Fibromyalgia and Genes

small_4386296949

Are you suffering from chronic pain? Does your fibromyalgia seem to be a constant unwelcome companion in hot or cold climates? Unfortunately, that’s one of the things that you may have inherited from your relatives.

A recent study has proven that chronic pain can be something hereditary. It has been tested and proven that if your first degree relatives have suffered from fibromyalgia, you are eight times more likely to suffer from it as well.

It all lies in your serotonin. Serotonin, as you may well know by now, is a neurotransmitter that is usually found in the intestinal tracts and nervous systems of many creatures, including us humans. It is responsible for feelings of well-being and happiness, and can be activated by exercising, cuddling, and sometimes eating copious amounts of chocolate. Now, if your serotonin system has an abnormality, it makes its anti-pain properties all the more scarcer, and well, pain is all the more worse.

photo credit: Brett Jordan via photopin cc

How Korean Hand Therapy Helps Relieve Chronic Pain

body_homonculous

Perhaps not as well-known as acupuncture and reflexology, but with many similarities to the two, is Korean Hand Therapy. Other names for the treatment are Korean Sooji Chim, or simply Soojichim. It is based on the belief that “the hands are a micro-cosmos of the body”.

Mapping different “points” on one’s hands to different functions of the human body is similar to acupuncture and reflexology. In Korean Hand Therapy, it is believed that there are 345 of these acupuncture points on our hands, regulating our internal organs.

One way Korean Hand Therapy differs from other similar pressure-point therapies is that the stimulation of these points may be done in a variety of ways; hand needles may be used, but so may magnets, special rings, and even through one’s mind (called “Cyber Hand Therapy”).

The country has certainly had stormy relationships with many of its Asian neighbors; the Korean War split the country itself in two, and the Vietnam War, which followed not too long after, had hundreds of Korean troops fighting in neighboring Vietnam, a sensitive topic to many Koreans due to the numerous accounts of their war brutality and Vietnam comfort women.

The uniquely Korean Soojichim, however, was certainly a spin-off from other, more ancient alternative therapies practiced throughout Asia for hundreds of years. It’s a fairly new alternative health treatment, having been developed in 1975 by acupuncturist Dr. Tae Woo Yoo, who was looking for an alternative to the large, painful needles required by traditional acupuncture.

Dr. Tae Cheong Choo - "Saam Acupuncture, Korean four needle technique"

It is said to be very effective in treating everything from arthritic pain to allergies to infertility.

KHT is free from any danger and side effects. It is not involved with any habitual and toxic application. Therefore, KHT is very safe to perform for self-treatment as well as the patient’s treatment in the clinics. KHT is very effective for increasing immunity. As the immune strength increases by applying KHT, KHT can effectively be used for complementing Western Medicine by lessening the side effects of chemotherapy or radiological treatment in cancer patients and relieving nausea, so that the patients can continue to receive the treatment. (Source)

Since gaining worldwide popularity in the 1980s, practicioners of Korean Hand Therapy are easy to find in most cities around the globe.

The Cortical Homunculus

One of the causes of chronic pain is damage done to the somatosensory system. This is a complex system of receptor sensor nerves mapped out across the body. These receptors are found on your hands, your lips, your feet, your skin, as well as through your internal organs. It is a system that helps us touch things and appreciate different kinds of tactile experiences. It is what tells us fire is hot, ice is cold, cacti are prickly, and kisses are pleasurable.

One of the most sensible yet intriguing ways to depict this is via 3d model of a human person – albeit at first sight, you probably wouldn’t think this looked anything like a person. Say hello to the Cortical Homunculus.

medium_3280576609

This very-odd shaped person might be a dead ringer for Gollum‘s long-lost brother, but the hyper-enlarged hands, feet, lips and even genitals do have a reason. This homunculus maps out how many receptors a person has in those areas, thus making them much more sensitive than another body part.

photo credit: Son of Groucho via photopin cc

How magnetic is Magnetic Therapy?

10.jpg

Magnetic therapy is a new tool available to patients which provides care and treating ailments. They found it so effective in helping people relieve pain. You will be fascinated and impressed in this simple yet effective invention in treating arthritis, back pain and even fibromyalgia. Some convinced and still hoping that through magnet, it will soon be commonplace to treat headaches, sports injuries and even allergies. We really can’t say. Through new technology, researches may still continue finding its way to improve and helps us to relieve our burden, our pain.

Heat Sensitivity

In our last post, we focused on how patients with Fibromyalgia can become extra sensitive to colder temperatures. Today, we’ll take a closer look at the other side of the temperature spectrum, as well as the people who experience pain from the heat.

medium_2618946489

Most folks will look forward to the end of Winter, the arrival of Spring, and most of all, the exploding heat of Summer. However, for Fibromyalgia sufferers, the heat is not as kind or alluring to them. Some patients with heat sensitivity will shirk away from warm to sweltering weather, as this triggers not just their pain, but also headaches, anxiety, achey joints, and even nausea.

What can be done to cope with heat sensitivity? The first and biggest step is to make sure that cold temperatures do not trigger the patient’s pain receptors. If so, make sure the patient is well-ventilated and stays in a cooler room. Turn on electric fans, air coolers, and air conditioners, and have the patient wear light, breathable clothing.

photo credit: Vox Efx via photopin cc

Taichi to Manage Chronic Pain

As mentioned in a previous post, Yoga is an effective exercise to aid in managing chronic pain, However, if Yoga is not your thing, another good exercise to consider is Taichi.

Tai’chi chu’an is a chinese form of internal martial art that is best recognized by it’s smooth, flowing movement, and is practiced for its training and health benefits. It hold belief in the flow of life force, or qi, throughout the body, and that taichi is a way of balancing the flow of qi. Every morning in China, many of its long-lived senior citizens rise bright and early to go through their soothing, fluid movements, bathed in the soft glow of early sunshine, or sheltered under the shade of expansive trees in a park. Many of those who practice Taichi swear by it and owe their longevity, good health, and pain-free days to this martial art. Its flowing movements are also given to settling the practitioner into a meditative state.

photo credit: ttcs.buffalo via photopin cc

All About Chronic Pain

There are over 49 million of American people who suffer from chronic pain, which can adversely affect career, sleep patterns and social life of a patient. Living with a chronic pain can even cause severe depression, stress, fatigue, anger and anxiety. Most cases of it are related to lower back pain, arthritis, headache, multiple sclerosis, firbomyalgia, shingles, and nerve damage. Other comes from old injuries that have not cured properly.

Regardless of how and why you suffer, there are plenty ways to manage and treat your chronic pain.

First, understand what pain you really feel. This might be a crucial step but if it hurt you every day, then, you should open your ears widely and know what particular type of pain you feel and determine where exactly the pain coming from.

Second, learn the art of slow breathing. Inhale, Exhale, Inhale, Exhale. It’s a simple technique that can surely reduce the pain you feel. It’s a no doubt natural pain killer that really works.

Third, take a hot bath. It can absolutely relax your body, mind and spirit. It is one of the best ways to treat any chronic pain you have.

Fourth, start an exercise program. Being physically active can lessen the pain and improve your emotional state by making you feel empowered and motivated. Exercising can even make your body stronger and healthy. Exercise is the key!

Fifth, be engaged in a new hobby. If you are focus with your new hobby, your mind can avoid thinking the pain. Your hobby can be a sort of board games, video games, writing, reading, singing, drawing, etc., something that you truly enjoy doing.

Sixth, take medicine. You dont need to learn Thai or any other language to know this. If you can’t tolerate the pain anymore take medication. Just make sure that it is prescribed by the doctor.

Cold Sensitivity

Last post, we covered the benefits of practicing Taichi in managing pain. Today, let’s look at a particular aspect of Fibromyalgia – cold sensitivity.

Sufferers of Fibromyalgia don’t just have their aches and pains to deal with all the time. They may also sometimes feel extremely cold or extremely hot in temperatures that a non-sufferer would be fine in. This is something called temperature sensitivity. There are two different kinds of this symptom: cold sensitivity, and heat sensitivity.

Sufferers with cold sensitivity will easily feel very cold in situations that would otherwise feel manageable for other people. A slight breeze? Chilly! An air-conditioned room? Forget it! These people will often resort to layering on clothing to feel warmer, seeking an external source of heat, such as a fireplace, a radiator, or even a warm, soothing bath. For people with cold sensitivity, it is a good idea to wear cozy socks, and drink hot beverages to keep warm.

photo credit: r.f.m II via photopin cc