Misconceptions About Fibromyalgia: 5 Common Myths About the Disorder Fibromyalgia by Jaya Jaya Myra
Fibromyalgia affects more than four million Americans. That is about 2 percent of the adult population in the U.S. Even though this disease affects such a large number of individuals, it’s still a rather misunderstood illness that many don’t know how to approach.
May 12, 2021, is Fibromyalgia Awareness Day – a day to raise awareness and educate others about fibromyalgia and the effects it has on those struggling through it. Fibromyalgia is so misunderstood, but it’s actually the key to unraveling how holistic approaches to wellbeing work. Fibromyalgia takes more than a pill to fix, and understanding this paves the way for cultivating lasting health and wellness.
Here are five fibromyalgia myths you should be aware of:
1. It’s in Your Mind
Fibromyalgia is a catchall to describe people who have a certain set of indicators but are not able to be diagnosed with any tangible, treatable illness. Because of this, some people still think it’s all in a person's mind, despite tangible evidence that now shows people with fibromyalgia have greatly heightened pain receptors in the body. It’s a syndrome that affects the nervous system, usually because there is an imbalance in the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. The sympathetic nervous system kicks into overdrive preventing the parasympathetic nervous system from doing it’s job of regeneration and healing. Balancing the two is key, and that takes a holistic, mind-body-soul approach to accomplish.
2. Fibromyalgia Is Permanent
Just because you or someone you know has a diagnosis that there is no known “cure” for does not mean it’s permanent or untreatable – it just means it can’t be fixed with a one-size-fits-all approach or a pill. Overcoming a condition like fibromyalgia requires a holistic approach that integrates mind, body and soul. It’s necessary to treat the whole you, not just the physical you, if you want to help balance the nervous system and give the body the support it needs to heal itself.
3. You Require Medication
For some people, medication provides limited relief from pain; but for others, it doesn’t provide much relief at all. And, like with many medications, the side effects are often worse than the disease itself. There are many holistic approaches including diet changes, adaptogenic herbs, meditation and more that can be used to manage pain and brain fog without having to take a prescription. The reason more people don’t try a holistic approach is because it takes effort to find what works for you, and many people dealing with pain don’t have the energy or motivation to go through the process.
4. You Should Get Back to Normal
This is the worst possible thing anyone dealing with fibromyalgia should even consider. Getting back to normal would be getting back to all the things that enabled this syndrome to take hold in the first place. Healing requires a change in lifestyle habits, adapting effective coping mechanisms and establishing routines that make you feel good about yourself and life. Ditch whatever was your normal before and walk into the unknown to create something new and better that supports the healthy, happy person you want to become.
5. You Won’t Be Fully Healthy Again
Wrong! I’m happier, healthier and in better physical shape than I have ever been in my life. In fact, I have no indications that I ever suffered from fibromyalgia at all. With perseverance, consistency in building new habits, and just a little bit of faith, you can completely reclaim your health.
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