What is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a collection of symptoms characterized by muscle pain, stiffness and fatigue. It is called a “syndrome” rather than a “disease” because there is no specific diagnostic test that confirms or denies its existence. There is no known cause . . . or cure. Rather, it is a confusing and frustrating collection of symptoms, which come and go and vary in intensity. While it is not life threatening it totally redefines the patients’ quality of life. It can be as debilitating as rheumatoid arthritis.
FMS has now known cause and it affects 5% to 10% of the population. Eight times more women are affected than men and it strikes all ages. It is often found in the company of other conditions such as irritable Bowel, myofascial pain, mitral valve prolapse and chronic fatigue. Although the cause remains elusive, there are many common triggering events thought to precipitate he onset of the illness.
The most important clinical features of FMS, the key symptoms a physician looks for are widespread pain or diffuse aching which has lasted for a period of three or more months, stiffness and
fatique coupled with a physical examination that demonstrates multiple tender points in specific areas.
There are many other symptoms, which vary from patient to patient both in severity and occurrence. These include headaches, memory and concentration problems (commonly referred to as Fibro fog), dizziness, numbness, tingling, itching, fluid retention, crampy abdominal and pelvic pain, irritable bowel syndrome, mitral valve prolapse, TMJD, allergies, and chronic fatigue. Severity of symptoms varies from one patient to the next and over a period of time.
Traditional treatments aim at improving the quality of sleep and reducing pain. I aim to use a progressive twelve session, system specific hypnotherapy program for fibromyalgia that will produce 50% or greater symptom reductions in patients. They are able to reduce their dependence on and use of pain medications anywhere from 30% to 60%. Their sleep improves without the necessity for sleep medications. They awaken refreshed and, as a result, the fatigue and mental fog improves. They are able to resume many of the activities they have stopped. This therapy approach was tested at UCLA Medical School. They used the same type of approach and verified the same things I intend to use in my practice. The only symptom that does not improve significantly is the tender point sites. But, the pain, the fatigue, the sleep disturbance and the mental cognition problems all improve significantly and remain that way when the sessions end. No matter how well controlled figromyalgia patients are, when they come off their medications, their symptoms return full force. Hypnotherapy for Fybromyalgia is non-invasive. And, unlike medications, it will not mask symptoms.