Fibromyalgia is a common issue in these days that causes muscle pain and fatigue (feeling tired).We get many people in the clinic complaining to have pain and tenderness throughout the body. It’s common in modern medicine to diagnose Fibromyalgia if there is a case of continuous pain of unknown cause. Ayurveda science shares the similar understanding as the modern medicine about the symptoms but the approach to help the condition is very specific and scientific.
First Ayurveda counts Fibromyalgia as an Imbalance not a disease. Imbalance means disorder of energy within an individual. Ayurveda give hopes this condition is manageable and treatable with Ayurveda lifestyle and treatments.
All Vata (pain), Pitta (inflammatory) and Kapha (Immune issue) symptoms.
Person complains of continuous non inflammatory pain more than 3 months and general fatigue
Other key associated symptoms include:
- mood disturbances (e.g., depression and/or anxiety)
- cognitive difficulties (e.g., trouble concentrating, forgetfulness, and disorganized thinking)
Cause of Fibromyalgia
- Nervous system imbalance
According to Ayurveda, Fibromyalgia is an imbalance state of Vata energy. It is described as “Mamsa Dhatugat and Mansavrut Vata”. The physiological principle at the basis of nervous system stability and activation is called Vata. A state of Vata imbalance means the pitta (Metabolism) and Kapha (Immunity) is also thrown up.
- Build up of toxins and impurities
According to Ayurveda, Ama(toxins and Vata are the main pathogenic factors. Ama is the result of defective digestive and metabolic mechanisms. Ama is formed by the consumption of improper diet or incompatible diet in the presence of weak digestion (Mandagni). Thus the toxins build up in the tissues and block the channels causing tenderness, pain and hypersensitivity.
- Accumulation of stress
Various stress factors like work, family, life changing events, abuse history, infection, allergy and mental stress are the triggering factor of Fibromyalgia.
Ayurvedic Management of Fibromyalgia
Ayurvedic detox (Panchakarma)
Panchakarma is the bio-purification method in Ayurveda medicine and is the ideal treatment for the management of Fibromyalgia. It involves the cleansing of cells or removal of the root cause. Cleansing of the gut or intestine is the core of Ayurvedic detox which includes purgation therapy (cleansing of upper gut) and enema (cleansing of lower gut). Moreover, Abhyanga (Ayurvedic therapeutic oil massage), herbalized Steam bath, Shirodhara, Udwartana (Herbal paste massage) are done with medicated herbs as a part of detox treatment. Before the major detox, medicated ghee is administered for few days as the pre-purification step. The use of medicated ghee is to collect the toxins from cellular level and channelize them. The therapeutic massage helps to bring them towards the gut and flushed out by purgation or enema therapies.
Detox program is designed by an experienced Ayurveda physician after a detailed initial consultation and personalized detox package of 2-3 weeks is prepared.
Diet, Nutrition and Digestion
Fibromyalgia can be created and aggravated through improper diet. Some foods make Vata highly active, thereby increasing excessive sensitivity to pain and aggravating fibromyalgia symptoms.
Consultations with an Ayurveda specialist will help you understand which foods are the most clogging and obstructing to circulation and which are the hardest to digest. Foods that can easily be digested, creating micronutrients that are then assimilated into the tissues to rebuild tissue strength, will be recommended.
Diet and Nutrition
The diet normally advised for patients of fibromyalgia is a modified Vata-pacifying diet. It should include (pathyam):
- Vegetable soups.
- Coconut water and Coconut milk.
- Juice of carrot (33%), water (33%), ginger root (1 inch), garlic (1 clove), beetroot (1), spinach (handful), red pepper (1).
- Cooked vegetables including: squashes, zucchini, yam, tomato and pumpkin .
- Cumin, coriander, black pepper, ginger asafetida, garlic, fennel and turmeric.
- Moderate quantities of green salads with dressing of lemon juice, olive oil and a small amount of salt.
- Kichadi (recipe made by cooking white basmati rice and mung dal, 1:1 or 2:1 proportion)
- Warm milk with warming spices including cinnamon, cardamom, ginger and clove
Fibromyalgia patients should reduce (but not eliminate) the following food articles (apathyam) and behaviors:
- Hot (spicy) and fried foods; processed sugar; very bitter and astringent foods like brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, spinach, broccoli rabe and potatoes.
- Reduce the quantity of raw foods to <20% of the diet
- Excessive black tea, coffee, alcohol, yogurt, chocolate, cocoa.
Ayurvedic Herbal Medicines
Use of the Ayurvedic herbal medicines comes under the Bio-balancing mechanism of bodily energy. For the management of Fibromyalgia, Ayurvedic prescription will be on following categories
Management of Digestion
Digestive herbs : Ashta Churna, Trikatu Churna, Hinguvachadi Gulika
Management of Inflammation and Pain
Kaishor Guggulu, Triphala Guggulu, Mahayogaraja Guggulu, Rasnadi Kashaya, Guggulutiktakam Kashayam, Tumeric + Pepper, Dashmoolaristham
Management of mind
Ashwagandha, Brahmi, Shatavari, Brahmi Vati, Saraswataristham
Herbs for immunity
Chyawanprash, Vidharyadi Leham, Guduchi, Amalaki, Tumeric, Licorice
Lifestyle Management and Counselling
- Working on routine and schedule for diet, sleep, work, exercise and family/ friends.
- Avoid worry, hurry, fear, stress, grief and anxiety and do stress management practice like meditation, Yoga, spiritual activity etc.
- Perform Ayurveda rituals every day like self-massage, oil pulling, tongue scrapping, sipping hot water frequently throughout the day.
- Do regular exercise or Yoga according to your energy. Pranayama (Breathing exercise) and relaxing poses.
- Find out the aggravating factors and avoid them.
- Be social, share love, happiness and sorrow.
- Consult an experienced Ayurveda doctor to program your personal diet and lifestyle to live Ayurvedically.
If you or somebody you know is having the symptoms of Fibromyalgia, get in touch with an ancient science of healing. i.e Ayurveda. We, at Vibrant Ayurveda are ready to manage your Fibromyalgia with our team of an experienced doctor, therapist and natural tools of healing.