Chronic muscle pain accompanied by lack of sleep and a consequent feeling of constant tiredness is often a sign of stress. However, it may be indicative of another lesser known condition – fibromyalgia.
This is a syndrome that affects muscles as well the surrounding soft tissues and can be responsible for the unexplained feeling of muscle pain you experience for no specific reason.
Closely related to this is another disorder called chronic fatigue syndrome. Both fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome can be highly debilitating because of the fatigue they cause and this can interfere with a person’s lifestyle.
Many people observe that their symptoms tend to peak at particular times of the day such as early morning and evening. Some of the common symptoms of this condition may include:
Chronic pain in the muscles or muscle spasm
Low energy levels and fatigue ranging from moderate to severe
Lack of refreshing sleep or insomnia
Stiffness after being in a single position for long
Chronic generalised aches all over or specific complaints such as headache or migraine
Fogginess of the mind, depression, problems with concentrating on simple mental tasks
Sensitivity to noise, bright light, cold weather and strong smells
Numbness or a tingling sensation in the legs, hands and face
Feeling of swelling in the hands and feet when none exists
Ayurveda suggests that fibromyalgia may be because of an improper functioning of the nerves that carry impulses to and from the muscles. The symptoms of this disorder are categorized under Vataja Jwara that is due to imbalance in Vata Dosha; when this advances, it begins to affect the deeper tissues and Ojas – the material power in the body that nourishes the higher consciousness, holding together the spirit, mind and body.
The nervous system is governed by the Vata dosha and therefore, an imbalance in this dosha is responsible for fibromyalgia. Therefore, treatment of this condition in Ayurveda depends on correcting this Vata imbalance by ridding the body of the toxins and impurities that have built up within the tissues.
Ayurveda treatment may include:
At first, the body is supported to eliminate the unwanted stubborn byproducts in a procedure called Panchakarma therapy.
Next, the body is urged towards a state of equilibrium of Doshas by the use of certain herbs and diet and lifestyle that alleviate the symptoms
Formulations made of traditional medicinal plants are used to strengthen Ojas or Immunity.
Ayurveda Panchakarma therapies such as Abhayanga and Shirodhara combine the effects of massage therapy with the medicinal effects of specially formulated oils and have been found beneficial in reducing the painful symptoms of fibromyalgia.
Shashti Shali Pinda Swedana for Fibromyalgia
Many neurological ailments may respond well to this unique form of Ayurveda therapy called Shasti Shali Pinda Swedana. The word “Shasti” refers to the rice that is made to grow in 60 days and swedana is therapy that induces perspiration.
Thus, this is a process in which the affected part is treated by applying medicated boluses made by combining rice with different medicinal herbs tied in a cloth bag; when this method is used, it induces perspiration that helps to rid the body of toxins.
Herbs that help to detoxify the body, eliminate vata dosha and remove excess of pitta are said to be good for fibromyalgia. Amla fruit (Emblica officinalis) is a classic example of such a herb and it is a part of ancient formulations such as Chyavanprash and Triphala that may be recommended.
Is well known for being one of the richest natural sources of vitamin C; however, it also contains other ingredients – tannins such as gallic acid and ellagic acid and phyllanemblin and flavonoids.
Amla has the unique property among Ayurvedic herbs of being able to balance all the three Doshas and therefore, it has been traditionally considered as an important herb in the treatment of debilitating disorders such as fibromyalgia.
Other herbs that may help with fibromyalgia include turmeric (Curcuma longa), garlic (Allium sativum), guggul (Commiphora mukul) and ginger (Zingiber officinale).
Contains curcumin that has been shown to possess anti-inflammatory and antioxidant action and may be used as a remedy against the pain and fatigue of fibromyalgia.
May help to detoxify the body of the toxins that have accumulated and led to the symptoms of this condition. Besides, it also helps to strengthen the immune system and therefore, has rejuvenative properties.
Guggul and Ginger:
Contain volatile oil that are made up of phytoconstituents with a marked anti-inflammatory and analgesic property.
People with this chronic disease have to battle a lot of pain and tension in different parts of the body. Certain yogasanas (yoga postures) can help to keep the muscles supple and reduce the pain and tension.
For example, Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose) helps to keep the spine strong and free from pain. Garudasana (Eagle Pose) helps to stretch the muscles in the upper back and Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose) serves to open the chest and extend the back. Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend) helps to keep anxiety in check.
In Ayurveda, the food we consume is considered as playing an important role in maintaining the balance of the 3 Doshas. Therefore, when treating fibromyalgia, the ayurvedic practitioner also gives advice about the types of food to be eaten and those to be avoided. Here are a few guidelines about what to eat during fibromyalgia:
Beetroot, cucumber and carrot juice
Spices such as ginger, coriander, cumin and asafetida
Coconut milk and coconut water
Green salads with salt and lemon juice dressing
Foods to be avoided in chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia include:
Fried, spicy and hot foods
Vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, egg plant, okra, spinach and potato
Excess of beverages such as coffee, tea and alcohol
The symptoms of fibromyalgia get aggravated at times when people are under stress. Therefore, learning to keep calm is an important part of the treatment of this condition. Avoiding mental tension and setting up a regular sleeping pattern without sleeping during the day are important measures that can help better recovery from fibromyalgia.
Practices such as pranayama, yoga and meditation can help to deal with the symptoms of fibromyalgia. These practices also help to calm the mind, relieve anxiety and prevent mental fatigue.
While this is a general explanation of fibromyalgia and its treatment as per Ayurvedic concepts, the fact remains that Ayurveda provides a treatment method that is tailored to an individual’s specific constitution.
Depending on the specific symptoms of fibromyalgia that you experience and your body type, an Ayurveda doctor will be able to get an idea of the Ayurvedic imbalance of your problem. Using this information, he or she will then design a therapy protocol that is tailor-made to suit your particular constitution aim to help you get relief from the pain and discomfort of fibromyalgia.
If you wish to consult Ayurveda, you may choose to contact one of our Ayurveda Practitioners Gurnam Saini or Pooja Saini in Melbourne. Both of our Practitioners are Qualified Ayurveda Doctors from India. You may contact us at "Pure Herbal Ayurved Clinic". People who can't reach us personally, may choose for online Ayurveda consultation.
PH- 0061 430 799 515
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Ayurveda stads for extensive and elaborate clinical examination to understand thenature of the disease