Freedom from FM by Dr. Selfridge, CURED

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Kombucha, Nov 30, 2007.

  1. Kombucha

    Kombucha New Member

    Has anyone gone through the book and treatment for CFS/FM?

    This is written by a medical doctor who cured her own FM.

    She was treated by Dr. John Sarno and then developed her own take on the treatment protocal.

    She says the fatigue does take longer than the pain to resolve though.

    But what Dr. Sarno and Dr. Selfridge is saying is that the symptoms are physical yet they are directed by the brain and are completely reversable. The symptoms purpose is to distract. And who here with CFS/FM is not completely involved/obsessed with their symptoms?

    The treatment is looking for the rage/anger from childhood, from present stress, from personality pressures from perfectionism and goodism. Simply daily writing out where these angers may be are enough to disrupt the subconscious need to distract.

    If any of this is something NEW to you, then read a few books, there is nothing to lose.

    The treatment is free, harmless, and for MANY PEOPLE complete cure. Some titles,

    Healing Back Pain
    The Divided Mind
    The Mindbody by Dr. John Sarno

    Pain Free For Life by Dr. Scott Brady (in Orlando and has cured FM)

    There are plenty of book reviews, and webpages to explore and most librarys have these titles.


  2. Kombucha

    Kombucha New Member

    I thought I'd give this a bump, maybe it got lost in the shuffle and that is why noone has responded.

    I've been jounaling every day for a month looking to express anger, and reading these books.

    I have been able to increase my activity level. I've used a pedometer on and off over the last few years. Typical # of steps was around 5-6k, now I am able to get my steps up to around 10k. A big improvement for sure.

    I always said for years, that stuff wouldn't work, I don't want to be sick, look at all the studies of CFS. Well, I decided that Dr. Sarna makes as much sense as anyone who has written about CFS. And he doesn't want to take my money, have a list of supplements etc.

    These doctors are treating Fibromyalgia and they are being cured. IF they have reversed their condition--why not me? I was a little threatened in the beginning that if this was so easy then I allowed myself to suffer for decades. But then I accepted, when you know better you do better.

    All these people with intractable pain reversed!I look forward to this journey and how far it can take me.

  3. Cinderbug

    Cinderbug New Member

    I know I am in the minority on this, but in my personal case I very much think it started with as the Dr.Brady website puts it "Autonomic Overload Syndrome".

    Mine does not go back to childhood but to the 10 years before my DX of FMS and CFS.

    I was trying to manage a demanding job while living with an untreated alchoholic husband and managing a untreated bipolar daughter. I was never not under major stress. I always felt when I got sick I "imploded".

    Well, now both hubby and daughter's conditions are treated and I am the one who can do nothing due to this DD.

    I am sure this very disabling CFS is now physiological but I do believe that the brain is very powerful and I do plan on getting at leasst one of the books you suggest. I looked at Dr. Brady's website and I may order that one.

    Thank you for pointing these out and I hope it continues to help you.

  4. grace54

    grace54 New Member

    Has helped thousands of patients for over 50 years. His patients use the cure word. His book "The divided Mind" shows personal stories from those in chronic pain for years that recover very quickly.

    There is an epidemic of chronic pain syndromes and most Dr's can not find a cause for it. Most people will reject his theories as people are ashamed to admit there might be other reasons for their pain, even though they have seen about every Dr. with no relief.

    I personally see a connection with our modern world and lifestyle factors that keep many in a constant state of over arousal. anger, anxiety,fearetc.The HPA axis shutting down the adrenals and thyroid ect.The sub-conscious stores the maemories and some need to be dealt with. One sees the same people discounting his work constantly going to Dr's for stress related illness and drugs to stop the pain that is trying to come out from years of repression.

    It's easier to take a pill than to deal with the cause.Anti-depressants are now the biggest seller with increased usage by 50% in an 8 year span.People can argue all they want but they can't explain the thousands of people that have received relief and resumed a normal lifestyle.Good post:)

    LISALOO New Member

    I will have to check this book out. Right now I'm reading the MINdBody. It definately says it will not work if you don't believe that your problems are atributed to your mind. I have a hard time totally believing that. I think you mind can worsen something but not always cause something.

  6. TigerLilea

    TigerLilea Active Member

    This is fine if you have emotional problems, however, FM and CFS are NOT emotional problems, therefore, this treatment protocol would be ineffective. Anyone who claims to be cured by this protocol did not have CFS or FM.
  7. tansy

    tansy New Member

    yet this is the very Tx that's recommended as part of conservative, ie non surgical, management of painful and disabling mechanical problems.

    Hypermobility Syndrome, an inherited trait, is more common in the FM patient community than in the general population. PT is esential for HMS to build up the muscles around joints to prevent damage and to reduce pain.

    Explaining away Sx using this Illness Belief leads to patient neglect and in many cases the consequences can be dire. Just look at what happened to Sophia Mirza and many others like her. It's chilling to think people like Sarno can have so much influence on a profession who have a reputation for being unable to admit they don't yet have all the answers.

    T<br>[<i>This Message was Edited on 12/03/2007</i>]
  8. grace54

    grace54 New Member

    Dr. Clauw: It is quite common for FM or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome to begin after a major "stressor" such as systemic infection, trauma, severe emotional stress, or even being deployed to war. So this is not unusual.

  9. grace54

    grace54 New Member

    Understanding Chronic Pain and Fibromyalgia:

    A Review of Recent Discoveries

    by Robert M. Bennett MD, FRCP

    Professor of Medicine, Oregon Health Sciences University

    Fibromyalgia tends to be treated rather dismissively, sometimes with cynical overtones. When I trained in London some 30 years ago, this diagnosis was never mentioned, even though I trained with one of the foremost rheumatologists in the world at the time. In the United States fibromyalgia has become a semi-respectable diagnosis within the last 10 years, but even so it has some critics. The problem for doctors is that fibromyalgia is not a problem that can be understood according to the classic medical model.

    This is the model that is used in all medical training. It is based on the correlation of specific tissue pathology with distinctive symptoms (e.g. tuberculosis of the lung causing a chronic cough). Elimination of the causative agent (e.g. the tubercule bacillus) cures the disease. This model has led to the most major advances in medicine that we benefit from today.

    I have seen over 5,000 fibromyalgia patients over the past 20 years; most want to be reassured that their symptoms are the product of a "real disease" rather than figments of a fertile imagination--commonly ascribed to the psychological diagnosis such as somatization, hypochondriasis, or depression.

    The good news is that contemporary research is hot on the track of unraveling the changes that occur within the nervous system of fibromyalgia patients. The basic message is that fibromyalgia cannot be considered a primarily psychological disorder, but as in many chronic conditions, psychological factors may play a role in who becomes disabled and may even up-regulate the central nervous system changes that are the root cause of the problem.

    What is the problem?

    The problem is: disordered sensory processing.
    I will try to convey to you what we mean by "disordered sensory processing." Even a superficial understanding of this topic will change the way you think about the fibromyalgia problem. Furthermore, recent advances that have been made at the molecular level hold out the promise of more effective treatment for fibromyalgia pain.

    What is Fibromyalgia?

    Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain state in which the nerve stimuli causing pain originates mainly in the muscle. Hence the increased pain on movement and the aggravation of fibromyalgia by strenuous exertion.

    Pain is a universal experience that serves the vital function of triggering avoidance. A few unfortunate individuals have a congenital absence of pain sensation; they do not fare well due to repeated bodily insults that go unnoticed. As a physician I see patients with an acquired deficiency in the pain sensation (e.g. diabetic neuropathy or neurosyphilis) who develop a severe destructive arthritis--a result of repeated minor joint injuries that are overlooked.

    Thus pain sensation is a necessary part of being human. Pain sensation is a fact of life. Even the primitive amoeba takes avoiding action in the face of adverse events. In such primitive life forms, pain avoidance is purely reflex action, as they do not have the complexity of a highly developed brain to feel pain in the sense that humans do: (1)The unconscious reflex avoidance reaction that is so rapid that it occurs before the actual awareness of the pain sensation (as in all life forms)

    , (2) the actual experience of the pain sensation (that can only occur in highly complex organisms). This is an important point, as it implies that different parts of the brain are involved in these two consequences of the pain reaction.

    Over the last few years a number of important research discoveries have started to clarify the enigma of chronic pain. Many of these new findings have a special relevance to the chronic pain of fibromyalgia. The cardinal symptom of FM is widespread body pain. The cardinal finding is the presence of focal areas of hyperalgesia, the tender points.

    Tender points imply that the patient has a local area of reduced pain threshold, suggesting a peripheral pathology. In general, tender points occur at muscle tendon junctions, a site where mechanical forces are most likely to cause micro-injuries. Many--but not all--FM patients have tender skin and an overall reduction in pain threshold. These latter observations suggest that some FM patients have a generalized pain amplification state. There has been a recent plethora of experimental studies apposite to the pathophysiological basis of both the peripheral and central aspects of pain.

    The Pathophysiological Basis for Chronic Pain

    The International Association For the Study of Pain (ASP) defines pain as follows: "Pain is an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage." This definition explicitly affirms that pain has both a sensory and an affective-evaluative component, and furthermore acknowledges that it may occur in the absence of obvious visceral or peripheral pathology.

    To fully understand chronic pain, one must integrate the sensory and affective/evaluative elements of the pain experience. It is equally misguided to focus on the psychological aspects of pain, as it is to address only the sensory component and ignore the affective dimensions. However, for the sake of clarity, each of these two constitutive elements will be considered separately.

    The Sensory Component

    Pain is generally envisaged as a cascade of impulses that originates from nocioceptors in somatic or visceral tissues. The impulses travel in peripheral nerves with a first synapse in the dorsal horn and a second synapse in the thalamus, and end up in the cerebral cortex and other supraspinal structures.

    This results in an experience of pain and the activation of reflex and later reflective behaviors. These reflex and reflective behaviors are aimed at eliminating further pain. The expectation is that this nocioceptor driven pain will be successfully abolished, allowing healing and a return to a pain-free state. The problem with chronic pain is that the linear relationship between nocioception and pain experience is inappropriate or even absent, and the expected recovery does not occur.

    It is a common misconception to view the nervous system as being "hard-wired"; that is, stimulation of a nerve ending (say a needle prick) always produces the same behavioral and affective response. This concept implies that the same intensity of pain stimulus will always elicit the same degree of nerve stimulation and hence the same subjective experience of pain.

    It is now understood that the concept is wrong. Some 30 years ago, Melzeck and Wall proposed that pain is a complex integration of noxious stimuli, affective traits, and cognitive factors. In other words, the emotional aspects of having a chronic pain state and one's rationalization of the problem may both influence the final experience of pain. Mendell and Wall provided the first experimental evidence that the nervous system was not hard-wired in 1965.

    They noted that a repetitive stimulation of a peripheral nerve, at sufficient intensity to activate C-fibers, resulted a progressive build-up of the amplitude of the electrical response recorded in the second order dorsal horn neurons. If the system had been hard-wired, each stimulus would have elicited the same response in the second order neuron. They termed this phenomenon "wind-up." It is now appreciated that the phenomenon of wind-up is crucial to understanding the problem of chronic pain via the mechanism of "central sensitization."

    Central sensitization refers to an increased activation of second order neurons in the spinal cord, resulting from injury or inflammation-induced activation of peripheral nocioceptors. Sensory input from muscle, as opposed to skin, is a much more potent effector of central sensitization. This may be the clue to the role of muscle pain in the total spectrum of fibromyalgia.

    A common example of central sensitization is post-herpetic neuralgia. Previous injury to a peripheral nerve leads to an amplification of both nocioceptive and non-nocioceptive impulses. The mechanism responsible for the abnormal perception of non-nocioceptive impulses in post-herpetic neuralgia is an increased excitation of second order nocioceptive neurons in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord.

    A special example of central pain occurs when there is pathology within the central nervous system. This occurs in a thalamic stroke--severe unilateral pain, often accompanied by strong emotions, that occurs in the absence of any nocioceptive input.

    There are two forms of second order spinal neurons involved in central sensitization. (1) Nocioceptive--specific neurons--respond only to nocioceptive stimuli, and (2) Wide dynamic range neurons--respond to both nocioceptive and non-nocioceptive afferent stimuli. Both may be sensitized by nocioceptive stimuli leading to central senitization but wide-dynamic range neurons are generally more intensely sensitized than nocioceptive-specific neurons.

    Nocioceptive and non-nocioceptive peripheral nerves often converge onto the same wide dynamic range neuron (see figure). Once sensitized by ongoing nocioceptive impulses from peripheral nerves, wide-dynamic range neurons will respond to non-nocioceptive stimuli just as intensely as they did prior to sensitization. This results in sensitizations like a light touch to be experienced as pain (i.e. allodynia). Sensitization of wide-dynamic range neurons by prior pain stimuli provides the pathophysiological foundation for nonnocioceptive pain.

    There is emerging evidence that afferent activity from Golgi tendon organs and muscle spindles can be converted into pain signals under the influence of central sensitization. For instance, some patients with strokes and spinal cord injuries develop severe pain on movement. Benc has proposed the term "proprioceptive allodynia" to describe this phenomenon.

    He describes such individuals as "while not experiencing pain at rest, they develop excruciating burning and tingling, often difficult to describe, that appear only when trying to hold an object, move a limb, stand or walk." Thus everyday muscle activity may cause pain and impair function in some individuals with central sensitization.

    At a physiological level, pain on movement implies that proprioceptive afferents are projecting onto second order wide-dynamic-range spinal neurons that have been sensitized by previous nocioceptive activity. Thus the central nervous system of subjects who have ongoing pain (e.g. arthritis) or have had previous pain experiences (e.g. post injury pain) may be permanently altered due to changes that can now be understood at the physiological molecular and structural levels

    . At a clinical level this is seen as persistent pain in survivors of serious illness who experienced high levels of pain during hospitalization, persistent pain after breast surgery, or the occurrence of fibromyalgia after automobile accidents. The reason why the phenomenon of central sensitization only occurs in a minority of individuals is not currently known.

    At a molecular level, there are many studies demonstrating the important role of excitatory amino acids such as glutamate and neuropeptides such as substance P in the generation of central sensitization. Substance P and CRGP are important neurotransmitters in lowering the threshold of synaptic excitability, which permits the unmasking of normally silent interspinal synapses and the sensitization of second order spinal neurons.

    Substance P, unlike the excitatory amino acids, can diffuse long distances in the spinal cord and sensitize dorsal horn neurons in spinal segments both above and below the input segment--with resulting pain signal generation from non-nocioceptive afferent activity. Clinically this will lead to an expansion of receptive fields; e.g. the spread of pain from to uninjured areas after an automobile accident.

    The Psychological Component

    It was seen in the preceding section that chronic pain could occur in the absence of ongoing tissue damage--this is an example of the sensory component of pain. It was also noted that one component of pain is a reflex avoidance behavior that can occur before the conscious appreciation of pain. In terms of brain physiology this implies that more primitive parts of the brain contain several discrete nuclei (e.g. the thalamus, cingulate gyrus, hippocampus, amygdyala, and locus ceruleus) that interact to form a functional unit called the limbic system.

    This is the part of the brain that subserves many reflex phenomena, including the association of sensory input with specific mood states (e.g. pleasure, fear, aversion etc.). These facts form the physiological basis for considering the emotional aspect of pain. Interestingly, the electrical stimulation of the brain during neurosurgical procedure does not induce pain sensations in pain-free subjects.

    However, in past pain patients it often reawakens previous pain experiences. It is surmised that such stimulation re-activates cortical and subcortical pain circuits that were previously dormant. It is not known whether there is a single cortical structure that subserves pain memory.

    Currently it appears that different cortical and subcortical structures are involved in the pain experience. For instance, removal of the somatosensory cortex does not abolish chronic pain, but excision of lesions of the anterior cingulated cortex reduces the unpleasantness of pain. The anterior cingulated cortex is involved in the integration of affect cognition and motor response aspects of pain and exhibit increased activity on PET studies of pain patients. Other structures involved in cortical pain processing include the prefrontal cortex (activation of avoidance strategies, diversion of attention and motor inhibition); the amygdala (emotional significance and activation of hypervigilance); and the locus ceruleus (activation of the "fight or flight" response).

    All these structures are linked to the medial thalamus, whereas the lateral thalamus is linked to the somatosensory cortex (pain localization). One example of limbic system activation is the hypervigilance that accompanies many chronic pain states, including fibromyalgia.

    The emotional component of pain is multifactorial and includes past experiences, genetic factors, generals state of health, the presence of depression and other psychological diagnosis, coping mechanisms, and beliefs and fears surrounding the pain diagnosis. Importantly, thoughts as well as other sensations can influence the sensory pain input to consciousness as well as the emotional coloring of the pain sensation

    . The term given for this modulation of pain impulses is the "gate control theory of pain." Thus thoughts (beliefs, fears, depression, anxiety, anger, helplessness, etc.), as well as peripherally generated sensations, can both dampen or amplify pain. Indeed, in many chronic pain conditions (that lack any effective therapy for the sensory/pain component), a reduction of pain and the resulting suffering can only be affected by modulating the psychological aspects of pain.

    As the psychological contribution to pain varies enormously from patient to patient, this approach has to be individualized. However, there are some general principles that are worth noting. There are important consequences of having pain that will not go away (as is the expected experience for most pain in most people). The unsettling realization that the problem may well be life-long generates a varied mix of emotions and behaviors that are often counterproductive to coping with a chronic problem.

    Many of these changes (which are partly reflex in origin) would be appropriate for dealing with acute self-healing pain events, but become a liability when dealing with chronic pain. The end result of chronic pain is often depressive illness, marital discord, vocational difficulties, chemical dependency, social withdrawal, sleep disorders, increasing fatigue, inappropriate beliefs, and a radical alteration in their previous personality.

    Varying degrees of functional disability are a common accompaniment of chronic pain states. The reasons for dysfunction are multiple and vary from individual to individual. Pain often monopolizes attention (causing lack of focus on the task at hand). It is usually associated with poor sleep (causing emotional fatigue). Movements may aggravate pain (causing a reluctance to engage in activity).

    Fear of activity often leads to deconditioning (which predisposes to muscle and tendon injuries and reduced stamina). Pain causes stress, which may result in anxiety, depression, and inappropriate behavior (causing disability due to secondary psychological distress). The modern era of psychological imaging is providing an important new framework for understanding these "emotional" responses.

  10. petstoregirl

    petstoregirl New Member

    My question to the last article in this thread. It mentions chemical dependancy. So, treating other illnesses with drugs long term (for example, cholestorol lowering drugs) is appropriate, but is called chemical dependancy in FM patients? Wow.

    And I would love to know what "innapropriate thoughts" are. That terminology just makes me think of high school health class. :)
  11. aftermath

    aftermath New Member

    "It is quite common for FM or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome to begin after a major "stressor" such as systemic infection, trauma, severe emotional stress, or even being deployed to war."

    I got sick very suddenly with an upper respiratory infection during a period of serious physical stress (no sleep) that was otherwise a very happy time. This is seen time and time again.

    The real question is as to how the combination of the stressor and the infectious agent cause the illness. The two main theories are
    (1) active but hidden infection; and
    (2) hit and run attack leaving neurological damage.

    Essentially, either the infection is still in your system (but "stealth" with all tests normal), or the brain has "blown a fuse" in an attempt to protect the body.

    One or both of them may prove to be true.
  12. Kombucha

    Kombucha New Member

    The intersting thing about Freedom From Fibromyalgia and the other books is that people are cured after decades of disability. Dr. Sarno has tens of thousands of patients. Some famous.

    I like Dr. Scott Bradys book Pain Free For Life because in it are women that had fibromyalgia and they wrote their severity of symptoms and resolution and it has their pictures with that.

    All the books do say that Fibromylagia is the severest form of this disorder. CFS is considered an equivalant of FM, so the same program(s) work for that just as readily.

    The majority of people will be threatened by this information--only a minority will investigate it further and give it an all out effort which is a minimal 1/2 hour a day.

  13. Kombucha

    Kombucha New Member

    I just went on Dr. Brady's website. In it he has some of the people cured of fibromyalgia with their pictures and one lady has a video testimonial. I have dial-up so I think that is why I couldn't see it.

    If anyone can view it can you come back here and let me know what she said?

  14. petstoregirl

    petstoregirl New Member

    I don't see why anyone would be "threatened" byt this, it's just nonsense. Many of us have been to therapy for emotional issues, and that didn't cure us.

    And as for CFS, it's caused by virals, so this protocol is useless. Anyone "cured" by this did not have true CFS, they were just chronically fatigued. You may want to investigate the causes of CFS before making such grand claims.

    As for FM, I'm sure dealing with any emotional issues you MAY have will help, but it is NOT a cure. Especially for those who have other problems with their FM.

    It's stuff like this that's so damaging to people actually looking for the true cause and cure for their illness.

    LISALOO New Member

    This isn't saying here fix yourself by dealing with emotional issues, Dr Sarno believes that your body reacts to a trigger in a bad way. we need to teach it not to overreact to these triggers. We need to have it react in a normal way, one that doesn't make us sicker. I don't thinkthat's so wrong.

    I think we should be open to everything. I think we need a comprehensive treatment plan to get better. People who use EFT feel better. Not cured.
  16. grace54

    grace54 New Member

    Causes of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
    Chronic Viral Infections
    Immune Response to Infections
    Infection and Inflammation
    Role of the Endocrine System in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
    Chemical Sensitivity
    Metal Sensitivity
    Oxidative Stress

    The causes of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome are as yet undetermined, but studies have shown that multiple nutrient deficiencies, food intolerance, or extreme physical or mental stress may trigger chronic fatigue. Studies have also indicated that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome may be activated by the immune system, various abnormalities of the hypothalamic-pituitary axes, or by the reactivation of certain infectious agents in the body. Some Chronic Fatigue Syndrome patients were found to have low levels of PBMC beta-endorphin and other neurotransmitters.

    Thyroid deficiency may also be a contributing factor in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (refer to the Thyroid Deficiency protocol to find out how to determine if you are deficient in thyroid hormone production). A number of the triggers that may cause or exacerbate Chronic Fatigue Syndrome are discussed below.

  17. petstoregirl

    petstoregirl New Member

    Lisaloo, that was my point. That while stuff like this may be helpful to those that need this sort of thing, it is NOT a cure for the vast majority and I seriously question the diagnosis of these cured people, famous or not.

    I would be interested to know how Dr. Sarno feels this cures things like excess substance P in FM patients? Or any studies validifying this protocol? And the poor production of dopamine is helped by this how? What about the tender points? Vision problems?

    Look, I'm not trying to be mean, but I truely feel like this sort of "cure" is detrimental to any sort of real research into the true causes of either FM or CFS. I'm sure my insurance company would be much happier if they could peg me as just needing this kind of therapy or any FREE therapy that they don't have to pay for.
  18. msbsgblue

    msbsgblue Member

    Bookmark this in my profile so I can see it again.
  19. bigmama2

    bigmama2 New Member

    isn't he the one who thinks back pain is caused by emotional distress or something.???

  20. Kombucha

    Kombucha New Member


    Really it is not the time for sadness--maybe further investigation?

    Dr. Selfridge is a medical doctor who had longstanding Fibromyalgia, (over a decade) and had to curtail her work hours, really suffered with pain. She cured herself, with Dr. Sarno's method though she said the fatigue took longer to resolve then the pain. She is selling nothing additional to the book. Some of the doctors have a video of their lecture or audio tapes. Yet treatment can begin and end with reading a book and applying the information. And yes a greater majority can find substantial relief in 5 weeks.

    It is all in your BODYMIND, and bodymind creates ALL the changes that are reported whether immune/hormonal, etc. The condition is completely reversable with no damage. As the bodymind can stop generating the bodily changes. This is what all the books I have mentioned state. It takes really focused work to reverse the condition though.

    A couple months to see big improvement? It became worth the investigation to me as I had tried so many many things. I thought, WHAT IF THIS WORKS?