do you need people to understand your condition?


Then you might want to give this article a read.

Seeking to be Understood: The Need for Approval

“…The truth is, many of us are looking for the approval of those closest to us on some level or another. And often this is disguised by the desire to have someone understand what we are talking about or going through, anything important to us about ourselves. I always thought I just wanted them to “get it.” In reality, I wanted them to get it so that they would be okay with me.

Let’s take another example. I once was dealing with a bad physical illness but it was not being diagnosed by doctors. I felt afraid that those around me would think it wasn’t so bad and I was imagining it. And I was very upset when they would get frustrated with me for my fatigue when I couldn’t stop it myself and was trying everything. I began doing research online and explaining to my loved ones what i was finding that I knew was applicable. But sometimes they would believe what I knew, and sometimes they wouldn’t, no matter how I explained it.

I realized that I needed to begin changing this focus on other people in order to feel peace in myself. And I knew that I had to begin letting myself know that I am my own person, and if I know something myself, that is enough…


this is why I believe qi gong works for rsd

Chronic Pain May Be About Rewiring The Brain Instead Of Using Analgesics

“We now know that absolutely in acute pain, there’s some form of injury — some form of danger signal — and we can modify pain processing within the central nervous system to some extent using a drug like a morphine. But when it switches over to chronic pain, that’s when it becomes really difficult,” Hutchinson added.

When I clicked on this article and saw the date, my recent late night Art Bell youtube habits maybe jumped to a level of concern. I saw “posted 12/10/15” and instead of thinking “oh it’s from another country,” my first thought was “ooh a time traveler!”  Hahaha ahhhh oh boy.  If you ever listened to Art Bell, that oddly makes sense.

qi gong for fibromyalgia: a study

Before you say, “but I don’t have fibro, I have RSD,” read this anyway.  There’s a chance that if you’re in the midst of a gnarly pain cycle, you might have some fibro pain in there.  And qi gong just might be the thing to relieve it.

“Many subjects reported reductions in other FMS symptoms, and two reported they were completely symptom-free. Results from the 3-month follow-up indicated some slight rebound from the post-treatment measures, but still much better than those observed at baseline.”

How often do you read the words “completely symptom-free?”

This study is based on external qi gong.  That’s when a practitioner applies qi gong energy to you rather than you meditating and cultivating energy internally by yourself.  Think of it like getting acupuncture needles from an acupuncturist but there’s no needles.  In this particular study, the practitioner administered “acupressure, qi emission, qi balancing, and magnetic cupping on each individual.”  Below is a link to the study.  These results (listed below) are impressive.


Design:  Ten patients with FMS completed five to seven sessions of EQT over 3 weeks with pre- and posttreatment assessment and a 3-month follow-up. Each treatment lasted approximately 40 minutes.

Outcome Measures: Tender point count (TPC) and Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ) were the primary measures. McGill Pain Questionnaire (MPQ), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), anxiety, and self-efficacy were the secondary outcomes.

The results:

mean tender point count (TPC): reduced from 136.6 to 59.5

mean McGill Pain Questionnaire (MPQ): decreased from 27.0 to 7.2;

mean Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ): reduced from 70.1 to 37.3

mean Beck Depression Inventory (BDI): decreased from 24.3 to 8.3

qi gong for late-stage rsd: a small study

The blog I am linking to below is well worth the read for anyone with RSD/CRPS or chronic pain of any kind. This study is what caught my eye:

“In a block-random placebo-controlled clinical trial, researchers studied the effect of qigong on treatment resistant patients with late-stage complex regional pain syndrome type 1.  It consisted of 26 adult patients between the ages of 18-65.  The experimental group received qi emission and qigong instruction (including home exercise) by a qigong master.

The control group received a similar set of instructions from a sham master.  22 completed the protocol.  Among the genuine qigong group, 82% reported less pain by the end of the first training session compared to 45% of control patients.  By the last training session, 91% of the qigong patients reported analgesia compared to 36% of control patients. The study concluded that qigong training was found to result in transient pain reduction and long-term anxiety reduction.

hope and healing

I love this. The entire CNN article is linked below.   Hope might just have healing effects on motor function, circulation and pain.

“How hope can help you heal”

“Few things are more ethereal than hope. It isn’t tangible, easily measurable or available in pill form. That’s likely why the idea that hope may wield a significant influence on healing — and even survival — may be tough to take for our bean-counter brains, hardwired by evolution to seek certainty at any cost…The positive physiological effects of hope are well-documented, most eloquently in Jerome Groopman’s “The Anatomy of Hope,” where he writes: “Researchers are learning that a change in mind-set has the power to alter neurochemistry. “Belief and expectation — the key elements of hope — can block pain by releasing the brain’s endorphins and enkephalins, mimicking the effects of morphine. In some cases, hope can also have important effects on fundamental physiological processes like respiration, circulation and motor function.”

the small things

That’s perhaps an odd title for a blog post about the benefits of sleeping naked.

I am a big believer that all the small things I do to decrease stress and to assist my body in feeling less pain add up to a much larger effect.

The article linked below from lists 7 benefits of sleeping sans clothing.  I copied portions of the article here and it’s worth the full read.  I think that numbers 1 through 5 are great reasons someone with RSD might want to add birthday suit sleep to their list of small things.

1. You’ll slow down the signs of aging and look more beautiful and youthful.

Sleeping naked in a room maintained at a temperature no higher than 70˚F (21˚C) stimulates the release of the anti-aging hormone called melatonin

2. You’ll feel happier and more stress-free.

That’s because sleeping naked boosts the release of oxytocin. Oxytocin (also called the “love hormone”) is a powerful feel-good hormone that is involved in orgasm and sexual responsiveness, combating stress and depressionreducing intestinal inflammation by improving gut motility, and blood pressure reduction

3. You’ll get better quality of sleep.

An Australian study found that some forms of insomnia can be provoked by improper body temperature regulation at night. Another study showed that the regulation of in-bed body temperature could significantly help in improving sleep quality and reaching deeper slumber

4. You’ll lower your cortisol levels and maintain healthy body composition.

Poor or no sleep is associated with the release of cortisol, or the so-called stress hormone, as well as hunger hormones that can trigger our appetite for comfort foods and thus lead to overeating…Because sleeping naked helps you get deeper sleep and keeps your body temperature at the optimal ranges, your body is better able to regulate cortisol

5. You’ll boost your immune system.

Moreover, increased oxytocin and reduced cortisol levels – both previously mentioned – contribute to a more robust immune system. Keeping these important chemicals at their optimal amounts in your body’s ecosystem by sleeping naked means giving yourself the best shot at fending off germs, viruses and other disease-causing organisms…

6. You’ll protect your lady parts from infections.

The vagina will get more ventilation, when you sleep naked, increasing its ability to stay dry and reducing the probability of fungal infection…

7. You’ll increase your virility.

This applies to men. Gentlemen, sleeping naked has been found to increase virility by keeping the testes cooler, which is why the testes are located outside of the body in the first place…

Link to full article:

7 reasons to try qi gong for RSD

Ok maybe 8.  I’m adding one.  It’s FREE.  I should say that usually you must pay to have a teacher show you the form (which is often the cost of one massage or acupuncture treatment).  Then you have the tools to help yourself whenever you need it. For FREE.  For a LIFETIME.  But I do know there are podcasts on itunes as well if you want to try to go completely cost-free.

It’s almost unbelievable, right? No, i am over the FREE part.  Actually, I’m not.  That still excites me.  But what I am getting at is how a form of moving meditation can alleviate pain and so many symptoms. Here are 7 benefits of qi gong and tai chi from the blog linked below.  I have never tried tai chi but I imagine at some point I will.  What I love  most about qi gong is that I feel confident in my abilities to control my pain.  It takes work but I feel it has helped me immensely.

Cultivating the Qi through Integral Qigong and Tai Chi triggers numerous health benefits:

  1. Qigong and Tai Chi initiate the “relaxation response,” which is fostered when the mind is freed from its many distractions. This decreases the sympathetic function of the autonomic nervous system, which in turn reduces heart rate and blood pressure, dilates the blood capillaries, and optimizes the delivery of oxygen and nutrition to the tissues.
  2. Qigong and Tai Chi alter the neurochemistry profile toward accelerated inner healing function. Neurotransmitters, also called information molecules, bond with receptor sites in the immune, nervous, digestive, endocrine and other systems to excite or inhibit function to moderate pain, enhance organ capacity, reduce anxiety or depression, and neutralize addictive cravings.
  3. Qigong and Tai Chi enhance the efficiency of the immune system through increased rate and flow of the lymphatic fluid and activation of immune cells. Resistance to disease and infection is accelerated by the elimination of toxic metabolic by-products from the interstitial spaces in the tissues, organs, and glands through the lymphatic system.
  4. Qigong and Tai Chi increases the efficiency of cell metabolism and tissue regeneration through increased circulation of oxygen and nutrient rich blood to the brain, organs, and tissues.
  5. Qigong and Tai Chi coordinate and balance right/left brain hemisphere dominance promoting deeper sleep, reduced anxiety, and mental clarity.
  6. Qigong and Tai Chi induce alpha and, in some cases, theta brain waves which reduce heart rate and blood pressure, facilitating relaxation, and mental focus; this optimizes the body’s self-regulative mechanisms by decreasing the activity of the sympathetic nervous system.
  7. Qigong and Tai Chi moderate the function of the hypothalamus, pituitary, and pineal glands, as well as the cerebrospinal fluid system of the brain and spinal cord, which manages pain and mood as well as optimizing immune function.

having hope in the new year

The best part of a new year: it’s the best time to consider the possibilities. And I hope that anyone reading this is blessed with all good things in 2015 and especially those of us who have daily pain or struggle with our health. The possibility that this is the year you overcome is strong. And why not? Hope is a pretty amazing and magical thing. Read this blog entry below about how hope HAS healed. I have posted this before and it never gets old (for me).

This is my favorite from this blog post:

“As described by Dr. Bernie Siegel in Love, Medicine & Miracles, a chemotherapy regimen called “EPOH” was being studied in a research protocol for efficacy. Most of the study centers were reporting consistent results—some benefit from the chemotherapy, but nothing earth-shattering. But one study center was getting dramatically better results, so the research team investigated. What were they doing differently?

Turns out the doctor in the center with better results had renamed the chemotherapy regimen. Instead of telling his patients they were getting EPOH, he rearranged the letters and dosed them with HOPE.”


The caregivers, the family members and the friends of those who are depressed often feel helpless (or so I was told). I know the reality of chronic pain and it’s often a short, dark road to depression. Not being able to do things on ones own can strip a person of their pride. It shouldn’t. But it often does. There’s all the conscious things one might feel they have lost or can’t do. And maybe they really can’t do some things they did before. They might regain them and they might gain new insight and skills. But often that is hard to see. Then there’s the chemical aspect of pain. It can be a lot. The possibility of overcoming can seem so remote.

This is by no means going to cure anyone of depression but I saw this blog and wanted to share it because maybe it can help someone to help someone. I am not a doctor, not a psychologist..nada. So please do not interpret this as any kind of medical advice (like the rest of this blog). I am posting the Lifeline Hotline page here just in case someone is feeling super remote and reading this.

“So what should you do, when someone you love is suffering so much?

I’m not a mental health professional, but from the perspective of someone intimately familiar with the darkness of depression, here are six ways I’d suggest you can support someone you love:

1. Be there.

Be there unequivocally, without judgment or opinion. Don’t offer unsolicited advice or try to fix everything. Don’t criticize. Just be present, through the sadness and discomfort. Let them know they’re not alone. Your compassionate presence can mean the world to someone in the depths of despair.

2. Show them how much they have to live for.

Don’t dictate to someone how they should or shouldn’t feel — don’t tell them that they should be grateful or positive or anything other than how they are. Instead, let them know how wonderful, valuable and important they are to you, and to others.

3. Help them help themselves.

Show them that there are a wealth of options for people suffering from depression, from support groups to psychiatrists to counselors. Do some specific research — make a list of phone numbers, email addresses, websites. With depression comes a serious lack of motivation, so make it as easy as possible for your loved one to seek help.

4. Know your stuff.

There’s a lot of misinformation and stigma surrounding depression. Educate yourself on the ins and outs of the illness, and you’ll be a much greater asset to the person you love.

5. Go easy on yourself.

You can’t solve someone’s problems or heal them of their ills. You’re not their doctor or therapist, and even if you were, medical professionals aren’t miracle workers, either. People have to participate in their own healing — they have to want to help themselves. What you can do is be there. Show them support and love and acceptance. You can offer a helping hand and a shoulder to lean on. Otherwise, be realistic about your role.

6. Never give up.

Dealing with someone who’s depressed can be frustrating and exhausting. Always tend to your own needs and don’t burn yourself out, but try not to give up on them, even if they do their best to push you away. Stick it out. Your love could be their life preserver.”

Is your need for approval causing you pain?

Another great blog from MindBodyGreen. This struck me for two reasons: 1) I am very interested in Dr. Sarno’s belief that pain (even if there is evidence of structural defect) is likely rooted in emotional issues; and 2) this author says a strong need for approval can force the body into a constant fight or flight response which just happens to be how RSD/CRPS is often described.

” Sociologist Martha Beck says, “Pain is like a life coach in your body. It’s what made me a life coach because I started paying a lot of attention to what made me hurt and what didn’t. It turned out my body was trying to steer me away from a life that was absolutely wrong for me and into a life that was absolutely wonderful.” Approval addicts, no matter what your approval seeking personality type fear that survival = “fitting in.” Fitting in takes many different forms, for some it means not doing anything to rock the boat, for others it means being all things to all people, still others think it means to never ask for help. For me, it meant being the “best” at everything (which by the way is impossible). The bottom line is that when you have an irrational fear that your survival depends on external approval or at the very least not making people mad, bored or annoyed, you see other people as threats. You perceive social interactions as threatening and that sends the body into a near constant state of fight or flight. … There’s a name for this phenomenon. Psychologists call it rejection sensitivity.

In a nutshell, people who experience rejection become more sensitive to it. They’re more likely to interpret an ambiguous social exchange as rejection. It’s a tendency to feel deep anxiety in social situations that develops into a kind of paranoia about rejection. Our bodies are not set up to cope with chronic exposure to this a biochemical response to feelings of rejection and despair. So … this leads to “dis-ease” in the body. “