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 ūüĎĆ

You can read more about the book here 

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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?