Ok, let’s talk about stretching to heal and reverse fibromyalgia.
Stretching is one of the most effective things that ANYONE can do to have a body with less aches and pains and more natural, good-feeling movement.
For some reason, stretching is not a commonly recommended therapy for fibromyalgia and I think this is a huge mistake.
On-the-floor, supported, restorative stretches were one of the most effective things I ever did to help me reverse fibromyalgia.
Of course, there is a way to stretch that is ineffective at helping fibromyalgia, and there is a way to stretch that can actually be painful in fibromyalgia. I can help you avoid these.
Gentle, restorative, yoga-type stretches, in my experience, are the stretches that work the best for fibromyalgia. They don’t create more pain if you do them correctly. They do relax muscles and nervous system and allow for healing of muscles.
In my experience, a stretch is gentle when there is no pain or intensity associated with it. A pulling sensation is felt, but it does not hurt in any way.
In my opinion, a stretch is yoga-type if there is deep, intentional breathing associated with it, if it is held for more than a minute, and if much attention is paid to proper body positioning, and if there is a recovery period after the stretch period (like savasana).
In my opinion, a stretch is restorative if all of the other muscles in the body can be fully relaxed during the stretch. On the floor stretches with lots of pillows and bolsters are especially restorative.
So, a fibromyalgia-reversing stretch would have the following components:
- it is held for more than a minute (generally a few minutes to 20 or more minutes)
- The person who is doing the stretch breathes deeply and slowly and pays attention to their body during it
- it is done on the floor with all body parts fully supported
- there is never any pain or intensity
- at the end the stretcher is sure to lie in a neutral position until all sensations cease
I didn’t discover restorative stretches until I was about 3 years into reversing my firbomyalgia, which is unfortunate – I think I could have reversed it a lot quicker if I knew about it in year 1.
There were a a few other poses that the dvd put me into that my body just screamed YES, YES while I was in it. I started doing just these poses that felt so good for 10 minutes, 20 minutes, 40 minutes at a time.
and I started getting SO MUCH BETTER
My levels of pain went down. I was taking less medication. I slept better.
It was amazing. There was a period in my healing when I did three restorative stretches for an hour in the morning and another 40 mintues in the evening. This was the time when I got better the fastest – when my healing was the most profound.
So Why was the Stretching Helping Me?
I believe that fibromyalgia is caused by several things, but mostly by fatigued adrenals, by stress chemicals stored in tissues, by an overactive nervous system, by chronic muscle tension and mind anxiety, and by muscles that become so chronically tightened and shortened by all of the above that they are constantly painful.
So, restorative stretching starts reversing ALL of these. First, it trained me to become more relaxed. Then it gave me a tool to use when I felt myself getting anxious. Then, it gave my mind some ‘space’ and trained it to be still and peaceful.
THEN, it started lengthening my muscles and allowing the stress chemicals to circulate out and the oxygen to circulate in, and this let some of the trigger points and scar tissue heal. I love these stretches .
These days, I feel wonderful, and I still do these stretches. I do yoga daily, and any time I feel like I just need a pick-me-up or some relaxation, I get down into my supported, on-the-floor, restorative stretches.
As soon as my body hits the bolster I can feel my breathing automatically deepen and all my muscles relax. It’s an automatic thing that I have trained my body into and it is SO VALUABLE.
What would it mean to you to have a tool that would allow you to relax your whole body at will? Even if you were in pain?
Do you think that would be valuable?
My book, 30 Days to Feel Better from Fibromyalgia, will introduce you to all my best stretches in a manner similar to how I started doing them. No pain or strain and minimal fuss. Check it out – I think you’ll be glad you did. (especially when you don’t have fibromyalgia anymore)
With Fibromyalgia, your tissues are so glued together, crammed full of stress chemicals, full of trigger points and scar tissue that you have to be really easy on yourself.
Anything new and aggressive can cause you much, much more pain. I have overdone things to the point where I have been nauseous and crying and once I almost went to the ER. Don’t do this.
Your neck muscles and stomach muscles in my experience are the ones to be the MOST careful with. These are the ones that can make you feel like you want to puke or die.
Principle Number 1 with Fibromyalgia Stretching
Never stretch to an intensity of more than 3 or 4. If 0 is no pain or intensity and 10 is the most pain you’ve ever felt, stick lower than a 4. You want to feel a gentle pulling sensation only.
The first time you ever do a stretch, you want to feel only a 2! that way if these muscles really do you in, you have only gently messed with them.
Principle Number 2 with Firbomyalgia Stretching
If the stretching is painful or intense, you will probably benefit from trigger point massage FIRST and then stretching. Stretching muscles that are full of trigger points is ineffective and painful.
Once you release some of the trigger points, stretching can be pleasant, healing, and effective.
If you follow the order in my book, 30 Days to Feel Better from Fibromyalgia, you should never be in danger of more pain.
(it's broken up into a little bit of info and a restorative exercise a day) Click Here to See it!