Tuesday, August 31, 2010

You Don't Have to Like It To Accept It

This is a Good One from FibroHaven

How often have we struggled with our new reality?
How often have we grown weary and frustrated with trying to decide who we are and how we now matter?
How often have we wondered if it will ever get better?


SO TRUE - I started seeing the light when I let go of who I was and accepted and adjusted to who I am now and who I can be now. I was able to move forward and see the future much clearer once I accepted my chronic illness. I still don't like it, but I now accept it and choose to move forward.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Chemicals in Grooming Products

I have discovered that shampoos with sodium lauryl or laureth sulfate make my scalp break out on a terrible rash. And the sodium lauryl sulfate in most toothpastes also create terrible sores in my mouth and gums. (This is all since my fibro flares started, this did not happen pre-fibro!) So I have done research and taken careful measures to avoid these chemicals in my grooming and hygiene products moving forward. So I guess I should not be so shocked to have come across this article on PalmBeachPost.com, but I am glad to see it is getting some press and being addressed. These are good guidelines for anyone and everyone, I was just extra-interested because I feel that since my fibro flares I have become extra sensitive to chemicals in foods and products.


Here are some excerpts and a list of ingredients to avoid:

"Most people think all the personal care products on the shelves, from lipstick to shampoo and deodorant, have been thoroughly tested for safety.

Sadly, that's not true.

Environmental Working Group, a Washington-based watchdog organization, has found that 99 percent of all personal care products are made with at least one and usually several ingredients that have never been assessed for safety by the government or any other publicly accountable institution.

With the average person using nine such products containing a total of 126 chemicals a day, scientists say they don't know the impact of the multiple exposures.

Over the past decade, the group's researchers have identified 500 products sold in the U.S. that contain ingredients that are banned in cosmetics in Japan, Canada or Europe.

Some of the working group's findings are quite disturbing. When blood and urine samples from 20 teenage girls from across the country were tested, it turned out they were tainted with an average of 13 potential hormone-disrupting preservatives, plasticizers and other cosmetic chemicals, said Jane Houlihan, the group's senior vice president for research."

"On July 21, the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010 was introduced in Congress. If it passes, it would give the Food and Drug Administration authority to ensure that personal care products contain no harmful ingredients."

**The article mentions Blinc. Inc. products. Has anyone ever used any of their products?

"Lewis Farsedakis, founder and CEO of Boca Raton-based cosmetics manufacturer Blinc Inc., said he is in favor of the proposed legislation because if implemented, it would protect the consumer. However, it would probably take several years for the FDA to develop a system to implement the law, he said.

Farsedakis said his company's products are safe and non-toxic. Its best seller is a mascara that coats the lashes with tiny tubes of a water-resistant substance. Last year, Blinc removed a controversial ingredient known as TEA (triethanolamine) from its products. TEA is linked to allergies and considered a toxic contaminant. Most of Blinc's products also don't contain other ingredients on the "bad list' such as hormone-disrupting parabens, and are gluten-free and vegan.

"We are about providing a product that works and performs. If we can do that gluten-free, TEA-free and not testing on animals, we will do that. If it affects performance, we will not," Farsedakis said."

(That last paragraph is unfortunate! He/hi company was sounding so good!)

The following ingredients are among those considered toxic contaminants or risky because of concerns such as allergies, hormone effects or as possible carcinogens. Many are commonly found in products such as facial moisturizers, shampoos, hair conditioners, body washes, hair dyes and deodorants.
  • DMDM hydantoin and Imidazolidinyl
  • Fragrance and dyes
  • Methylchloroisothiazolinone and Methylisothiazolinone
  • Parabens or '-paraben'
  • 'PEG' and '-eth'
  • Sodium lauryl or laureth sulfate
  • Triclosan and triclocarban
  • Triethanolamine (TEA)
  • Mercury, often listed as thimerosal
  • Placenta
  • Lead acetate
  • Petrochemicals, (appearing on labels as petrolatum, mineral oil and paraffin)
  • Phthalates
  • Hydroquinone
  • Formaldehyde
Source: Environmental Working Group

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Review: The Fibromyalgia Controversy

by M. Clement Hall


M. Clement Hall, M.D., is director of continuing education in the emergency department of Scarborough Hospital and has written several other books.

"In The Fibromyalgia Controversy, Dr. M. Clement Hall presents six fictional, though factually based, case studies of typical patients from differing socioeconomic backgrounds and describes the varying investigations, diagnoses, and treatments they have undergone. Each of these case studies represents a composite of many years of clinical practice rather than one specific patient. Collectively, they cover the range of experiences fibromyalgia patients are likely to have encountered"

I saw this was a recently published book and was intrigued. I checked it out at my library. Seems it is pretty up to date on the information presented, very thorough and relevant and non-biased. But I did feel it was a bit scientific in its writing style and at times hard to follow and understand for someone not in the medical field.

Points from the book, that really reinterrate what we have been looking at on this blog:

- proper sleep is highly important and one of the key elements to feeling better
- proper nutrition is also a key element; staying away from a high-carb diet and sticking to meals of fresh fish, veggies and fiber (green leafy and yellow veggies are best)
- a successful treatment plan involves coordinating your specialized team of professionals, which is individualized for each patient and their need; these specialists could include physicians, psychologist, physical, occupational and or massage therapists, exercise physiologist, herbalist, nutritionist
- The "no pain no gain" philosophy will surely worsen fibro symptoms; for us we need to accept the "one size does not fit all" philosophy
- Massage is reportedly used by more than 75% of fibros for relief
- Heat applications (hot wax, hot water, heated paraffin wax) are also widely used for temporary relief; because the heat doe not penetrate but a few centimeters, yet feels like it penetrates deeper, it has been an inexpensive and safe treatment mehtod
- Medications can help reduce the pains and improve your sleep, but you should always combine the medication treatments with non-pharmacologic therapies including alternative medicine methods for management of stress, exercise etc.
- maintain a healthy mind and thus a healthy body follows
- fibromyalgia is polysymptomatic, a semi0Greek way of saying there are a LOT of different symptoms

This was interesting, explaining the 4 most common current beliefs on the causes of fibro:

1. a predisposing state with one or more significant factors (genetic and heredity, with the genes involving serotonin playing significant role)
2. a precipitating/triggering factor (extreme stress, viral or bacterial infection(s), car accident)
3. a progressive, gradual development of changes and increase in number of symptoms
4. an alteration in the structure and function of the central nervous system, which has resulted in a state of chronic widespread pain (this supports the change of fibro from the rheumatological field to neurological)

Its is generally agreed the pro to development of fibro, patients enjoyed a healthy active lifestyle. And there is probably no one single predisposing, precipitating or initiating cause common to all persons with fibromyalgia syndrome.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia and Brain Shrinkage

So I was ready an article in a magazine about chronic pain and it mentioned this "...Aging causes the brain to atrophy at a rate of half a percent a year, but chronic pain causes the brain to atrophy twice as fast..." and I kinda freaked. I mean I had seen this somewhere before, but I chose to ignore it, I wasn't ready to face that.

Now I'm facing it.

I wanted a better source on this info, and I found this addressed on the National Fibromyalgia Association website, direct link below. What makes it really good is that the author is also one of the researchers who released this report on fibromyalgia's effects on the brain. It gets a little scientific at times, so I've tried to highlight some of the key points below, but the entire article is well worth the read.

“What Do You Mean, My Brain Is Shrinking?!”
By Patrick B. Wood, MD


"The Journal of Neuroscience recently published the results of a study that demonstrated fibromyalgia is associated with a loss of volume of brain gray matter.1"

"...we found that the atrophy associated with fibromyalgia was over three times greater than that of normal aging, with each year of fibromyalgia equivalent to 9.5 times the loss of normal aging."

"Intriguingly, the brain centers that undergo accelerated loss of gray matter volume during stress in animal models are also connected to many of the symptoms associated with fibromyalgia, including pain."

"Among the most encouraging findings stemming from the work of scientists like McEwen and Sapolsky is the observation that blocking the effects of stress-related chemicals can protect against their damaging impact on sensitive brain structures"

"Another agent that has demonstrated utility in promoting brain health is omega-3 fatty acid, i.e. fish oil. As previously noted, chronic fatigue syndrome is another one of the disorders that has been associated with brain atrophy. A case study from England reported by Puri and colleagues describes the treatment of a woman with chronic fatigue syndrome with omega-3 supplementation, which resulted not only in marked clinical improvement, but also in a reduction in the volume of her lateral ventricles, which suggests she benefited with an increase in brain tissue volume.16 While there is no data in the literature as to whether taking omega-3 may be useful in the treatment of FM per se, there are several other health-related benefits. So, while I recommend taking omega-3 supplements to my patients on a regular basis, it would be very interesting to see how they would perform in a structured clinical trial."

"What remains unknown at this point is whether the reductions in brain volumes in FM are related to actual loss of brain cells, or simply with cell shrinkage—I suspect the latter. And while the mechanisms of these changes are complex and not fully understood, there is reason to believe that they may be prevented and possibly reversed, as we shall see."

"While the proposition that fibromyalgia is associated with accelerated brain atrophy may be unsettling, there is something of a silver lining to the cloud. For years, the medical community has struggled to come to terms with the reality of the disorder or to take it seriously, due in large part to the lack of objective findings to distinguish FM patients from those who don’t have the disorder. The results of our study contribute to what has become the incontrovertible evidence that fibromyalgia is all too real and, I think, inspire a greater sense of urgency regarding the need to develop rational treatments."

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Another New Fibro Survey - this one from NFA

I received this via email from the National Fibromyalgia Association, it really didn't take long and they were some good questions with room for comments:

The goal of this survey is to examine the symptoms experienced by patients with fibromyalgia, its impact on their quality of life, and the care they have received for this pain. The information acquired through the following questions will be used to develop educational programming for physicians, to help them provide optimal care for their patients.

All responses are anonymous, participation is voluntary, and the survey should take approximately 10 minutes to complete. Thank you in advance for your contribution.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Post-It Notes Spread Happy Thoughts - JOIN THE CAUSE!

It's easy! And an Amazing Idea!!

Each One Can Reach One


I'm gonna start my post-its tomorrow! :)

Learn More about Invisible Illness Week, which is Sept 13th through 19th this year:


Monday, August 23, 2010

It's Officially Official: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Linked to Virus

from the ME-CFSCommunity.com:

Finally, the National Academy of Sciences Makes It Official:

Detection of MLV-related virus gene sequences in blood of patients with chronic fatigue syndrome and healthy donors

Release of study findings

Additional Stories:

New York Times

Washington Post:

A well-respected team of scientists released long-awaited new evidence Monday that a virus may be playing a role in chronic fatigue syndrome.

The researchers, from the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration and Harvard Medical School, analyzed blood samples that had been collected 15 years ago from 37 patients with chronic fatigue syndrome. Most of the subjects--32, or 86.5 percent--tested positive for a virus known as a murine leukemia virus-related virus, the researchers found. In contrast, tests on 44 healthy blood donors detected evidence of the virus in only three of the subjects, or 6.8 percent.

While providing new evidence that a virus may play a role in the mysterious condition, the researchers said the findings, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, are no where near proving the virus causes the syndrome.

But the findings are being hailed by advocates for chronic fatigue syndrome patients, such as the CFID Association of America. The head of that group, Kim McCleary, says the findings are a potentially important step toward finding the cause of the condition and possibly developing treatments, as well as dispelling the notion that the condition is really psychological....

- Wall Street Journal

Visit ME-CFSCommunity.com at: http://cfsknowledgecenter.ning.com/?xg_source=msg_mes_network

Sunday, August 22, 2010

New Fibro Survey

Please take a few minutes to fill out this important survey. It is completely voluntary and anonymous, and should only take about 10-15 minutes. Doing so provides a real and important opportunity to take part in helping create better treatments and quality of life for people with fibromyalgia.


It was very interesting and sounds promising!

Fibromyalgia Research Info

More Clues To Fibromyalgia Pain

Brain scans show more neural activity between certain brain networks and pain processing region

"That first neuroimaging study really demonstrated fibromyalgia patients were different than normal individuals, and at a neurobiological level, were truly experiencing more pain at lower intensities," Mease said.

The new research moves understanding of the condition a step further, by exploring what's happening in the brain during a resting state.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Inspire - Online FIbro Support Group

Has anyone any experience with this site?


Concerns About Cymbalta


"The FDA also has concerns about widening use of a drug associated with serious liver toxicity. Cymbalta already carries a warning label about liver toxicity risks based on more than a dozen reports from patients taking the drug."

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Good Starters Guide to Avoiding Chemicals in Food

I think most of these tips are pretty basic, but a good reminder. Very important I think is the one mentioning to check ingredients labels. I hardly ever buy anything pre-packaged anymore. Just too much artificial chemical additives. Fresh food seems best. If there are too many ingredients I've never heard of or can't spell or pronounce, it's probably not a product for me :) I've found ways to cook fresh food fast, so I can avoid a lot of time and energy on my feet.


Does anyone have any fast and easy, healthy recipes to share? I was thinking of adding a recipes tab on this blog :)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


A while back I posted some Detox Tea recipes, one used Burdock, which I had never heard of. I found out what it is!


What Is Burdock?

Often touted as an herbal detox remedy, burdock is a daisy-family plant that grows as a weed in the United States and several other countries.

Practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine sometimes blend burdock with other herbs to soothe sore throat and colds. Some proponents claim that burdock can benefit people with arthritis, diabetes, eczema, psoriasis, and cancer.

Where to Buy Burdock

Many health food stores offer burdock supplements, as well as dried root powder, tinctures, and liquid extracts. Fresh burdock may also be found at grocery stores and farmers markets.

Read more here:


Monday, August 16, 2010

Video on Fibromyalgia

This is a good video, scroll down on the page to watch. I think he synopsizes fibro best by saying its "The flu from hell that never goes away." !!!

Dr. Rodger Murphree


"This is part one of a nine part video recorded at a seminar Dr. Murphree did for a group of doctors in Pittsburgh PA. Although the message was delivered to doctors, anyone with, or just curious about, fibromyalgia can easily follow the presentation. The program material can benefit a number of folks besides those with fibromyalgia since it covers several general health issues including poor sleep, low thyroid, adrenal fatigue, GI disorders, fatigue, low moods, yeast overgrowth, drug side effects to watch for, chronic pain, leaky gut, allergies, and much more.

If you have fibromyalgia, know someone with fibromyalgia and/or care for someone with fibromyalgia, here’s your chance to hear Dr. Murphree explain the causes, the symptoms, who's most likely to get it and why, why traditional medicine alone is doomed to fail, his how to, step-by-step protocols for beating poor sleep, chronic pain, low moods, fatigue, low thyroid, IBS, poor digestion, reflux, and more."

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Fibro like a Tuning Fork - Sue Ingebretson's Blog

LOVE this analogy Sue! Everyone, please read this, is a good one!

"I’ve often said that I’m thankful for fibromyalgia. Learning how to analyze and deal with chronic illness has taught me powerful lessons I wouldn’t have learned any other way. The Fibromyalgia Tuning Fork Analogy is one lesson I share at most speaking engagements...."

Read the rest of her story here on her blog!


Friday, August 13, 2010

Diet and Genetics

VERY interesting blurb. Seems like something that would help us fibros A LOT once they get enough into the research and findings:

"Nutrigenomics – a relatively new science that examines how your genes interact with the food you eat – is finding that one size (so to speak) definitely doesn’t fit all....

Examining diet and genes is an active area of research. Some studies have shown that people with specific genes are especially susceptible to effects of fat in their diet, for instance. Other research has shown that people with a different gene can reduce their risk for colon cancer by adding more vitamin D to their diet, whereas others without the gene wouldn’t see the same benefit....

The holy grail is a personalized diet, says Michael Falk, PhD, executive director of the nonprofit Life Sciences Research Office in Bethesda, Md. Current dietary recommendations are geared toward the average person..."

Read more here:


Accepting Imperfection and Letting It Go

This is a good blog post, I think it def applies to fibro and CFS and what we go through:


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Black Bean Brownies!

I have not posted this yet?!?

A great, quick and easy (and inexpensive!) way to get you chocolate fix AND your PROTEIN and FIBER!!

(I make a bunch in my mini cupcake pan, and freeze some to zap later in the microwave!)

1 box ANY brownie mix
1 can (15 oz) ANY black beans

Open the can of black beans, rinse well. With beans back in the can, add enough water to cover beans. Put in blender or food processor and puree. Add puree to brownie mix, and then bake according to package directions.

You DO NOT add the eggs or oil that the recipe calls for, JUST the black bean puree!

These are pretty rich and fudgy, and my friends couldn't tell that they weren't "regular" brownies!!

Seriously, try it! Its amazing! I want to hear stories about who you fooled with these!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Back Pain and FIbromyalgia?

Oh goodness. My lower back has been hurting now for 5 days. I am scared I am going to have to say hello to a new-to-me fibro symptom. Does anyone else have experience with this type fibro symptom/pain?

I found this article which doesn't make it sound very promising :( In fact when they talk about what causes it, sounds scary! I have tried massage and exercises. I will try heat therapy tonight too, see if that helps.


Xyrem for Fibromyalgia?

Intersting article from About.com about a drug going through trials now for possible approval. Sounds good, the science of it makes sense, but then you get to the "possible serious" side effects and sounds scary!


Monday, August 9, 2010

Get Moving!

Even if it's just Chair Aerobics, as Harry inspires us here with his :)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Another Review of FibroWHYalgia

I read Sue Ingebrtson's new book FibroWHYalgia, and I looooove it, if you'd been following my blog you know I can't say enough good things about it and I highly recommend it. I wanted to share another's review of the book:


Working With Fibromyalgia

These are good blogs for insights on joining or re-joining or surviving in the workplace with a chronic illness, like FIbromyalgia and/or Chronic Fatigue:


She is also the author of this book:

  Has anyone read or resourced this book?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Delayed Food Allergies and Food Sensitivities

I got this through a migraine blog I follow, and found it very interesting as it also relates to fibro and food sensitivities we may have. The third video on this link relates most to fibro, and I have found the follow up videos and provided the links below.

(Dr. Daniel C. Dantini is a fibromyalgia specialist in the United States)

I have found certain delayed food sensitivities to certain foods that bring about a migraine in me. It can be hours or a day later that the migraine shows up. For example,I am careful to avoid raw onions, lemons and oranges, soy sauce, peanut butter and hot dogs. As the years go by I do seem to develop new sensitivities to foods that once were ok for me. My Mom, who also suffers from migraines, has different sensitivities that have developed causing her migraines: blue cheese, vinegar, chocolate (especially dark) to name a few.

I have read about elimination diets and fibro, where you maintain a strict basic diet for 4-6 weeks, and then slowly introduce foods that may be causing your symptoms as a test. I have not had the patience to try this yet to see what foods may be causing my fibro symptoms :( So maybe this blood test that Sage Medical offers will help me? Dr. Dantini's research has led him to develop this blood test that tests the antibodies in your blood and see what you may be sensitive to. (see more below about Sage)


Direct link to the video:

Follow up videos:

Dr. Dantini works at the Sage Medical Laboratory in Ormond Beach, Florida. I checked out their website too, and it sounds interesting. I am thinking about ordering the blood testing kit, their website states most insurance covers the blood test. (Crossing my fingers on that one!!)


What I really like about all this is that it is tackling the CAUSES and not just treating the symptoms. I am so glad to see the mindset and the research heading in this direction, I feel its a very positive direction in helping with the future of treating fibromyalgia.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Oprah, Dr. Oz and Fibromyalgia!

Its great to see fibromyalgia get this much attention and priority, and it is interesting (and refreshing) that it does not focus on prescription drugs as the main and "simple" solution!

Oprah Winfrey included a discussion on fibromyalgia in her newsletter today. It's wonderful when celebrities give a stage to this topic and Oprah does us all a great service when she helps to inform her audience on this illness.

Her newsletter also included the first article Dr. Oz wrote for O MAGAZINE. In the article, Dr. Oz opens the discussion with four different approaches to fibromyalgia treatment. This is now in their "Best of Dr. Oz" collection. Doors are opening...;-)


1. Western Medicine Approach
2. Energy-Based Approach
3. Psychological Approach
4. Nutrition-Based Approach  (reference to http://www.fibroandfatigue.com/)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

WARNING! Avoid These Supplements/Ingredients!!!

I caught this on the news the other night, its very important so please read and take note!

Consumer Reports has released a list of supplement ingredients its researchers say have been linked to cancer, coma, heart problems, kidney damage, liver damage, and death, and highly advise avoiding these ingredients:

  • aconite
  • bitter orange
  • chaparral
  • colloidal silver
  • coltsfoot
  • comfrey
  • country mallow
  • germanium
  • greater celandine
  • kava
  • lobelia
  • yohimbe
For details on each read more at this link:


Consumer Reports worked with Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, an independent research group that gauges the safety and effectiveness of nutritional supplements, to devise the list.

Please remember to consult your physician before trying anything new. I am not a doctor and no information I provide here should be considered medical advice.The information I share on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.  It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from my research and experience. Links to other sites are provided for ease of research. Information on those sites is the opinion of those who publish the sites and is NOT necessarily that of FibroChick. I offer what I can as help. I believe in educating myself on all my medical issues and being my own advocate, for no one else will do that on my behalf. I recommend we all do the same! I encourage you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional.   

Herbal Sleep Remedies

A friend recently shared this article with me from NewsMax Health. I wanted to post the link here, as I have tried some of these but did not realize that all these aided in sleep. Very interesting. I have tried the Valerian (caution - it smells funky! :) and Melatonin (I think I built up a tolerance?) and I take Skullcap for pain (anti-inflammatory) and sometimes I sip Chamomile tea at bedtime.

These made me tired for sure, but to get my deep restful sleep I still need my Lunesta script :(

Has anyone else tried any of these?

Please don't forget to consult your doctor though before trying anything new, as even herbs like these can interact with other herbs and prescriptions.


For details check out the article above

1. Valerian
2. Melatonin
3. Chinese Skullcap
4. Theanine
5. Lavender
6. Chamomile
7. PassionFlower

Please remember to consult your physician before trying anything new. I am not a doctor and no information I provide here should be considered medical advice.The information I share on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.  It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from my research and experience. Links to other sites are provided for ease of research. Information on those sites is the opinion of those who publish the sites and is NOT necessarily that of FibroChick. I offer what I can as help. I believe in educating myself on all my medical issues and being my own advocate, for no one else will do that on my behalf. I recommend we all do the same! I encourage you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional.   

Monday, August 2, 2010

FREE Fibro Teleconference: August 3rd, 2010

I received this info & story via email from Dr. Rodger Murphree, www.treatingandbeating.com.

I really like the story below, it really supports the idea of focusing on creating an overall healthy body in order to tackle fibro.

I am going to try and remember to catch the free teleconference tomorrow nite :)

You can see what others have said about his previous teleconferences, and access archives of Dr. Murphree's teleconferences here: http://www.treatingandbeating.com/teleconferencesignin.html 

FREE Fibromyalgia Teleconference
Tuesday, August 03, 201,  7:30 PM CDT- 8:25 PM CDT

Dial-in Number: 1-218-936-4141 
Access Code:  986495

Fertile Soil Yields Best Results For Reversing Fibromyalgia

Several years ago my family and I moved into a beautiful 80 year-old house with a large, but barren backyard. Wanting to make my backyard a garden paradise I enlisted the help of a good friend and Master Gardner, William Keith.

Like a good, urban yuppie gardener, I went to Home Depot and purchased the essential tools of the trade- shiny new shovels, rakes, hoes, rubber gardening shoes, and heavy leather gloves.

The following Saturday William showed up with a truck -load of dirt. "Healthy soil yields a healthy garden," he said.

For the next several days he unloaded and redistributed rich, dark dirt throughout my backyard. Day after day I'd come home ready to plant some roses, jasmine or maybe a Maple tree and I'd find William in the backyard spreading more dirt. Finally after a week of daily dirt deliveries, William declared the yard ready for planting.

And plant we did- roses, Carolina jasmine, Confederate jasmine, wisteria, Japanese maples, peach trees, plum trees, oak leaf hydrangeas, cone flowers, lilies, salvia, rosemary, sage, thyme, and all sorts of perennials.

The result of taking the time to use nutrient rich soil was easy to see- simply plant something, anything and it grew like crazy.

Like a healthy garden our body is dependant on having the essential nutrients it needs for optimal health.

Unfortunately the typical Western diet falls short of providing the essential nutrients our bodies need to be healthy.

A U.S. Food and Drug Administration study, which analyzed over 234 foods, over two years, found the average American diet to have less than 80 percent of the RDA of one or more of the following: calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper, and manganese.  Other studies have demonstrated magnesium deficiency in well over 50 percent of the population.

The only way to be sure you're nutritionally sound is to supplement your diet with the essential nutrients your body needs for optimal health.

Traditional medical doctors often scoff at the notion of taking vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to improve your health.

But does anyone suffer from a drug deficiency? Well of course not.  And yet those with chronic illnesses, like fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and even mood disorders often end up on a medical merry-go-round, seeing one doctor after another-taking an endless concoction of life draining, potentially dangerous drugs.

Drugs to put you to sleep, drugs to wake you up, pain pills, mood drugs (for the side effects of the sleep drugs), sedatives, and muscle relaxants- it just never ends.

Drug therapy can be useful. However, merely covering symptoms with drugs often leads to further problems.

The majority of my fibromyalgia patients have seen numerous doctors, traditional as well as alternative, before consulting me. They've tried numerous drugs, yet feel little if any better. Most have also taken an assortment of natural remedies - a One a Day vitamin, fish oil, herbals, green dinks, probiotics, and other over the counter supplements. While all of these are a step in right direction, certainly a safe and healthy choice, they don't provide they foundation one needs to overcome a chronic and difficult illness like fibromyalgia.

And while nutrition oriented physicians have good intentions, they often do no more than attempt to use natural remedies to cover up symptoms- valerian root for poor sleep, St. John's Wort for depression, probiotics for their irritable bowel symptoms, and on and on it can go.

This is a common mistake. I've found that no matter what the illness laying the foundation and fertilizing the patient's cells with a good optimal daily allowance multivitamin/mineral formula is the place to start.

I encourage my patients to start taking a good multivitamin/mineral formula.

Doctors who I lecture too are often amazed at how easy it is to do this (when done the right way) and how many of their patient's symptoms improve- usually within a relatively short period of time.

Patients need to become aware of the fact that nutrients, not drugs, are what make the hormones and biochemical reactions that regulate our body. Every essential chemical in our body, including thyroid hormone, testosterone, estrogen, neurotransmitters (serotonin, norepinephrine, etc.), antibodies, adrenaline, cortisol, and white blood cells, are either made from or dependent on vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and amino acids.

By providing the essential nutrients the body needs for optimal health you help lay the foundation for getting healthy. I've learned after 14 years of specializing in clinical nutrition to make sure each of my patients no matter the condition (from allergies to yeast overgrowth) is taking a multivitamin/mineral formula. I make sure I lay the foundation before I start planting other nutrients- CoQ10, probiotics, adrenal or thyroid glandular supplements, etc.

Taking time to get the body's inner soil healthy will always yield positive long-term results. While chasing symptoms with drugs or a hodgepodge of "hit or miss" supplements typically yields a strained bank account and fleeting results.

There is a better way.

A Message from Dr. Murphree to those suffering with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

I've specialized in treating fibromyalgia for the last 17 years. I've been fortunate to help thousands of fibromyalgia sufferers. Are you next?

Dr. Rodger Murphree

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Cool Breathing for Your Hot Summer

This really works!

I found it on about.com: http://yoga.about.com/od/breathing/a/shitali.htm?nl=1

This breath cools the body so it is best done in hot weather or at the end of a vigorous yoga session.

1. Come to sit in a comfortable cross-legged position.

2. Take two or three deep inhales and exhales through the nose to prepare.

3. Roll the tongue, curling the sides in towards the center to form a tube. Stick the end of the tongue out between your pursed lips. If you can’t roll your tongue, just purse the lips making a small “o” shape with the mouth.

4. Inhale through the tube of the tongue.

5. Exhale through the nose.

6. Repeat 5-10 times as you feel the cooling effect.

Latest Research Finds link Between IBS and the Brain

Stanford University researchers have argued a case for moving Fibro from the field of rheumatology to neurology since their researchers see Fibro as a neurological problem. Now comes this article (link below) from UCLA that finds the same shrinkage in gray matter in areas of the brain controlling attention and pain for IBS, which many Fibro suffers also experience. 

A link between the brain and chronic pain has been identified in other disorders, such as lower back pain, migraines, fibromyalgia and hip pain. The study on IBS suggests that, like these other conditions, the problem may be due to the brain's inability to inhibit the pain response.


Improve Your Sleep

Soaking in a hot bath before bed can help you transition into a deeper, more restful sleep, a study at Loughborough University found. This bedtime ritual, inspired by the super-luxe Indochine Indulgence treatment from La Costa Resort and Spa in California (LaCosta.com) will help you get your zzz's.

Here is your shopping list:

- 3/4 cup sea salt
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup whole dry milk
- a lavender-based body oil

Whip up a sea-salt scrub by mixing 3/4 cup fine sea salt, 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup olive oil; set aside.

Draw a hot bath, adding 1/4 cup dry whole milk to the running water. Step in and soak for about 10 minutes.

At the end of the bath, scoop up a handful of your homemade salts and use them to exfoliate your elbows, knees and other rough spots.

Before wrapping up in a towel, cool down by rubbing on a lavender-based body oil. As your body temperature drops, your blood pressure lowers, signaling to your body that it's time for sleep.


Detox Tea Recipes

These are good, I found them here:

There are a nice variety, and I think I can find most of the ingredient in my grocery store (does anyone know what Burdock root is?!)

Sipping on some detox tea is a great way to gently help flush your system of harmful toxins. If an item is supposed to help in detox, it is made to help detoxify your body for better general health. Detox teas take a gentle and slow approach to this process, as opposed to the harsh detox pills and powders available. They use herbs and spices that act as natural antioxidants and body cleansers to flush your digestive tract.

Green Ginger Detox Tea Recipe
Ingredients You Will Need
1 tablespoon dried mint
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon ground ginger root
1 teaspoon dried Burdock Root
2 cups - Boiling Water
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Add the herbs to a tea strainer. Place the strainer in boiling water, cover the cup and let the tea steep for 10 minutes. Remove tea strainer from cup and stir in lemon juice. Drink and detoxify.

Lemon and Cayenne Pepper Detox Tea Recipe
Ingredients You Will Need
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup boiling water
1 tablespoon honey
Stir all ingredients together in a mug. Do not strain cayenne pepper from water. Drink and detoxify.

Green Peppermint Detox Tea Recipe
Ingredients You Will Need
1 bag peppermint tea
1 bag green tea
2 cups boiling water

Place the tea bags in the boiling water, cover cup and let tea steep for 10 minutes. Remove tea bags, mix the tea, drink and detoxify.

Lemon, Lime and Cranberry Mint Detox Tea Recipe
Ingredients You Will Need
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 cup cranberry juice
1 bag peppermint tea
Pour lemon juice, lime juice and cranberry juice together in a microwavable mug. Heat tea in microwave until hot. Remove mug from microwave and place mint tea in mug. Cover mug and let tea steep for 10 minutes. Remove tea bag from tea and stir tea. Drink and detoxify.

Licorice Ginger Detox Tea Recipe
Ingredients You Will Need
1 tablespoon crushed, dried licorice root
1 teaspoon ground ginger root
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Add the roots to a tea strainer. Place the strainer in boiling water, cover the cup and let the tea steep for 10 minutes. Remove tea strainer from cup and stir in lemon juice. Drink and detoxify.