Fibromyalgia and Food

The Connection Between Fibromyalgia & Food

It is commonly accepted, and scientifically proven, that a healthy diet can have a positive effect on overall health. Similarly, what you eat can play a role in how you experience fibromyalgia—possibly triggering flare-ups and/or providing relief. Diet, therefore, is often discussed along with other non-pharmacologic (non-medication) treatments for fibromyalgia.

Although there is no specific diet for all fibromyalgia sufferers, it has been shown that vegetarian diets tend to help fibromyalgia. Researches suspect that this is because such diets are low in fat and protein, and high in fibre, beta carotene, vitamin C, and minerals and antioxidants.

Fibromyalgia Nutritional Research

The following provides an overview of recent research into nutrients that may be beneficial additions to a fibromyalgia diet:

  • Antioxidants as part of a diet to help fibromyalgia: Antioxidants are molecules that stop oxidation (a chemical reaction that can produce something called free radicals that can damage cells). The body’s antioxidant system provides defense to keep these free radicals in check. Dietary antioxidants help our bodies to maintain our antioxidant systems. Examples of antioxidants are vitamins C, A, E, and melatonin to name a few. There may be a relationship between higher oxidation and the occurrence of fibromyalgia symptoms, but further research is needed in this area.
  • Ferritin and iron as part of a fibromyalgia diet: There has been research into a possible connection between fibromyalgia symptoms and low blood levels of iron and ferritin (the storage form of iron). Iron is important in the formation of serotonin and dopamine, chemicals in the brain that are involved in pain perception. However, there is no evidence at this time that iron supplementation would help in the treatment of fibromyalgia symptoms.
  • Amino acids in the fibromyalgia diet: Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and make up a large part of human muscles and cells. There has been some research showing that patients with fibromyalgia seem to have lower levels of certain amino acids in their blood.
  • Coenzyme Q10 as part of a diet to help fibromyalgia: Coenzyme Q10 is an antioxidant (see above) that is important for cell function. There is some evidence that including coenzyme Q10 in the diet may improve fibromyalgia symptoms.

Fibromyalgia Diet Food List

Fibromyalgia sufferers should eat a diet that’s high in lean protein and fibre, and lower in carbohydrates. Foods that help fibromyalgia include fruits with a low glycaemic index, vegetables and whole grains. A well-balanced diet can improve energy level and staying physically active can lead to better overall health.

The lists below provide examples of the types of foods that may help fibromyalgia symptoms. However, as people with fibromyalgia often have food sensitivities, what relieves symptoms in one person may trigger a flare-up in others. It’s important to listen to your body and to create your own fibromyalgia diet food list.

FOODS HIGH IN ANTIOXIDANTS:

  • Kidney beans
  • Dark chocolate
  • Pecans
  • Artichokes (boiled)
  • Cilantro
  • Berries (blueberries, cranberries, blackberries)

FOODS HIGH IN AMINO ACIDS:

  • Red meat: lean cuts of beef or pork
  • Poultry: chicken or turkey breast
  • Fish: halibut, tuna or salmon fillet
  • Diary: non- and low-fat cheese, low-fat yogurt
  • Plant-based proteins: quinoa, tofu, soybeans

FOODS CONTANING COENZYME Q10:

  • Organ meats (heart, liver, kidney)
  • Beef
  • Soy oil
  • Sardines and mackerel 
  • Peanuts

FRUITS WITH LOW GLYCEMIC INDEX:

  • Apples
  • Berries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Peaches
  • Citrus

ANTI-INFLAMMATORY VEGETABLES:

  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Bok choy
  • Arugula
  • Collard greens

Qi Gong – So many forms….where to begin?

When starting out with anything, it is always best to master the very basics before moving on to the more complicated movements.

 

As Bruce Lee famously said —-Image result for bruce lee quote i fear not that man who

 

 

 

So where do we start?  

Qigong styles can be as simple as swaying one’s arms about or counting one’s breaths and as complicated as holding a difficult position (such as sitting with legs crossed in the so called ‘full lotus position’) for hours or imitating the movements of a wild animal. And there are lots of them. According to some statistics there are over 100,000 styles of chi kung (or the ‘ways to practice life energy’) in China today. Sounds like a lot when you hear it, but the truth is, there could be as many as 6 billion of them if everyone on this planet would be committed enough to develop their own unique style.

One of the main reasons why there is such a variety of techniques is undoubtedly due to its very long history. But there are many other reasons too, such as: different styles have been created for different purposes (Qigong can be used in almost every aspect of life, making it lot easier and more enjoyable); many and varied origins of the techniques (eg. styles coming from Buddhism, Taoism, Confucian, Kung Fu, Chinese medicine) and many others.

The following Qigong styles introduced here are among the most powerful and most widely practiced ones in recent years in China. Many of them were being kept secret for a very long time only to come out publicly available in theMy last couple of decades while the others were created in recent times

So where do we start?

Eight Strands of Brocade Qigong 

Eight Strands of Brocade Qigong (Ba Duan Jin) is one of the oldest Qigong styles, dating back over 3,000 years.  It is a dynamic set of eight special exercises, gentle but firm, done with natural breathing and concentration, that promotes the flow of chi and blood, stretches the muscles, strengthens the joints and bones, improves coordination, flexibility, circulation, and is beneficial to all the systems and organs – central nervous system, digestive system, respiratory system, urinary tract…

To the onlooker it may appear that the practitioner is just stretching his/her limbs, bending and twisting their body but in reality every observed physical action is an attempt to favour the flow of chi in particular meridian(s). Thus the whole set is designed to rebalance all meridians and benefit all organs.  This style is unique due to its stress on simplicity, repetition, relaxation, rhythm and harmony.

My favourite Video – just beautifully simple –

 

Spontaneous Five Animals Play Qigong

Imagine Reiki, Shiatsu, Kahuna, Rolfing, Yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi and Spiritual Healing all rolled into one technique, tailor made to suit your individual needs. That is exactly what Spontaneous Five Animals Play Qigong (Wuqinxi) is. It can treat a wide range of diseases, promote longevity and induce psychic abilities.

All one needs to do is focus their mind on certain acupuncture points on the body for a few minutes and the rest comes without having to consciously remember any steps or movements – making it a pure energy (chi) exercise.

The energy moves the body spontaneously according to each individual’s health needs. That means you will move your sore back or neck in the most appropriate way for its recovery. You will find the right acupuncture points and apply Chinese massage on them without any prior knowledge of Chinese medicine, do spontaneous Reiki-like energy healing and imitate some of the (or all) 5 different animals (tiger, bear, deer, crane and monkey) to get rid of your ailments. The Chinese found, thousands of years ago, that imitating certain animals’ movements is very beneficial to certain ailments, all stemming from pure observation and realisation that some animals are stronger than others, some are more agile, some faster, some see better, some hear better, live longer,…

Other spontaneous reactions that may occur during practice are: hitting or slapping certain body areas, shaking, jumping, whistling, humming, laughing, crying, reciting mantras, doing Tai Chi or Kung Fu like movements and grounding (ie lying still on the ground for a period of time allowing the Earth to pull the negative chi energy out the practitioner’s body thus assisting the healing process). For more information regarding Spontaneous Five Anim als Play Qigong, please refer to Qigong Chinese Health magazine – issue 1, page 10-15 or click on the link: Five Animals Play.

 

 

Tai Chi Qigong (Shibashi)

Tai Chi is a martial art, Qigong is a practice of Qi (life force).  Tai Chi Qigong (also known as Shibashi*) is a style of Qigong that has ‘borrowed’ the movements from Tai Chi thus it is beneficial to both Tai Chi as well as to Qigong practitioners.  This dynamic form of Qigong is a set of 18 gentle, slow paced movements that is not only easy to practice but is even pleasing to the eyes.  Invented in the late 1970’s by Lin Hou-Sheng, a well known Qigong master from Shanghai, this style is as popular in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia as it is in China.  In recent years, slowly but surely, it has spread to other Asian countries as well as to the west.

Tai Chi Qigong is very effective in strengthening muscles and joints, releasing tension, reducing stress, energizing, uplifting, regulating blood pressure… It gives a great workout without the need to do anything fast and strenuous, can improve coordination of movements and is generally beneficial to mind, body and spirit.  If done regularly over a period of time, it can bring many positive health results, even control body weight.

 

Try out these videos and get into practicing this daily, it incorporates your meditation, movement and exercise and you will start to feel your energy flowing through your body.  This will also helps in every aspect of your life.

Reflexology – How does it actually work?

How Does Reflexology Work?

Reflexology helps release stress, which in turn helps the body heal and regenerate itself. There are several theories about how this process work.

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Theory #1: Reflexology works with the central nervous system.

illustration of the central nervous system This theory builds on research done in the 1890s by Sir Henry Head and Sir Charles Sherrington, who began to show through their research that a neurological relationship exists between the skin and the internal organs, and that the whole nervous system adjusts to a stimulus.

According to the theory, the reflexologist’s application of pressure to feet, hands, or ears sends a calming message from the peripheral nerves in these extremities to the central nervous system, which in turn signals the body to adjust the tension level. This enhances overall relaxation, brings internal organs and their systems into a state of optimum functioning, and increases blood supply (which brings additional oxygen and nutrients to cells and enhances waste removal). It positively affects the circulatory, respiratory, endocrine, immune, and neuropeptide systems in the body.