Patience with our ‘wild minds’

I have been reading chapter 4 of my Mindfulness for Health book by Vidyamala Burch (read the reviews here)  about how our mind wanders whilst we try to meditate and why it does the same when we are in pain.  If we try to force the mind to be still it will kick and resist and we get exhausted by the struggle, if however we let it roam and follow it with our awareness, it will settle down of it’s own accord.  Our minds struggle as we oppose it, if we are patient and focus our awareness in the minds struggle, then it will become calm.  We can then refocus on the breath or body and the mind starts to get curious about the object of you refutation.  It will become gently calm, yet alert and vibrant.


The other reason why our minds refuse to settle, especially if our bodies are in pain or highly stressed while we meditate.  It is natural for the mind to avoid unpleasant sensations in the body.  It will want to distract especially after chronic pain sufferers are told ‘keep yourself busy, and distract yourselves’ only to stop and be in agony!!  We try to avert the pain.  Pay attention to your thoughts, see how it bounces around and drags up past troubling memories and then exploits them in the future, creating stress and anxiety.  Just notice them and give these thoughts and feelings names, but not judging them and then coax your mind back to the breath or your body and continue meditating. 


Think of your thoughts as passing clouds in a beautiful blue sky.  You notice them and let them go and the blue sky is always there. 

Trial patient for Fibromyalgia 

After the initial bad couple of years with trying different medications with this condition and feeling disgusted with just constantly being fed more pills.  I wanted to try to put this ‘situation’ to some good use.

There is not a cure for #fibromyalgia and as the nervous system and mind are so complex and every single person is different I doubt there we will be.  But what if a combination of holistic and medical treatments were available to improve our symptoms and more importantly quieten down the root cause; our ‘short circuiting’ nervous system and brain?

I spent an afternoon searching on the internet for clinical trials in the UK and came across this site here, you can search the medical condition and even an area of the UK and see what is available, sign up, contact people for more information or even just ask to be kept informed.  Brilliant I thought!!  Let’s get involved, I’m game. 

I was turned down for one as I had took Tramadol in the last 6 months and one had no funding to pay for my travel, but I was accepted for another.

I am just waiting for a date to travel over for the one day trial and they have offered to pay for me to travel and my time plus I can spend some time with a Fibro specialist to talk about anything I want.  Fantastic…..

I will keep you all posted, but why don’t you take a look at the site and see what you think? 

Fibromyalgia and supplements

It took a long time for me to get diagnosed with Fibro, over 2 years after my operation.  That’s pretty fast according to research as the average is usually around 5.  Not surprising really as Fibromyalgia is a nervous system disorder and reliable positive tests for this condition has literally only just been tested…….  But even though there are a set of symptoms that we all feel; tender points, more pain in weak spots, extreme insomnia, skin tingling and burning and increased sensitivity to pain and psychological stresses plus exhaustion, there are also things that some get and others don’t, I don’t get IBS, but I eat an 80% natural diet?  Does that make a difference?  I think so? I’ve had migraines so severe I’ve ended up in A&E!  Why I stupidly drank 3 cans of coke at a party (something I never drink) others don’t.  I also get either overheated when it’s warm and get raynaud’s syndrome, others don’t etc etc.

There is one thing I have read over and over, we seem to have certain vitamin deficiencies; I was diagnosed with low vitamin D and an underactive thyroid and I put on 14 pounds (I don’t use KG 😂) in a year.  I started using D3 with calcium at a high dosage and a thyroid supplement:-


Within 6 weeks both levels were back to normal, I also started exercising by walking more and ate a high protein diet and I lost the weight in 3 months.  I also take vitamin E, CQ10, B1 and Cumin or Turmeric.

But there are many vitamins that we would benefit from taking, don’t underestimate the power of vitamins just because they are prescribed.  Read more here.  Most vitamins are more powerful than medication and have either no or minimal side effects but you just check with your doctor if taking medication.

I took the decision to ditch all regular meds as I was sick of the side effects plus no painkiller worked and I was now on Oramorph!!  You get used to painkillers and they stop working, they did me anyway.

I signed up for these:-


For those of you that have done you own research the content of these two supplements are the best I have ever seen!  I already take 6 of these vitamins at a high expense.  You can read here for more info. Read what each supplement does.   Now I’m not stupid I don’t look at this through rose coloured spectacles and think it’s a cure, there is no cure,  but I know a damn good supplement when I see one.  I have to come off 2 anti-depressants though as the sleep aid has 5-htp in it (serotonin) but hey I’m game, sign me up.  

I’ve researched this stuff to death and no one  has reported bad side effects apart from the usual ‘it doesn’t work’ but you have to give these things time and slowly increase up to the optimum dosage, if it says 2 X twice a day take 1 a day then 1 X 2 times a day and so on. Plus you have to give it at least 6 months to notice a difference. 

I have to order it from the USA but I don’t care and it may cost me £65 a month for both supplements together but you can’t put a price on good health!

What have I got to lose?  What with mindfulness, healthy eating and drinking, supplementation, exercise and no regular medication I know deep in my heart I will do this.  Plus I’ve took a less stressful path in my career into a role I did 20 years ago, stuff it, I put my health before my career.

I have to, there are other people out there living life to the full with this condition that lost everything including careers, husbands and homes and after years of struggle by making changes to their lifestyles they have done it.  So why can’t I?

Wish me luck and I hope you give me support through the good and the bad times.

Mindfulness book loaned by the NHS

The book is called Mindfulness for Health and is available through Amazon here
It has been loaned to me for the next few weeks whilst I complete the mindfulness course through the NHS.  All you need to do is ask your doctor for a referral and fingers crossed this will be available in your area, for free!

I was reading the first chapter and knew this to be true which is why I signed up to the course. Many research papers have been written about the ancient art of mindfulness and the proven reduction in the intensity of pain messages in the brain.  I know the medical community have shown imaging studies and the changes in brain pain patterns over time with the utilisation of mindfulness meditation.  For some pain disappears for others the pain reduces yo a manageable level.  Do manageable that we never notice it, well it certainly doesn’t stop us from enjoying our lives!

I know some of you may think this is crazy but if we think about it logically, what controls pain? The mind, signals through the nervous system and the mind, relaying messages back and forth.  So if we can train the mind, like we do our bodies in the gym to make them stronger, why can’t we train the brain.

Well we can, hypnotherapy has been used for years for making improvements in our lives.  Mindfulness is nothing new but what’s exciting about it is the fact the medical community are taking it seriously at last.

Once I have finished the course I will combine my hypnotherapy skills with what I have learnt through mindfulness and create a free recording for us Fibromyalgia sufferers to use and attach it to my soundcloud page so we can all enjoy it together.  I will write it in such a way that everyone will benefit as your mind will tailor the words to your personal situation 👌

You can read more about the book here 

Mindfulness Yoga

I came across a yoga instructor on YouTube that practises mindfulness yoga and I find the whole idea amazing, obviously this isn’t new but what I like about this girl is that she caters for everyone, she explains how to undertake the positions to your own breath and isn’t precious about the shape you’re making or even if you get the posture correct.  I have tried many different yoga instructors in the past and never kept up the practise as I felt the moves too difficult and too rushed.

Now I used to be very fit but had to give up training about 3 years ago now, I’ve tried to pick it back up many times but exhaustion took over every time.  I love yoga, I love twisting my spine, especially where I had it fused as it feels great.

I will never stop exercising, I want to live a long and happy life and maybe just maybe this yoga instructor can help me get stronger and eventually I’ll get back in the gym.  Check her out here 

Exercise and Fibromyalgia

I hear from people with chronic pain that they cannot exercise and that I shouldn’t be exercising, now quite how exercising can make you ‘more ill’ I will never know, but I do know from having over 10 years ‘service’ of having advanced degenerative disc disease that some days you just don’t feel like it, plus when you first start the soreness you get from exercising can be off putting.  I lifted weights and undertook insense interval training all through my back pain until I couldn’t do it anymore as my spine started to twist.

Not exercising just makes me more stiff, I get out of breath easily and I end up pulling more muscles as I am not used to moving around.  I also buzz off exercising, we all know from research that exercising releases endorphins or feel good chemicals.  But with Fibromyalgia the soreness from exercising can be epic.  Like a mild flu feeling in our bones, exhaustion and a reluctance to exercise again.  I gave up weight lifting for a year, then started again last year, only to stop again when I completely crashed early on in the year.

I’ve researched and spoken to many people that have gotten through the crashes and learnt ‘pacing’, more on this another time.  Every person I spoke to exercises but it has taken many many months and in most cases years to be able to exercise anywhere near how I used to.  Click here to read more about this subject.

I tried swimming once a week, only managing 8 lengths then increasing to 12 over 2 weeks, then I made it up to twice a week and boy did I feel awful.  Widespread pain and severe exhaustion but I did notice my average sleep was up!  It was too much too soon.  I know I need to go slower.  I spotted mindfulness yoga, it was relaxing and even though I looked like a baby giraffe and the crappest yoga participant ever I didn’t care, I mean no one could see me……

So I am going to take it real slow.  Mindfulness yoga once a week and swimming once a week (8 lengths) for a couple of weeks, see how sore I am then move on to 2 yoga sessions and once swimming etc.  Magnesium spray is a fantastic straight into aching muscles, rubbed in.  I buy them from EBay, look up Magnesium flakes here and then you boil some PURIFIED water (keep tipping in till they won’t saturate anymore) then simmer and cool, add to a spray bottle and it works a treat!!

I add 2 cup fulls to each bath too.  This might make you itch and come out in a rash but soon you won’t feel it, but your muscles won’t ache as much.  I love the stuff.

My ultimate goal is to get back in the gym on the weights but that might be a while off yet.  First goal is to slowly increase my sessions up to 5 a week 30 minutes a day and I am hoping to be 3 days a week by Christmas!

Let me know what exercise you do and how often with Fibromyalgia and what tips and techniques you have for dealing with the very painful elevated soreness post workout?