Overview of Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain and fatigue. According to the American College of Rheumatology, fibromyalgia affects more than 5 million Americans. It primarily occurs in women of childbearing age, but children, the elderly, and men can also be affected.
Symptoms often include cognitive/memory problems, sleep disturbances, numbness and tingling, and depression. People with this syndrome may also experience morning stiffness, irritable bowel symptoms, anxiety, sensitivity to temperature, noises, and light, and other problems. Diagnosis is based on consideration of the entire constellation of symptoms - no longer on the number of tender points during physical examination. Making a definitive diagnosis is challenging since the symptoms mimic other diseases, but physicians and the health insurance industry finally categorized fibromyalgia as an official medical diagnosis in October 2015.
From a medical perspective, the cause of fibromyalgia is unknown. Recent research (2015), however, has shown a link between small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) and fibromyalgia. Since the trillions of bacteria that live in our intestines communicate directly with our nervous systems and our immune systems, maintaining healthy gut flora is key to maintaining our health. Scientists are currently exploring the delicate balance between the beneficial and harmful bacteria we host. Our microbiome is an exciting frontier in our understanding of the human body.
THE CAYCE READINGS' PERSPECTIVE ON FIBROMYALGIA
According to the National Institutes of Health, the syndrome presently called fibromyalgia has been known by many names over the years. During Edgar Cayce's era (1877-1945) it was commonly called muscular rheumatism. Several individuals with this diagnosis received Cayce readings for their condition.
For example, reading 5233-1 was given for a seventy-nine-year-old man who was suffering from muscular rheumatism. The reading referred to “systemic toxicity” as a causative factor for his muscle and joint pain. Treatment recommendations for this man included colonic irrigations, fume baths and massage, and mild laxatives. Restoring healthy intestinal functioning to decrease the “toxicity” of the body was a main goal. Other readings (1703-2) discuss that such “toxicity” is linked to an imbalance between healthy bacteria and unhealthy bacteria in the intestines.
Reading 3255-1 was given for a sixty-four-year-old woman whose symptoms well describe a person suffering from fibromyalgia:
This is what might ordinarily be called a condition wherein the general taxation has run down the battery for the body; that is, the toxic forces in the body have become excessive. Thus there are pains in the arms, or shoulders at times, in the back, through the lower limbs and through the abdominal area. All of these come and go, dependent upon how well and how thoroughly the eliminations are in the body, and as to whether in the diet the body keeps the general physical forces alkaline or allows the greater portion to become acid. (3255-1)
The information in the readings reinforce that gastrointestinal problems are a primary cause of her symptoms. The Cayce readings’ recommendations for treatment of muscular rheumatism include adherence to a healthy diet, drinking plenty of water, and daily exercise.
Interestingly, modern medical science now advises the same fibromyalgia treatment as the Cayce readings. Fibromyalgia patients should consume a primarily plant-based, non-processed, non-fried, low-sugar diet. Eating whole, preservative-free foods has been shown to improve the number of healthy bacterial species in the gut and strengthen the immune system. Most vegetables, nuts, and fruits fall in the Cayce readings’ list of alkaline-producing foods (should comprise 80% of the diet), and most grains, starches, meats, and sweets are acid-producing (should comprise 20% of the diet.) Plenty of water, 6-8 glasses per day, (before and after meals) was frequently recommended.
Both the Cayce readings and modern studies also recommend moderate aerobic exercise, such as swimming and walking, to improve fibromyalgia sufferers’ fitness and reduce their muscle pain and tenderness. Heat and massage may also give short-term relief. Though unacceptable side-effects may occur, antidepressant medications are sometimes prescribed for some patients with fibromyalgia to help elevate mood, improve quality of sleep, and relax muscles. The Cayce readings also sometimes recommended psycho-active substances like lithium and even heroin to those in severe pain. The fibromyalgia patient and his or her physician should thoroughly discuss the benefits and risks of such substances before adding them to the treatment plan.
OVERVIEW OF THERAPEUTIC REGIMEN
The treatments recommended in the Cayce readings on fibromyalgia are mainly directed toward improving the digestive, circulatory, nervous, and eliminating systems. Diet, moderate exercise, a mild form of energy medicine (Radial Appliance), spinal manipulations and general massage, colon irrigation, and castor oil packs are therapies intended to improve these vital systemic functions. As was typical of Cayce's holistic approach, the mental and spiritual aspects of therapy were emphasized.
Basic therapies recommended for the treatment of fibromyalgia:
1. DIET: The Basic Cayce Diet is intended to improve assimilation and elimination. The diet focuses on fruits and vegetables while avoiding fried foods and refined carbohydrates ("junk food"). Click here for more information about the Cayce Diet.
2. PREVENTING CONSTIPATION/COLONIC CLEANSING: Drinking six to eight glasses of pure water daily is encouraged. Mild laxatives or colonic irrigations (preferably) may be helpful if constipation is a problem.
3. CASTOR OIL PACKS: Castor oil packs across the abdomen are recommended to improve eliminations and promote relaxation.
4. MANUAL THERAPY (SPINAL MANIPULATION AND MASSAGE): Massage is suggested to relax the body and improve circulation and eliminations. Osteopathic or gentle chiropractic treatment is recommended to relieve any pressures that may be hindering circulation and decreasing eliminations.
5. STRESS REDUCTION: Meditation, yoga, and other relaxation techniques may help those suffering from fibromyalgia. The Cayce readings said that the Radial Appliance would be helpful for anyone having problems with disturbed sleep and fatigue.
6. MODERATE EXERCISE: Walking or other moderate exercise is recommended. Be outdoors in the open as much as possible.
7. ATTITUDES AND EMOTIONS: The mental and emotional aspects of healing were frequently discussed in the Cayce readings. Particularly, an attitude of desiring and expecting to be healed is important. A positive mental and emotional attitude and can be created and maintained by focusing on a high purpose (ideal) for being healed.
Note: The above information is not intended for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. Please consult a qualified health care professional for assistance in applying the information contained in the Cayce Health Database.