Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain LIFE Summer 2013, Issue 9 - Page 22

Can You Manage Your Pain? by Becky Curtis Cherie Moss has been where many fibromyalgia patients are—living each day focused on their pain and hoping for a cure. Inf lammation is a considered to be a major ag gravation to fibromyalgia, and triggers are linked to certain foods, caffeine, insufficient sleep, lack of exercise, and many more environmental factors. W hat isn’t as well documented is the role stress and negative thought patterns have on pain. Medical researchers agree that negative thoughts—anger, resentment, fear—cause muscle tension, which is at the root of chronic pain for many people. It’s not a giant leap to realize positive thoughts can reduce our pain. This is great news for the fibromyalgia patient! The bad news? Adding another thing to do or remember can be difficult for perfectly healthy people. The DIY process of making lifestyle changes can completely overwhelm someone with debilitating pain. 22  Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Lifestyle transformation takes deliberate effort, accountability, and support. Since it takes courage and motivation to even consider making changes, doing it alone seems impossible. What do baseball players do when they struggle with a batting stance? How do executives move to the next level, identify and achieve new goals? They find a coach who understands their specific challenge. Coaching is recognized as the best method to help people get what they want and do what they know is best for themselves. Wellness coaches work with clients who want to improve fitness or lose weight, but not until recently has this tool been applied to the problem of chronic pain. The challenge is finding a coach who understands pain. Let’s face it, those of us who hurt are a difficult bunch to interact with. We want a cure, a quick fix, and we can be at the end of our rope— moody, depressed, and skeptical. Cherie knows these dilemmas, but she’s found a lasting solution for reducing and controlling her pain. She’s part of a pilot study with impressive results: 70% of those coached to manage their Life Summer 2013