Principles of Healing in Fibromyalgia CFS

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by JLH, Sep 12, 2006.

  1. JLH

    JLH New Member

    Principles of Healing in Fibromyalgia & CFS

    In a decade of working with people with these illnesses in self-healing retreats and home-based programs, I have seen ten principles emerge which seem to lay a foundation for exceptional healing.

    I've been heartened and inspired to see people who follow these principles make the transition from a cyclical pattern of unrelenting chronicity into a process of gradual improvement over time.

    Healing from CFS and FM is possible – regardless of how long you have been ill. It is, however, a long, slow, and unpredictable process.

    1. PERSPECTIVE ON MEDICINE. Whatever medical support you use – conventional or alternative – see it as secondary, and what you can do to create the optimal conditions for self-healing as primary.

    2. ILLNESS AS TEACHER. You did not cause your illness, but it is a call to re-evaluate your priorities and master some valuable life lessons. See your disease as an opportunity for positive change. People who find meaning in their illness have better medical outcomes.

    3. MEDITATION. Develop a daily practice of meditation. Hundreds of studies prove its effects in reducing pain and healing the nervous system, circulatory system, immune system, digestive system, and hormonal system. It will also help you attune to inner guidance and inspiration.

    4. RADICAL SIMPLIFICATION. Reduce or eliminate television, news, noise and other agitating sources of neurological stimulation. Let your nervous system be at peace. Practice the art of being simple and present by asking yourself, "What really matters in this moment?"

    5. EXERCISE. Exercise stimulates your vital energy which is needed for healing. However, exercise must be gentle, non-impact, and not cause pain. Aerobic exercise such as walking, cycling or movement in water is helpful, as well as practices such as tai chi and chi kung. De-conditioning is common in people with CFS or FM who avoid exercise for fear of aggravating their symptoms, and this causes a further downward spiral of vitality.

    6. PRACTICE LOVING KINDNESS. Frequently stop, close your eyes, and bring your awareness to your heart. Summon feelings of appreciation, gratitude, compassion and love -- for yourself and others. This will cause body-wide changes, including the relaxation response, that can reduce the severity of symptoms.

    7. JOY AND PASSION. The subtle energy behind all healing is stirred by joy, pleasure and passion. Find ways to nourish your soul whenever possible, whether through music, art, creativity, being in nature, or whatever arouses these feelings in you.

    8. INSPIRATIONAL BREATHING. In my retreats for people with CFS and FM, as well as in the home-based programs, patients have reported their pain completely gone for a time after using breathing exercises – particularly a technique I call Evocative Breath Therapy, which involves a blend of breathing exercises, music, and guided imagery.

    9. CONNECTING. The social isolation due to physical limitations of CFS and FM is one of the greatest challenges. Yet, research shows that supportive relationships promote physical healing. Invest in relationships that support you, and practice saying "no" to those that don't.

    10. LETTING GO OF THE OUTCOME. It is a paradox that when we let go of striving for an outcome, an inner relaxation arises that enables our healing responses to work at their maximum. Replace your focus on future outcomes with an attitude of trust that your highest good will prevail.

    By William Collinge, PhD, a leading consultant, author, speaker, and researcher in the field of integrative healthcare. He has written numerous articles and books dealing with chronic conditions and healing, including Recovering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, available


  2. yellowbird

    yellowbird New Member

    I'm not sure why people think that these kinds of 'principles' are the cause, rather than a CONSEQUENCE of healing. Did all that stuff really come first?

    I don't believe that inner peace, simplicity, surrender etc, can be willed into action to then cause us to become well. I think when things start to go better, for whatever reason, we then become able to relax, be loving, etc etc.

    Just because one observes these things occuring at the same time as healing doesn't mean that they CAUSED it. Although of course the self-help industry would like to have us think so.

  3. morningsonshine

    morningsonshine New Member

    You have a point,
    I had a window of feeling quite abit better for about a week, and i was truly amazed, and realized just how much this DD changed me.

    During that short time, i was a much happier, sane person, i had the energy, and mind, to deal with all of lifes little problems, (mother of three boys)

    Life was fun again, now why in the world would i decided to make myself sick again, and lose what i had recovered.

    No, when the illness slipped back overme, i then, became very depressed, for awhile, and once agian greived for everthing i have lost.

    But, hey, it does sound good, Mind over matter and all that!

    It all sounds good on paper, but i suppose for #4 i would have to eliminate my 3 noisey children, since it is them that's the hardest on my nervous system,

    They also happen to be my greatest love, and joy, and acheivement in life.
    They are the best thing to have come out of my life, at any price.[This Message was Edited on 09/12/2006]
  4. yellowbird

    yellowbird New Member

    I think when we are feeling better, it automatically feels as though the universe is a much kinder, easier & more harmonious one. So of course our outlook is improved. And who wouldn't 'let go of outcome' when things seem to be already heading in a favourable direction ??

  5. MamaDove

    MamaDove New Member

    That's ONE perspective but not MY reality...

    I wish it were that easy...That sure aint easy but a task gladly taken on rather than to live with these dd's...

    I agree with much of the responses so far...Thank you for saying what I wanted to get across too...

    Peaceful days ahead~Alicia

    PS, I had a half hour of time one day this month where I felt like a teenager again...I looked up to the sky and asked "Am I finally cured?", no answer... Then 20 minutes passed and I knew the answer...NO!...For a half hour I smiled (a real smile), I laughed (a real laugh) and I actually had NO PAIN...I was really living!!! I guess I wasn't strong enough to hold onto it, cause the serenity all went away...Who would want that?[This Message was Edited on 09/12/2006]
  6. jole

    jole Member

    I agree with the rest of you, to a point. Yes, it is hard to think positive when feeling so horrible. But I have a niece who has cancer - started in her breast - and spread. It then metastized to her bones and they gave her really no hope.

    Yet, I am convinced the love she had for her 5 small children (she was 29)and her positive attitude and prayer are the reasons she is still alive today. She was so weak she could not walk or talk. None of us have felt as miserable as she did. Had chemo and radiation. None of us expected her to make it. Yet through it all she worried about others, stayed positive and focused.

    If I could only have the degree of positivity that she has, I honestly feel I could get much better. So I will never discount the mind-over-matter theory completely. Some are just stronger at making it work than others, unfortunately. Me, well, I have never been that strong yet. But maybe with a little practice now that I'm no longer working and doing for everyone else, can achieve a little bit more.

    Not ready to give up my meds, but a good combo of the two might be doing it the right way. Maybe each "hole" I fall into will be a little less deep.
    [This Message was Edited on 09/12/2006]
  7. Lolalee

    Lolalee New Member

    jlh, as you probably know, William Collinge, PhD, has written a book which can be read entirely online. It is entitled "Recovering from CVS". He also had a CD set entitled "The Home Self-Empowerment Program". I purchased the CD set and am currently using it.

    I am desperate and so very ill and am trying a different approach to getting well. I think Collinge makes a lot of sense. I also think it is not easy to take responsibility for your health and focus only on yourself. But, like I said, I am desperate. I am housebound, so this is the perfect time for me to spend time meditating and learning how to breathe. I've tried just about everything else.

    I'll let you know if this method does reverse my CFIDS and FMS.


  8. yellowbird

    yellowbird New Member

    I "took responsibility" for my health for about 6 years, believing that was the solution. It didn't work out.

    The trouble with telling people they have control over their health is that when meditation or whatever fails to heal them, they feel as if it is somehow their fault.

  9. FriendonthePath

    FriendonthePath New Member

    No offense to the poster or to

    I've paid a lot of money on self-help books, seminars, and miracle supplements and I guess I'm in a "don't blow smoke up my bum" phase.

    A critical thinking class would have a field day with this article...

    For example:

    Are there really "hundreds of studies" showing that meditation is effective in healing the nervous system? I'd be interested in seeing even one study that met scientific criteria and showed that meditation healed the nervous system.

    We are sick with an illness that the medical community does not yet understand. When the medical community figures out that our conditions are caused by viruses or pollutants or heavy metals or toxins---are we really going to get better through "Joy and Passion" or by avoiding said substance and taking appropriate medication?

    Do we tell a diabetic to "Let go of the outcome" or to take insulin?

    Articles like this make it seem like FMS and CFS are all in our heads and that positive thinking will make them go away--I resent this.

    I also resent consultants making a buck off of people who are suffering.
  10. Lolalee

    Lolalee New Member

    Holly, I enjoyed reading your post. There is so much truth in your words. Our thinking definitely affects how our bodies feel. If we are angry or tense, it causes stress which is so harmful. So it follows that peaceful, quiet thoughts can be helpful.

    I am not saying that we can be 100% well or cured of FMS and CFIDS with positive thinking. But, it certainly helps one live a better life. My sister had a herniated disc in her back. With meditation and guided imagery she was able to diminish the pain over a period of time.

    It takes time, it takes patience and it takes trust in the process.


  11. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Just a bit to consider some things before we make judgements? I think if we can, we can benefit from some of these things. The problem seems to be that we sometimes take a defensive stance because so much of the world, including some medical professionals, think our illnesses are all in our heads. Or, worse yet, we are blamed for having somehow brought this on ourselves.

    This isn't what this article is saying. No one is saying that these things are exclusive of taking meds or using other treatments. These are things which this person has observed in those who achieve healing beyond what one would normally expect from simply treating with conventional medicine. This is in addition to anything else one is doing. I've often mentioned the mind/body/spirit connection. We need to heal in all these areas and healing one will help heal another. They work synergystically.

    These are suggestions intended to help us. No one is telling us what to do. We can take it or leave it but I think we owe it to ourselves to consider it. Number 10 is especially, and paradoxically, interesting. So often, I've seen people who try something new and are too connected to the outcome. They want every supplement to make them feel great right away. Of course, this leads to disappointment and if experienced enough times, can lead to a very negative outlook.

    We are all in a different place in our healing, our understanding, and our lives. For some, this message will enrich and enlighten. Some are not ready for such a message. Some simply will not consider it. That is everyone's right. When something makes me uncomfortable or I have feelings of anger, I stop and ask myself why. Am I missing out on something simply because of a preprogrammed, knee-jerk reaction? If I am, perhaps my world just got a little narrower. Perhaps I need to open up a bit to see if there is something I missed, misread, or just reacted to. If I find it has no value for me, I move on.

    There is more and more evidence from quantum physics experiments now that we know our thoughts affect us, others, and our environment. Our thoughts can change our physical, emotional, electrical, and chemical reactions in our bodies. Anger and stress are our worst enemies. If we can place ourselves in an environment of being objective and move into a place of loving kindness, at the very least, we will be a lot more pleasant to be around. What we put out into the Universe is reflected back to us.

    These are just my opinions and I put them here for anyone to take or leave. I pray for healing on all levels for everyone.

    Love, Mikie

  12. Lolalee

    Lolalee New Member

    Hi Sassy...look at you playing the piano..great picture!!! I'm so sorry the FMS has hit hard and probably has affected your playing.

    My sister has been reading a book which she says has been life-changing. Of course, I can't remember the name or the author. I'll call her and ask her if this book influenced her in the healing process or exactly how she went about the guided imagery.

    I'll get back to you as soon as I find out.

  13. JLH

    JLH New Member

    What a great reply to this article. Thanks.

    Even though I have many health problems which cause me great pain, I agree with Holly's statement ... "There are many things we can do to help ourselves, but the best thing is to have a positive attitude and at least try before we negate helpful suggestions."

    I try to keep a positive attitude, except for the ocassional "down" day because I think it makes you feel better and it definitely helps you get along better with your family!! LOL

  14. ANNXYZ

    ANNXYZ New Member

    and I do not trust his basic premise : " Principles of Healing w/ Cfids / FM " .

    The bottom line is there ARE no clear formulas for healing with this DD . That is why we are all here !

    He is just one more " professional" pitching some
    lightweight suggestions that are his opinion
    ( or wishful thinking ) . Where are the people HEALED by these not so original ideas ?

    They sound downright flakey .
  15. morningsonshine

    morningsonshine New Member

    I think the problem here is the use of this word "healing"

    These "pincipals" should be listed as a way to deal with CFC?Fibro, and other chronic illnesses.

    I'm all for positive thinking, and trying to find something good in the midst of a tough situation.

    If it wasn't for my faith, i really don't know how i would cope.

    But you see, these are things that help us cope, and deal with our DD.

    But they won't "heal" us in and of itself.

    And #4 i find particularly upseting, my life has become simpler, because i cannot do much, but, we all have stress in this life, and can't just lock ourselves away.

    I'm a mother!! My nervous system will not be at peace, with the commotion and noise of children. And i'm tired of Dr. blaming Motherhood for me "fatigue"

    Many people have children, and don't get sick.

    Just a personal touchy spot. Everytime i tell a Dr. i have three boys, they get big eyed and go, "oh", of course your tired.

    I'm not saying these principals don't work, but, i feel that it one step, on a steep climb.

    Also, i'm reminded that we probably all know less than stellar people, living abusive, stressed lives, and they are not sick with these DD.

    I don't know why i'm sick, but i believe in healing, and i believe in a God who loves me very much, and will not abandon me, and this life, is only the beginning, or gateway into eternity with HIM who died to give me life.
  16. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I agree with you about keeping a positive attitude. One of the greatest tragedies is when an illness changes who one is. Several years ago when my treatments were starting to show some promise and I was out of bed and feeling better, I got some therapy. It was therapy to help find myself again. My therapist told me that when we are sick for a long time, we forget who we are and how to be healthy and happy. It's a slow, insidious process. If we let it, it will take over our lives.

    We used guided therapy in a very relaxed state, almost hypnosis, to help me find myself again and empower myself. I found it most helpful. It is easy to feel victimized by our illnesses. If we become victimized, we lose our ability to influence and create our reality.

    Back when I was in outside sales, I would always be stressed in slow traffic. It was keeping me from my next appointment and from making money; there was always pressure from my bosses to perform. Now, when I am in slow traffic, there is no difference except in how I perceive it or how I create my reality. I now feel relaxed because I know I can sit back and listen to some music, pray, do my arm stretches, or simply look out and enjoy the beauty which is almost everywhere in FL. Nothing has changed except my perception, which has changed my reality. My thoughts are no longer harmful but are healing.

    As I relax and experience healing thoughts, I actually start to heal. Now that I have healed quite a bit, it is easier to feel happy and relaxed. People refer to situations as "visious cycles." There are also "healing cycles." The better we feel, the better we feel! We can't wait til something out there makes us feel better. We have to start looking inside ourselves for that.

    I suggest that anyone who thinks this is a crock to check on the work done by Massaru Emoto, Ph.D. This man has done experiments photographing water crystals. He has photographed spring water in its natural state. Then, he placed messages on the bottles of water prior to photographing them. Messages of love and gratitude produced beautiful crystals in the water. Messages of hate created disturbances and ugly patterns in the water. You can buy his books with these pictures. His work is included in the film, "What The BLEEP Do We Know?" I highly recommend this film for anyone interested in how our minds affect our reality. Our bodies are made up mostly of water. What are we doing to our bodies with our thoughts? Why not send messages of love and healing to our own bodies? "It passes my Chicken Soup Test." It can't hurt and it just might help.

    Everything in my life is beginning to change as I learn more and become more enlightened. I no longer live a fear-based life. I take time each day to meditate and pray. I live an attitude of gratitude. It's easy to say, "What do I have to be thankful for," when we are sick and in pain. When I was bedridden most of the time and on Morphine and in a great deal of pain, I was grateful for my bed and for the Epsom Salt soaks which helped me. I was grateful to look out and see the sun coming up. I love the saying, "This is the day the Lord has made. Let us give thanks and rejoice."

    Well, as y'all know, I somehow cannot express myself without writing "War & Peace." I'm sorry I get so long winded but I wish I could share the good things which come from believing with everyone and I wish everyone would keep an open mind and try some good old positive thinking. It's not a new or revolutionary concept. It's a secret that many are discovering and willing to share with others. Each of us has to decide whether we will open our minds and hearts to such ideas.

    BTW, my toilet is still flushing like a champ and I jump for joy every time. Is it a coincidence that I decided to try to use my thoughts to influence it after everything else failed and now it's working? Skeptics would say so. I really don't care. I focus on the positive and expect more positive things to come. The more I expect good things, the more positive feedback I am getting from God and the Universe. I think I'm onto something here.

    Love, Mikie
  17. Lolalee

    Lolalee New Member

    Mikie, thanks for the great post and POSITIVE message. Many years ago when my sons were teenagers, my youngest got involved with a young girl who totally captured and enraptured him. He changed seemingly overnight and was a different young man because of her. She did sneaky, awful things and it was a terrible time for the family. I was so angry at her and at him for allowing the things that were destroying our relationship and my attitude reflected my feelings.

    One day I was thinking about her and in my spirit I felt like I heard the word "love". I decided that everytime she came into my mind or she was near to me I would think loving thoughts. It wasn't easy, but I persisted. Mikie, our relationship changed dramatically and so did her behavior. I won't go into all the details, but my thoughts and my attitude did change the situation for the better.


  18. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    What an incredible experience. Sometimes, we just have to take the first step. Sometimes, we take that step in our hearts long before we take action. People who are getting into this stuff are reporting amazing results beyond what they would expect.

    Sometimes, we are so invested in a particular outcome that we don't see the signs of change. I think that is why number 10 above is so important. All you did was open your heart with hope, but no expectation. I'm sure that you were blown over with the change in this girl and your relationship.

    Our thoughts do count. Our thoughts go out to the Universe and are reflected back on us. What if everyone could actually read our thoughts--yikes!

    Thanks for sharing this with us.

    Love, Mikie
  19. IntuneJune

    IntuneJune New Member

    I also disagree with the use of the word healing as it implies healing or curing our syndrome, rather than, a generalization that we can take the steps to improve overall health.

    However, I don't disagree with the steps, rather embrace them. Have now for some time.

    Don't jump all over me now, as I am not implying that if we JUST DO ___________________ we will be cured. We KNOW there is an underlying problem. HOWEVER I have diminished some of my symptoms and feel in better control having done mind/body (etc.) work.

    Taken #5, exercise. Exercise has an effect on dopamine levels. Dopamine is our feel-good hormone/neurotransmitter.

    Now let's look at part of the article Rich recently added to our site library.....and Sue put in the post: "New release from our founder of this site on cause of Fibro"

    "Dopamine Hypothesis. This fascinating theory states that FM is primarily a brain dysfunction resulting from stress-induced physiological changes to a part of the brain called the hippocampus and to the important neurotransmitter that it regulates - dopamine. "

    It goes on to say that several FMS patients improved while taking Mirapex which helps with dopamine levels.

    (Several patients does not make a study in my book but..)

    Exercise helps regulate dopamine levels...... medication can help regulate dopamine levels. Hhhummmmmm How many calories does a Mirapex pill burn???? How much will it tone muscles???

    OK am I over-simplifying????? These threads are so entwined, but take different approaches.

  20. IntuneJune

    IntuneJune New Member

    Geeeezzzzzzz will you please WRITE that book!!!!

    I am waiting......

    Love, June

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