Monday, December 30, 2013

If I Have Seen Further: Looking back at 2013


"If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants."
--Isaac Newton

As most of you know, I am a patient with fibromyalgia, ME/CFS, and other chronic pain diseases.  I am also and RN, educator, author, and pain advocate.  The above quote is one of my favorites because it rings true for me. Without the support of the following people, I could not and would not do what I do.

Rich Carson, founder of ProHealth, and all the people there who do so much to advocate for Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome ( ME/CFS) and fibromyalgia, and all those who support my work as writer and blogger by sharing this information.

Jan Chambers, President and founder of the National Fibromyalgia and Chronic PainAssociation,  friend, and fellow participant in the Pain Action Alliance to Implement a National Strategy initiative.

Myra Christopher and all the people at the Pain Action Alliance to Implement aNational Strategy  initiative who share my passion for human rights and allow me to advocate with them by supporting what I do as author, and blogger.

Cort Johnson, ME/CFS and FM advocate who offers a wealth of information to our community through his blog Health Rising http://www.cortjohnson.org/ and supports spreading the word about our books.

Karen Richards, health expert at Health Central, fibromyalgia representative for ProHealth, and friend who began her journey as patient and co-founder of the NFA.

Sharecare, the online health information giant who allows me to advocate for fibromyalgia as one of their health experts.

DevinStarlanyl, author, friend and colleague in the myofascial pain and fibromyalgia world who keeps me updated on the latest research and supported me years ago with her tireless education on myofascial pain syndrome while writing our first book.

Dr. Kevin White, friend , colleague, and fellow author, physician, medical editor and blogger

The physicians and other healthcare providers and guest bloggers who have collaborated with me on research interpretation and interviews.

My medical and writer colleagues, and fellow advocates who support me and comment on posts at Linked-In. 

My friends and fellow group and page moderators on Facebook and Google+ who go above and beyond to offer support to the many people suffering with chronic pain, FM, ME/CFS, myofascial pain, CRPS/RSD, Lupus, Migraine, Lyme's Disease, Ankylosing Spondylitis, interstitial cystitis, arthritis and other painful condition, and to those who advocate for health promotion.

My friends and fellow patients who share the Relieving Pain in Kansas City, the PAINS-KC initiative. (Kansas City)

My friends and fellow patients at the East Valley Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Support Group. (Phoenix)

All those who have endorsed our books with inside the cover reviews and those who help us spread the word and leave reviews on Amazon so that patients have tools to live their best life despite pain and disease.

And last but not least:

All my fellow Facebook and Google+ patients and patient advocates who suffer with various chronic pain disorders and illness.  THANK YOU for your comment and sharing of information in an effort to help the many people across the world who share this space with me.

If you are reading this, you know that affirmations are what get me through the day. I hope you will find strength by writing your own.

Adversity is only an obstacle when I fail to see the opportunity.

As I look back at 2013 with gratitude, love, and admiration for each of you, I can look ahead to the new year with hope and promise.


HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Fibromyalgia: Getting to the Bottom of Fatigue and Depression

Some physicians are uncomfortable with the new fibromyalgia diagnostic criteria and they do have genuine concerns.  See my blog, "Out with the Old in with the New."  There appears to be a lack of regard by some to connect symptoms of  conditions that overlap with fibromyalgia. This makes it even more important for us to know how to describe our symptoms.

Our physicians are charged with a great deal of responsibility when there isn't a biological marker. Biological evidence includes blood test, a particular rash pattern, or obvious joint deformity such as seen in AnkylosingSpondylitis, other arthritic conditions, and more conditions associated with fibromyalgia. Experts agree that depression can be secondary to any chronic pain or illness state.  However, patients with primary "major depression" can have many of the symptoms described by those of us with fibromyalgia.  This can make it difficult for physicians to make what we call a "differential diagnosis."  Proper diagnosis is key to finding the right treatments.


Inadequate or disrupted sleep disorder is a primary symptom of FM, causes fatigue and can contribute to depression. During the normal stages of sleep, we should heal. However, in FM those particular stages are often missing. Have you had a sleep study? Sometimes a good sleep specialist can help us. Non-restorative sleep is a primary symptom (fatigue) in both the new or the old diagnostic criteria, and fatigue is not a symptom exclusive to fibromyalgia.

It is important that a differential diagnosis between major depression and fibromyalgia is made because when the wrong diagnosis is made, inappropriate treatments can be rendered.  Delaying treatment for "major depression" can lead to suicide.  I cannot stress enough that this type of depression needs immediate care, it is NOT the same as situational depression associated with chronic pain and illness, and it is NOT the type of depression we experience from living with chronic pain.  Untreated or undertreated pain is also linked to suicide, but it is the pain, not depression, at fault here.

There is an entire chapter in our +400 page 8 1/2 x 11 inch book Integrative Therapies for Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, andMyofascial Pain that is devoted to knowing your body, what information your doctor is seeking, and how to describe and log your symptoms, reactions to medications, and more. These tools will help you understand the differences in depression, fatigue, and symptoms that can mimic other conditions. Having this information can help your physician in making the right diagnosis.

Have you had emotional despair because of a particular situation? If so, you might consider talk therapy. It is still important to address our depression in order to provide healthy feedback to the brain. Neuroscience tells us there is a mind-body connection.

Have you been checked for a metabolic problem that can cause fatigue, muscle aches, and pain? A metabolic problem such as thyroid resistance or insulin resistance (specific testing, not routine, is discussed in Integrative Therapies....) hypothyroidism,  or adrenal problems can make FM symptoms worse, and some experts believe they have a connection to fibromyalgia.

Medications or medication interactions, fibromyalgia, ME/CFS, Lyme's disease, Lupus (SLE),  depression, metabolic disturbances and other overlapping conditions can cause fatigue and interfere with our quality of life. If your physician is not paying close attention to your complaints of fatigue, non-restorative sleep, and cognitive problems; if he/she does not know enough to do a sleep study or check for underlying metabolic problems, it might be time to move on. (See how to find the best care here). 

For men with FM, fibromyalgia is NOT female exclusive. One in seven patients are men. As men step forward, I suspect we will see changes in those statistics.  We know that FM symptoms in men, like heart attack, don't present the same way, and men are taught to suffer in silence or "buck up." Speak up, you could help millions of other men in your shoes. 

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All answers and blogs are based on the author's opinions and writing and are not meant to replace medical advice.  

Celeste Cooper is a retired RN, educator, fibromyalgia patient, and lead author of the Broken Body Wounded Spirit: Balancing the See Saw of Chronic Pain devotional series (coauthor, Jeff Miller PhD), and Integrative Therapies for Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Myofascial Pain: The Mind-Body Connection (coauthor, Jeff Miller PhD) She is a fibromyalgia expert for Dr. Oz, et al., at Sharecare.com, here, and she advocates for all chronic pain patients as a participant in the Pain Action Alliance to Implement a National Strategy, here. You can read more educational information and about her books on her website, http://TheseThree.com



Thursday, December 19, 2013

Free Download. WINTER DEVOTIONS edition of Broken Body, Wounded Spirit: Balancing the See-Saw of Chronic Pain by Celeste Cooper, RN and Jeff Miller, PhD


December 21st marks the first day of Winter, the Solstice. As our gift to you, download the Kindle version for free this Saturday and Sunday beginning at 12:00 AM until midnight of December 22nd, Pacific Time. We would be delighted if you take a few moments to leave a review on Amazon by scrolling down the page to Comments and click on the button, "Write a Review."

Available here.
Find Kindle apps for PC, Apple, and android devices here.



Inside the cover:
“Chronic pain is a tyrant that seeks to control every aspect of a person's life—body, mind, and spirit. Broken Body, Wounded Spirit offers pain sufferers’ guidance in fending off the tyrant and regaining control over their lives. Celeste and Jeff do a beautiful job of blending practical suggestions, inspirational quotes, and delightful seasonal images into daily nuggets of wisdom that uplift and fortify the body, mind, and spirit.”

Karen Lee Richards, Fibromyalgia Editor, ProHealth, prohealth.com/, and Chronic Pain Health Guide, HealthCentral, healthcentral.com/chronic-pain/.


“Broken Body, Wounded Spirit is a warm and thoughtful prescription to honor oneself in the face of challenge, not just chronic pain. It is perfectly sprinkled with invaluable wisdom to address every aspect of wellbeing. This is a laugh out loud toolkit with humorous sayings, photos and lessons for lifestyle change bundled into a special 90-day guide to celebrate health.”

Lisa Marianni, RN, MBA, Consultant and previous Senior Director, Sharecare Provider Solutions in Atlanta, GA

Don’t miss the forward too, read more from inside the cover here.


Sneak Peek, Pages 144-145:



“Of all the people you will know in a lifetime, you are the only one you will never leave nor lose. 
To the question of your life, you are the only answer.  
To the problems in your life, you are the only solution.”  

~Jo Coudert, author of
Advice From A Failure, GoWell, and more…


eWinter f
Day Sixty-two

Final Analysis, Part I

How ironic it is that when we can count down our final breaths, we have no concern whatsoever for what others think of our person, ideas, and beliefs.  Lives once lived secondary to fear of the judgment of others, of fitting in and participating in trends, fashions, and opinions are now freed to experience the folly of their yardsticks.

What is ultimately important is personal integrity.  You never leave you.  You create and recreate you. You give yourself that final report card and you sign it. Excuses are not pertinent nor are they accepted. 

Dignity, integrity, love and commitment are what matter, everything else is confetti swept to the gutters from a parade we can barely remember.

In the final analysis, what is my yardstick?

To be continued, Part II will be in the “Spring” edition.


The books in this series are filled with famous quotes, affirmations and pleasing photos that the authors hope you will find motivating and rewarding as you pursue your journey in learning to live with chronic pain. 

Available in paperback at all major online retailers soon, 237 pages, 6” x 9.”
eBook in Kindle format available here.
(Don’t have a Kindle? Get the Kindle app for your PC,  here.


Read more about Celeste and other books here.
Or on her website here by clicking on the “About the Books” tab.


Sunday, December 15, 2013

WINTER DEVOTIONS edition of Broken Body, Wounded Spirit: Balancing the See-Saw of Chronic Pain by Celeste Cooper, RN and Jeff Miller, PhD


Cooper, C and Miller, J. Broken Body, Wounded Spirit: Balancing the See Saw of Chronic Pain, WINTER DEVOTIONS. Blue Springs, MO: Impress Media, 2013.

Available in paperback ~240 pages, 6” x 9.” here.
eBook in Kindle format available here.
(Don’t have a Kindle? Get the Kindle app for your PC,  here.

        e ॐ g

There is nothing charismatic about chronic pain regardless of its source. Pain is greedy and demanding. It consumes our time, our relationships, and our function, and it threatens everything that is important in our lives, our character and our dignity... Come with us as we walk the barren winter land appreciating that it is necessary to rid ourselves of previous conceptions in preparation for the spring season of rebirth...

Read more here.


Published by ImPress Media, December, 2013.
ISBN:  13: 978-0615924052

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Inside the cover:

“This lovely book of devotions is rich with insight and practical suggestions for any one with chronic pain. It is filled witch inspirational and healing words dealing with topics from nutrition, exercise and sleep to relating successfully to your doctor.”
~Susan E. Opper, MD, Medical Director of Saint Luke’s Pain Management Services, Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City.

“I love the very idea of “Winter Devotions”.   The struggle of living with chronic pain is compounded for many by the winter months when it is cold, damp, and often gloomy.  Bones ache, joints hurts, and the spirit sometimes become depressed. This wonderful book provides a tool to help with those issues.  The quotes, photography and motivation of authors Celeste Cooper and Jeff Miller all bring much needed hope and relief.”

~Myra J. Christopher, Kathleen M. Foley Chair in Pain and Palliative Care at the Center for Practical Bioethics and Principal Investigator of the Pain Action Alliance to Implement a National Strategy.

Don’t miss the forward too, read more from inside the cover here.

e g

The books in this series are filled with famous quotes, affirmations and pleasing photos that the authors hope you will find motivating and rewarding as you pursue your journey in learning to live with chronic pain. There are helpful tools for finding answers to questions such as:

  • How can I find balance in my strengths and weakness?
  • How can I change my word energy?
  • What do those pain terms mean?
  • On the pain scale, what is my ten?
  • What can I do to maintain and build healthy relationships?
  • Have I thought about my choices? 
  • How can I redirect pain when it gets bossy?
...and much more.


e g
Sneak Peek


eWinter f
Day Fifteen

Role Modeling for Universal Love

“A friend is a person with whom I may be sincere. Before him, I may think aloud.  I am arrived at last in the presence of a man so real and equal, that I may drop even those undermost garments of dissimulation, courtesy, and second thought, which men never put off, and may deal with him with the simplicity and wholeness with which one chemical atom meets another.”

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1803 – 1882

When Emerson’s friend Henry David Thoreau was jailed for not paying taxes (as a conscientious objector to the unjust Mexican War), he was looking out of his jail cell on Concord’s main street.  Emerson saw him in passing and exclaimed, “David, what are you doing in THERE?” Thoreau responded, “Ralph, what are you doing out THERE?” The honesty and focus of their shared love of nature, literature, liberty, and spiritual growth cultivated some of the most influential thinking in our recent history.  The courage it takes to be a true friend cannot be over emphasized.


e g


Read more about Celeste and other books here.

Or on her website here by clicking on the “About the Books” tab.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Sensitivities and Sensory Overload: A Guest Blog by Clarissa Shepherd


The holidays are a great time of celebration, but for many of us there can be obstacles to overcome at holiday gatherings.  Clarissa Shepherd has been kind enough to share her thoughts.

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Many of us with fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) are very sensitive to light, noise, too much movement, people talking, TV, household noises, crowds in stores or full waiting rooms in doctor’s offices, the loud speakers, music, odors: such as perfume, scented candles, or household chemicals.  Any one, or several such things, can cause nausea, heart palpitations, dizziness, or even make us feel as if we may faint. Sunlight can cause eye pain and the effects of flickering or reflecting light can also be difficult for us to handle. 



Studies have shown that being exposed to chemical or perfume odors can cause us to get emotional and even feel anger. It goes right to the part of the brain that controls many of our emotions. Too much overload, can also cause our adrenaline to begin pumping, and not stop until it is burned out. Our adrenal issue is what causes us to feel so jumpy and easily startled. Such depletion leaves us worn out from the entire experience.


When hit with too many things at one time, our brain can't absorb or sort through them and our brain actually glitches. This sends us into overload and brings on all our many symptoms simultaneously.

There's no wonder that going out, can be such a challenge. It’s overwhelming to our entire being. We go into the jungle, by doing simple everyday tasks. So keep this in mind and protect yourself when possible from such sensory overload, which can cause a complete crash.

Clarissa Shepherd founder and moderator of the Facebook group FELLOW TRAVELERS: Support and Chat ( FMS CFS/ME ) here



Celeste’s post comment:

I happen to have chronic sinusitis (one of the CFS lovely components), so odors don't bother me; I can’t smell them. However, I absolutely cannot take excessive noise such as more than one person talking to me at a time or loud repetitive type music. For these occasions I carry ear plugs with me. Sensory overload can be very distracting and even painful at times.

I want to thank Clarissa Shepherd for sharing her thoughts on this valuable topic. I am certain we have all adapted as best we can. I know if you have any helpful suggestions for ways to enjoy holiday festivities without feeling sensory overload, Clarissa would be more than happy to share them. 

Think adversity? See opportunity!

~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~

All answers and blogs are based on the author's opinions and writing and are not meant to replace medical advice.  

Celeste Cooper is a retired RN, educator, fibromyalgia patient, and lead author of the Broken Body Wounded Spirit: Balancing the See Saw of Chronic Pain devotional series (coauthor, Jeff Miller PhD), and Integrative Therapies for Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Myofascial Pain: The Mind-Body Connection (coauthor, Jeff Miller PhD) She is a fibromyalgia expert for Dr. Oz, et al., at Sharecare.com, here, and she advocates for all chronic pain patients as a participant in the Pain Action Alliance to Implement a National Strategy, here. You can read more educational information and about her books on her website, http://TheseThree.com


Saturday, December 7, 2013

“Diet and Nutrition for Ankylosing Spondylitis,” Guest blog article by David Novak


Ankylosing spondylitis is a deforming and painful condition. Early in the disease, it can be misdiagnosed as fibromyalgia, or it can be an aggravating factor to many painful conditions. While there is no treatment, it is helpful to have tips for deterring the progression. I hope you will be as delighted as I am to read what David Novak from Healthline has to say.

Diet and Nutrition for Ankylosing Spondylitis

Healthy eating is an important part in taking control, not only of your health and well-being, but also your life. One must be aware that whatever food you're consuming can either improve or aggravate your overall health.

For those suffering from Ankylosing Spondylitis, having a healthy diet can help immensely, not only in relieving the symptoms such as pain and stiffness, but also slowing the progression of the disease. Ankylosing Spondylitis is a type of chronic arthritis that affects parts of the spine, including muscles, ligaments and bones. Symptoms may vary but most people experience back pain and stiffness. In severe cases, this could also lead to long-term disability.


The condition usually develops gradually, wherein there are times when symptoms are not present. Chest pain can also be experienced, particularly when breathing, as a result of the joints connecting the ribs to the spine.

Ankylosing Spondylitis is common in Canada, USA, Europe, and Australia since most of the people consume meat and milk as part of their daily diet, unlike in Africa and Asia where they consume more vegetables and fruits.  Animal fat and dairy have been linked to exacerbating this condition.

Diet and Nutrition

Although there is no specific diet for people suffering with Ankylosing Spondylitis, having a healthy weight is important to reduce stress on those painful joints. A healthy diet and exercise are highly recommended in maintaining a healthy weight. Proper foods keep the digestive system strong and the immune system in a healthy, fighting condition, lowering your risk against other diseases, as well as slowing the progression of Ankylosing Spondylitis.

Choose foods that help fight inflammation, keep your bones strong, and your digestive and immune system healthy. It is also recommended to maintain a food diary so you can keep track on what particular food seems to make you feel better or worse.

Here are some dietary changes you could make, which can be effective in relieving Ankylosing Spondylitis symptoms.

  • Omega-3 Fatty acids - based on several studies, omega-3 fatty acids may decrease the progression of Ankylosing Spondylitis, though more research is still needed to validate this result. Great food sources of omega-3 include walnuts, flax seeds, and coldwater fish.
  • Ginger root - has anti-inflammatory effects that can ease the pain and relieve stiffness in the joints.
  • Turmeric - which is commonly found in Asia, works in the body by turning off a NF-kappa B protein that regulates the immune system and triggers the inflammation process.
  • Garlic and Onions - these pungent vegetables have immune-boosting properties. Garlic also works similarly to NSAID pain medications, which shut off pathways leading to inflammation. Onions contain anti-inflammatory chemicals that can help alleviate Ankylosing Spondylitis symptoms.
  • Oily fish - oily fish contains anti-inflammatory fatty acids that can help relieve pain and inflammation of the joints. Examples are tuna, mackerel and mullet. Fish oil supplements are also recommended.
  • Yogurt - natural yogurt is a good source of probiotics, which is needed to maintain a healthy digestive system and fights off bad bacteria.
  • Plant sterols - this substance helps in building a strong immune system. Plant sterols are found in legumes, seeds, nuts, fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Calcium and Vitamin D - these two nutrients are very essential in having strong bones, thus choose foods that are high in calcium and vitamin D. Foods high in calcium includes spinach, okra, soybeans, oatmeal, kale and white beans. Foods enriched with vitamin D are beef liver, egg yolks, cheese, and fatty fish like tuna and salmon.
  • Limit alcohol intake - alcoholic beverages can weaken bones, so if you can’t take it off your diet, limit your intake as much as possible.
  • Low in saturated fats - diet should also be low in saturated fats such as commercial pastries and chocolates, since this can aggravate the inflammation.
  • Foods rich in silicon - Silicon is essential in collagen formation, which is vital to healthy bones, cartilage and connective tissues. Sources of silica include whole grains, alfalfa, peppers, and seaweeds.
  • Multivitamin - multivitamins help in boosting the natural immune system of the body, which lowers your risk of contracting other diseases.
  • Food rich in proteoglycans - proteoglycans helps in restoring and nourishing cartilage. These can be found in tripe, mussels, oats and Irish moss.
  • Drink plenty of fluids - drinking at least 8-10 glasses of water a day is highly recommended. 



David Novak is a international syndicated newspaper columnist, appearing in newspapers, magazines, radio and TV around the world. His byline has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Reader's Digest and GQ Magazine, among others.  David is a health and diet enthusiast, and frequently writes on a wide array of health topics for various publications, including regular editions appearing in healthline.com.  For more of his Healthline articles, visit http://www.healthline


You can learn more about Ankylosing Spondylitis on Celeste’s website here

~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~

All answers and blogs are based on the author's opinions and writing and are not meant to replace medical advice.  

Celeste Cooper is a retired RN, educator, fibromyalgia patient, and lead author of the Broken Body Wounded Spirit: Balancing the See Saw of Chronic Pain devotional series (coauthor, Jeff Miller PhD), and Integrative Therapies for Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Myofascial Pain: The Mind-Body Connection (coauthor, Jeff Miller PhD) She is a fibromyalgia expert for Dr. Oz, et al., at Sharecare.com, here, and she advocates for all chronic pain patients as a participant in the Pain Action Alliance to Implement a National Strategy, here. You can read more educational information and about her books on her website, http://TheseThree.com

Friday, November 29, 2013

GERD - and it isn’t about comforting Aunt Geordie coming for a visit. By Celeste Cooper


Boy, what a day to revisit GERD, right? The day after Thanksgiving can translate into "need to know" for those who suffer from Gastro-Esophageal-Reflux-Disease. 

What is GERD?
Gastroesophageal reflux (GER) becomes GERD when symptoms are consistently present for more than a couple of times a week, you should be assessed by a physician. The specialist in this field is called a gastroenterologist or the “GI doc.”
What happens?
We have two tube-like structures that make their way through our neck. The passageway of food from the mouth to the stomach is a tube-like structure called the esophagus which is located behind the second structure, the trachea or breathing tube. When there is a problem with the esophagus, we experience symptoms of heartburn, sour taste, burning, soreness or hoarseness in the throat, nausea, regurgitation, problems swallowing, and sometimes even severe chest pain, but never assume your pain is GERD until you have been properly diagnosed with a test called an EGD (esophagogastroduodenoscopy), and heart problems have been ruled out. The symptoms of GERD and other problems such as esophageal spasm and hiatal hernia can mimic heart pain. Always err on the side of caution.
“Reflux” of stomach acid occurs because the gate (sphincter) at the lower end of the esophagus fails. Normally, this lower gate (LES) relaxes to let food pass into the stomach where special acids continue the digestive process.  When the gate/sphincter, which is normally a tight muscle, becomes floppy or opens for no reason, acid and/or food regurgitate back into the esophagus and can make it all the way back to the mouth. This can cause permanent damage, because those acids belong in the stomach and can cause erosion when it strays from its home, the stomach. When GERD is present, unlike pleasant and nurturing Aunt Geordie, it is no fun. I imagine right now you at least have a roll of antacids in your purse or pocket.
On Sharecare.com (my other home), Dr Mehmet Oz has a short demonstrative video that shows you exactly what happened in GERD. You can watch it here.
Why does the sphincter stop working?
Sphincter dysfunction can be the result of heredity, life-style choices, or myofascial pain syndrome. Some patients are more susceptible to this, such as those with connective tissue disorder, diseases that cause restriction of the esophagus, hypermobility syndromes causing laxity, certain neurological conditions, and patients with muscle dysfunction. 
What should we avoid?
We can only focus on what we can change, such as healthier lifestyle choices that affect or worsen GERD. We should not overeat; limit acid forming foods (fried, greasy, spicy or inflammation producing), drinks (such as caffeine and carbonated beverages) and alcohol. We should learn more about what supplements and medications might aggravate GERD; avoid smoking; and limit exercise that creates gravitational reflux, such as jumping, aggressive jogging or Yoga poses, such as the downward facing dog.  
What can we do?
Sleeping with your upper body at a slight angle (head higher than your waist) can help prevent acid reflux by gravitational flow. (Try putting four inch blocks under the head of your bed frame.) Learn about and use an anti-inflammatory diet, eat small frequent meals, and exercise regularly by walking or doing T’ai Chi to improve digestions. There are also supplements, such as ginger and medications that can help treat GERD, so if you have symptoms, discuss them with your doctor.
If you have myofascial pain syndrome, you could be at an increased risk of having esophageal problems. According to Travell and Simons knotted up pieces of muscle fiber, called myofascial trigger points (MTrPs) can cause or contribute to GERD. Remember the sphincter is made of muscle and abdominal and chest muscles completely surround the digestive system.  Trigger points in the area can also mimic symptoms of costochondritis (chest wall pain) and cause esophageal spasm which is diagnosed by symptoms and a test called an esophageal manometry. So, be sure to feel around your chest and abdomen for tender areas and see if you have unusual, painful lumps. You can learn more about trigger points and how to treat them here.
November is awareness month for Gastro-Esophageal-Reflux-Disease
You might also be interested in another article Chest Wall Pain, Esophageal Spasm, and GERD by Celeste Cooper here.
Excerpt:Twisting of the upper body, slumping over a keyboard, not using proper body mechanics when doing activities, walking or sleeping; lifting too much weight, excessive reaching, a cold or cough, trauma, surgery, improper breathing techniques (chest or shallow breathing), overuse of unconditioned muscles, carrying a baby, backpack, or heavy purse, any activity that causes heavy breathing (exercise or anxiety), arm movement (such as swimming, tennis, racquet ball, golf, weight lifting, or bowling when you are not used to it), can be aggravating factors for the development of TrPs in the chest wall. Metabolic disorders and other conditions such as CFS and GWS can also make TrPs more difficult to treat.

Integrative Therapies for Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and Myofascial Pain: The Mind-Body Connection by Celeste Cooper, RN and Jeff Miller, PhD Available at AmazonBarnes and Noble, and all major online retail stores.

You can also find this information at https://www.thesethree.com/GERD.html#.UpFKMcTUBJM

~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~

All answers and blogs are based on the author's opinions and writing and are not meant to replace medical advice.  


Celeste Cooper is a retired RN, educator, fibromyalgia patient, and lead author of the Broken Body Wounded Spirit: Balancing the See Saw of Chronic Pain devotional series (coauthor, Jeff Miller PhD), and Integrative Therapies for Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Myofascial Pain: The Mind-Body Connection (coauthor, Jeff Miller PhD) She is a fibromyalgia expert for Dr. Oz, et al., at Sharecare.com, here, and she advocates for all chronic pain patients as a participant in the Pain Action Alliance to Implement a National Strategy, here. You can read more educational information and about her books on her website, http://TheseThree.com

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Editorial Review by Jean Hall at Readers Favorites just in for SUMMER DEVOTIONS of the Broken Body, Wounded Spirit: Balancing the See-Saw of Chronic Pain Series by Celeste Cooper, RN and Jeff Miller, PhD


Readers Favorite Book Review
Broken Body, Wounded Spirit: 
Balancing the See-Saw of Chronic Pain
SUMMER DEVOTIONS

by Jean Hall, here.

Chronic pain can drag you down but there are ways to lift yourself up. Broken Body, Wounded Spirit: Balancing the See-Saw of Chronic Pain by Celeste Cooper, RN, offers sublime encouragement and innovative tips for healing. Ninety-two daily readings have a beautiful or peaceful photograph to accompany a famous quote or words of wisdom. This book is called Summer Devotions which is a season for growth in nature and, hopefully, in your life and health.

There may be deep meaning in the experience of chronic pain which goes beyond invisible and nagging symptoms. There is a Chinese proverb which says, "The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials." The hidden gem of value within ourselves can be understood by practicing meditation, breathing deeply, or focusing on prayer. Topics for Summer Devotions include: Ten tips for overcoming depression, focusing on outcomes instead of obstacles, suggestions for visualization, finding your inner strength, better nutrition, and spirituality.

Registered nurse Celeste Cooper and her co-author psychologist Jeff Miller, PhD, don't minimize the experience of chronic pain and they show many ways to find balance in your life and health. The quotes and coping methods have both Eastern and Western sources. The author clearly speaks from her own personal experience and this gives the text credibility and heart. Each day's devotion has just enough information to widen your horizons without getting bogged down. Celeste Cooper urges the reader to cope and to find meaning in difficult circumstances.




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The reviewer for Reader's Favorite, Jean Hall, did an excellent job in capturing the essence of what we offer our readers who are struggling to manage and cope with chronic pain. It is obvious that her review was based on her experiences with the information, tools and tips we wish all of our readers to explore.

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All answers and blogs are based on the author's opinions and writing and are not meant to replace medical advice.  


Celeste Cooper is a retired RN, educator, fibromyalgia patient, and lead author of the Broken Body Wounded Spirit: Balancing the See Saw of Chronic Pain devotional series (coauthor, Jeff Miller PhD), and Integrative Therapies for Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Myofascial Pain: The Mind-Body Connection (coauthor, Jeff Miller PhD) She is a fibromyalgia expert for Dr. Oz, et al., at Sharecare.com, here, and she advocates for all chronic pain patients as a participant in the Pain Action Alliance to Implement a National Strategy, here. You can read more educational information and about her books on her website, http://TheseThree.com

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Reviews, availability, and information on Integrative Therapies for Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and Myofascial Pain: The Mind-Body Connection


Review from Goodreads, here. Tami Says:


Based upon my own personal experiences, I know that getting that Fibromyalgia and/or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome diagnosis is difficult. Saying that you hurt all over for no particular reason, that you just can’t seem to get out of bed each morning, that you could sleep for days and still be tired, or that you feel like you are thinking through several layers of cotton just tends to confuse most doctors. Even though there is nothing new about these conditions and there are a growing number of individuals suffering from them, few doctors know much about Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, or Myofascial Pain. Diagnosis, even if your doctor believes you, can take months or even years. Then, once diagnosed, there is no set treatment options leaving us with the primary responsibility of finding options that ease our suffering. 

Integrative Therapies for Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and Myofascial Pain is the book that I wish I could have been given when I started this journey. I highly recommend it to anyone who thinks they might have Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, or Myofascial Pain. This multifunctional book will educate you while reminding you that you are not alone. 

Integrative Therapies for Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and Myofascial Pain begins by explaining the similarities and differences between the three conditions. Many doctors and most of the literature tend to lump these together because the symptoms are very similar. Nonetheless, the root cause may not necessarily be the same which definitely suggests different treatment strategies. 

Next, the book tells us how to talk to our doctor. How to explain our symptoms: their location, the intensity and the duration, knowing our rights and when to find another doctor. This is important as after repeated testing and specialist visits, we all start to wonder if the pain is in our head. However, it is at this point that we need to stand up for ourselves and find appropriate healthcare specialists.

The final sections are for after the diagnosis. Things like finding support, educating yourself, and figuring out what treatment options might be useful to you. There are also some invaluable tips on living, getting through your day, reworking relationships, and understanding the emotional aspects of these conditions.



More about the book can be found here 

Available at:

  • Inner Traditions, Bear and Company, (Publisher, imprint Healing Arts Press) here.
  • Amazon.com, here
  •    Kindle, here.
  • Barnes and Noble, here.
  •    Nook Book, here
  • Booktopia, here.
  • Google Books, here.
  • Simon and Schuster, here.
  • Amazon UK, here.
  • Amazon Canada, here.
  • Amazon India (free shipping), here.
  • Australian Amazon Associate (note: you will need to type in the book title), here.
  • Alibris Books, here.
  • ebay, here
  • Abe Books, here.
  • Kobo ebooks, here.


For many diseases in our world, we are finally learning the treatments using only allopathic or only homeopathic remedies are seldom the best approach in and of themselves. Much of the confusion has come from the polarized arguments of both sides attempting to defend their points of view, but like most truths the answers are often found in the middle ground, hence “integrative medicine.” I found this book, at 448 pages, to be very comprehensive and I highly recommend it for anyone searching for a balanced approach for the treatment of these diseases.

~Dhara Lemos, Lotus Guide

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Celeste Cooper is a retired RN, educator, fibromyalgia patient, and lead author of the Broken Body Wounded Spirit: Balancing the See Saw of Chronic Pain devotional series (coauthor, Jeff Miller PhD), and Integrative Therapies for Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Myofascial Pain: The Mind-Body Connection (coauthor, Jeff Miller PhD) She is a fibromyalgia expert for Dr. Oz, et al., at Sharecare.com, here, and she advocates for all chronic pain patients as a participant in the Pain Action Alliance to Implement a National Strategy, here. You can read more educational information and about her books on her website, http://TheseThree.com

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Out with the Old in with the New: Not so much. Diagnosing Fibromyalgia






There has been a great deal of criticism regarding the 2010 Preliminary Proposed Criteria for Fibromyalgia, here, and The Modification of the American College of Rheumatology, here. Besides my own concerns reported on in a blog titled A Comprehensive Review on the Proposed and Modified Diagnostics for Fibromyalgia, hereyou might be interested in seeing what other clinicians an researchers have to say:
 


  • Enhancing the Diagnosis and Assessment of Fibromyalgia by Lesley M. Arnold, MD, here.
  • A report and opinion on the preliminary guidelines for the  clinical diagnostic criteria for fibromyalgia by Robert Bennett, MD, here.
  • Drs Bennett & Clauw Debate Abandonment of Tender Point Test in Revised FM Diagnostic Criteria, here.
  • The Scientific Basis for Understanding Pain in Fibromyalgia by Robert Bennett MD, FRCP, here
 
In July of 2012, the SSA ruled to include Fibromyalgia in the listing of impairments, here. As an RN, this expert  was thrilled that the SSA has the good sense to use the 1990 criteria and require a physical exam, something the authors of the new criteria say is not necessary. As always, functional impairment must be documented using tools such the Residual Functional Capacity Questionnaire by Dr. Robert Bennett. The new diagnostic criteria, proposed but in use by some, falls short of assessing patients for clinical trials and in helping them obtain disability benefits. You can read more about pain and disability here
 
Many study results are skewed because common comorbid conditions are not ruled out, the number one culprit is myofascial pain syndrome (MPS), which is known as the great imitator. Research suggests it is one of the main peripheral pain generators to the centralization (amplification) of pain in fibromyalgia. It is also prevalent in other overlapping conditions, such as bruxism, restless leg syndrome, migraine, bladder and bowel dysfunction, chronic fatigue syndrome, TMJ and piriformis syndrome. The presence of MPS can also explain some of the unexplained symptoms of swelling and neuropathy. This is exactly the type of comment I submitted to the FDA on the upcoming “Public Meeting on Fibromyalgia Patient-Focused Drug Development” on December 10, 2013, here
 
There is no doubt that fibromyalgia may play a role in neuro, endocrine, and immune function because of the upset in the command center of the brain and possibly a broken mechanism in the brain for interpreting pain messages, but to get clear untainted research, we need good diagnostic criteria, which will only come about when all these other things are considered and leaving out a physical exam is no way to go about it.
 
Is it any wonder we seem to be chasing the monkey around the barrel?


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All answers and blogs are based on the author's opinions and writing and are not meant to replace medical advice.  

Celeste Cooper is a retired RN, educator, fibromyalgia patient, and lead author of the Broken Body Wounded Spirit: Balancing the See Saw of Chronic Pain devotional series (coauthor, Jeff Miller PhD), and Integrative Therapies for Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Myofascial Pain: The Mind-Body Connection (coauthor, Jeff Miller PhD) She is a fibromyalgia expert for Dr. Oz, et al., at Sharecare.com, here, and she advocates for all chronic pain patients as a participant in the Pain Action Alliance to Implement a National Strategy, here. You can read more educational information and about her books on her website, http://TheseThree.com


Celeste's Website

Celeste's Website
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