Patients with chronic muscle pain (and often joint and bone pain too!) are frequently prodded in a set of specific points and then told by their doctor that they have fibromyalgia. Then, they are written a prescription for Cymbalta and told there is little else that can be done!
This is simply not true.
Although the primary concern of individuals diagnosed with fibromyalgia is aching in their musculoskeletal system, I have never seen a client with this diagnosis that is not complexly ill.
Individuals almost always have challenges with poor energy, sleep, mood, and memory. These additional symptoms reveal the complexity of the breakdown in normal body functioning and tells us that a medication, any medication, can not address what’s gone wrong deep within. There are tests not usually performed by conventional physicians that can help us determine if there are disturbances with leaky gut, dysbiosis, stress hormones, metabolic impairments, nutritional deficiencies, neurotransmitter impairments, and dysregulation of the immune system. It is highly likely that with such investigations a number of fixable breakdowns can be identified and repaired.
An additional factor that is present in the majority of our patients is a history of trauma. In this context we define trauma as an event or period in a person’s life where they were insecure and felt trapped. The level of insecurity can vary from instances where a person is recurrently subjected or witness to physical or emotional abuse, abandonment, or violence or feels trapped in a childhood with little safety or nurture. There are some individuals where the moment of insecurity was extremely brief but also extremely intense – such as a near life ending accident. The feelings of being helpless are associated with feelings of powerlessness to either fight or flee. We are now aware from the epidemiological studies of Adverse Childhood Events that situations such as these result in physiological breakdown over time, including the development of a broad array of health problems such as degenerative, inflammatory, or autoimmune diseases and cancer.
What can be done?
Every client that comes to our practice has a set of diagnostic tests recommended based on their combination of symptoms. The tests provide the basis for an individualized holistic program that will include goals to repair metabolic breakdown and repair leaky gut; restore normal bacterial flora to the gut; replace nutrients present in inadequate amounts to support repair; restore normal sleep and exercise patterns; and eliminate toxins if they are playing a role.
The component of our programs that may not be present when working with other functional medicine clinics is our complex and robust program to heal trauma and restore stress resiliency. For most of our clients this is the most important work that cannot be done alone. It requires trust between the client and our team and we understand that takes time, patience, and gentleness.
We are here, we are experienced, we have a track record of success over many years and we would like to help.