Are you in an abusive relationship with a narcissist and feel exhausted most of the time, or perhaps you’ve developed physical symptoms such as joint pain, headaches or Irritable Bowel Syndrome? You may have a condition known as fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia is a commonly misunderstood and sometimes misdiagnosed chronic condition, generally characterized by symptoms including widespread muscle and joint pain, headaches and migraines, restless legs syndrome, incapacitating fatigue, lack of focus (brain fog), Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), depression, social isolation, and sleep problems.
Fibromyalgia also causes symptoms similar to osteoarthritis, bursitis, and tendinitis, which explains why it’s often categorized as an arthritis-related condition. While this condition affects mostly women, men can suffer from it, as well.
Even though it was originally believed that fibromyalgia symptoms were the result of an injury that affects the head and neck, traumatic triggers of fibromyalgia can be much more widespread. “Any type of trauma or stressful event, such as being deployed to war or other distressing events can trigger fibromyalgia, and most of them are not associated with any trauma to the spine,” clarifies rheumatologist Daniel Clauw, MD, a professor of medicine and director of the Chronic Pain & Fatigue Research Center in the anesthesiology department at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
In some studies, researchers have found that abuse is associated with higher rates of chronic fatigue syndrome, chemical sensitivities, and fibromyalgia. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), long-term chronic stress leads to changes in various hormones and neurotransmitters, resulting in numerous manifestations of fibromyalgia such as pain and fatigue.
Emotional triggers that are correlated with fibromyalgia include:
Fibromyalgia is also one of the symptoms of Narcissistic Abuse Syndrome. However, while the current medical research does link abuse to fibromyalgia, there are also other causes for fibromyalgia including genetics and certain viruses such as Hepatitis and HIV.
How to Alleviate Your Fibromyalgia Symptoms
Long-term and severe abuse changes your body. It goes without saying that staying with an abusive, narcissistic partner will lead to your symptoms becoming worse. However, the chance remains that even if you leave the abuser, these symptoms may never go away entirely. It depends on other factors such as diet and lifestyle.
On the other hand, reducing the stress in your life by leaving your abusive partner and incorporating a holistic self-care plan can significantly improve or completely eradicate any physical symptoms.
In reality, Fibromyalgia is not a ‘disease’ at all. It is a “symptom” — an outward “signal” — of a damaged inner environment that is simply too polluted and toxic. A compromised, toxic inner environment is a breeding ground for all kinds of “problems” to flourish. It is the direct result of a breakdown inside your body.
Simply put, stress hormones collect in the weakest parts of the body and start tearing the body’s processes down. Just as we have mental breakdowns as a result of emotional abuse, fibromyalgia is the body’s equivalent of a “body breakdown” due to long-term stress, abuse, and PTSD.
The good news is that the body is designed to heal itself—provided it has what it needs to do its job. Instead of using medications which only mask the symptoms, consider healthy and holistic alternatives to treat the cause. Following are five ways you can begin healing your body naturally without doing damage to your organs, which is a known side-effect of prescription medications:
1 – Leave your toxic partner. The greatest way out of this is to get back into your natural state of health… by “cleansing” yourself from the inside, allowing your body to get rid of the stress hormones that are taxing your cells so they can start functioning properly again.
You see, every time you are betrayed, lied to, abused, or devalued, your immune system is triggered and it immediately starts fighting. Your body can restore every wound, diseased organ or damaged cell that it needs to – but it cannot do that if you keep subjecting it to the overwhelming stress of narcissistic abuse — your body simply can’t keep up!
2 – Eat clean. What we put in our bodies has a huge effect on our internal health. Try to eat organic, non-GMO foods as often as possible. Steer clear of sugar, products made with white flour, colas, vegetable and canola oils, cigarettes, alcohol, pesticides (which are not only harmful to us, but contribute to the declining bee population), and preservatives.
It’s possible that you could heal most or all of your Fibromyalgia symptoms by changing your diet alone.
You don’t have to change all at once. Incorporate organic foods into your shopping list and find healthy alternatives to your favorite foods which may be unhealthy. If worse comes to worst, though, if it means the difference between eating a double-death chocolate ice-cream sundae and breaking No Contact, go with the lesser of two evils…the sundae, of course.
3 – Make the switch to organic personal care items. Most people don’t realize it, but they apply a large amount of toxic chemicals to their bodies every day even before leaving for work.
In fact, the average woman uses 12 products, containing 168 different ingredients, every single day!
Most personal care products available to you contain toxic ingredients like phthalates and parabens, which cause hormonal imbalances, reproductive health problems, and even cancer. Instead of being good for your skin, these chemicals will upset your skin and overall physical health.
There’s so much focus on diet and what we eat that we sometimes forget to look at what we put onto our bodies. But our shower gels, lotions, shampoos, cosmetics and dental care products contain countless chemicals that are just as harmful.
According to Dr. Mercola, putting toxic ingredients on your skin or scalp may actually be worse than eating them. When you eat, your digestive system breaks down what’s ingested and flushes it out of the body. However, chemicals applied to the skin are absorbed into the bloodstream without any filtering and enter your organs. Just imagine what the cumulative effects of long-term use may do.
With most of these product ingredients linked to cancers, allergies, neurological disorders and reproductive problems, it’s really time to start reading labels on everything you buy. You can simplify your personal care regimen by shopping at places like Mountain Rose Herbs. All of their products are completely natural, so you don’t have to fret with analyzing labels.
4 – Essential Oils for Fibromyalgia. Copaiba oil has been shown to reduce pain and eliminate inflammation. It is a wonderful analgesic and has been used in this capacity for generations. When topically applied, the oil can help to reduce pain and loosen muscles, eliminating pain in joints, and even easing the discomfort of headaches and migraines often associated with fibromyalgia.
Helichrysum oil has been shown to decrease muscle pain, improve circulation and support healing of nerve tissue which makes it an effective natural treatment for symptoms of fibromyalgia.
Lavender oil is also excellent to reduce the emotional stress associated with fibromyalgia and making a homemade muscle rub can help reduce pain.
(If you have sensitive skin, you’ll want to blend essential oils with a carrier oil such as jojoba or coconut oil).
5 – Emotional Counseling. If you have symptoms of fibromyalgia related to the emotional trauma of narcissistic abuse, counseling can greatly improve recovery. Be sure to also include relaxing activities in your schedule to increase healing.
Copyright © 2016 by Kim Saeed and Let Me Reach
 What Is Fibromyalgia? (n.d.). Retrieved July 27, 2016, from http://www.webmd.com/fibromyalgia/guide/what-is-fibromyalgia
 Vann, M., MPH. (n.d.). Can Trauma Cause Fibromyalgia? Retrieved July 22, 2016, from http://www.everydayhealth.com/fibromyalgia/can-trauma-cause-fibromyalgia.aspx
 Gupta, A., & Silman, A. J. (2004). Psychological stress and fibromyalgia: A review of the evidence suggesting a neuroendocrine link. Retrieved July 23, 2016, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC416451/
Kim Saeed is a recognized relationship and new life educator specializing in helping narcissistic abuse survivors to heal, rebuild, find purpose, and live joyfully after No Contact. In 2013, she founded Let Me Reach, a life transformation company that teaches people to flourish after toxic relationships.