Whether fibromyalgia can be cured or not is most definitely a loaded question! I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been asked how I cured my fibromyalgia and in truth there isn’t an easy or simple answer.
First of all, I definitely haven’t ‘cured’ it.
It’s not gone and it will never go away completely. This means I will always have to be careful to manage my energy levels and ensure I don’t over exert myself physically.
Second, I will never be 100% pain free.
There will always be a part of my body that hurts. And while I’ll never be able to run a marathon or ride a rollercoaster again, what I can say with confidence is that I feel sure I’ll always feel better than I did before.
Let me explain…
When all this started six years ago, I was in the midst of a flare up lasting over two years.
For twenty-four months and counting, I’d been in the grip of a migraine so painful that it felt like I was being struck repeatedly over the head. For weeks at a time, my whole body would feel stiff and I was prevented from doing day-to-day things like driving a car for example, because I could barely turn my head from left to right.
Thinking back to how I felt then, I would never have believed that I would ever be capable of working 50 hour weeks, travelling across the country twice a month, or living any kind of normal life ever again.
So what did I do? How did I ‘heal’ myself?
First, I divorced the traditional medical community.
All doctors ever did for me was prescribe new drugs or recommend new therapies that did nothing except make me feel worse.
Stopping conventional treatment meant no more steroid injections in my back and neck, and no more lidocaine injected into my neck, shoulders, or facial muscles. I stopped my physical therapy massages too and just let my body relax.
Next, I did A LOT of research.
I discovered a health coaching school that taught you how to take control of your own health by adopting different approaches to nutrition. I spent an entire year learning from amazing teachers like Deepak Chopra, Andrew Weil, Gabby Bernstein, Danielle La Porte, and many more.
As a result, I gave up soda, stopped eating sugar, gluten, dairy, or anything else loaded with chemicals, and cut my meat consumption way back.
I gave up my beloved beer and wine and instead, started drinking green smoothies, juices and kombucha.
I learned how to make quinoa and make it actually taste good, and spent hours in grocery stores searching for foods that would nourish my body the way it needed to be nourished. By experimenting with the many diets that I was learning about in health coaching school, I basically put myself through a long-term elimination diet.
Then, I detoxified my life.
I ate as much organic food as I could. I learned about the “clean fifteen” and did my best to only consume organic produce from the “dirty dozen”.
I removed as many chemicals as possible from my house. I started using non-toxic cleaning and personal care products. Sure, it took a LONG time to find the brands that suited me best, but after a little trial and error, I finally found non-toxic products that worked just as well – if not better — than anything else I’d previously used on the market.
For the first year of my ‘journey to health’ I continued taking prescription medications while working hard to strengthen my body. After a year of living a non-toxic life, I finally felt strong enough to consider phasing them out.
I found an amazing naturopath to support me.
When I shared my medical history with him for the first time, he commended me for the progress I’d already made and successfully pulling myself out of a three-year-long flare.
Together, we decided on a combination of high-quality supplements and IV supplement therapy to further strengthen my body before finally weening me off the meds completely. We also decided upon a strict candida-free diet which required that I remove all fruit and sugar from my diet and increased probiotics to help the good bacteria regain control of my gut.
After working together for a few months, we slowly began lowering the dose of my prescription meds. I was on Lyrica and Savella and let me tell you – those meds fought tooth and nail to keep me from giving them up. At one point I wound up with such bad vertigo that I had to stop driving again for a few weeks. Fortunately, I found some amazing essential oils that reduced my symptoms and after a few days, the dizziness and nausea miraculously subsided.
By this point I was about 18 months into my healing journey. During the entire time I’d managed to keep my spirits up no matter how much pain I was in. I’d watched lots of comedies and made sure that laughter always filled our home.
Then an opportunity came up that enabled me to leave my job and take a six-month break from work. This allowed me time to rest and gave my body the space to heal. I still kept a fairly clean diet and maintained my supplement regimen, including a new vitamin therapy. Soon after I found an amazing meditative practice called Yoga Nidra and focused on practicing for 40 minutes every day for 60 days. It was transformative and completely life-changing.
Six months later I felt well enough to go back to work part-time. A few months in, I discovered Anthony William, the Medical Medium. Through Anthony I learned that the Epstein Barr Virus (EBV) is the root cause of fibromyalgia, as well as a whole host of other conditions.
Upon learning this I looked back at my personal health history and realized that I’d suffered with Stage 1 EBV when I was 13 and sick with mono. I realized I’d been pretty sick at various points of my life. Like, REALLY sick. In actual fact, the six-year stint that I was just emerging from wasn’t the first time I’d been so sick that I’d had to put my life on hold. A similar thing had happened in my early twenties…then again in my late twenties when I got so sick I had to give up my apartment and move back home to live with my mom.
Realizing that EBV was the root cause of all my issues was a revelation. Once I realized this, I adjusted my diet even further. I cut out most of the meat in my life and went as raw vegan as my carnivore self would tolerate. I added in a few more supplements, drank more smoothies, downed celery juice, drank even more smoothies and, after a few months, I was amazed at how well I was feeling.
Fast forward another four months and I was strong enough to go back to work full-time. I bumped my hours up to 40 at my company but I was still working flex-time so if I didn’t feel well or wasn’t able to work the full 40 hours, I still had a little flexibility.
Four months after that, I started feeling like my old self again. My brain sharpened up and I realized that I could handle a “real” job again. I had an opportunity to go for a big promotion that had come up at work and I wanted to apply. I knew it was a huge decision and that I risked not being able to live up to the expectation. But deep down I also knew that I had come far enough in my healing (yep, took about 4 years of constant focus and care) to take a leap of faith.
I am SO happy to say that I am now able to work more than full-time and run marathons with my brain, juggling meetings and cross-country travel every two weeks from Arizona to Florida and New Orleans. But even with all I’ve accomplished, I know there is still more that I can do to strengthen myself.
Do I still flare?
Yup, I sure do. I’m always adding new products into my regimen and working on strengthening myself so that the travel and constant ‘brain usage’ don’t negatively affect me. The flares don’t happen often – around once a month if that. I still don’t have the social life that I had back then, and my evenings and weekends are mostly spent resting but life is SO much better now than it was back then.
So, how can you ‘cure’ your fibromyalgia? (Remember, I’m using the term “cure” loosely here. There is no cure for fibromyalgia.)
- #1. Change your diet. Get rid of the junk. Stop eating things with ingredients that you can’t pronounce or draw a picture of. Stop with the soda and sugar. Quit the fast food. If you aren’t strong enough to cook, find a local Trader Joe’s or Farmers Market with freshly made, cleanly prepared foods that you can eat. If you live in a rural area, check out Thrive Market. They have tons of options that cater for practically every dietary restriction.
- #2. Remove the toxins from your environment. Get ‘clean’ household and personal care products. LivingClean.Me is where I buy my deodorant, toothpaste, cleaning products, and other personal care products like shampoo, face cream, body wash etc.
- #3. Add a little liquid collagen to your regimen. I have noticed a lot more energy and less flaring since I started taking collagen. THIS is my must have can’t live without! (It has also helped me keep my 43-year-old face from looking 43!) I recently ran out of this and realized after a few days of not taking it that I was starting to flare. I never want to run out again!! This again guys is my must have! (I get this at the LivingClean.Me site. You get $10 off at checkout if you use this link or use discount code 627227 at checkout)
- #4. STOP using regular tampons. Switch to organic, chemical-free, tampons. I get mine from Amazon or Thrive Market. Natracare is the best brand that I’ve found.
- #5. Start doing Yoga Nidra! It’s life changing and the deeper you are able to let yourself go during your practice, the more room you are giving your body for healing.
- #6. Keep laughter in your home. Read, watch, and listen to something funny at least once a day!
- #7. Watch educational documentaries. Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead changed my life. Let it change yours. Hungry for Change is another show that was a huge inspiration.
- #8. Start a gratitude journal. Encourage yourself to notice all that’s good in your life and document it daily.
- #9. Write your story. Mourn the loss of your old self so that you can move on with your healing. Until you accept the fact that you will never be the same person that you once were, and that your friends and family will probably never get it, you won’t be able to move past the pain. When I wrote my story I cried about the things that I’d never be able to do again, and the years that this condition took away from me but afterwards, I meditated, brought in the light, and felt so much lighter.
My wish for you is that this article somehow inspires you to find your own path to health.
Don’t worry about being perfect right away — it took me a year to get my diet to a place where I was truly eating clean enough for it to have made a huge difference.
Take small steps. Add in a green juice every day. Add in a daily smoothie. Start removing the toxic chemicals from your home and from the personal products you use on your body. Give yourself the space to take your time.
It’s not an easy journey. It will take every ounce of energy that you have and then some, but I promise you that it will be SO worth it when you break through to the other side.
Finally, accept that some of the products and foods you need to eat are more expensive, and realize that it’s way better to spend $200 on healthy food and supplements than on prescription medication and doctors’ visits – at least, it is for me!
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