Taming the Fibro Beast

Kathy Adatte- Ott - Taming the Fibro Beast
Kathy Adatte- Ott Fibromyalgia

I am now 56 years old. I realize I lived with chronic pain and fatigue for over 15 years. In 2008 I finally found a new physician that worked with me to get a diagnosis and treatment. I was living with such pain and fatigue I could barely manage to get out of bed. I had two teenagers and was watching them through my bedroom...

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What alternative therapies have you tried?

Every day I take cymbalta and flexeril. But what I am finding now is that I can control some of my symptoms or the severity of  them. I have found reiki very helpful. I go every week and my body is learning to relax as reiki, which deals with the energy around our bodies, is used to help relieve trigger points. It is basically laying and letting your body open to the reiki energy.

I also use essential oils. Tea tree and lavender. I have found magnesium oil rubbed on sore areas gives relief, as well as menthol patches. I use lavender epsom salt scrub and lotion to also help in relaxation. 

Meditation and yoga are my latest additions. If any alternative therapies are to be beneficial you must first believe that they will help.

What results were you looking for and what was the outcome?

Basically with reiki I am hoping for stress release. I have found that some weeks I need two visits but once I get there and place myself in the meditation to soft music and healing hands, I relax. Being able to stop the flight or fight response this way is very rewarding to me and my reiki therapist.

The esssental oils are also to reduce stress and create a relaxing atmosphere. The lavender is helpful to me as I unwind. I use a small difuser. I also use music and ocean waves with the oil if I am in a flare, trying to settle the nerves down. It does help me. It opens my mind away from the pain.

Meditation works the same way just hoping for a more lasting effect. So I use that with the basic 8 poses of yoga and if I stay with it for several weeks it seems to loosen my muscles. But sometimes Use it to fight the flare response when I have not paced myself well.

How open is your medical team to your integration of alternative therapies?

My physician is fairly open and supportive. She strongly believes that over half the battle is staying of strong positivity. She reminds me to pace all activities and to surround myself with positivity. So if Reiki is doing it for me... she says "stay with it".

She is an internal medicine doctor that also supports the use of essential oils and vitamins. She has also suggested starting a new hobby or interest to help battle the isolation and depression that accompanies fibromyalgia.

What therapies have you not tried that you are interested in trying?

I am interested in acupuncture. I have not been able to find a reliable source in my area. The mind body and soul connection interests me.

I  have not tried massage therapy. I am afraid it would not be done correctly and could lead to more pain. If given the correct massage type, trigger release, I'd give it a try. I have my physician helping me find someone in that field.

I am presently researching CBD oils. I have read of good responses. I would definitely discuss this with my physician.