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Better advice than mine
  • Man's Man
    Posts: 23
    Darwin --

    First let me admit that I am new at this and have yet to experience super-O. Second, that I found a post from an experienced user which advocated pretty much the same position I was describing -- which is esentally spreading your legs as a woman or gay man would for missionary-position sex - as wide apart as possible. The other poster also added to place your hands under your butt cheeks so as to spread them wide as possible. (I have always felt both very erotic even though having read they are a means ot delay regular orgasm. The other poster explains that the positions increase muscle tension -- a paradox considering muscle relaxation is called for -- but an understandable paradox in considering that the muscle relaxation allows you to be aware of and feel the actions of orgasm-related muscles we men mostly don't know are there. It's a tension / relaxation thing. As I see it a feedback loop, where the spasming muscles on either side of the Aneros cause pressure on the other side, triggering spasm to that set, and so on and so on.

    I think it relates a lot to what I experience in general relaxation with my stiff, chronically painful land fatigued muscles all over my body -- muscles which are masking pain due to tightness will, when consciously relaxed, begin to burn, ached and finally spasm totally apart from conscious effort. But all day long at work this never occurs, and in fact the tight muscles cut oxygen flow to my brain and increaase confusion as the day goes on. Anyway, relaxation leads to specific muscle tension/release in the form of spasm.

    Let me reference the poster I think is most helpful about this: B Mayfield -- he has many post, but I believe it is his summary sticky, "B's Keys to the Back Door" where he discusses the spread legs/cheeks thing -- and a whole lot more.

    I'd be glad to be more specific but am not sure I am qualified to do so. In fact, while I really did appreciate how the underwear holds the perienum tab in place horizontally and vertically, B Mayfield mentions that NO pressure should be applied to this tab whatsoever.

    I believe he also discusses in another post (perhaps beyond page 1 on the catalog) how to find the G-spot, still enigmatic for me -- and hard to mange especially because lube tends to get up there as well and causes slippage.

    I can tell you that just about a week's practice has made me so anal-oriented, I could not resist having several long Aneros sessions yesterday, and that during one of them, while not doing any conscious contractions but only havint a vivid anal fantasy, I did experience perhaps not an orgasm but a state of EXTREME arosal which was centered from the testicles backward and left my penis entirely flaccid. Really fun.

    Thanks for the info on sphincter loosening, I will look into those. I can tell that just the Aneros sessions, and some with a 9" dildo, are working some wonders in that area.

    Sorry to hear about you and your wife having chronic pain/fatigue issue. That is a HUGE topic, but I will be glad to tell what I know, perhaps with your help steering me where you want me to go. To be honest, my chronic issues do not match up well with Fibromyalgia but many doctors have been forced to use that diagnosis for insurance purposes because it is the closest match. A sub-diagnoses is myofascial pain, which has to do with the sheets of fascia tissue, which surround all skeletal musculature, sticking to the muscles, resulting in pain.

    As to managing, wow, in a way there's not a lot that can be done medically but a lot we can do if we want to. There is also homeopathy and naturopathy which are worth a try. (My doctor is a complementary & alternative medicne specialist -- which means he goes beyond the AMA's standard of medical care so long as scientific proof can support the treatments he prescribes and the FDA will allow it.)

    I've probably been suffering this condition for over twenty years but have been diagnosed and treated for about fifteen years. There are some drugs which may help -- Robaxin, a muscle relaxer, Zanaflex, an alpha blocker (I believe) which was developed for MS but found useful for Fibromyalgia (FMS), and anti-depressants which help maintain higher levels of both seretonin and norepinephrine between the synaptic gaps (there are a number such as Cymbalta which have few side effects besides temporary lack of sex drive -- and an old-style tricyclic antidepressant called Pamelor which I had a great deal of trouble with). It occurs to me there is also an anti-OCD drug called Anafranil which has been prescribed for chronic pain -- but this left me dopey for several years. There are some anti-seizure medications also used to control bi-polar disorder which can help with pain. This is because some pain is seizure-like in origin and can involve excess firing of neurons. I hear many of these drugs will do the trick. I have used three: Lamictal, Trileptal and Lyrica, with some success. I've found Lyrica more useful for this, though the other two have provided me benefits relating to mental state. There are of course some opiate medications such as Oxycontin and Mehtadone but I really didn't find these very useful for pain. However, Hydrocodone has been a miracle worker in very short-term cases where the pain became unbearable -- but has to be prescribed and used sparingly because if misused it will become addictive -- look at all these Hollywood types! It's possible that certain Benzodiazapines such as Klonopin and Xanax can help reduce stress level which contributes to pain -- but for me these also promote sleepiness. I have found that drugs prescribed for narcolepsy and ADD are very helpful regarding fatigue, confusion and pain. The two I use concurrently are Provigil and Adderall -- and by the way I don't abuse these drugs -- but sometimes do feel like a speed demon regardless. Both these drugs, through different mechanism, promote an increase of dopamine in the brain -- though I don't know whether this directly addresses pain and if fact whether it might be I'm just too caught up in suddenly having energy to pay much attention to the pain.

    Sometimes I find over-the-counter ibuprofen (Advil) or naproxen (Aleve) useful. Naproxen lasts up to 12 hours but takes at least 45 minutes to take effect. advil lasts 6 to 8 hour, takes effect in about 20 minutes, and has the benefit of being anti-inflamatory. I don't use Tylenol at all, it seems useless for me. Ibuprofen and naproxen only dent the constant headache I live with, but in combination wih muscle relaxers can make life more bearable. All these drugs will not be very helpful if taken daily for over two weeks.

    There are nerve blocks which cna help some people but for Fibromyalgia mostly not. There is a condition known as Trigeminal Neuralgia which responds very well to a nerve block at the Trigeminal ganglion from which the Trigeminal nerve takes three branches to serve the face, head and sinuses. Not helpful to me.

    However, one of those branches further branches off to serve the facial muscles, forehead and temples. These branch at the Sphenopalatine Ganglion, and I've found nerve blocks here VERY helpful at times. In fact, I adminiser these myself, using 6" Q-tips and a bottle of viscous lidocaine. The Sphenopalatine Ganglion is at the very back of the Maxilary Sinus, which isi the big cavity on either side of the nose behind the cheeks you can see if yfou've ever had a cranial x-ray or CT scan. It opens through a narrow hole on the low outer side of each nostril -- and by the way it blockage of this hole through alergies and illness whihc causes one not to be able to breath through the nose. It is very weird to try to thread a cotton swab with a dollup of syrupy lidocaine through a bony hole about 1/8" wide, all the way to the back wall of the sinus, so that only 2" of the 6" Q-tip actually remains sticking out of the nostril. All the more difficult for me on the left side because I have a slightly deviated septum. I find I have to soak the Q-tips and reapply the block several times in succession to get enough lidocaine back there -- and then I have to lie for about 15 minutes with my head extending down over a sofa arm to keep the lidocaine where it needs to be. One needs to take care not to use too much Lidocaine. I did once overdose but now know how much is too much.

    To be honest, when first shown how to do this and trying it at home, I felt it was of no benefit at all. Years later when in a hell of pain while withdrawing from Methadone, I tried again and succeeded, but only after consulting a lot of anatomical drawings online so as to know exactly where to aim the Q-tip back there. When it works, it is amazing -- sore gums, tight jaws, contortic facial muscles, pain around and behind the eyes, forehead, temples, top and even back of skull all substantially relax for 2 to 3 hours, and the procedure can be repeated if needed each 4 hours. The relief is almost as good as from Hydrocodone, but not addictive. It is a messy procedure though -- but can be managed in a toilet stall at work (who wants coworkers / boss to see you snorting something which ends in "caine"?). The way the pain/muscle tension goes and then returns is fascinating -- relief exactly follows the three facial nerves which branch from the Spenopalatine Ganglion, and then traces back as if fades.

    NOTE: Don't try this without consulting an anesthesiologist. And if the anesthesiologist says patients can't do this at home, a little firmness that "yes they can and do" might help -- else one would have to see another doctor.

    But you never said you and your wife had headache problems anyway, right? I'm intrigued by your pelvis issue and assume you've had scans and stuff? I've recently begun having pelvis pains myself but assume this is from lying on my sides on my futon sofa while watching TV -- and stretching does help some. I would highly recommend you try some relaxation with visualization of the pained area -- if only to ascertain if there might be a stress/muscle/spasm cause (more on this in a bit).

    As to Fibromyalgia, there is myofascial release, a form of massage done by a licensed physical therapist. I will be beginning this next week, and don't know why it's taken this long to have had that prescribed since it existed when I was diagnosed n 1992. Maybe your wife and even yourself might benefit. There are also tons of other massage techniques which might also help, and are worth a try if you haven't already done so.

    Overall, what I have learned and come to believe is that the best treatment for chronic pain / fatigue -- or most any illness -- has to do with enabling the body to heal itself. This takes several interrelated forms: nutrition, postural/ergonomic modifications, relaxation, stretching and exercise.

    NUTRITION: Nutrition is most neglected cause of illness in America today. I know this and still don't eat as well as I should. Not only junk food but inappropriate quantities of healthy foods are bad. Also processed foods are not the best. Even in produce and meats (the latter of which I don't eat any more), there are BIG problems caused by agribusiness in the form of introduced pesticide, anti-fungals, antibiotics, genetic modifications said to be safe but for which no long-term data exists (such a firmer, squarer tomatoes better for shipping or vegetables to which ahs been added a fish gene which makes for a "natural" anti-fungal mutation), and an overall sapping of the inherrent nutrional value of the foods due to poor soil and feeds. Organic foods are more expensive, smaller and spoil more quickly than agribusiness foods -- and agribusiness has fought hard to ban labelling foods as "organic" or even "genetically enhanced" -- arguing that this reduces the savings to customers which agribusiness has made possible. They refer to agribusiness as the "normal" and farming and "organic" methods as an "unnatural" and "deceptive" waste of customers' cash. To be honest, even organic methods suffer from world-wide pollution, but -- if one can afford them (right now I cannot) they are worth the money.

    Nutrional supplementation has become a scam in America in terms of the GNC stores and such, but is necessary in many cases -- and just some off-the-shelf vitamins one thinks might help will not do the trick -- I tried that. It takes a medical background plus testing not done in a normal doctors office, usually not insurance-covered, to diagnose nutritional deficiencies as well as potential problems such a fungus / yeast (candida), lack of "good" bacteria, chronic presence of "bad" bacteria, presence of heavy metals, specific blood problems such a hypercoaguability, lipids profiles -- and much much morer.

    Meanwhile, BCBS aired a commercial with a fat jolly woman chattering on about how thankful she was the BCBS had a special Fibromyalgia program which told her what supposedly does and does not work and saved her a lot of time and money in terms of "needless" doctor visits / procedures / prescriptions. While it is true that chronic pain leads to a bulk of the inappropriate overuse of health insurance benefits, BCBS only cares about saving its money, the commerical is entirely misleading and condescending, and in fact BCBS's Fibromyalgia program -- while providing somewhat useful information on nutrition, relaxation and exercise -- exists only because it will save BCBS a lot of money in the long run. Much of the supposed "needless expense" BCBS whines about is neither unproven nor useless. What it is is just not accepted by the American Medical Association, based on supposed lack of scientific reasoning and data. It's true there is a dearth of clinical trial evidence because it takes a lot of money to mount trials, and true healing -- as opposed to the quick medical treatments we are accustomed to, can take time, months or years to undue the damage of a lifetime of poor habits and food -- longer than the duration most clinical trials can allow.

    Sorry about the soap-box speech. Anyway, once a thorough nutritional profile is assembled, there are specific nutrional treatment protocols which attempt to address the most likely causes of lack-of-health. Most of these directly address physiologically-known causes of pain and fatigue as well as compromised autoimmune function. The protocols also call for some addtional testing based on the first round of tests. (It would be wasteful, expensive and confusing to run all possible tests up front.)

    When it comes to nutrional supplementation, some are administered via IV drip (very useful if one has the flu or a cold) -- but the vast majority are taken orally as pills, capsules, gelcaps, powders or liquids. There are an immense number of nutrients which one can take -- and I find it best to purchase these not from GNC or the drug store, where potentcy is usually weak -- but rather at my doctor's office -- not so he can profit from me but because he's constantly reviewing different brands as to potency and cost. (I've looked these up online and could obtain none any cheaper than from my doctor.)

    Americans tend not to understand even the basics about nutrition or comprehend how what we eat can predispose us to every illness imaginable. Most American doctors also know nothing about nutrition -- this is not a topic covered in medical school. (In fact, I believe doctors and medicine are far better in Eurpoe, South America and even Mexico than in the US, where technological innovations are touted as the pinacle of health care while neglecting entirely wellness.

    Anyway, I am still shocked to realize I don't know the function of variou vitamins, electrolytes, lipids and essential minerals. With all the hype on product packaging and commericals about this or that vitamin, it's easy to take them for granted. But, for example, I only recently learned that vitamin D is a hormone which is essential to health. Going through a long list of nutrional supplements would probably just baffle you (it does me) -- but the prescribing of them is as much or more science as for pharmaceuticals. In fact, the pharmaceutical industry, as you may have heard, is lobbying hard for legislation to require federal regulation of what they now call "nutriceuticals" -- acknowledging finally to themselves that these things actually work, they hope to marginalize the competition and steal their business.

    So suffice it to say -- eat balanced meals with lots of leafy vegetables and find a good complementary / alternative / integratvie medical specialist or failing that a naturopath will do.

    POSTURE/ERGONOMICS: Even though not the cause of conditions such as fibromyalgia, poor postural habits and uncomfortable machines can further aggrivate and inflame already unhealthy tissues. The changes seem uncomfortable at first, and in fact, I will never be able to sit upright in a stiff chair to watch TV as I was told in physical therapy. However good office ergonomics and remembering even not to reacy books in lap with head bowed will work wonders. Considerng a human head at about 20 pounds places an a surprising amount of stress especially on small, underdeveloped muscles, as wellas ligaments and joints, when bowed at even slight angles, this makes a great deal of sense. And sitting more on one hip or crossing legs will throw body allignment out of whack both below and above. Even a bad pair of shoes or one foot longer than the other can cause every joint and muscle to suffer.

    Which reminds me -- especially for your hip pain -- consult a good chiropractor if have not already done so. I once learned from one that one leg was longer than the other -- untill after a a few weeks of adjustment. Also some early fusion in neck vertebrae. (Many chiropractors also prescribe nutrional supplements but may not be incredibly adept at it.)

    RELAXATION: I think this is all you actually wanted me to address, right? People don't get relaxation, it's not just drinking a beer, going to a movie or watching game with friends. It is about actively de-stressing, more akin to meditation or prayer. Even then, most Americans cannot relate to such concept, and. like my workaholic early-aging prone to illness sister, are oblivious to their own high stress level and offended at the suggestion of it. Stretching before relaxation can help but I seldom go in that order. Many people say relaxation should be done sitting upright to promote not falling asleep, but I tend to do it lying down and in fact many visualizaton techniques prefer lying flat on back.

    There are different form of relaxation: True meditation as praciced in the Far East, takes on a spiritual dimension which is great for getting away from the American corporate rat-race thing. I think prayer can be relaxing as in laying down one's burdens and unleashing guilt -- but does not directly address physiology. Biofeedback does help many people by providing an external measure of muscle tension, cluing a person into where the mind/body are not in sync with regard to pain feedback, and teaching them how to consciously tell muscles to relax and even stuff like hands to warm up, heart to slow down and blood pressure to drop. I can do all of this -- but for me, I learned I could do this before I tried biofeedback. (Traditional biofeedback uses sensors to register the electrical activity in specifically targeted muscles (EMG) - therefore I find it very limiting even though it can lead to relaxed states of mind such as an alpha brain wave. Far better is biofeedback based on the actual brain waves (EEG). This allows a person to directly address what aggrivates much physical and emotional stress, the mental state. Fortunately, affordable EEG biofeedback equipment is coming on the market even for home use.)

    Three more techniques which are entirely interrelated warrant special discussion: self-hypnosis, guided imagery and ody scan (I tend to practice all three simultaneously):

    Self-hypnosis can deal with pain and bring the mind into a neutral state not asleep but devoid of conscious concerns and even unable, for a time, to understand or even recognize human speech -- thus recentering and refreshinga person, relieving muscular stress and resetting pain levels. It is astonishingly easy to learn and practice, and entirely safe so long as one is not driving or doing anything potentially dangerous such as walking where there is traffic. Can be practiced sitting, lying down or walking. involves taking slow, deliberate, deep breaths and leeting them out even slower. Sometimes it helps to count down from 10 or 100, repeating to one's self with each number something like "I am becoming more relaxed, my body is untensing, my mind is at peace." As I recall, I would usually forget to count long before reaching zero. I am not a fan of all thos "positive affirmation" books because I think they are glib -- but still, it is really astounding that if you keep repeating a phrase such as described above or even a single mantra (only the word "relax" will now work for me), the mind and body become trained to automatically respond and obey on a level perhaps neither conscious nor unconscious butu having to do with a connection between the articulation of the words and the intent. Whenever I find relaxation is not working for me, I usually realize it is because, while doing deep breathing and emptying my mind, I have neglected to keep telling myself to "relax." As to the count-down, I still use that when extremely stressed -- but it was very important when learning to do this stuff. I had forgotten till just now how astounding it was to be told and later telling myself, that with each successive lower number, my mind and body would become twice as relaxed -- and to find my mind an body responding as if by magic. Does not work well with dogs, cats, kids, ringing telephones or TV chatter in the background. Have never found it to lead to past life regressions, invoking ghosts or unleashing psychopathic tendencies -- though if done for these purposes, it very well mighteffect perhaps it might -- the power of suggestion is incredibly real -- and the power of focused intent is so real it is almost scary.


    Guided or self-guided imagery is a form of hypnosis / self-hypnosis as well, which takes a metaphorical route to addressing emotional, spiritual and physical problems. The body masks pain, the conscious mind eludes issues, but the unconscious mind and human spirit are ready to assist if we can communicate with them. They communicate with us in terms of symbols and projections of our issues onto others who may or may not share the same actual problems. And the unconscious mind can be coaxed in the same manner to open up to us, show what has been withheld for our own protection until such time as we are ready. The mind and body are not so detached from one another, body parts do store emotions and memories, as can be attested to by individuals breaking into sobs during body image work and even a massage. So relaxing the mind, spirit and body are pretty integral to reduction of pain and fatigue as well as general health.

    The "guided" part can be either a scripted monologue, delivered either live or recorded, or generated spontaneously under self-guided imagery in the form of thoughts and words bubbling up from the unconscious mind. I honestly find those prepared guided imagery exercises trite and condescending -- while what come spontaneously from the unconscious mind never ceases to amaze. (One an even "think" aloud and leave a tape recorder running -- the playback may not be recognizable as being you). Just starting with some basic intents is enough -- finding a safe place whether in the mind, at home or someplace in space and time, and then what issues need to be addressed there. I also have found very useful the suggestion of identifying early on, after an initial countdown, an animal "spirit-guide" as in native Amerian spirituality. (For me this turned out to be my cat Bruno, who has since passed away, but still returns in meditation, making me feel safe and loved.) The animal spirit guide serves as a proxy for the unconscious mind and can speak plainly where the unconsciousness remains unconscious. The journey to the "safe place" is actually a journey beyond the imaginary veil between conscious and unconscious mind, and into the depths where memories, forgotten dreams, thoughts, fears, joys may be surprising and may or may noto be carried back into consciousness later on. And the journey ideally should take some twists and turns, with the spirit animal guide sometimes leading the way, sometimes accompanying, sometimes cautioning to avoid wrong or risky paths. I find it usually works well to "descend" into some terrain, but have likewise found myself ascending on foot, through the air or across subterranean, often brightly-colored bodies of water. It can be pretty sensational how real these environments can become -- but it is fine for them also to be entirely abstract. Sometimes I find myself on a landscape suddenly remembered from a dream, in the actual dream itself, or amidst a map which contains every dream I've ever dreamt -- spooky stuff.

    A variation on this journey is to settle the mind till presented with the images withiin the eyelids and stray sounds and voices which generally come just before sleep. If the conscious intent is to do this while awake, usually a nap will not result. Just allowing the images and voices to morph and echo can really take you someplace new -- and also become startlngly real. (I'm not, by the way, schizophrenic, these are not hallucinations.) Ideally this process will lead one progressively to still internal diaogue and conscious thought, and simply experience without interpreting or even necessarily comprehending what drifts past. If conscious thought or, as often happens to me, intentional manipulation of the sights and sounds, should occur, it's best to not become upset with self, simply accept that it happened, and go on with the involuntary show. Because one is balancing at the margin of conscious thought, it may or may not be possible to address specific concerns when arriving at the "safe" place or even recognize when having arrived there. However, the entire process can accomplish intended goals set out in advance -- and often much more -- though perhaps not understood as such. I find that if I do self-guided imagery, it goes a long way to recharging myself. Only drawback is that it can also take a long time to do so. And I've never been able to feel comfortable doing this at work or anyplace away from home alone. (Actually, that goes for all the relaxation techniques discussed here -- except for while I was studying method acting (which has much in common with guided imagery) in NYC just before the symptons which led to a Fibromyalgia diagnosis.)

    Full- or partial-body scan is much simple and more effective in terms of isolating and addressing speciific physical sensations. (This is what I was referencing with regard to Aneros / anal pleasure.) a full-body scan starts at the top of the skull, and slowly progressed through every muscle group in the body, to the tips of the fingers and toes, where stress and fatigue are metaphorically and perhaps energetically discharged. The trick here is to concentrate ONLY on the part of the body in question -- actively "feel" it and if necessary direct it to give up its physical sensations and even outlook on them. Wait till the body part does so. Dwell on it, telling it to correct whatever discomfort it presents. The body part may resist, may even register less discomfort than before individually addressed, feel entirely numb or else just amorphously unpleasant -- it may require coaxing or be accepted where it is and passed over even for a multple sessions -- but it will eventually speak up. When it does, it is likely to feel worse -- this is not because you are finally paying attention and it is relieved to be heard, but because chronically contracted muscle tissue creates its own circulatory, nerve and waste elimination problems which essentially numb its own pain, so that relaxing the muscles allows the pain to be communicated and perceived.

    The contracted tissue constricts blood vessels and capillaries, starves itself of oxygen, dulls its own nerves and blocks the waste and carbon monoxide it continues to produce from flowing out and being eliminated from the body. In effect, the muscle becomes inflamed, a self-perpetuating spasm. As muscle tissue relaxes, blood flow / oxygen return, waste begins to purge, nerves begin to register pain. This is what one feels the day after a sprain or usually two days after resuming a weight training regime.

    With continued concentration, the sensations reported by the specific muscle group are likely to change, possibly quickly possibly slowly. I think these are necessary changes, though I wish I could report they could be permanent -- they can become less stubborn though. For me the sensations usually progress in a somewhat predictable sequence: numb, sharp sporadic twinges, dull ache, burning, awareness of tension and relaxation, and finally a not-pain-free but much more tolerable state of health. I'd suggest concentrating on a musch group for as long as its sensations are changing or else as long as you have time for, considering each muscle group requires the same patience.

    It bears mentioning that, if you are like me (and I think most FMS sufferers are in this regard) as soon as concentration moves to a new muscle group, the one just relaxed will IMMEDIATELY go back to tensing -- as a result of what amounts to a short-circuit on an autonomic level. I have had some success with "holding" already-relaxed muscle groups present in my mind, kind of like a background process on a computer (such as printer services or internet connection), and thereby accumulate relaxed muscle groups as I go. I have some success with this, but to be honest, it a game of multi-tasking -- I can't just concentrate on "the body already relaxed," but have to continually rescan every muscle group which comprises the starting-to-unrelax-again body. With practice, I have achieved some abilty to do this without thinking, and it results in rather pleasant shimmering cascades of tiny muscle twitches -- like a gooseflesh chill but in a good way, because it's like my muscular system massaging itself.

    Only wish this self-massage (kind of like the super-O maybe?) could be maintained after the body scan is done. Still it's great to be able to unlock the vice grip of some of my headaches, which ultimately involve muscles from all parts of the body -- and as I get older, with the FMS and my recently diagnosed diabetes cause discomfort to more and more areas of the body, relaxing everything is important. Even the anal sphincter. It is good that practice with this exercise allows me to do mini-scans (partial-body) on the fly at work or wherever I am -- important when I find I am not thinking clearly. I can't really relax when not at home -- but simply identifying and visualizing the physical component of the confusion / fatigue / pain helps mind / body / spirit work together.

    I keep thinking there has to be some simple trick or biochemical / genetic switch that can be thown to enable the body to maintain proper muscle tension automatically -- then I recall that such a process is the natural state of the body -- the interruption of which is one major symptom of FMS and many other conditions. And of course, the measured I'm outlining here and certainly many more can help the body restore as much as it can.

    STRETCHING: Stretching and relaxation go hand in hand. So do stretching and relaxation. Sometimes I find I can't make myself stretch till I relax my body. Stretching is essential before exercise and in fact is a great form of exercise in itself. There are times when just stretching is an accomplishment. I finally learned, when I bought a very good book on stretching, entitled "Stretching" (I think), that I had no idea how to stretch muscle -- and in fact was probably spraining them instead. When a stretch is "good," there should be no attempt to extend beyond just inital discomfort -- and once at that point, it should be held 20 to 30 seconds. Upon release, the slacked muscle should generally be felt, but may also reconstrict quickly. Repeating a give stretch several times in a row, with a little rest for the muscle group in between can yield startling limberness. In fact, even if I am lazy and have not stretched in weeks, so that I cannot even touch the floor from an upright position or readh my feet when stretching my legs straight in front of me seated on the floor -- just repeating these and related stretches for a few minutes will enable me to press both palms flat on the floor from an upright position and even touch my forehead to my knees when seated. And better yet, the effect of stretching, if kept up with regularly, is cumulative -- it can really transform a person dealing with pain (something I must remember to remember.)

    (In particular, if you are not already stretching, I think you might get alot of benefit out of some stretching diagrams whic deal particularly with lower back, abductor / adductor musclese, buttocks, thighs and calves.)

    EXERCISE: Also neglected in America (as I am now doing) or when undertaken is overdone or done inappropriately (as I did -- 3+ hours per day lifting weights and cardio training) when diagnosed with Fibromyalgia). All pain / fatigue and general health benefit from gentle exercise -- as little as a vigorous half hour walk three times a week. So hard to get started though when one is feeling tired and achy -- and when exercising can result in profuse sweating, wooziness, nausea and feeling flu-like (for numerous reasons which boil down, in imprecise language, to unleashing toxins trapped in chronically spasmed muscles -- as detailed somewhere above, right?). Anyway, I have found swimming especially beneficial if one can get a free lane not ruled over by a former swim team person. Another big issue there for me is that my body is very quirky with regard to temperature as a result of stored muscle tension. Most swimming pools have water which is not so cold but still throws me into a mild shock still severe enough to dissaude me from swimming on many days even after getting to the Y and putting on a swim suit. I think maybe home exercise makes more sense when it comes to chronic pain / fatigue -- because just getting ot a gym can be such an ordeal and one may not feel up to exercising upon arriving. Being able to take advantage of a bit of energy -- and jump on a treadmill or Bowflex -- can yield, over time, increasing benefits in terms of reduced pain and increased energy. (Only I have both of those devices in a bedroom which is really a home gym with a bed, and yet they are seldom used -- something I have to work on.)

    Wow, there is so much to say about pain and pain management! It really sucks that it takes so much effort and requires so much faith to put this stuff into action. That's why they have formal "Pain Management" therapy for both inpatients and outpatients, lasting a number of weeks, during which to urge, insisted, demand, even humiliate if it will result in a person strengthining small weak muscles and loosening all.

    Please do let me know if I have missed the point of your question or if I've elicited others. I am by no means an expert on this stuff, but I have been exposeod to most of the available mainstream and alternative treatments and therapies, and can provide my opinion of all.

    Hmm ... there is one more thing ... while nothing about chronic pain / fatigue seems positive, in fact one does get something positive: I think chronic suffering -- particularly when one looks totally normal and is disbelieved by even those who are closest regarding the level or even existence of discomfort -- makes a person more serious about life and deliberate in progressing towards goals, more judicious in paring down the daily to-do list to only what has to get done -- can deepen a person, make them more contemplative, better able to empathize with persons in any state of distress. (I recall a good friend of mine who woudl get so irritated back in the early 1990s when I often said I had to leave a store or theatre and go home -- he just could not relate to pain / fatigue and loved to say "It's all in your head." Not that I wished it on him, but by the late 1990s, this guy was having major problems of his own -- frequently finding himself breathless, made headachy, nauseous and weak by common scents (like the soap isle in a supermarked or the smell fo somebody's just-washed skin, and ultimately had to stay home for years in a room with an ozone generator. He was diagnosed with an overload of accumulated environmental toxins in a syndrome known as "Multiple Chemical Sensitivities." This friend eventually moved away to find a more suitable environment and climate (it's very humid and fungus-filled here in the south). But I recall that before he moved, he had become much less critical of everybody and everything.)

    One last thing good about chronic pain / fatigue -- they make one grateful for small intervals of time with nothing to fill them -- when they can just close their eyes, breathe deeply and hibernate. My doctor, like all doctors, always keeps me waiting, saying "Sorry, I was playing catch-up." I just smile with my hands folded on my stomach and say, "No problem, I was just practicing to be a ghost." Nothing I love better that closing my eyes. Thank God for eyelids!

    (Sorry I wrote a whole book! Yikes, this is 6,545 words!)

    -- Tom
  • darwindarwin
    Posts: 1,193
    ok m-m, i think you get the award for longest individual post ever.

    thanks much. i'll digest it slowly and get back then.

    darwin
  • Man's Man
    Posts: 23
    ... Is it a monetary award ... for the longest post ever?

    Okay, anyway, my physician, who is a buddy and with whom I often shoot the bull via email, sent me some information the night after I sent you my mega-post. There are two new treatments for fibromyalgia which are very promising:

    -- Google "low dose naltroxen" Can also add "CFS" or "fibromyalgia." Naltroxen evidnetly has been around since the mid-1980s, originally intended to help heroin addicts kick the habit. Only it has been discovered that the same opiate-receptor-binding ability of this drug which helps addicts also can evidently dramatically reduce pain and fatigue due to a host of conditions -- fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, HIV, cancer, et cetera. The dose is 3 mg per night. Have your wife ask your doctor.

    -- Hyperbaric Oxegen Treatment (HBO) -- lower pressures of what caused early deep sea divers and the construction workers of the Brooklyn Bridge get the bends seems to be of help to the same population afflicted by the conditoins mentioned above. This makes a great deal of sense considering mucle tension alone drastically constricts vessels and capilaries. From what I've read, HBo entails a home oxygen kit, but not of the same nature as we see elders running aroudn town with.

    I haven't started either of these treatments but will be soon. Will be glad to update you if you wish. My doctor tells me there are othre treatmetns coming down the pipeline soon -- so do not despair.