burning, shooting, twisting, or gnawing. They will also want to know what time of day your pains are better or worse, and whether hot or cold applications improve or worsen the pain.

Your homeopath will further investigate how you sleep, what foods you crave, your digestion, bowel habits and more. As well, what makes you anxious, worried, fearful or angry will be discussed. By putting together all of the information about you, like a jigsaw puzzle, the homeopath will arrive at a suitable remedy.

Pam’s Story

Pam was a happy, healthy and active 42-year old wife and mother of two young girls. She worked part-time, volunteered at her kids’ school, and enjoyed family life. While driving to pick up her kids from school one day, Pam was involved in a collision.

The accident resulted in small scrapes and bruises, and neck pains consistent with whiplash. Pam’s recovery was slower than expected. Three weeks following the accident, she slipped and fell on ice in a parking lot. Pam’s health started to deteriorate after this fall. She went from leading a busy life to being a sluggish, stressed out woman in constant pain. The pain was especially strong in her neck and shoulders.

Within a week of the fall, Pam found it difficult to walk or even move without experiencing pain. Her sleep became disturbed, fluctuating between not being able to fall asleep for hours, to waking up every hour. She experienced brain fog and became forgetful – leaving the stove turned on, or forgetting to unplug the iron.

She felt so fatigued that she described getting out of bed and getting dressed as a major task. Working and taking care of her family became increasingly difficult and stressful for Pam. She became depressed and frustrated with her situation, especially being told she had no medical reason for her pains.

She was prescribed pain killers which she took for a short period. The medication irritated her stomach, causing nausea and heartburn. Pam also took antidepressants which she found were not helping her mood. She decided to stop taking the medication and investigate other options. In her research for natural treatments Pam came across homeopathy and decided to give it a try.

Pam’s symptoms and gregarious personality corresponded to the remedy Calcarea phosphoricum. This remedy cleared up Pam’s fibromyalgia symptoms, and further strengthened her overall constitution. She recently reported not having experienced bronchitis for three years in a row now; something she normally contracted every winter since childhood – before homeopathic treatment

Homeopathy is Energy Medicine

Homeopaths assume that when a person becomes ill and experiences symptoms, this is caused by an imbalance in the energy force which keeps the organism in homeostasis. Homeopaths call this energy the vital force. The energy force that keeps our solar system in perfect harmony (planets circling the sun, the moon’s energy affecting the oceans and so on) also keeps our bodies in balance and good health.

When we become ill, the vital force that flows freely throughout our bodies becomes blocked or stagnates. A homeopathic remedy unlocks the stagnating energy in order to allow the organism to proceed with its inherent work of keeping in good health.

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Tamara Der-Ohanian, DSHM, is a Homeopathic Physician practicing in Toronto. She can be reached at (416) 385-1001, or visit her web site at www.tamarader-ohanian.com

Winner! 2012 Best of Canada natural health awards