What success has been reached with the use of flower essences for treatment of fibromyalgia?

May 1, 2003

Fibromyalgia is a challenging condition. Like chronic fatigue syndrome, it has many different and shifting symptoms. Widespread pain and tenderness in the connective tissues, joints, muscles and ligaments, accompanied by severe fatigue and sleep disturbances are the most common physical symptoms. From the emotional perspective, the debilitating and chronic aspects of the condition precipitate feelings of depression, lethargy, mental confusion, isolation and even despair.

Treating cases of fibromyalgia are complex, and require a multi-level approach. Because the disease is more chronic in nature and can masquerade with so many shifting symptoms for so long before diagnosed, an interlocking series of imbalances becomes "set" into the body-mind complex. These different levels—including nutritional, structural, energetic and emotional—need to be addressed artfully and in layers until the whole body-mind complex is functioning again. The good news is that it is entirely possible to resolve fibromyalgia and there are many cases showing success, using various different approaches.

Flower essences will be most effective treating the emotional patterns, and to some extent, the energetic patterns underlying the case. Our research indicates that each case of fibromyalgia is unique, it is the individual we have to treat, not the illness. There is no one-size-fits-all formula for "curing" fibromyalgia from the point of view of flower essence therapy. However, the following are some important therapeutic factors that should be considered:

Encourage Self-Healing

Many fibromyalgia suffers have endured pain for some period of time, they may have been diagnosed as depressed and treated with psychiatric drugs, or they may have been treated with various conventional or alternative modalities without much success. One of the most important first steps from an emotional point of view is to establish the belief in one's own ability to get well. The Self-Heal flower essence is the most fundamental flower essence for the entire fibromyalgia healing program. Also, the Self-Heal Creme with Arnica, Echinacea, Love-Lies-Bleeding and other essences unique to each person's situation can be rubbed into the most painful areas of the body. Ultimately the healing strategy is to "unwind" the interlocking and self-perpetuating symptoms, helping the individual learn to identify triggers for stress and pain. For this, the Self-Heal essence and its core affirmation "I am at the center of my healing experience. I take responsibility for finding my own path to wellness" is very important.

Address Body-Mind Pain Cycle

During the prolonged course of their illness, fibromyalgia sufferers appear to develop enhanced receptors for pain. The chronic nature of the pain and its shifting symptoms, results in a body-mind feedback loop which can create a heightened perception of pain. It is very important to develop ways in which the mind becomes a witness to such pain, breathing with it, recognizing its source, and ultimately breaking the link of habituated response to pain. One of the most important flower essences for this level of soul consciousness in Love Lies Bleeding. Five-Flower Formula and Arnica can also be very important.

Identify Sources of Stress and Toxicity

It is very important that those dealing with this illness reduce unnecessary stress and toxicity in their lives. Many fibromyalgia sufferers are in jobs, living situations or relationships that create enormous internalized stress. Rather than being the enemy, pain is often the body's way of signaling that something needs to be changed in one's life. This also includes personal habits—such as living rhythms, food and clothing choices, and other lifestyle factors. Many cases of fibromyalgia resolve when the individual acquires enough soul strength to consciously identify and make changes related to their personal situation. In addition to the general role of Self-Heal, discussed above, Walnut, Willow, Centaury, Cerato, Morning Glory, Hornbeam, Wild Oat, and Star Tulip are important flower essences to consider.

Disturbed Sleep Rhythms

One of the most common aspects of fibromyalgia is disturbed sleep. Again, a feedback loop is created, since sleep deprivation increases bodily pain, and the increase of bodily pain disturbs sleep. In general fibromyalgic pain responds well to warmth—warm baths before sleep and/or compresses on painful areas of the body can bring the necessary calm for deep sleep. Arnica Allay Herbal flower Oil and St. John's Shield Herbal flower oil are excellent to use in baths or compresses for such purposes. Morning Glory, Chamomile, Five-Flower Formula, St. John's Wort, Olive and White Chestnut flower essences are the major remedies to consider for internal use to resolve disturbed sleep patterns.

Address Depressive or Lethargic States

Fibromyalgia is commonly misdiagnosed as depression and consequently mistreated. Depression is usually a manifesting symptom of the disease as the pain cycles increase, and the individual sinks into despair about being able to resolve the illness. Also, sleep deprivation causes many symptoms of depression, including lethargy and mental fog. Some flower essences can be helpful in dislodging the outer symptoms of despair or depression during the healing journey. The most basic essences include Gentian, Mustard, Gorse, Penstemon, Borage, St. John's Wort and Love Lies Bleeding.

Identify Originating Trauma

This category is the most important one from the point of view of flower essence therapy. In the various cases of fibromyalgia that I have personally attended or reviewed with other practitioners, we have traced back the roots of fibromyalgia to a precipitating traumatic event. Because the onset of the actual symptoms of fibromyalgia are slow to manifest it often takes time to uncover this entrenched piece of emotional history. Yet it is precisely here where a major piece of healing needs to happen for the soul. When such healing is set in motion, the immune system is given a signficant boost. Such trauma can be physical in origin—such as an auto accident or sports injury, or it can be purely emotional in nature such as a major move, death of a loved one, divorce or job loss. Using flower essences to re-visit and resolve the original trauma is the key therapeutic strategy. Obviously many different flower essences are indicated for emotional recovery, but some of the most important are: Star of Bethlehem, Arnica, Chaparral, Honeysuckle, Bleeding Heart, Yerba Santa, Willow, Sagebrush, and Walnut.

Approach Healing Progressively

Whether we are the one seeking healing, or the practitioner treating fibromyalgia; one of the most important aspects of the work is our ability to practice compassion and patience. Many fibromyalgia sufferers are understandably looking for symptom relief and often hopscotch from one therapy to another in hope of resolution. The key is to resolve the case by identifying deeper layers of emotional suffering.

Patricia Kaminski

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