Research Link for Complimentory and Alternative Methods/Medicine

Could not resist posting this today. This is a wealth of empirical data on using alternative and complimentary methods and medicine to help with chronic pain.



Quick Note; Updated Blog Menu

On this day before Thanksgiving, I wish all my Peers the best of days tomorrow.

I have updated my blog with categories to make it even easier to find exactly what you might be desiring to read. I have also changed the way you can “like” my posts, hopefully this will allow all who come here to click on the star now.

More important and informative blog posts next week



Chronic Pain and The Holiday Season, Oh My

When we Feel Like the Bear in the Room Fibromyalgia Holiday Overwhelm

The Holiday Season is here; sigh. I am blessed that my only child is now 26 and I don’t have to rush about getting gifts, wrapping them, shopping, and cooking for several days; all in about one month’s time. That does not exclude me from attending family events where I often start out or finish feeling like a giant bear in the room while everyone else is laughing and interacting away; for hours. What to do? Set boundaries. Now.

I recommend starting with changing how the entire cooking process of the two separate but, giant meals happens. If you are like me, this is no longer something you can tackle by yourself. If you are going to a large family gathering, or having one at your home, create a new plan where everyone brings a dish. If you traditionally cooked a huge turkey or a large roast, consider buying pre-cooked meat from a good grocer. Or, change the meat dish to a large chicken or a few, smaller items, like game hens. No one needs to eat that much at one time and if they wish to have some leftovers, then they can bring larger platters to share at the end of the day. In reality, one of the family members can bring the large meat dish and leave you to create some smaller appetizers. Actually, lots of small but delicious appetizers can become the entire meal. Buy meats, cheeses, crackers, olives, and more; snack all day, done.

Then there are the gifts, good gracious. This can be changed as well. Create a new tradition where all the adults choose one name out of a hat. Grandchildren and young children can be excluded and gifts can be purchased throughout the few months leading up to the gift day, or purchased online already wrapped. Handmade gifts are also something you can start several months in advance, and can be very easy to create. Google DIY and other sites to find items like lavender heating socks. Rice, dried lavender and a sock; simple enough. Hand drawn bookmarks and so much more are gentle on our bodies but are still lovingly cherished and used. Give a gift to a organization like Heifer International in an adults name. If you feel the way I do today, shopping trips during this time of year are guaranteed to overwhelm us and cause a huge flair of pain every day spent inside overcrowded shops.

Last, but not at all the least of these changes, is drawing boundaries ahead of time. Call your loved ones and inform them that you do not know how you will feel on either holiday (and forgive me for not mentioning Hanukah, Kwanzaa, or other holiday times; I am not familiar with how one celebrates theses). If the celebration is at your home, keep it to only two or three hours and ask for help in the clean up afterwards. If you are going elsewhere, let them know that you should be there but is always possible you will have to cancel. Personal boundaries are not wrong and may actually help to lessen the tension. Let them know you can only be there for a few hours, or that you may need to go lie down and take a nap after a few hours and then spend another hour before heading home. If you are staying there for the weekend or several days, inform the family that you will need to spend a lot of alone time in order to be one of the happy faces at the table or tree; not the bear.

Lucinda Tart, Fibromyalgia Peer Advocate/Life Skills Coach


Interesting Research from The NIMH on Sleep, The Brain, and Excitability Effects

Review figure

(The link above will lead you to a very  complex scientific collection of research articles on neurons and specifically GABA. GABA is increasingly a popular topic when discussing chronic pain.)

Good Friday Afternoon Peers,

I subscribe to several newsletters from the United States Government that relate to research, funding, and other general topics. I found this new article in my inbox this morning. It was performed to test the neuron function in the brains of persons with epilepsy, however in reading through it, I see the potential for discovering why we can not sleep.

It is not a difficult read. The study followed “excitability” and it’s highs and lows in the brain. These depend on the functioning of certain neurons. They need to be at a certain level for the brain to be “ordered” and allow restorative sleep. I have hope that this can be taken and applied to all persons with sleep disorders, including us!

Have a pain-free weekend,


Second Step in Keeping a Journal for Pain and Triggers in Fibromyalgia

fibromyalgia feelings at end of the day

This is the second step to add into your personal journaling of your day. These steps are meant to assist you in identifying your personal triggers, your steps towards health, medication tracking, and creating a personalized program to stay Well.

Step 2)  At the end of your day record what you did throughout that day. Keep it brief by jotting down the general errands, cleaning, or work chores.

a) Note three-four items from your day. Underneath each write what hurt, or increased your pain. Example, lifting a grocery bag, driving, pushing a vacuum, sitting at a desk.

b) Across the page write down the scale of your pain levels during each; use the Fibromyalgia Scale 1-10, with 10 being the highest. Remember, this is your private journal. If you felt a pain of 8 after lifting the grocery bag, put it down.

c) Under the number you put, write another to note if the pain decreased. Add in how many minutes or hours it took for it decrease.

d) Write down how you feel at the end of day, using the pain scale.

Finish by jotting down a few simple notes. Example; “After I vacuumed the living room and went grocery shopping, transferred the bags to the car and then brought them in the house, my pain was at a level of 7. I had to wait an hour to put them away, or, I asked my husband/partner to put them away as I had to lay down.

Use these steps for two weeks. Keep it gentle and simple. If you wish, you can also use this space to rage or vent about your pain. Also, remember it is very important to note what actions made you feel better.

More later. This is a building block process and I don’t wish my Peers to become overwhelmed, thereby defeating the entire process.
























In, Out, In, Out, Shake Me All About!

My dear Peers,

This blog site is written as a personal account of invisible illness. This is her story. Unfortunately, this is also too many of our stories. I wished to share it today as I know all too well the back and forth and all around only to wind up; nowhere but where you started.

Source: In, Out, In, Out, Shake Me All About!

Modern medicine doesn’t train doctors to see patients as individuals | Daily Mail Online

I like this Daily Mail article for several reasons. First, it addresses the need to self advocate. Second, it confirms my believe that as survivors of living with an Invisable Illness, we must be informed and speak up for what we know about our own symptoms; do not think of our doctors as “God”, think of them as our allies or assistants. Third, we must create our own movement for our healthcare by learning all we can, through personal research, journaling each day, and finding a Well Living Program.


OMG, didn’t I say something similar in my blog, “What I think of the NHS”? Modern medicine doesn’t train doctors to see patients as individuals | Daily Mail Online

Source: Modern medicine doesn’t train doctors to see patients as individuals | Daily Mail Online