Types of Fibromyalgia
FIBROMYALGIA CAUSED BY THE CERVICAL SPINE
People who suffer from cervical (neck) injuries are 13.3 times more likely to develop fibromyalgia than others.While no exact percentages are known, it is our experience that the vast majority of patients who suffer from fibromyalgia also suffered from upper cervical trauma at some point. I would venture to put this number as high as 80 percent. For this reason, we focus heavily on the involvement of this part of the spine in treating the neurologic symptoms of fibromyalgia.
It is important to note that the age of the injury is inconsequential. The mechanism of injury is often a car accident, but it can be attributed to many other mechanisms of injury, such as falls, birth trauma, or injury while under anesthesia. It is very important that you carefully examine your history from birth to adulthood when trying to understand what type of fibromyalgia you suffer from.
HOW DO I KNOW IF MY NECK IS THE PROBLEM?
Recognizing neck or upper-back trauma in a fibromyalgia patient can be tricky, since the majority of them either do not connect a past injury with their current diagnosis, or think that the injury was too insignificant to matter. Sometimes they may attribute it solely to the emotional stress that often accompanies a traumatic physical event, when both are actually to blame. I have seen this to be true especially in the case of domestic violence, where the emotional stress does play a role, but the physical injuries are dismissed as long healed.
There are a few clues that tend to point to spinal trauma as a culprit:
- A known past injury (or injuries) to the neck and/or upper back.
- Disc problems in the cervical spine, as seen on X-ray or MRI.
- Pain that does not respond well to medications or other treatments, such as massage therapy, physical therapy, surgery, trigger point injections, or exercise.
- Most will describe their extremities (hands and feet) as cold, aching, burning, or feeling as if they are “walking on glass.”
- Severe headaches and/or migraines.
- The pain will start out more locally but will eventually affect the entire spine, especially low back, and eventually the whole body.
- Digestive problems.
- “Foggy” feelings and feelings of confusion. Vision, hearing, speech, smell, balance, or taste may be affected.
- Pain in shoulders and upper back.
- Pain in the jaw/TMJ.
- Central pain (Central pain syndrome is characterized by a mixture of pain sensations, the most prominent being a constant burning. The steady burning sensation is sometimes increased by light touch. Pain also increases in the presence of temperature changes, most often cold temperatures. A loss of sensation can occur in affected areas, most prominently on distant parts of the body, such as the hands and feet. There may be brief, intolerable bursts of sharp pain on occasion).
FIBROMYALGIA CAUSED BY TOXICITY
Toxins can enter our bodies from the external environment or be produced by us internally. Our body naturally produces internal toxins as a by-product of the metabolic functions it performs each day. Antioxidants are crucial in eliminating free radicals from your body. What exactly are free radicals? Free radicals are basically very reactive particles (small loose cannons, if you will) that move all around the cell damaging everything they come in contact with. Most are produced as a by-product of metabolism, but they can also arise from exposure to toxins, such as heavy metals.
In a nutshell, our bodies are bombarded by toxins. When the body digests food, it produces toxins and waste. When it heals and repairs itself, it produces waste. Whenever we experience negative feelings like stress or anger, we also produce harmful toxins.
However, our bodies were designed to be able to naturally eliminate these toxins. We get into trouble when we are bombarded with the second kind of toxins, which are found in our food, water, and environment: human-made toxins. We eat them, drink them, breathe them, touch them, inject them, swallow them in our medications, and put them on our skins regularly and repeatedly. Our cells never get a break! We live in a toxic environment, and while you can control some aspects of your environment (such as the food you eat) it is impossible to avoid toxins altogether.
Consider this: according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), four billion pounds of chemicals are released into the ground and hundreds of millions of pounds of chemicals discharged into surface waters such as lakes and rivers each year. In the United States we allow more than ten thousand additives into our food supply. Americans each eat an average of about one hundred and forty-two pounds of additives and toxins each year. Typically, eight pounds come from salt, one hundred and twenty pounds come from sugar, and about fourteen pounds from coloring, preservatives, and flavorings. It is not a question of “if” we are toxic, but rather of how much it affects our health.
The body gets rid of toxins through breathing and sweating as well as through the colon, kidneys, and liver. When my patients mention a detox, they are most often thinking of a colon detox. However, the liver is incredibly overburdened and must not be ignored. Why may your liver be overworked? The liver performs over five hundred different tasks and is truly an amazing organ. However, your liver is essentially the filter of your bloodstream, and like any filter, it can become clogged with waste materials when it takes in more toxins than it can filter. When toxins overwhelm the liver, it can no longer perform as it should. Fat may accumulate in the liver or in other organs. Toxins build up and get into the bloodstream.
Among the signs of a toxic liver are weight gain (especially around the abdomen), headaches, bloating, indigestion, high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, food allergies, memory loss, fatigue, acne, mood swings, depression, and even skin rashes. When the liver cannot do its work, the toxins that we are exposed to accumulate in the body and make us ill in an assortment of ways. They have damaging effects on many body functions, particularly the immune system. An overworked and undernourished liver is recognized as the root cause of many chronic diseases.
Heavy metals include lead, mercury, cadmium, antimony, aluminum, arsenic, and many others. Many of the heavy metals, such as zinc, copper, chromium, iron, and manganese, are essential to body function in very small amounts. But if these metals accumulate in the body in concentrations sufficient to cause poisoning, serious damage may occur. Heavy metals enter our bodies in many ways. They may enter through cosmetics, amalgam dental fillings, water, improperly coated food containers and cookware, vaccinations, cigarettes, and many other things in our environment.
Symptoms of heavy metal poisoning include anemia, fatigue, musculoskeletal complaints, mood disturbances, neurological problems, high blood pressure, gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms, kidney problems, liver dysfunction, endocrine problems, hormonal imbalances, and immune system dysfunction. Heavy metal toxicity causes systemic problems that may fit the symptoms of many other syndromes. It presents in various body systems, depending on where the biochemical imbalance or disruption occurs, or the area(s) of highest concentrations of the metal(s)—for example, the brain, kidneys, or pituitary. Long-term exposure may contribute to the onset of slow progressive conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and cancer.
Laboratory tests routinely used for exposed persons include blood tests, liver and renal function tests, urine tests, fecal tests, X-rays, and hair and fingernail analyses. Many of these tests are not routinely performed in your doctor’s office, but you should be able to find a doctor who can perform a urine test. While it is widely assumed that hair or fingernail analyses are best, we prefer and perform urine analysis. Hair and fingernail analyses can give an indication of exposure that has occurred over time or in the past but will not show recent exposures. It may also give false positives. Blood will only reflect recent and severe exposure. In addition, the body does not use blood as a detoxifying pathway, but it does use urine as such. Urine will reflect exposures that are chronic or that have happened in the last few days.
FIBROMYALGIA PATIENTS BEWARE!
When it comes to patients suffering from fibromyalgia, it is very important that great caution be taken when detoxifying. Even for a healthy individual, detoxification is very hard on all the organs and can cause symptoms such as headaches, muscle aches, fatigue, diarrhea, nausea, tremors, crying fits and anger, and many other side effects.
People who suffer from fibromyalgia are especially vulnerable to the side effects of detoxification, and their bodies are not always equipped to handle the stress of it. Often, well-meaning health professionals will detoxify fibromyalgia patients immediately after they start care in an effort to decrease their pain and increase their chances of healing. However, unless the fibromyalgia patient’s nervous system and body are strong enough to tolerate the side effects of detoxification, it will often do more harm than good. In my clinic, I do not attempt to detoxify fibromyalgia patients until their neurological symptoms are at least 75 percent decreased.
We recommend that you only embark on a detoxification program with the help of a health professional experienced not only in detoxification, but also in fibromyalgia. Make sure that they have had success in the past and, when possible, ask if you can personally speak to some of their past fibromyalgia patients who have had positive results, with their permission. Also know that detoxification may alter the effects of the prescription medications you take and should be monitored.
Your medical doctor, while responsible for monitoring the medication you are taking and its effects on your body, will typically be unfamiliar with the detoxification process, as most medical doctors are not trained in this area. Your doctor may often tell you not to bother with it, since a lot of alternative and unknown things may make your doctor nervous and suspicious. Again, you have to be your own advocate; make sure that you are comfortable with the detoxification process and its proven success, and make sure you know what to expect and its side effects. The golden rule for any detoxification in the fibromyalgia patient is: slow and easy does it.
FIBROMYALGIA CAUSED BY AUTOIMMUNE CONDITIONS:
WHEN YOUR BODY TURNS ON ITSELF
Our immune system is like a complex army of special cells that act like soldiers. Together with our organs, it defends the body from germs, viruses, and other foreign invaders. As with any army, it is vitally important that your immune system be able to tell the enemy from its own soldiers—the self from the non-self. In autoimmune conditions, the body has lost this ability. When this happens, the body makes antibodies that turn on it with deadly precision and mistakenly attack normal cells. At the same time, special cells called regulatory T-cells (the army majors) fail to do their job of keeping the immune system in line. The result is a misguided and very devastating attack on your own body. This causes the damage we know as autoimmune disease. The body parts that are affected depend on the type of autoimmune disease. There are more than eighty known types of autoimmune conditions and diseases.
The nervous system does not function correctly in the fibromyalgia patient. This also negatively affects the immune system. Clear links have been established between the nervous system and the immune system. There is ongoing communication between the “soldiers” or cells involved in the immune response and the nervous system.The chemicals that convey messages among nerve cells also communicate with the cells of the immune system. If the nervous system is disorganized, the immune system becomes confused and is unable to tell the non-self from the self.
While fibromyalgia is not classified as an autoimmune condition, autoimmune conditions will often lead to fibromyalgia, and vice versa. Patients who suffer from fibromyalgia will often develop autoimmune conditions such as allergies, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (a condition where the thyroid gland is attacked by the body’s own immune system), systemic lupus erythematosus (a long-term autoimmune disorder where the body attacks its own organs and joints), Sjögren’s syndrome (a chronic autoimmune disease in which the white blood cells attack the moisture-producing glands), and many others.
It is my belief that all patients suffering from fibromyalgia should be routinely screened for autoimmune conditions. The fact that their nervous systems are essentially not communicating with their immune systems makes them much more vulnerable to these conditions.
FIBROMYALGIA CAUSED BY PERIMENOPAUSE
Perimenopause, or the period of transition into menopause, is the stage of a female’s reproductive life that begins several years before menopause, when the ovaries gradually begin to produce less estrogen. It usually starts in a woman’s forties, but can start in her thirties or even earlier. Perimenopause will usually last about four years, but its onset may also be very short (a few months) and sudden, surprising and confusing the woman in whose body it is taking place. Perimenopause ends in menopause, at which point the ovaries stop releasing eggs. This transition from perimenopause into full-blown menopause is usually a gradual one. In the last one or two years of perimenopause, the decline in estrogen greatly accelerates. At this stage, many women may experience menopausal symptoms.
Perimenopause may cause great stress in the female body. Keep in mind, any change in the internal environment of our bodies is naturally stressful, since it requires adaptation and change. Women who suffer from fibromyalgia have been shown to have neuroendocrine (involving the nerve stimulation of various glands) abnormalities, making any hormonal changes especially stressful for their bodies. Perimenopause and menopause may also mimic fibromyalgia to some extent, and should always be ruled out before fibromyalgia is diagnosed. When fibromyalgia collides with these periods of transition, it may exacerbate the fibromyalgia symptoms and can make the woman feel incredibly sore, exhausted, and irritable. Menopause often makes your muscles ache, since muscles often hurt and feel sore due to hormonal changes. Sleep loss from menopause and changing hormones can also make you achy, adding to the sleep deprivation that fibromyalgia is so notorious for.
Many women are diagnosed with fibromyalgia right as they enter perimenopause or menopause. If you understand that perimenopause and menopause cause great biochemical changes in the female body, it makes sense that perimenopause or menopause will often trigger fibromyalgia in itself. Remember that physical, chemical, and emotional stress pile up until they reach a critical point, at which time any number of different conditions or symptoms, like fibromyalgia, can rear their ugly heads.
I am personally opposed to synthetic hormone replacement therapy (HRT), due to its unnatural and invasive effect on the body and its potentially serious side effects, such as increased blood clotting, increased risk of certain cancers, high blood pressure, and pancreatitis. However, since we live in a highly toxic world, our hormonal balances are often not ideal. Many toxins will disrupt our endocrine system, such as cosmetic products, pesticides, and medications. For this reason, we suggest that any patient suffering from fibromyalgia seek out the guidance of a health care practitioner experienced in natural hormone replacement therapy.
Phytotherapy (the use of plants in treating symptoms) has long been a gentle approach to a complex issue, where herbs like wild yam, black cohosh, ashwagandha, and chasteberry are used to restore hormonal balance. While patients often assume that it is the mere absence of estrogen wreaking havoc in the menopausal or post-hysterectomy patient, the importance of the overall delicate balance between hormones, such as progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone is often overlooked and must be addressed. In addition, keep in mind that your fat cells actually produce estrogen.
In addition, a fibromyalgia patient should limit exposure to xenoestrogens (unnatural, industrial compounds and toxins that have estrogen-like effects on the body). Try to use organic beauty products and cosmetics, limit your exposure to pesticides as much as possible, try to eat a natural, organic diet whenever possible, and restore your internal health with smart supplementation, as described in our book.
FIBROMYALGIA CAUSED BY VESTIBULAR INJURIES
Chances are you have never heard of a vestibular injury. This is a pretty unknown injury to the inner ear, and the chances that the average allopathic doctor or alternative doctor will diagnose you with it are pretty slim. Although a vestibular injury does not start out as fibromyalgia, it is often confused with fibromyalgia in its early stages. However, if this condition remains untreated, it will often progress and the patient will develop fibromyalgia. Therefore, I consider it as one of the possible causes of fibromyalgia. If you suffer from dizziness and anxiety and cannot stand elevators or large stores with no windows (like Costco or Sam’s club), you may suffer from vestibular symptoms. Please go to http://vestibular.org/understanding-vestibular-disorder/symptoms for more information.
FIBROMYALGIA CAUSED BY OXYGEN DEPRIVATION
Oxygen deprivation is often a trigger or contributor to fibromyalgia. Causes of oxygen deprivation include asthma as well as conditions that may cause fibrosis of the lungs, such as ankylosing spondylitis (degenerative arthritis that affects primarily the spine) or interstitial lung disease (ILD). ILD describes any disorder that causes scarring of the lung, such as asbestos exposure or autoimmune diseases.
Another possible culprit is carbon monoxide poisoning. When oxygen is poorly metabolized, it may cause fatigue and pain in muscles, memory disruption in the brain, and impaired function of all of our body’s cells. Oxygen metabolism (the process of successfully delivering oxygen to each cell in the body) may also be affected by long-term oxidative stress on the inside of the body (think of an old car that is rusting), caused by a sugar overload, excessive antibiotics, toxins, allergies, a poor diet, or bad fats.
Majid Ali, MD, has done a lot of research in this field. He describes oxygen-deprivation fibromyalgia patients as “human canaries.” Canaries were (sadly if you love cute birds) used until the 1980s to detect low oxygen levels in coal mines, since they continuously sing. When a caged canary was taken down a coalmine and stopped singing, toxic levels of carbon monoxide were suspected in the mine. Sometimes, it’s not so much a question of low oxygen available to the cells, but an inability of the body to use the oxygen available.
In carbon monoxide poisoning, a free radical called nitric oxide is released by cells as a waste product in response to the poisoning. It is a powerful vasodilator, meaning that the body will release this chemical in response to low oxygen levels to dilate the vascular system in order to get more oxygen to the organs in danger of dying. This waste product will injure the body chemically and may lead to the critical mass of stress that can result in the symptoms of fibromyalgia.
Patients suffering from oxygen deprivation may benefit from hyperbaric chamber therapy, detoxification, and supplementation (to increase oxygen levels in the cells).
FIBROMYALGIA CAUSED BY SLEEP APNEA
Sleep apnea is a common condition in which you stop breathing for short periods of time while sleeping and/or take very shallow breaths while you sleep. These pauses in breathing can last from a few seconds to many minutes. They may occur dozens of times an hour. Typically, after these short periods where you stop breathing, normal breathing resumes again, sometimes with a loud noise, snore, or choking sound. Basically, the brain forgets to tell the body to breathe. In self-defense, the body will wake you up, forcing you to take over manual control of your breathing again.
Sleep apnea is usually a chronic condition that disrupts a person’s rest over a long period of time. When breathing becomes shallower or pauses, the apnea sufferer will often move out of deep (REM) sleep into light sleep. As a result, the quality of sleep is quite poor, which makes the apnea sufferer chronically tired and affects the person’s immune system, concentration, and healing. One study found that while this did not appear to affect many women suffering from fibromyalgia, at least 44 percent of all males with fibromyalgia suffered from sleep apnea.Other estimates put this number as high as 60 percent for males.
FIBROMYALGIA CAUSED BY EMOTIONAL STRESS
Prolonged or intense emotional stress may trigger the development of fibromyalgia and almost always contributes, at least partially, to its cause. Several studies have, in fact, proved that emotional stress may directly cause fibromyalgia.When the brain perceives a threat, the nervous system will respond as if your survival is being threatened. The body responds by releasing stress hormones such as cortisol, which has many negative effects on the body, such as weight gain in the stomach area, increase in “bad” cholesterol, and high blood pressure. It may also contribute to the cascade of events that eventually bring a patient to the point where they exhibit the symptoms of fibromyalgia.
Let’s imagine that your brain is a computer. You have hardware (brain cells, nerves, white matter, gray matter, the spinal cord, and so on), and software (the signals you can’t see, but that you know are there). If you decide to pick up a glass of water, your nerves respond to the decision made by the great CEO, the brain. They pass the command down to the muscles of your arm and fingers. These muscles and tendons contract and relax to move the bones, and, presto! You are holding a glass.
You have a conscious mind and a subconscious mind. The conscious mind resides in the cerebral cortex, which is a thin layer of nerve cells about one eighth of an inch thick that surrounds your brain. The conscious mind is your thinking, judging, and decision-making mind. This is the area we use when we make choices. This area is fed by the five senses (what you see, hear, smell, taste, and feel) and by information entering your mind through the cranial nerves discussed elsewhere in this book. When you learn to ride a bike, that information is programmed in the cerebral cortex where you can access it at any time.
Over time, as your body builds muscle memory and the actions of riding a bike or walking become routine, the knowledge is dumped in the area underneath this layer, the cerebrum. Occasionally, these bits of information may not be easily accessible (for example, when you forget someone’s name). For the most part, however, the information in the conscious mind is readily available. Think of it as the thinking mind, or a vast library of information. When you are born, the conscious mind is a blank slate. As we have our first human experiences as babies, this area is programmed. We may learn that the appearance of our mother’s face is shortly followed by comfort and food, and that if we cry, our demands are met. We may also learn useful bits of information. For example: if we touch a hot curling iron or a pan this brings pain, and it should be avoided for the rest of our life.
The subconscious mind is the area that runs our bodies, driven by one singular, razor-sharp goal: survival. It is the lower “animal” part of our brain at the base of our skull. When we are born, this area is already filled with all we need built in for survival. The newborn baby does not need to be taught how to regulate his or her insulin, how to digest milk, or how to breathe. This part cannot think, judge, or reason. It simply responds to what is being programmed into the conscious mind.
Imagine that you are driving along one day and notice a police car with flashing lights in your rear-view mirror. You may become scared. Your subconscious or automatic nervous system will respond by going into survival mode. Your heart rate will go up, your hands may sweat on the steering wheel, and your stomach may pull into a knot. When the police car passes you, you will take a deep breath and laugh about how silly you were. The body usually will take a few minutes to respond, but eventually your heart will slow down, and you may even feel relaxed enough to stop and grab something to eat.
The subconscious mind cannot distinguish between a real threat to your survival and a fake one. It cannot distinguish between the present and the past. Think of a deep emotional wound as a virus in your computer. Even though you visited the website where your computer was infected months ago, the virus will continue to do its annoying thing as if it had been infected today. When your computer was infected does not matter. When very traumatic things happen to us, it is as if we play a CD with a scratch on it over and over. The subconscious mind responds to this traumatic event as a threat to its survival. Remember, to your subconscious mind, the traumatic event and the feelings it caused may as well be a real-life threat, like an angry bear. It is responding perfectly to inappropriate information.
Let’s pretend for a minute that when you were ten years old, your abusive alcoholic father hit your mother. Unfortunately, you witnessed this event. Your subconscious mind responded to the intense fear the situation created as if your life were being threatened. It is still responding to this memory with the typical tools of survival. You are scared, your blood pressure is elevated, you can’t eat, your muscles are tense and ready to fight. Only…there is no abusive father, simply the memory of him, churning destructively and unnoticed in the subconscious mind.
Your subconscious mind is responding to this memory as if it is a present danger. It cannot distinguish between present and past. Like the virus in your computer, it is ever-present, all the time, as if on a loop. To your subconscious mind, this is still happening right now. It is causing your digestive system to shut down with your stomach in knots, your heart to pound with anxiety, and your blood pressure to be elevated.
Since you are not consciously aware of this memory very much alive in the subconscious, wreaking havoc upon your body, these symptoms make no sense. They seem out of place and will usually eventually cause you to seek medical help. If you were to tell your doctor that you are scared and anxious all the time, you can’t sleep, and your stomach hurts when you eat, he or she would most probably prescribe anti-anxiety medications, sleeping medications, or antidepressants and refer you to a specialist for your digestive problems.
You are now chemically masking your physiological response to this buried memory. See the problem with this approach? The automatic (or autonomic) nervous system is so important that we will devote an entire chapter to it elsewhere. However, just know that there are upper cervical (neck) injuries that may cause your body to respond with the same fight-or-flight response, stuck in an endless loop.
One study found that 20 percent of all people suffering from fibromyalgia also suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).11 Once called shell shock, PTSD is a serious condition that can develop after a person has experienced or witnessed a traumatic or terrifying event in which serious physical harm occurred or was threatened. PTSD is a lasting result of a traumatic experience that caused intense fear, helplessness, or horror, such as a sexual or physical assault, the unexpected death of a loved one, or an accident, war, or natural disaster. Patients who suffered sexual or physical abuse suffer from a high burden of stress upon their nervous systems and bodies, and are much more likely to develop chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia.
Most people who experience a traumatic event will have reactions that may include shock, anger, nervousness, fear, and even guilt. These reactions are common, and for most people they go away over time. However, for a person with PTSD, these feelings continue and may even increase, becoming so strong that they keep the person from living a normal, happy life. People with PTSD have symptoms for longer than one month and cannot function as well as they did before the event occurred.
FIBROMYALGIA CAUSED BY GENETICS
Throughout the years, I have noticed that fibromyalgia often runs in families. Below are some examples of research that backs this genetic hypothesis up.
- The Swedish Twin Registry reports that there is up to a 15 percent higher chance of one twin developing fibromyalgia if the other twin suffers from it.
- Studies suggested that fibromyalgia segregates within families in an autosomal dominant mode of inheritance. One of them (Pellegrino MJ, Walonis GW, Sommer A: Familial occurrence of primary fibromyalgia), showed female preponderance and, in addition, postulated the existence of a latent or precursor stage of the disease characterized by abnormal muscle tension.
- Another study (Stormorken and colleagues Roizenblatt S, Tufik S, Goldenberg J, Pinto LR, Hilario MO, Feldman D: Juvenile fibromyalgia: clinical and polysomnographic aspects) was based on data retrieved from questionnaires regarding fibromyalgia symptoms in family members of index patients. According to this study, about two-thirds of the study population reported family clustering.
So what does all this research mean? If you have family members with fibromyalgia, there may be a higher chance of you developing the condition. However, all is not hopeless. The noted scientist Bruce Lipton, PhD, is one of many scientists today proving that we are, in fact, not victims of our genetic material. Dr. Lipton is a well-respected cellular biologist who has done extensive research at Stanford University on the mechanics of genetics and cellular biology.
Most of us were taught that the genetic blueprint we inherited from our parents predetermines our bodies, our personalities, our talents, and even our health. But in the last two decades, Dr. Lipton and other cellular biologists have discovered that, while our genes do not change, the way they are expressed may be very much within our control. In layman’s terms, this means that even though we may have a higher risk of developing certain conditions or diseases because of our biology, we have a lot of power to minimize those risks.
This is good news! Since Dr. Lipton first observed two cells with exactly the same genetic code, in two different petri dishes (different environments), behaving in very different ways, his work has become a foundation for scientific documentation of the mind-body connection. He explains that based on their genetic code, “cells can do a job that contributes to the growth of the organism, its maintenance, and keeping it healthy, or a cell can get into a position of a protection response. Cells need the brain to interpret the world and feed back to them what they should be doing to keep this whole system alive and floating.”
According to Dr. Lipton, the true secret to life does not lie within your DNA, but rather within the mechanisms of your cell membrane. Each cell is surrounded by a membrane with receptors attached to it. Think of them as tiny cell phone towers receiving signals. These receptors pick up signals from their environment, which in turn control how the genes are read inside the cells. In other words, your cells can choose to read or ignore your genetic blueprint depending on the signals they receive from their environment. Simply put, this means that even potentially undesired cell behavior needs a very specific key to unlock it. This key is usually a physical, chemical, or emotional stress. The power to arm your body against this stress lies in your hands.
So, this means that having a “cancer program” or a “fibromyalgia program” in your DNA does not mean you are destined to get cancer or develop fibromyalgia. Isn’t that good news? You control your environment to a large extent. You control your daily thoughts, your surroundings, your exercise habits, and your diet. You do have control over which genes are turned on and turned off. (For more on Dr. Lipton’s work, go to www.brucelipton.com.)
If you already suffer from fibromyalgia, and believe that it runs in your family, the neurologic symptoms you suffer from may still be greatly minimized or even eliminated.
SOME COMBINATION OF TWO OR MORE TYPES
It is rare that one single cause, besides cervical injury, is responsible for the development of fibromyalgia; rather, it is typically a combination of different factors. It’s important to identify which factors contributed to your poor health, and to systematically address and correct each one to the best of your ability.