What to Do for the Overwhelming Fatigue and Pain of Fibromyalgia


Hi, I wrote to you a few years ago... about your healing trauma book and my book about fibro... I have been fine for 7 years but since late Oct. this year, I've been in a lot of pain... any suggestions would be really helpful... been a very difficult and stressful time for me and not sure what to do... the pain is very different than before... cannot lift my arms, my left leg and lower back hurt, mostly... thanks.

Sarah H.

Hi, Sarah.

Sorry you're having to deal with this challenging situation.

Of course, the first thought that comes to mind is to ask you if there's anything you can do to relieve yourself of the stressful conditions that have been impacting you so severely and exacerbating your symptoms? If so, please do it! And I also assume you've seen your doc and there's no new help to be gained there.

So, that said, here's the rest:

  1. Is there any gentle body work you can get from a knowledgeable, experienced practitioner? Sometimes gentle massage and/or energy work can make a substantial difference.

  2. Most of the research says that gentle, easy exercise is actually helpful for FM symptoms, if you're up for it. This may not be the time, but keep it in mind.

  3. What about a medical/nutritional consult to see if you can get some help with diet change and possibly supplements, not to mention evaluate you for a thorough detox & cleansing regimen?

  4. Acupuncture could be well worth a try now.

  5. Do whatever you can to get some restful sleep. Try some guided imagery to help you fall asleep, stay asleep or get back to sleep if you wake up in the middle of the night, as you probably do right now.

  6. You may want to vary your guided imagery, to keep it interesting enough to stay motivated. You could supplement this with some breathwork, MBSR (mindfulness-based stress reduction) or any form of Vipassana meditation, such as Shinzen Young's Natural Pain Relief or the Elaine Petrone Method: Relieve Your Pain. This will help with the stress and it will also help with the pain, so these mind-body methods are definitely a two-fer for you.

  7. How about a fibromyalgia support group, so you can feel less isolated and alone? If there's nothing in your area, you could look online. There are some terrific resources there.

  8. And of course, rest when needed, get help, prioritize all necessary tasks and choose how to expend your energy wisely.

  9. Remember: this too shall pass, so try not to get too discouraged. But this will take some extra attention and care to help you get past this period.

I know you know all this, but sometimes it's good to hear it from somebody else. I hope this unpleasant phase moves quickly out of your life!

All best,