Sunday, June 30, 2013

Web MD Slideshow: A Visual Guide to Fibromyalgia: Six important key points.

Web MD Slideshow: A Visual Guide to Fibromyalgia, here.  


#1

Tender point exam is still suggested. [This is a very important part of the physician or nurse practitioner assessment. Omitting a physical exam, as done in the 2010 preliminary or 2011 modified criteria adopted by the American College of Rheumatology, is neglectful. See my blog on Sharecare here.


#2

There’s one lab test that can check for fibromyalgia. It measures the levels of proteins in the bloodstream and can help confirm a fibro diagnosis.


See news here.

Information on test here


#3

Exercising just three times a week has also been shown to relieve fatigue and depression. But it's important not to overdo it. [Do’s and Don’ts of exercise in fibromyalgia and chronic myofascial pain, Cooper and Miller, 2010, here]


#4

Nutrition. [An important piece suggested by Cooper and Miller. About Cooper and Miller, here.] 


#5

Massage. [Known to help painful shortened muscle fibers, trigger points, and return to normal resting length, Trigger points are discussed by Cooper and Miller, 2010, here.]


#6

Therapies. We discuss these and more in our book (Cooper & Miller, 2010). Learn more here.


 

All blog posts and answers are not meant to replace medical advice.

 

You can find Celeste and more information on dealing with, and managing, chronic pain and comorbid conditions on her website http://TheseThree.com

 


Friday, June 28, 2013

Sneak peek #4 - Virtual Book Tour, SUMMER DEVOTIONS - Broken Body, Wounded Spirit: Balancing the See-Saw of Chronic Pain Series

Broken Body, Wounded Spirit: Balancing the See-Saw of Chronic Pain Series
SUMMER DEVOTIONS – Virtual Book Tour

~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~
Published on June 2, 2013,
Our Author ranking for all books is in the top 18%

~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~


Sneak peek #4

“Broken Body, Wounded Spirit offers a unique blend of the philosophical and the practical. Structured as a “book of days,” the authors provide a combination of daily spiritual advice that settles the heart, as well imminently practical ways to deal with the physical hardships imposed by chronic pain. This is a book that will prove invaluable to anyone seeking to re-establish the balance of mind and body in the face of long-term illness.”

~Erica Verrillo, author Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A Treatment Guide, 2nd Edition, and the Phoenix Rising Trilogy

Read more here.

Celeste Cooper and Jeff Miller have provided an arsenal to fight this dragon that threatens energy, growth, and healing.  By focusing on each summer day, the authors send their readers on a personal journey of mindfulness and self awareness, allowing the reader to restructure personal experience on how pain is perceived.

Day Forty-Five

By identifying the difference between being alone and loneliness, you will learn to answer this important question, “What can I do today to balance my alone time and my time with others?” on day forty-five.

Behind these eyes there is love, for if I fail to recognize the beauty of all humankind;
I am not able to forgive myself.   
~Celeste

Celeste Cooper is a retired, advanced trained, registered nurse. She is lead author of several books, contributing author, and freelance writer. She volunteers as health expert at Sharecare, advocate, and participant in the Pain Action Alliance to Implement a National Strategy.  Through her own trials, she has learned to transform her perception of pain, and it has become her life's mission to share what she has learned with others who share this sometimes arduous journey. She by no means claims to be cured of chronic pain, but she is motivated to live her best life by not giving in to what she often calls the dragon. 

Paperback now available here.
Kindle e-book available here.   (Don’t have Kindle? Get a free app here)

We hope you will help us out by going back to Amazon to say a few words, rate the book, and let us and our other readers know what you think.  Just scroll down the page just past “More About the Author” and click on the:

Write a Customer Review Button

Or click


The book will be available at all major online retailers soon.


~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~

Other books by Celeste Cooper and Jeff Miller:

C. Cooper and J. Miller. Broken Body, Wounded Spirit: Balancing the See-Saw of Chronic Pain. [ Series]. (Blue Springs, MO, ImPress Media, 2012 – 2014). Read more about Fall Devotions here

C. Cooper and J. Miller. Integrative Therapies for Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and Myofascial Pain: The Mind body Connection.  (Vermont: Healing Arts Press, 2010).
Read more here.

~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~



Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Dear Dr. Albrecht, Dr. Behm, Dr. Ge Hy, and Dr. Oaklander - Are these studies related?


RE:
Is there a possibility that the small-fiber polyneuropathy explains palmer AV Shunt in FM?
Could the disruptions be due to immune disruption?
How would this affect sustenance of MTrP treatments?



Dear Dr. Albrecht, Dr. Behm, Dr. Ge Hy, and Dr. Oaklander,

[Dr. Oaklander], is there a possibility that small-fiber polyneuropathy, which you and your team found in fibromyalgia, contributes to the enervation of arterioles and venules (AV shunt) in the palms of fibromyalgia patients causing them to behave erratically, as found by Dr. Albrecht’s team? Personally,  I have always felt that Raynaud’s and symptoms reported that are compatible with levido reticularis have more than a casual connection to fibromyalgia. 

This leads me to the next question, “Could this be occurring due to the unique immune pattern found in the study led by Dr. Behm?”

In my thinking, two of the studies, Dr. Albrecht and Dr Oaklander and their team, complement one another. Can we look forward to more studies regarding this possible connection?

Dr. Oaklander, you suggest that treating polyneuropathy might improve symptoms, so my next question is to Dr. Albrecht, “Could treating polyneuropathy improve the A-V shunt issue and thereby improve many symptoms having to do with body temperature control improving feedback to the brain?”

In my mind, a third possibility could be the suspected immune factor as studied by Dr. Behm and his team. Could finding and treating immune disease improve all of the above, or is it unrelated?” What is your thinking on this Dr. Behm?

One last question, “Could these disruptions explain why myofascial pain syndrome, thought to be a major pain contributor to many chronic pain disorders, be so difficult to control as a comorbid condition in fibromyalgia?” Generally, with sports injuries MTrPs are easily treated, but even a slight breeze can cause latent MTrPs in fibromyalgia patients to light up like a Christmas tree. Dr. Ge Hy, What are your thoughts on this? Could the findings of these other three teams have an effect on MTrP histology in fibromyalgia in particular?

I want to personally thank you, and I am certain I speak on behalf of all fibromyalgia patients, for all the research you are doing individually and collectively. It is validating and gives those of us who live with fibromyalgia hope. Many do not understand the impact this disorder has on a persons life.  

You know you have fibromyalgia when people say to you, 
"Nobody could have all those things at one time."

As a fibromyalgia expert at Sharecare.com, author, advocate and patient, I am interested in your thinking, and I know those I serve would be delighted to have a direct reply.

Thank You.

Sincerely, Celeste Cooper, RN


Studies and articles:

Albrecht PJ, Hou Q, Argoff CE, Storey JR, Wymer JP, Rice FL. Excessive Peptidergic Sensory Innervation of Cutaneous Arteriole-Venule Shunts (AVS) in the Palmar Glabrous Skin of Fibromyalgia Patients: Implications for Widespread Deep Tissue Pain and Fatigue. Pain Med. 2013 May 20. doi: 10.1111/pme.12139. [Epub ahead of print] Pubmed abstract here.

CONCLUSIONS:
“The excessive sensory innervation to the glabrous skin AVS is a likely source of severe pain and tenderness in the hands of FM patients. Importantly, glabrous AVS regulate blood flow to the skin in humans for thermoregulation and to other tissues such as skeletal muscle during periods of increased metabolic demand. Therefore, blood flow dysregulation as a result of excessive innervation to AVS would likely contribute to the widespread deep pain and fatigue of FM. SNRI compounds may provide partial therapeutic benefit by enhancing the impact of sympathetically mediated inhibitory modulation of the excess sensory innervation.”

ARTICLE, Women with Fibromyalgia Have A Real Pathology Among Nerve Endings to Blood Vessels, at Integrated Tissue Dynamics. This is a fantastic article that explains what happens in an easy to understand analogy. See entire article here

“Scientists at Integrated Tissue Dynamics (Intidyn) and Albany Medical College have made a major discovery that should provide a more certain diagnosis of fibromyalgia, significant insight into the source and symptoms of the disease, and new strategies for its prevention and treatment. The Albany Med and Intidyn research team - headed by neurologists Charles Argoff, MD, and James Wymer, MD PhD and neuroscientists Phillip Albrecht, PhD, and Frank Rice, PhD - discovered that the skin in fibromyalgia patients has a major pathology involving nerve endings to a key type of blood vessel called arteriole-venule shunts… arteriole-venule shunts play a major role in the proper distribution of blood flow throughout the body, and the discovered pathology involving the nerve endings to the shunts provides a logical explanation for the widespread deep pain and fatigue symptomatic of fibromyalgia.


Behm FG, Gavin IM, Karpenko O, Lindgren V, Gaitonde S, Gashkoff PA, Gillis BS. Unique immunologic patterns in fibromyalgia. BMC Clin Pathol. 2012 Dec 17;12(1):25. doi: 10.1186/1472-6890-12-25. Pubmed abstract here

CONCLUSIONS:
“The cytokine responses to mitogenic activators of PBMC isolated from patients with FM were significantly lower than those of healthy individuals, implying that cell-mediated immunity is impaired in FM patients. This novel cytokine assay reveals unique and valuable immunologic traits, which, when combined with clinical patterns, can offer a diagnostic methodology in FM.” 

MY COMMENT:
The role of cytokines in FM has been studied over more than a decade.  I have never had a doubt regarding my own body that there is something askew in the immune system that accounts for the co-existence of particular disorders. Plasma levels have been consistently low, but not considered low enough to be significant.  This research is looking at specific cytokines in specific cells, in specific ways, and the results will no doubt lead research in the right direction.  I truly feel a bio-marker could be around the corner. Cc


Ge HY, Nie H, Graven-Nielsen T, Danneskiold-Sams√łe B, Arendt-Nielsen L. Descending pain modulation and its interaction with peripheral sensitization following sustained isometric muscle contraction in fibromyalgia. Eur J Pain. 2012 Feb;16(2):196-203. doi: 10.1016/j.ejpain.2011.06.008. Pubmed abstract here. 

CONCLUSIONS:
“Descending pain modulation shifts from descending inhibition towards descending facilitation following muscle nociception in FM. Peripheral mechanical hyperalgesia and descending facilitation counterbalance the effect of descending inhibition in FM.”

MY COMMENT:This result should be no surprise in light of the stress contraction puts on a muscle when it has myofascial trigger points present. Cc

Oaklander AL, Herzog ZD, Downs H, Klein MM. Objective evidence that small-fiber polyneuropathy underlies some illnesses currently labeled as fibromyalgia. Pain. 2013 Jun 5. pii: S0304-3959(13)00294-7. doi: 10.1016/j.pain.2013.06.001. [Epub ahead of print] Pubmed abstract here

CONCLUSION:
“These findings suggest that some patients with chronic pain labeled as "fibromyalgia" have unrecognized small-fiber polyneuropathy, a distinct disease that can be objectively tested for and sometimes definitively treated.”

ARTICLE: Small-Fiber Polyneuropathy Found in Fibromyalgia Patients. See entire article at Examiner.com, here.

 “Finally with the FM patients had a reduction in dermal unmyelinated nerve fibre bundles was found in skin samples of patients with fibromyalgia syndrome compared with patients with depression and with healthy control subjects, whereas myelinated nerve fibres were spared.”



Sneak peek #3 - Virtual Book Tour, SUMMER DEVOTIONS - Broken Body, Wounded Spirit: Balancing the See-Saw of Chronic Pain Series by Celeste Cooper


Broken Body, Wounded Spirit: Balancing the See-Saw of Chronic Pain Series
SUMMER DEVOTIONS – Virtual Book Tour

~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~
Published on June 2, 2013,
Our Author ranking for all books is in the top 18%

~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~

Sneak peek #3

~ Barbara Ficarra, RN, BSN, MPA is founder of Healthin30.com, award-winning broadcast journalist, featured writer for The Huffington Post and health educator and member of the editorial advisory board at Sharecare.com.

Read more here.

Imagine a dragon breathing its inferno, and then watch it engulf everything in its path. Chronic pain acts like that; it is a raging fire that devours logical thinking. It incinerates comfort, companionship, dreams and goals. When pain dominates, it’s a force that must be challenged.

Day Forty

Our language holds power in the choice of words both in meaning and symbol.  We have grown accustomed to overstatement and barely notice the exaggeration that absolute terms like “never”, everyone”. “nothing”, “always” impose on our perceptions.  On a subconscious level these words are taken literally and our minds change our experience to fit the new definitions.  Hence we suffer so much more than necessary.  Literally, it only seems like “always” or “never”.  Bringing digital exactitude to our self talk is exchanging conflated hurting terms for precision power terms. “Rarely”, “frequently”, “some” or “few” are more honest and much less damaging.

“Always avoid never and never use always.”
~ Jeff

Dr. Jeff Miller is a counseling psychologist in private practice.  Among other interests, Jeff values working with patients with chronic pain and illness.

Paperback now available here.
Kindle e-book available here.   (Don’t have Kindle? Get a free app here)

We hope you will help us out by going back to Amazon to say a few words, rate the book, and let us and our other readers know what you think.  Just scroll down the page just past “More About the Author” and click on the:

Write a Customer Review Button

Or click


The book will be available at all major online retailers soon.


~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~

Other books by Celeste Cooper and Jeff Miller:

C. Cooper and J. Miller. Broken Body, Wounded Spirit: Balancing the See-Saw of Chronic Pain. [ Series]. (Blue Springs, MO, ImPress Media, 2012 – 2014). Read more about Fall Devotions here

C. Cooper and J. Miller. Integrative Therapies for Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and Myofascial Pain: The Mind body Connection.  (Vermont: Healing Arts Press, 2010).
Read more here.

~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~


Friday, June 21, 2013

Sneak peek #2 - Virtual Book Tour, SUMMER DEVOTIONS - Broken Body, Wounded Spirit: Balancing the See-Saw of Chronic Pain Series


Broken Body, Wounded Spirit: Balancing the See-Saw of Chronic Pain Series
SUMMER DEVOTIONS – Virtual Book Tour

~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~
Published on June 2, 2013,
Paperback version ranks in top 1% today on Amazon
(Paperback being offered at 33% discount)
Kindle version ranks in top 9% in ebooks category

~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~

Sneak peek #2




"A unique, useful and highly inspirational book for anyone with chronic pain... or any chronic illness... or any challenging life situation. In short, this is a book that EVERYONE should own a copy of … and pick up and read daily."

~ Kevin White, MD, PhD, Multiple award-winning author of Breaking Thru the Fibro Fog: Scientific Proof Fibromyalgia Is Real

Read more here.


Summer Devotions is the second of a four book series, Broken Body, Wounded Spirit: Balancing the See-Saw of Chronic Pain. It is a tribute to everyone committed to living a fearless life despite the road blocks caused by living with chronic pain and illness.

Day Seventy-two 
Did I overdo?

We must do an assessment of overdoing, doing enough, sleep, and aggravating or alleviating factors related to our pain. On Day Seventy-two of Summer Devotions, we provide a helpful tool for doing all these things to help answer your questions.

As I navigate through life with invisible illness, turning tragic into triumph,
 I accept that some days, despite doing everything right, I do not prevail, and that's OK.    
~ Celeste
 
Celeste Cooper is a retired, advanced trained, registered nurse. She is lead author of several books, contributing author, and freelance writer. She volunteers as health expert at Sharecare, advocate, and participant in the Pain Action Alliance to Implement a National Strategy.  Through her own trials, she has learned to transform her perception of pain, and it has become her life's mission to share what she has learned with others who share this sometimes arduous journey. She by no means claims to be cured of chronic pain, but she is motivated to live her best life by not giving in to what she often calls the dragon. 

Paperback now available here.
Kindle e-book available here.   (Don’t have Kindle? Get a free app here)

We hope you will help us by going back to Amazon to say a few words, rate the book, and let us, and our other readers, know what you think.  Just scroll down the page just past “More About the Author” and click on the:

Write a Customer Review Button

Or click


The book will be available at all major online retailers soon.

~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~

Other books by Celeste Cooper and Jeff Miller:

C. Cooper and J. Miller. Broken Body, Wounded Spirit: Balancing the See-Saw of Chronic Pain. [ Series]. (Blue Springs, MO, ImPress Media, 2012 – 2014). Read more about Fall Devotions here

C. Cooper and J. Miller. Integrative Therapies for Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and Myofascial Pain: The Mind body Connection.  (Vermont: Healing Arts Press, 2010).
Read more here.

~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~


Thursday, June 20, 2013

FMS and PTSD are comorbid conditions?



“A link between fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been suggested because both conditions share some similar symptoms. The temporal relationships between traumatic experiences and the onset of PTSD and FMS symptoms have not been studied until now. All consecutive FMS patients in 8 study centres of different specialties were assessed from February 1 to July 31, 2012. Data on duration of chronic widespread pain (CWP) were based on patients' self-reports. Potential traumatic experiences and year of most burdensome traumatic experience were assessed by the trauma list of the Munich Composite International Diagnostic Interview. PTSD was diagnosed according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV symptom criteria by the Posttraumatic Diagnostic Scale. Age- and sex-matched persons of a general population sample were selected for controls. Three hundred ninety-five of 529 patients screened for eligibility were analysed (93.9% women, mean age 52.3years, mean duration since chronic widespread pain 12.8years); 45.3% of FMS patients and 3.0% of population controls met the criteria for PTSD. Most burdensome traumatic experience and PTSD symptoms antedated the onset of CWP in 66.5% of patients. In 29.5% of patients, most burdensome traumatic experience and PTSD symptoms followed the onset of CWP. In 4.0% of patients' most burdensome traumatic experience, PTSD and FMS symptoms occurred in the same year. FMS and PTSD are linked in several ways: PTSD is a potential risk factor of FMS and vice versa. FMS and PTSD are comorbid conditions because they are associated with common antecedent traumatic experiences.”


The rope is frayed. My comment:
  
I am uncertain as to why these researchers are suggesting that PTSD is a comorbid (overlapping) condition to fibromyalgia.  Fibromyalgia has been thought to be initiated by some traumatic emotional or physical event. However, Traumatic initiating events are not limited to emotional trauma; physical trauma is just as significant.  There was also a recent study that dismissed this all together. [Gonzalez, et al., 2013]. 

If the researchers are studying comorbid disorders, why are they not also considering hypothyroidism, bladder and bowel dysfunction, myofascial pain syndrome, lupus (SLE), ankylosing spondylitis, Raynaud’s, etc.?  Many fibromyalgia patients have no history of mental health disparities. So why does Dr. Hauser, and those who associate with him, keep wasting valuable research money on such ill fated endeavors? 

See Fibromyalgianess is ALL in Our Head? My Correspondence with Dr Frederick Wolfe here

Dr Hauser and Dr Wolfe co-authored another survey type study suggesting fibromyalgia meets the DSM-5 (American Psychiatric Assoscition diagnostiic manual) criteria.  I am not the only one with concerns.  See  Huffington Post article, Don't People in Chronic Pain Have Enough to Deal With? here.

Hypothesis = suggested probable cause to be proved or disproved.

If one is going to study a possible connection of comorbidity in fibromyalgia, they must at least consider ALL the suggested comorbid disorders, and they should conduct an extensive literature review before positing their hypothesis. It seems these researchers are bent on constructing studies to prove there is no other possibility. This is not research, at least not what I learned in college.  Study results are often unparalleled to the hypotheses. Researchers generally expect when they do not get the results they expect, they will need to form a new unexpected hypothesis. 

This study makes about as much sense as saying heart disease, which also has a degree of psychological stress,  is the result of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).   To suggest that disorders with many accompanying symptoms and comorbid disorders is nothing less than ludicrous. After all, heart disease can cause peripheral circulation symptoms, fatigue, blood pressure irregularities, heart arrhythmia, cold hands and feet, chest pain, exertional malaise, etc. Polysymptomatic, right?  

Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a very serious illness. "PTSD is a potential risk factor of FMS and vice versa." Is this to say that FM is a risk factor for PTSD? I am sorry, I do not make this connection. Am I alone in my thinking?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Relieving Pain in Kansas City by Celeste Cooper


"Discontent is the first necessity of progress."
~Thomas A. Edison


What
On June 13th the first meeting of the patient focus group “Relieving Pain in Kansas City” was held.

Who
Says poet William Cowper, “Variety is the Spice of Life,” and boy is he right.  This eclectic group from the greater KC metro includes local pain group leaders, and patients suffering with a variety of chronic pain conditions all came together for a collaborate effort.  To sweeten this eclectic pot, also present were concerned care givers, clinic representatives, a social worker, physician and nurse practitioner, a wealth of experience within the patient group, and other people interested in "transforming the way pain is perceived, judged and treated " fulfilling the mission of the Institute of Medicine report:


“Relieving  Pain in America: A Blueprint for Changing Pain Education, Care and Research." 
See the Institute of Medicine (IOM) report brief here.

Why
The IOM report states that pain patients, some 100 million Americans, have the right to moral and ethical treatment of their pain, and they have the right to treatments focused on improving patient outcomes, and treatments that fit within the individual’s framework of what works best for them.  Of particular importance to me, one of the reports states women, the poor, and African-Americans are discriminated against when it comes to having their pain treated, they are stereotyped.  This is no surprise; I have seen it happen in my own family.

That is one of many tough issues we face. Each of us has our own ideas based on our individual experiences, and for the first time, we will be able to use our voice to focus on research that will answer questions posed by pain patients collectively. It will be our voice that decides what research is done.

How
The Affordable Care Act makes provisions for the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) in an effort to promote a new approach to research -- one that is patient directed.  If enough patients stand up, or sit up in some cases, and say YES, we could secure funding for a "Patient Powered Research Network (PPRN)."   At the June 11th meeting more than 30 people said unequivocally, “We want you to hear our voice.” 

We, as patients and other interested parties regarding the moral treatment of pain, are clamoring for this tremendous opportunity.

First, we had to have a meeting of interested people, check. Second, we have to apply for a grant, which is being prepared by Dr.  Kim Kimmineau, at the American Academy of Family Physicians, check. Three, we continue to meet and begin discussion on important concerns while we make our way through the first phase, check.

We may not be able to physically march, but if we are selected, we will march against pain as part of an unprecedented approach to “Relieving Pain in KC .” The group is salivating at the opportunity to be part of this monumental endeavor.

When
The next meeting will be Thursday July 11, 2013. The time and place will be announced later.   

At that meeting, Dr. Richard Payne, who is part of the steering committee for the Center of Bioethics initiative, the Pain Action Alliance to Implement a National Strategy (PAINS) that I also participate in, will be speaking.  Read more about PAINS here.

He, and our leader Myra Christopher, shared an important connection by serving on the IOM committee that published “Relieving Pain in America." Myra also serves on the National Institute of Health (NIH) Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee (IPRCC) in Washington DC, which is a committee that reports to the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius.  

Myra misses no opportunity to fight for social justice. It should be a great meeting and one you won’t want to miss, stay tuned.

We don’t always know if we will be heard, but I can say for certain, we will not be heard if we don’t speak. THINK adversity? SEE opportunity.

In healing and hope to all who share this journey.  

Celeste Cooper, RN, author, health expert at Sharecare.com, advocate, participant in the Pain Action Alliance to Implement a National Strategy, and chronic pain patient.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Virtual Book Tour, SUMMER DEVOTIONS - Broken Body, Wounded Spirit: Balancing the See-Saw of Chronic Pain Series


Broken Body, Wounded Spirit: Balancing the See-Saw of Chronic Pain Series
SUMMER DEVOTIONS – Virtual Book Tour

~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~
Kindle version ranks #316, out of 750,000, on day 2 of the kick off...
and the Virtual Book Tour Begins
~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~

Sneak peek #1

“The authors provide us with a tidbit a day to not only balance life and chronic illness, but to also maximize the potential of each day. Use the book as designed, allowing the daily entries to take you to unexpected places and knowledge. But keep your marker or your sticky notes handy so that you can easily return to the contributions that particularly inspire you and give you strength to live each day in the positive.”
~ Patricia Geraghty, RNC, MSN, FNP-BC, Sharecare Editorial Advisory Board.     Read more here


Celeste Cooper and Jeff Miller have provided an arsenal to fight this dragon that threatens energy, growth, and healing.  By focusing on each summer day, the authors send their readers on a personal journey of mindfulness and self awareness, allowing the reader to restructure personal experience on how pain is perceived.

Day Twenty
"The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials."   
 ~Chinese Proverb

The most insidious effects of pain are the erosion and corruption of our sense of self identity.  Who we were and who we are become two different individuals.  The dreams and plans associated with the first self change, fade, warp and evaporate in the harsh light that pain brings.  Our self-narrative undergoes a metamorphosis we could not have predicted. It is not wholly negative although it appears so at first.  It was not totally unexpected; it has arrived decades earlier than expected. It brings companions, wisdom and a heightened appreciation for many facets of life.  Our narrative changes, it does not end.

Dr. Jeff Miller is a counseling psychologist in private practice.  Among other interests, Jeff values working with patients with chronic pain and illness.

Paperback discounted, now available here.
Kindle e-book available here.   (Don’t have Kindle? Get a free app here)


We hope you will help us out by going back to Amazon to say a few words, rate the book, and let us and our other readers know what you think.  Just scroll down the page just past “More About the Author” and click on the:

Write a Customer Review Button

Or click

The book will be available at all major online retailers soon.


~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~

Other books by Celeste Cooper and Jeff Miller:

C. Cooper and J. Miller. Broken Body, Wounded Spirit: Balancing the See-Saw of Chronic Pain. [ Series]. (Blue Springs, MO, ImPress Media, 2012 – 2014). Read more about Fall Devotions here.

C. Cooper and J. Miller. Integrative Therapies for Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and Myofascial Pain: The Mind body Connection.  (Vermont: Healing Arts Press, 2010).
Read more here.

~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Free e-book Kickoff for Virtual Book Tour: Is a dragon breathing down your neck? Summer Devotions


The Kick Off for a Four Week VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR
Broken Body, Wounded Spirit: Balancing the See-Saw of Chronic Pain
Summer Devotions

Free Kindle e-book SPECIAL FOR 3 DAYS

JUNE 14 – 16 (Friday thru Sunday)
Begins Friday, tomorrow, at 12.01 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time
Ends Monday at 2:59 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time



Imagine a dragon breathing its inferno, and then watch it engulf everything in its path. Chronic pain acts like that; it is a raging fire that devours logical thinking. It incinerates comfort, companionship, dreams and goals. When pain dominates, it’s a force that must be challenged.




Get your FREE Kindle edition here, or copy and paste the following link into your web browser. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00D665FPK

Don’t have Kindle? Get a free app here. 

A sampling of what you will encounter as you journey through the summer season:
 What objective did I accomplish with my self-narrative?Did I overdo?What power words can I exchange today to change the way I talk to myself?What can I do today to balance my alone time and my time with others?How can I change my editorial thoughts on pain?What can I teach myself about patience and faith?

Note: Amazon will not let you leave a review unless you downloaded or purchased the book through their store, this free offering counts.  Thank you in advance for taking an interest in our work to help many dealing with chronic pain.

We hope you will help us out by going back to Amazon to say a few words, rate the book, and let us and our other readers know what you think.  Scroll down the page just past “More About the Author.” 

Write a Customer Review Button.
Or on the direct link click


Also available in paper back here.

Read more about other books by these authors at http://Thesethree.com (About the Books Tab)

Stay tuned more to come in the four week blog tour!


Friday, June 7, 2013

Scream “4,”Cervicogenic Migraine and Myofascial Trigger points: June Awareness

Feature

Cervicogenic Migraines and Myofascial Trigger Points

Migraine headaches are not only a severe pain source in their own right, they also co-exist more frequently with fibromyalgia (FM) and chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), which overlaps with many other painful conditions, the domino effect.  Because they originate within the central nervous system, they can be a great factor in decreasing our pain threshold, every  nerve ending is fresh, raw and exposed.  

Cervicogenic migraine is a migraine attack that is perpetuated or preceded by neck pain. You know this excruciating pain is generated from the peripheral nervous system (anything outside the brain) when you feel a golf ball size muscle at the base of the skull, or the muscles that hold your head up are tighter than guitar strings. You know it is a migraine because it has all the same hallmark symptoms. An aura, preceding symptoms warning you of the impending attack,  may or may not be present, but migraines generally manifest themselves on one side of the head and are often accompanied by other symptoms, such as extreme sensitivity to light and sound, vomiting or nausea, blurred vision, lethargy, etc. This is the description of a cervicogenic migraine. You can read about other types of severe headaches on my website here

“A myofascial trigger point (TrP) is a self-sustaining, irritable area in the
muscle that can be felt as a nodule in a taut band. This irritated spot causes
the muscle to gradually shorten, interfering with the motion function of the
muscle and causing weakness and pain.” (Book excerpt, here

A common cause of cervicogenic migraine shares the overlapping condition to FM and ME/CFS called myofascial pain syndrome, read more here. Usually you start to feel the muscles in your neck tighten, or you feel a golf ball at the base of your skull scream F-O-R-E  or “4.”  They are doing this because some of the muscle fibers that make up the muscles are shortening causing pea sized knots you can easily feel unless the muscle is too rigid, in which case you can track the offending trigger point (TrP) by its referral pain pattern. Now, check that side of your face too.  Most likely you will feel tiny little strings of fine little muscles in the temple or around the eye.  These muscles are responsible for our facial function and expression.  I am not going to get to windy on the subject, and I could, but understanding this simple phenomenon could help bring you some relief.  We discuss all this at length in our book, here, but there are some key points to get your started on trigger point pressure therapy:

  • Find the knots just mentioned
  • If the muscle is too tight, you may have to massage it to get it to relax enough to locate the TrP. If you can get someone else to do it, all the better.
  • If you have them and you are not too sensitive to odors, use essential oils to massage.
  • Once you locate the knotted up piece of muscle (in the neck usually about the size of a pea, unless it is in one of the tiny muscles between the neck bones or on the face), hold pressure (about 80% of maximum) for 30 seconds or so. Try to locally stretch the TrP coaxing it back to its normal resting length. Do this periodically to tolerance and ability.


The neck muscles can get sassy for a number of reasons, stress (psychological or physical), degenerative neck disease, or the presence of myofascial pain syndrome, which is not uncommon in migraine either.  
Treating all of these TrPs can help with the attack, as can identifying the perpetuating factors. Once you become an expert at pressure therapy, and you have plenty of training ground to learn from, do this as preventative therapy. It is when you neglect your muscles that you are more likely to have this type of migraine, and the greater the neglect, usually, the more intense the headache and more difficult to treat.

If these types of headaches are a chronic problem, see a physician because other tests and treatments may be indicated.

In healing and hope, Celeste


All answers and blogs are based on the author's opinions and writing and are not meant to replace medical advice.  For more information about the author see http://TheseThree.com

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Official LAUNCH! Broken Body, Wounded Spirit: Balancing the See-Saw of Chronic Pain, Summer Devotions.


Broken Body, Wounded Spirit: Balancing the See-Saw of Chronic Pain
SUMMER DEVOTIONS.

Fresh off the Press!


Our sincerest gratitude goes to those who shared their valuable time and thoughtful words of endorsement. To you, THANK YOU.

We hope the words of those who shared so generously will help you, the reader, in your decision to order the book in paperback here, or Kindle here. Those who reviewed it said it best and you can read what they had too say following in this blog, and you can read more about the book here.  If you participate in the daily devotions with the fervor our reviewers offered, then we have met our goal of helping you on your personal journey.  


In healing and hope, Celeste


The book will be distributed through all major online retailers after a 90 day waiting period.

Don’t have a Kindle?  Get your free app here. 

Book description:

Imagine a dragon breathing its inferno, and then watch it engulf everything in its path. Chronic pain acts like that; it is a raging fire that devours logical thinking. It incinerates comfort, companionship, dreams and goals. When pain dominates, it’s a force that must be challenged.

Celeste Cooper and Jeff Miller have provided an arsenal to fight this dragon that threatens energy, growth, and healing.  By focusing on each summer day, the authors send their readers on a personal journey of mindfulness and self awareness, allowing the reader to create enduring images on how pain is perceived.

Summer Devotions is the second of a four book series, Broken Body, Wounded Spirit: Balancing the See-Saw of Chronic Pain. It is a tribute to everyone committed to living a fearless life despite the road blocks caused by living with chronic pain and illness.

Forward: 

It is rare to find a book that is simultaneously practical, informative, uplifting, comforting and aesthetically pleasing. But the “Summer Devotions,” of Broken Body, Wounded Spirit is all of those things – and more. 

The authors, Celeste Cooper, RN and psychologist Jeff Miller, PhD, bring their ample experience to bear in this book. Organized into a “book of days” each chapter offers a combination of practical coping advice – how to manage the sleep disorder that often comes with chronic pain, dietary considerations, and how to review the effectiveness of treatments – information (what do all those medical acronyms mean?), and guidance through the emotional turmoil of chronic illness. Miller’s approach, as a psychologist, is rooted in cognitive restructuring, which encourages patients to take control of their lives through changing thought processes. In the book, this is accomplished neatly and efficiently by asking questions at the end of each section, such as “What excuse can I retire?” Ms. Cooper and Jeff Miller not only offer practical coping advice, they also address the spiritual dimension of chronic pain. This reflective approach is enhanced by a photograph at the beginning of each day, many of which reflect the calming influence of nature, and the love and joy which surround all things young and growing. The mood of the photo is complemented by an inspirational quote, my favorite of which is: “There is an important difference between giving up and letting go.” (Jessica Hatchigan) 

Drawing on medical expertise, alternative modalities, and ancient traditions of healing, this book offers a unique blend of the philosophical and the practical. The authors provide a combination of daily spiritual advice that settles the heart, and they provide imminently practical ways to deal with the physical hardships imposed by any form of chronic pain. This is a book that will prove invaluable to anyone seeking to re-establish the balance of mind and body in the face of long-term illness. 

~Erica Verrillo, author Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A Treatment Guide, 2nd Edition, and the Phoenix Rising Trilogy


Inside the cover endorsements:

“Broken Body – Wounded Spirit is a movable feast of poetry, reflections, coping strategies, educational tidbits, enchanting imagery, and more.  For anyone in persistent pain holding a desire to restore physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual balance, Celeste and Jeff offer help, hope, and a path to self-empowerment.”

~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 (PAINS)

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“The authors provide us with a tidbit a day to not only balance life and chronic illness, but to also maximize the potential of each day. Use the book as designed, allowing the daily entries to take you to unexpected places and knowledge. But keep your marker or your sticky notes handy so that you can easily return to the contributions that particularly inspire you and give you strength to live each day in the positive.”

~ Patricia Geraghty, RNC, MSN, FNP-BC, Sharecare Editorial Advisory Board

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"A unique, useful and highly inspirational book for anyone with chronic pain... or any chronic illness... or any challenging life situation. In short, this is a book that EVERYONE should own a copy of  and pick up and read daily."

~ Kevin White, MD, PhD, Multiple award-winning author of Breaking Thru the Fibro Fog: Scientific Proof Fibromyalgia Is Real

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“Pain doesn’t define Celeste Cooper; instead it is her pledge to ‘rule the pain.’ Celeste gracefully and thoughtfully inspires others to be content and embrace life’s journey with a spiritual, physical and emotional balance. She provides simple instructions to help guide those suffering with chronic pain.  ‘My life is more than a waiting period, it is a journey, and how I perceive it and improve upon it, is solely up to me.”

~ Barbara Ficarra, RN, BSN, MPA is founder of Healthin30.com, award-winning broadcast journalist, featured writer for The Huffington Post and health educator and member of the editorial advisory board at Sharecare.com.

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“This book is a delight. From the dark world of pain and suffering comes the voice of human courage. For so many people who struggle with chronic pain, and the devoted friends who watch them and hold them, this is the map to guide them on their journey. Each page is a lamp to light the path. Keep this gentle book by your side and read it often with the one who loves you. Thank you Celeste and Jeff for your book, it is a source of strength for the soul.”

~Dr John Whiteside MBBS, BSc, registered medical practitioner, specializing in pain
and was trained by Dr Janet Travell. (Australia)

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Broken Body, Wounded Spirit takes those who suffer from chronic pain and illness on a magical ride to a place where all patients need to go: a place of relaxation, solace, and perspective.  Woven in a rich pattern of interrelated tips, stories, and lovely truisms, we learn that we control our journey, and that being mindful of the realities of dealing with a chronic disease puts us in charge.  I highly recommend this soulful little book.

~Richard Carson, Health advocate and Founder of ProHealth.com

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“Broken Body, Wounded Spirit offers a unique blend of the philosophical and the practical. Structured as a “book of days,” the authors provide a combination of daily spiritual advice that settles the heart, as well as imminently practical ways to deal with the physical hardships imposed by chronic pain. This is a book that will prove invaluable to anyone seeking to re-establish the balance of mind and body in the face of long-term illness.”

~Erica Verrillo, author Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: A Treatment Guide, 2nd Edition, and
the Phoenix Rising Trilogy

~   ~   ~  ●  ~   ~  ●  ~   ~  ●  ~   ~

 “This book reminds me of the Daily Word. What Jeff and Celeste have created is a daily source of inspiration and guidance for people in pain. It can help them find peace, wisdom and wellness.”

~ Pat Anson, Editor, National PainReport.com

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“I loved this book. It is filled with practical tools and simple steps that will provide comfort for anyone who is dealing with chronic pain or illness and infused with inspiring messages that gently uplift your spirit”

~Deirdre Rawlings, PhD, ND. -- Author of Foods that Fight Fibromyalgia, Fairwinds (2012) and more.

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“While the wording is everyday English, I found that the concepts offered extend far beyond reading mere words. A valuable book for anyone who is in the midst of chronic pain, struggling to keep body and spirit together; a handy reference if you have climbed out of the abyss caused by relentless pain; also valuable for others to give insight into possibly how to keep buoyant a family member, friend, neighbor who lives with chronic pain.”

~ Suzanne Newnham - Author, Ethics of a Psychic  Reading

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“This book is designed and inspired to fill the needs of people in chronic pain. From practical ‘how to’ suggestions, to more mind, body and spirit concepts, like contemplating the deeper meaning to life and health, it is exactly what many people have been looking and longing for. I am struck by its wise self-concepts, such as ‘We must learn to dance with the dragon, not fear its fire.”

~Cinda Crawford, Get Well Health, author and healer and host of the HealthMattersShow.com

Celeste's Website

Celeste's Website
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