Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
You woke up this morning after a long night with very little sleep. It
seemed that every time you fell asleep you woke up soon after in pain.
All day long you have one foot in sleep and the other in wakefulness.
As you stood up you felt stiffness and more pain. You are fatigued and
feel as if your brain were empty and unable to think. You were ready to
return to bed in a few hours. There is no energy to begin.
Concentration is difficult and memory is poor. You just cannot seem to
handle difficult situations. Is this a nightmare or is it real.? This
is Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and it's real. You and
thirty million people are suffering from these similar diseases. More
women than men and more adults than children suffer from these diseases.
FMS(Fibromyalgia syndrome) is considered to be a widespread
musculoskeletal pain and fatigue disorder of unknown cause. For the
most part routine laboratory tests reveal nothing. For these reason
doctors have resorted to utilizing the following criteria for diagnosis:
A. Severe widespread pain in four quadrants of the body for over 3
B. Continued pain in 11 of the 18 tender points around neck,
knees, hips and elbow
c Sleep disorders
d. Chronic fatigue
e. Chronic headaches
f. Poor peripheral circulation
The disabling pain, inability to function throughout a full day and many
other debilitating symptoms result in widespread stress and frustration.
Neither of these emotions are positive and simply bring on more disease
related symptoms. According to medical science relaxation is the best
medicine for FMS. Ridding oneself of daily stresses is desirable but
not practical. Many FMS sufferers must continue to work and want to
have help in continuing an able life style. Neurotechnology along with
Biofeedback can provide substantial help in this area. Lifestyle
changes are suggested by many physicians treating FMS. This may become
necessary as time and disease progress but it may not be the first
choice that should be considered. Less work, less activity, less
activity more worry and stress, more stress, more symptoms. It is a
Catch 22 for many sufferers of this disease entity.
Traditional treatment is geared towards improving the quality of sleep
as well as reducing pain. In the laboratory setting we are finding that
the best relaxation for some patients with FMS is a low alpha, high
theta program.. This may explain why the patient who tries sleep tapes,
slow music and meditation are not able to sleep. It is simply that they
are working through the wrong areas of their brains to gain the results
desired. When we use neurotechnology with beta brain wave programs deep
rest and relaxation takes place and a rested feeling is experienced by
the patient. It is possible that a trance state using an anchor could
be developed to make stage 4 sleep available to them whenever they call
on the stimuli,
The lack of moderate to high peripheral temperature is another
outstanding symptom of Fibromyalgia. Cold extremities add to the pain
burden already being carried by the sufferers of this disease. With
neurotechnology relaxation programs coupled with biofeedback training we
have reached rises in peripheral temperature of over 19+ degrees during
treatment. When the patient learns to recreate this state he/she can
bring on the warming response whenever necessary. The increase in
temperature signals the presence of increased circulation. The increase
of circulation should signal the decrease of pain. This
"self-activation" ability adds feelings of self-control to patients
suffering daily stress from pain. The same approach is used with the
person suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome when feelings of
helplessness arise stemming from chronic fatigue. Using biofeedback
procedures the person can visualize positive and active brain states and
actually see good results as they happen. It is to be hoped that, later
on, when this feeling arises they will call on the visual images that
help them gain emotional control. In the OPNET offices we are able to
gain such control within 7 to 1 0 sessions.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is much like, yet differs from Fibromyalgia in
that the sufferers of this disease experience continuing fatigue, rash
like symptoms, pressure headaches in the occipital area, hyperinsomnia
and low grade fever. Rest and complete relaxation are an important
treatment for these patients. However, stress robs them of any ability
to handle difficult situations and relaxation is an impossible skill for
them to obtain without guidance and direct treatment. All victims of
these two disease entities suffer depression, insomnia, with STRESS
being the consummate enemy credited with part responsibility for cause
and continuance of the disease itself. This is the ideal involvement
for biofeedback and other fields making a difference in patients by
lowering stresses and improving self-control abilities.
It is important to mention the anxiety and depression levels of these
two like disease entities. Fatigue also is a component of both
syndromes. In fact there is no doubt that chronic fatigue is a common
component of Fibromyalgia and that Fibromyalgia is one variety of
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Both may be late manifestations of multiple
and various pathologies. Much has been already learned but there are
gaps in understanding that will be closed only after years of research
and the acceptance that CFS and FMS are the results of complex
interactions among viruses, the immune system, the brain, stress,
hormones, neurotransmitters --and pain perception. Very little is known
about cause and even less about treatment with anything other than
pharmaceutical products. People with these diseases are being warned to
stay away from alternative treatment. However, after much endeavor we
have prevailed upon the "powers that be" to include biofeedback and
biofeedin light and sound in treatment regimens.
The fields of Neurotechnology and Biofeedback in the OPNET Method, will
provide measurable positive results in relieving many of the
overpowering symptoms and everyday struggles with sufferers of Chronic
Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia. The patients are grasping for any
help and the medical field is ready to embrace alternative fields.
After four years of combining neurotechnologies we are able to prove
conclusive results as to positive changes occurring when the modalities
are used in combination. It is now time for the two fields to merge in
the case of FMS and CFS. We can make a difference and there are thirty
million people in the world waiting!
The PLI biofeedin instrument is utilized in the relaxation regimen for
Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue. It is possible for this system to be
used in the home. The kit includes an instruction book, an audio
cassette tape and recording sheets to send in the data periodically to
the OPNET Center for evaluation. It is important to remember that
RELAXATION is the goal. This method was not devised to replace any
medically prescribed instructions but to over help to those persons so
desperately needing calmness and relaxation to cope with each day.
Copyright: Rayma Ditson-Sommer, Ph.D. January 1995.
For more information contact James Singleton e-mail jamesp at goodnet.com.