There is a link with how we think about, feel and interpret pain.

I have been a sufferer of fibromyalgia for nearly 3 years now. I’ve been hospitalised on many occasions for weeks at a time in different hospitals and I have seen 3 GP’s and 4 consultants (both neurologists and rheumatologists). I have been prescribed Oxynorm, OxyContin, Lyrica, Cymbalta, Savella, Ampitripiline and took part in a trial for a French drug call Ixel. Not one of these drugs helped decrease the amount of pain I was suffering and the trial drug caused me to have issues with my heart. I decided, whilst receiving treatment for my heart, that I would no longer be a slave/guinea pig to the pharmaceutical industry. In fact, I decided I would research alternative solutions. To date, I have tried breathing techniques, tissue massage and reflexology. These all allowed me to relax and were of benefit for a short period of time.

I was then referred to Dr. Derek Griffin who is a physiotherapist in Tralee, in the West of Ireland. He believes we bring emotional issues from the past, which can affect our present and future. Now, I know this is where some of you will probably think that this is nonsense but please read on. He knows that the pain we sufferers of fibromyalgia feel is real, but he feels that there is a link with how we think about, feel and interpret pain. The brain is a rarely used tool in helping us deal with our pain unless we are trained to do so.

After several meetings with Derek and an increase in exercise I can, hand on heart, say I feel 75% better than I had been feeling in the last 3 yrs. Again, each individual is different but if you have an open mind going in, this might just help you. I’m not pain free and have come to the realisation that I never will be, but I can walk up to 10kms every day, swim 30 lengths, 3 times per week and I attend the gym up to 4 times per week for up to 2 hours each time and my consultant reckons I now will be able to return to part time work, which I had been told I’d probably would never work again. I’ve regained my confidence, I’m no longer a prisoner in my own home which in turn makes me feel confident that I can exist in normal society again. I feel free.

I will reiterate that it may not work for everyone but I’m amazed at how powerful the brain is and at how good this approach has made me feel about myself and my pain. It’s not another fad treatment; it’s just using the power of your own brain. It doesn’t cost as much as seeing your consultant and you only have to attend when it suits you. I’m thrilled that I have found something that helps me but it’s still a process that will need me to be vigilant of my pain and treat the pain with respect but I’m just glad that my body doesn’t feel like it’s giving up on me. I hope people find something that works for them, be it drugs, holistic or alternative remedies. I know what works for one might not work for another sufferer but I know that this approach has helped me more than any drug, GP or Consultant has. Good luck to you all on your own personal journey with pain.

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