In my time working in the Exeter Pain Management Clinic, I was astounded by the number of people suffering from Fibromyalgia. Many people don’t know about this debilitating condition, let alone how to manage the symptoms or support someone who has it.
So what is Fibromyalgia? The word itself is derived from pain (algia) coming from the muscles (my) and the fibrous tissues (algia) coming from the muscles (my) and fibrous tissues (fibro), such as tendons and ligaments, but most people with Fibromyalgia have other symptoms in addition to the pain, therefore Fibromyalgia is sometimes called Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS).
It is becoming a more common condition with about 1-50 of us developing it at some stage, and it is seven times more common in women than in men. In most cases, it first develops between the ages of 25 and 55. There are many symptoms, but the main ones are pains felt in many areas of the body, and tiredness, but some people also develop other symptoms as well. Some people experience pain ‘all over’. The most painful areas are reportedly the neck and back and the severity of the pain can vary from day to day. Things like stress, cold or activity can make the pains worse. After a night’s sleep people may also feel quite stiff for a few hours and some areas of the body may also be quite tender. Tiredness (fatigue) is common, and is sometimes severe, for some people it is more distressing than the pain itself. It is also common to have poor sleep patterns with some people waking up feeling exhausted. Many people feel worse first thing in the morning, but improve by the afternoon. Even a small amount of activity may cause the sufferer to feel worse and lead to reduced concentration.
Because of the kinds of symptoms associated with Fibromyalgia, hypnotherapy can be really helpful in dealing with the effects of it. A study conducted by the National Institute of Health in the USA showed that those with Fibromyalgia undergoing hypnotherapy reported 80% fewer pain symptoms than those who received no hypnotherapy treatment, and also reported decreased muscle pain and morning fatigue and fewer sleep difficulties, which really helps them on a day to day basis. It means that there is more help available than relying on painkillers or just ‘putting up with it’.
With therapy rooms in both Exeter and Bovey Tracey I am easy to access and would be happy to have a chat to see if hypnotherapy would be helpful for you. Online www.ukfibromyalgia.com is a useful resource.