Please Help Me...Unable to Relax

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by donna13210, Apr 21, 2003.

  1. donna13210

    donna13210 Member

    How can a person who has chronic fatigue and sleepiness, not be able to relax? I'm either drumming my fingers, wiggling my foot to some unheard beat, clenching my muscles, etc. When I wake up every morning, my neck and shoulder muscles are unbelievably tight and hard, leading me to believe I don't even relax in my sleep!

    I'd like to know your opinions on the best method to obtain deep relaxation WITHOUT MEDICATION, please.

    I'm afraid to try Yoga because my body is so stiff from FMS. I'm 49, and if I get down on the floor, not only does my body ache worse, but I also have trouble getting back up!

    I've tried relaxation tapes but have a hard time taking it seriously, find my mind wandering and trying to rush through it.

    I'd love to get a large, deep whirlpool spa but can't afford it. Going to use a "public" spa worries me about cleanliness (how many people have used that same water?). Plus the water is usually way too hot. Soaking in my regular bathtub is a waste of time, I'm tall, and also a large lady, so my legs (and some other body parts) are always sticking out and getting cold! LOL!

    Anyone tried accupuncture for relaxation? My insurance may cover it if I go as a treatment for pain.

    Massage is "iffy"....if they massage too hard, because of the FMS it hurts. If they just "rub" as if applying suntan lotion, it doesn't help much.

    What to do? Do you all think that relaxation is important for getting well?

    Thanks for your input!
    Take care,

    [This Message was Edited on 04/21/2003]
  2. obrnlc

    obrnlc New Member

    hi donna! I don't think we are PHYSICALLY able to achieve muscle relaxation without meds (i take parafon forte 3xdaily). Before i realized what my problem was (fibro) i never understood why my legs would "clench up" beyond my control, or i would have "claw-like" spasms of my foot. Then came the muscle twitches! It is not something you can control by relaxation, although if you really want to avoid the meds, you might try stretching in a warm swimming pool (most hospitals have a rehab center doc can prescribe with aqua therapy in 98 degree water--very relaxing! Good luck! laurie
  3. rebeccavw

    rebeccavw New Member

    tried everything from yoga to Reiki, accupuncture to sleeping tablets and every herbal remedy and the two things that have helped me more than anything are :

    Self hypnosis relaxation tapes. When I first did this it didn't do anything from me and I just couldn't switch off but after trying it a few times I began to realise that I could actually make myself feel relaxed- the more you use it the better it is.

    Anxiety management workshop This was bascially Cognative Behaviour therapy in a group, it teaches you to change your thoughts and behaviours that are making you anxious and uptight. Now I know you are physically not relaxed, tight muscles, insomnia ect (I had these all the time for nearly 5 yeras)but these could be caused by your thoughts which might then lead to physical cahnges like too much adrenaline. It also gave me tips on how to relax eg breathing techniques

    Also magnesium supplements are good.

    I have started to sleep better and feel more relaxed than I have been for year after the above two.

    Hope this helps

  4. Shazzy

    Shazzy New Member

    Hi donna
    I have terrible anxiety problems. Staying in bed gives me anxiety cause i want to get out of it. Getting out of it causes anxiety cause i have more fatigue.
    Drs wont give me anything for it so i do relax tapes constantly.
    Its drives me crazy but i know when i am able to get some hope of some recovery it will start to leave my body.

    Sorry cant be of any help, need it myself too.

    [This Message was Edited on 04/22/2003]
  5. Betsy2

    Betsy2 New Member

    It seems to me that I have never been able to completely relax when I am awake. Well, obviously I don't relax when I do try to catch some sleep because of the Fibro. I have often wondered if the Fibro and CFS is caused by high anxiety and ragged nerves. I am an extremely self conscious, insecure and tense person. Thus, why wouldn't my muscles be tired of supporting my emotional state? It seems like my extreme fatigue may be caused by my emotional state. I went to therapy for three years and it helped me with my insecurity issues but I feel like I have been carrying this baggage around so long that it is a part of who I am. I know I am not doing myself any favors but I think these feelings will ever go away. I guess it is part of the hypersensitivity we talk about here.
  6. marta

    marta New Member

    Gradually - and I do mean gradually, like often one or two at a time - I have required myself to do morning stretches working up to very light exercise. This has helped a lot with the constant tension and anxiety.

    At first I didn't think I could do it because like you, Donna, I'd get on the floor and had one heck of a time getting back up! Then I bought an exercise mat (it's amazing how much that little bit of padding helps) and stopped counting! No more "sets" of any nummber. I did ab-sol-utely just what I could even if that was one or two whatevers. Gradually I worked up to more stretching repetitions and have added some exercises as well. I can get up and down more easily now and I actually bend in joints that were painfully stiff before.

    Our bodies are made to move. No matter how slowly, we need to do just that. What's good for the body is good for the mind.

    Go easy and B R E A T H E!

  7. gracieathome

    gracieathome New Member

    This is what works for me. 500 MG magnesium, and 1000 mg calcium taken together at night. I chew them so they absorb better (chalky , but works.) Also Valerian extract helps.

    Good luck.
  8. Sandyz

    Sandyz New Member

    It seem s the chronic nervousness\anxiety go along with the tight muscles of Fm. All these symptoms are so severe it really takes something powerful to keep them at bay.

    On thing you could try is just to starting with your feet and going up, tighten up your whole body. Do your feet,then your calves, hips, stomach, shoulders all the way up to your head. Then take a deep breathe and let it all go. This exercise really releases tension in the body. I try to do it 3 times a day. It helps. Do this exersise lying down.

    I know you weren`t looking for meds but I have to say the one medication I would not be without is the klonapin.
    The reason is it helps so many of the Fm symptoms. My nerves were horrible and I`m sure I would have had a breakout were it not for the klonapin. My nerves are good now. It relaxes the muscles, helps for get deep refreshing sleep, very good for anxiety, and also helps the sensory overload we tend to have. Many people seem to like it here.

    I`ve tryed accupunture but it did not help me except for the carpal tunnel in my wrists, it did release that.
    Massage helps me a great deal. I do yoga off and on and I also take walks when I feel up to it. Walks are very relaxing.

    Everybody is diffent though and its trial and error to see what works for you. Hope you find some relief soon.

    [This Message was Edited on 04/22/2003]
  9. klutzo

    klutzo New Member

    Do a websearch for dysautonomia....that is the cause of this symptom of FMS/CFS. Our Autonomic Nervous Systems (ANS) are dysregulated so that the alert and hyper side (sympathetic) is turned on all the time, and our calming side (parasympathetic) is turned off. They are supposed to balance each other in normal folks.
    Magnesium and calcium citrate will help, as will simplifying and routinizing your life, avoiding a stressful schedule, loud noise, hustle and bustle, etc. Anything stimulating makes this worse, even good things like a fun trip. That caffeine is a no-no should be obvious.
    If you don't want drugs, you might try herbs, but they are a lot milder, and not strong enough for many of us. A mix of lemon balm, valerian and passionflower may help.
    Also, try taking GABA, 750 mgs. twice daily. It is the main calming neurotransmitter in your ANS and is available over the counter at health food stores, and probably right here at ProHealth. Side effects are non-existant, esp. for us, since we have been proven to have abnormally low levels of GABA. GABA is nature's version of Neurontin,which is a drug to treat this problem. I've been taking GABA for years, and it enables me to take less of the drug I take.
    Some FMSers have told me that Tai Chi has helped them a lot with this.
    I'm sorry I don't have any more ideas....I am one who has tried all of that and it didn't help enough, so I have to take drugs.
  10. Cara-Sue

    Cara-Sue New Member

    i have read about's supposed to be good to help youlearn to relax.i asked my dr about it and he didnt know anything about that.i hope i make sense.i always feel tense.take care,donna
  11. robin

    robin New Member

    Hi Donna, I am unable to relax with a low dose of
    medicine. I take Clonzepam (2mg) 2 pills at bedtime
    which relaxes my mind, thus my body then relaxes.
    I have to relax my mind first...for me Clonzepam works.
    If I have a bad night (usually do) then I may take one
    Clonzepam in the morning which relaxes my anxiety about
    poor sleep. I used to take anti-depressants but haven't
    been able to find anything good for ME since Trofanil
    or imipramine which is the generic.
    Most, if not all of us, would prefer to live, relax,
    sleep, play etc withOUT meds, however, if they are
    needed in order to function the way you want to....
    there's no shame. I am 61 and started on meds in 1980.
    Due to many various illnesses I now have a bagful to
    take! So if I had to take just ONE I would be most
    grateful! I also listen to music (after Clonzepam)
    which also relaxes me, but not by itself (music).
    Elavil, says my therapist, has a tendency to add weight
    (maybe it makes one eat more) so I won't take it as
    I am trying to lose some lbs also.
    I don't know how much help this message is, but wanted
    to put in my 2 cents worth....:>D

  12. jka

    jka New Member

    i get a massage first it did hurt,but after she started getting this loosened up,ifelt better after wards.when i go to bed at night i listen to a relaxtion tape that plays music and the meesages are sublimia(sp?)
    i also lay in bed and start at my feet and relax them and work up my body .i do a begginers yoga tape and it helps keep my musles strchted out and liber. my rhumy was really impressed with how flexable i am.hope some of this helps!

    kathy c
  13. donna13210

    donna13210 Member

    for all of your responses! My brain is extremely tired tonight (I should be in bed by now, instead I'm here on the message board! go figure). I skimmed the posts real quick, but as you know, our brains don't always absorb much the first time around, so I will read everything more carefully tomorrow hopefully.

    There are some real good ideas! Thanks so much!
  14. Shirl

    Shirl New Member

    Heres what has helped me with this restlessness. I am taking;

    Pro Energy (Malic Acid and Magnesium Glycinate)
    2 before Breakfast,
    2 before Lunch

    ZMA (zinc, magnesium and vitamin B-6)
    2 capsules at 10pm (this is a great supplement for deep, restful sleep).

    1 5 milligram capsule right before bedtime, it helps me fall asleep in about 1/2 hour.

    (all the above products are sold here at the 'Store' link, you can go read about all of them).

    Now, I have something like Robin mentioned, its called 'racing brain syndrome', I do take a low dose of Xanax (0.25 milligrams) once a day, at 6pm. This way I go to sleep with a 'peaceful mind'!

    Most people with FM/CFS has a deficiency in magnesium, and its a natural tranquilizer so that maybe what causes us to be so hyped up all the time. I know I am a lot calmer since starting the magnesium two years ago.

    I would wake up with my hands clutched into fists at night, my whole body would be tense, my husband told me that when I was sleeping, I would turn over, move, etc, at least 50 times in less than an hour, and the pain was awful all the time. This does not happen anymore. I can relax.

    I also sleep on a 'wireless mattress heating pad', summer and winter (I turn the a/c down in the summer so that I am not warm as for the weather). It also helps to relax the muscles, and the morning stiffness.

    Let us know how you make out, and I do hope you get some relief soon. Its an awful feeling.

    Shalom, Shirl
  15. kimby

    kimby New Member

    Hey Donna, Why don't you ask your Dr. to try the "Spray & Stretch" technique. Dr. uses a spray called Flouri-Methane. (it's a refrigerant) sprays it on area to be stretched, then stretches. It momentarily freezes the are so you get a good stretch. It's great !!! Except it's soooo cold when it goes on. My Dr. sold me a bottle to have my daughter do it at home. It lasts for a few days, but it's not medicine !

    Good Luck I'll be waiting to hear from you

  16. Sissy123

    Sissy123 New Member

    Will your insurance cover the cost for a Pain Clinic? {a 6 week course} They teach you meditation, bio-feed back, stretching, strengthening. At times, in the morning, when I am at my worst, I use these things to help. I use bio-feedback when trying to got to sleep. My symptoms have gotten worse over the past year so I rely on these things more than ever. I also use a hot water bottle, heating pad and Lidoderm patches. They are something like what the dentist uses before he pulls a tooth. Hope this helps you out.
  17. kalina

    kalina New Member

    Hi, Donna!

    There are some excellent suggestions here definitely worth considering.

    I have been where you are now with the anxiety and restlessness, and remember how difficult it was to relax. You said you had tried relaxation tapes, but you had trouble keeping your thoughts from wandering. I've been practicing relaxation to guided imagery and meditation CDs (I use headphones to help block out any interference outside my body). I know the anxiety you feel makes it much more difficult, but if you can just do the best you can by trying to slow down, block out the anxiety and your thoughts, and keep practicing regularly, you will soon find that the more you do it, the more deeply relaxed you will become. If you find you are able to stick with it, you might consider investing in a variety of tapes or CDs to keep it interesting and enjoyable. Just thought I'd share what has worked for me.

    It's really important for us to take time for ourselves to minimize stress, and I DO think it's crucial to getting better. You're on the right track. Good luck!

  18. donna13210

    donna13210 Member

    I have a 6-day vacation coming up in a couple of weeks. Since I have no money to go anywhere, it will be a great opportunity to investigate some of your suggestions!

    Thanks again to everyone. It's an odd feeling for me to feel that someone really cares!

    I will definitely keep you posted,
    Take care all,