Reverse Therapy

Bodymind healing and awareness

The Fibromyalgia mystery

In my last post I mentioned Chris Moran’s observations that over three-quarters of his Fibromyalgia patients had first sufffered from whiplash and other injuries. This has been amply borne out by my own experience. To take 4 recent cases:

Case 1. A client in her 40s whose Fibromyalgia started following surgery after a car crash went wrong and left her with permanent nerve damage to her face.

Case 2. A client in her 30s whose Fibromyalgia started up after breaking both legs in a ski-ing accident.

Case 3. A client in his 30s who developed Fibromyalgia after a whip-lash injury from a car accident left him temporarily disabled.

Case 4. A client in her 60s with Fibromyalgia who had also suffered from Trigeminal Neuralgia for over 10 years.

Yet in each case the Fibromyalgia pain (although not always the other pain source) reduced or disappeared with changing circumstances. Case 1 found her symptoms were less when not caring for her very old mother. Case 2 at weekends when with her family and friends. Case 3 when not cooped up at home (he worked part-time). Case 4 when away on holiday.

So how does chronic pain link to Fibromyalgia? Here is my theory for what it is worth. Injuries and illness create pain in the first place and also a restricted, frustrating, life-style. This, in turn, leads to increased emotion (not only frustration but also sadness, anger and fear) as well as a reduction in joy. At this point the HPA axis is activated and eventually creates the further symptoms of Fibromyalgia – effectively prompting the individual to pay more attention to her emotional needs and change the way in which she has adapted to the pain.

Chronic pain is one of the most distressing experiences we can have. I well remember the pain I suffered for years from an undiagnosed appendix problem – as well as the intense pain that occurred the week before I was rushed into hospital when it ruptured. And yet my experience was small-scale compared to some of my clients. It’s no wonder they are emotionally vulnerable.

Advertisements

January 30, 2007 Posted by | Fibromyalgia, Health, Pain, Reverse Therapy, Stress | Leave a comment

Dr Chris Moran

A year ago this month Dr Chris Moran, Chief Rheumatologist at Bournemouth Nuffield Hospital, died from Cancer. He was a staunch supporter of Reverse Therapy. In fact he first made contact with me when four of his Fibromyalgia patients returned to him for their appointments and told him they were now well after Reverse Therapy. Chris was a genuinely nice man as well as a humble one (despite his formidable intelligence). He once told me that he didn’t fully understand Reverse Therapy but, given that it worked, it was worth careful study. And it was Chris that found the money we needed to launch the clinical trials that are now under way. For that alone he has our gratitude.

In one conversation I had with him a few months before he died, Chris told me something very interesting about Fibromyalgia. Which was that over three-quarters of the people he saw with the condition had begun with whiplash and other injuries before developing symptoms. If Reverse Therapy worked by helping people get the emotional ‘message of the symptom’ then what, he wanted to know, was Bodymind trying to tell them about their pain through the Fibromyalgia symptoms?

It is that link I will be exploring in my next post.

January 18, 2007 Posted by | Fibromyalgia, Health, Reverse Therapy | Leave a comment

Anxiety

Anxiety is sometimes called ‘the modern disease’ (or at least when I was a twenty-something poet I liked to think so). In fact this is not true. Chronic anxiety, according to a consensus of studies, only affects about 16% of the population.

The reason many of us think Anxiety is more common than it is, is that we get it mixed up with Fear. But Anxiety is not an emotion – it is a symptomatic state. Fear is an emotion.

Bodymind creates a fear response when we are confronted with an immediate danger that requires action on our part. It is a strong, visceral, emotion and we are being aroused to do something about the problem in that moment – find out more about it, talk to others, get help, do something about the situation. As we swing into action the emotion dissolves.

Anxiety is created by Headmind and relates to situations that have either not happened yet, or future situations we are worrying about. Anxiety comes up when we avoid taking action, dwelling instead on the ‘disaster movies’ Headmind cooks up for us. The symptomatic state that ensues – chest constriction, gut changes, sweating, rapid heart-beat, panic – is a warning that we are spending too much time in our Heads, thinking about the problem rather than getting involved. In fact, as research often shows, worries rarely come true.

Anxiety worsens with avoidance. The more Headmind worries about what will happen to us the more ‘obvious’ it seems to stay away from situations. Unfortunately, the more we stay away, the worse the anxiety gets, as Headmind has more unknown problems to feed on.

This difference can be clearly seen in shyness. Shy people are not fearful, they are anxious. They get trapped in the heads worrying about what people will think of them, of having nothing to say and drying up, of being rejected, etc. The remedy is to get some coaching and learn how to slowly make social situations easier. But avoiding society will only make the problem worse.

Sometimes fear and anxiety go together (now it gets really subtle!). So – we can be scared when we receive a tax bill and when that happens we are being motivated to talk to people who can help us find a solution. And we can also get anxious – a sure sign that we are avoiding action and hallucinating calamity. So when your tax bill arrives at the end of this month be sure to have your bank manager’s phone number handy.

I wish all my readers a Happy New Year!

January 9, 2007 Posted by | Anxiety, Headmind, Health, Reverse Therapy, Stress, Wellbeing | 1 Comment