Other Mind-Body Techniques

Some of the practices we've discussed so far are more formal and may require assistance from a trained practitioner or some research and training by you, the patient. But there are numerous habits and practices that you can incorporate into your daily routine that bolster your mind's power over your body. Francine, for example, has learned to think beyond her pain and to separate her pain from her life.

Francine said she decided early on that she was going to fight fibromyalgia with all her strength and that she would refuse to let it destroy her life. Bolstered by her faith, family, and friends, Francine learned to separate her pain from what else she was doing, which was always more important than any pain she was feeling.

Whether she is busy at her job as a model or talking to people about fibromyalgia, Francine says she tells herself that she is not her pain, but a valuable human being with something to offer the world.

As Francine demonstrates, the way you think can make a world of difference in how you feel. But certain practices can help you reshape your thoughts. Done correctly and regularly, they can relieve your symptoms and improve overall well-being. Although they will not cure you of fibromyalgia, they can help you feel better for the moment. Here are a few of the practices you might consider trying:

  • Affirmations — Similar to positive self-talk, affirmations repeated over and over again can help you shift into a more positive frame of mind.

  • Deep breathing — Taking deep abdominal breaths over and over makes it almost impossible for your muscles to tense up. So get in the habit of doing that, no matter where you are or what you're doing.

  • Relaxation tapes — These tapes, readily available in bookstores and music stores, use music, nature sounds, and soothing voices to help you relax.

  • Walking meditation — For those people who have difficulty sitting still, walking while meditating can sometimes be an alternative. While you stroll, focus on your breath, or imagine a place you'd like to be.

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