Fibromyalgia commonly presents as muscle pain, stiffness, and tenderness throughout the body. The patient usually does not know the cause of the pain and has often tried many things to alleviate their symptoms. The ayurvedic approach counts fibromyalgia as an imbalance not a disease, and a disorder of energy within the body and mind. Ayurveda gives hope to sufferers of fibromyalgia as it shows that the condition is treatable and manageable with ayurvedic treatment, diet, and lifestyle.
Symptoms of fibromyalgia
- Musculoskeletal pain
- Stiffness and/or tenderness throughout the body
- Mood disturbances (e.g., depression and/or anxiety)
- Cognitive difficulties (e.g., trouble concentrating, forgetfulness, and disorganized thinking)
What causes fibromyalgia?
Nervous system imbalance — According to Ayurveda, fibromyalgia is an imbalanced state of vata energy. The physiological principle at the basis of nervous system stability and activation is called vata. A state of vata imbalance means the pitta (metabolism) and kapha (immunity) are also thrown out of balance.
Build-up of toxins and impurities — Toxins (ama) and excess vata are the main pathogenic factors in fibromyalgia. Toxins accumulate through consumption of improper diet and/or weak digestion. When toxins accumulate in the tissues and block the channels, they can cause tenderness, pain, and hypersensitivity.
Accumulation of stress — Fibromyalgia can be triggered by stress. Stress at work or in the family, stress caused by life-changing events, a history of abuse, physical ailments such as infections and allergies are all triggering factors for fibromyalgia.
Other conditions trigger Fibromyalgia include:
- Genetics — Certain gene mutations are responsible for this condition. This tends to run in the families
- Infection — Prior infections can trigger fibromyalgia and worsen the symptoms
- Physical or emotional trauma — People with physical or emotional trauma can develop this condition
- Stress — Stress leaves its effect for a long time; this can also be a triggering factor
- Gender — Fibromyalgia is more common in women
- Family history
- Other medical conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or lupus.
Ayurvedic management of fibromyalgia
Treatments include ayurvedic massage with herbarized oil (abhyanga), nervous system treatment (shirodhara), herbal paste massage (Udvartana), full body herbal steam bath (Swedana).
Abhyanga — As the toxins move out of the tissues and into the alimentary canal, the treatments focus on removing them from the bowel. Many studies have shown massage to be effective in managing fibromyalgia pain, anxiety, and depression. Abhyanga is a type of Ayurvedic massage that uses warm oil and very specific pressure and strokes.
This procedure is done with the shashti shali rice. In this, a bag is wrapped with shashti shali and cooked in herbal oil. After that, the massage is done with this potali (kizhi) on your whole body that will reduce stiffness, pain, and inflammation in fibromyalgia patients.
Nasya — In this procedure, medicated oil is poured in each nostril. This medicated oil will balance the vata and kapha dosha in the body that is the reason for fibromyalgia.
Shirodhara — Lukewarm medicated oil or medicated water is poured on your forehead to calm your mind. This procedure will reduce stress, anxiety, fatigue, and general weakness related to fibromyalgia.
Color therapy — Red creates heat in the body and stimulates circulation. It also gives energy to the nerve tissue. Green soothes the emotions and brings happiness to the heart. Red, orange, and yellow and green help to relieve aggravated vata and kapha but overexposure can aggravate pitta. Blue has a calming, cooling effect on the body and mind. Purple brings awakening of awareness. Blue and purple relieve aggravated pitta and kapha, but overuse may aggravate vata.
Gem therapy — Amethyst helps control emotional temperament and is good for vata and pitta imbalances. Moonstone calms the mind, and its cooling energy helps relieve disturbed vata and pitta. Pearls are used for healing as well as protection against anger. Violet or purple sapphire has a neutralizing effect on vata. It helps in diseases like sciatica, neurological pain and all vata disorders.
Healthy tips and diet for fibromyalgia patients
- Drink green coconut water daily.
- Include soups and vegetable juices in your daily routine.
- Avoid tea, coffee, yogurt, alcohol.
- Prepare an herbal tea from ginger, clove, cardamom, & cinnamon. Drink this herbal tea once daily.
- Avoid vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, brussel sprouts, potatoes, etc.
- Exercise or walk for 30 minutes daily.
- Drink carrot and beetroot juice.
- Practice yoga poses like uttanasana, bhujangasana, setu bandha sarvangasana, & sooryanamaskar for strengthening your muscles.
- Perform Anuloma-viloma Pranayam & shavasana.
- Sleep for at least 8 hours at night
- Avoid eating fast and processed food items.
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Written by —
Founder of LANA OncoSpa
Specialized in Oncology Aesthetics