by Sue Kira, Naturopath & Clinical Nutritionist
Client name and identifying information changed
Michelle first came to me when I used to do massage, along with naturopathy, as she wanted relief from her long-term fibromyalgia pains. She had so much pain that she needed morphine plus ‘normal painkillers’ along with various nutritional supplements to help her go to the toilet, due to the side effects of the medication.
The pharmaceutical drugs had a huge impact on her liver which created more problems, but she felt she had nowhere to go with it because if she reduced her medication the pain was unbearable.
When I massaged her I could feel her lymphatic system was very congested. Even though she said the massage felt good at the time, afterwards her pain intensified for a few days which necessitated even more pain relief. I suggested to stop the massage for a while and focus on her diet and lifestyle to see what could be done.
Fortunately, she was prepared to do almost anything to feel better so compliance was great. First it was important to ensure all organs of elimination were functioning well to help clear the build-up of toxins.
I prescribed large doses of magnesium to help her go to the toilet without the use of laxatives, which helped to reduce the intensity of the pain. Magnesium is hydrophilic, meaning that it attracts water to itself, which hydrates the bowel.
We also included simple things to reduce the toxic burden on her body. We arranged to filter her water from chlorine, fluoride and bromides, including her shower and bath water. Her pool and spa water was changed to an ozone system to purify, instead of add toxins. Magnesium was included with the pool and spa water to help relax her muscles, joints and connective tissue.
We abolished all chemical personal care products, including her toothpaste and favourite perfume and changed them over to natural chemical free products.
These things alone were significant as she started to detoxify immediately, albeit with increased pain initially. After settling, her pain levels reduced from 9/10 to 7/10. She was still on existing medication at this stage.
We then tackled her diet to remove all grains, sugar, caffeine and alcohol. She thought a glass of red wine a night made her feel better, but it was only temporary. We also removed dairy products and certain fruits such as bananas which can be mucus forming for some people.
Vegetables from the nightshade family, which can be damp and form congestion, were also removed. These included eggplant (aubergines), tomatoes, chilli, capsicum (peppers) and potatoes. This meant eliminating her favourite comfort food, hot potato chips.
But it was more important for Michelle to feel comfortable rather than ‘eat comfort’.
Basically, she ate fish, chicken and plenty of appropriate vegetables and fruits and drank lots of purified water. She initially found the diet boring until I showed her how to use herbs and spices to liven up meals, then she was happy.
She also loved the comfort of chocolate, so I shared some raw cacao delights recipes with her, but only as a once-a-week treat because they contained a little sugar from rice malt or maple syrup. Chocolate is also high in oxalic acid which Michelle needed to avoid to reduce her pain levels.
These changes were gradual because with each change she would further detox which temporarily resulted in increased pain, headaches and tiredness which she initially put down to a lack of caffeine and simple carbs. However these symptoms cleared quickly and she had more energy than she could remember.
Michelle gradually cut back her meds to half dose and her pain dropped to 5/10. She had not had this low level of pain for 20 years.
As she felt better, we next looked at movement, because she really needed to get her lymphatic system moving to clear the rest of the stagnation from her body. She was reluctant as exercise brought on lactic acid pains, but I asked her to be gentle and start with a short walk around her house each day for two weeks.
At her next appointment, she was then walking the block and feeling much better. We recommenced massage therapy to help move the accumulated lymphatic waste. Later she introduced social dancing and swimming in the ocean and longer walks.