Fibromyalgia brings with it musculoskeletal pain throughout the body, fatigue and sleep, memory and mood problems. It is believed that it affects the way the brain processes pain signals.
Symptoms sometimes begin with a specific trigger like physical trauma, surgery, infection or a physical or psychological stressor. Other times, symptoms develop gradually.
Women are more likely to develop fibromyalgia than men. Other conditions that may occur with the illness are tension headaches, TMJ, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety and depression.
While there is no cure for fibromyalgia, a variety of medications can control symptoms. Also, complementary therapies like acupuncture, massage, exercise, relaxation and stress-reduction are helpful.
I often find that people with fibromyalgia are often going through stressful life experiences that they can't seem to get out of. In East Asian medicine this often translates into imbalances of the Earth element. This element if connected to the Spleen/Pancreas/Stomach and to the muscles in the body.
Many times folks with Earth imbalances are trying to take care of everyone in their life. Part of the treatment plan is to help people struggling focus on self-care in the form of healthy eating, healthy boundaries and ways of reframing expectations and experiences.
People who are "earth" types tend to be nurturers. They can learn to care for themselves with the same kindness and attention that they give to others.
My own journey with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome taught me many of these lessons.