According to Richard Podell, M.D., M.P.H. and the Clinical Professor in the Department of Family Medicine, UMDNJ–Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, there are “Eight Vicious Cycles” that block healing in fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue.
Here are the top three cycles on his list:
- Vicious Cycle 1: Non-restorative Sleep. This means that sleep doesn’t provide the emotional, mental, and physical rejuvenation that requires people to feel well and focused.
- Vicious Cycle #2: Disordered Breathing Rhythms. Many people with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue take small shallow breaths originating in their chests, which is not the correct way to breathe. Patients must try to take deep, slower breaths from the abdomen. Think of you stomach moving in and out; placing a hand on the stomach and breathing into it s a good way to train yourself.
- Vicious Cycle #3: Inactivity Leads to Progressive Loss of Physical Fitness (De-conditioning). It is common for fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue patients to avoid physical activity because of pain, but this actually makes the pain worse and causes a lack of muscle tone.
Combating the above is an important first step in regaining control and learning to manage both conditions. It will also help with the tremendous stress and inability to focus that prevails among fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue patients.
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