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Yoga for Chronic Fatigue: A Book Review

It isn’t a secret that I adore yoga and meditation as tools for managing the chronic fatigue and pain associated with fibromyalgia.

I read and reviewed Kayla’s first book Yoga for Chronic Pain and loved it, so I was super excited to read her second book Yoga for Chronic Fatigue.

Yoga for chronic fatigue book review

In the first part Kuran explains chronic fatigue, the part the central nervous system is theorized to play and how the parasympathetic nervous system can help:

“When the parasympathetic nervous system is activated, you’ll notice
that:

Digestion improves

Your muscles relax

Your heart rate slows down

You can breathe deeper” part one understanding chronic fatigue syndrome

Interestingly after years practicing my meditation and yoga I have noticed all of these benefits in my daily life – particularly improved digestion and relaxed muscles.

In part three, The Yogic View of Chronic Fatigue, we are introduced to Ayurveda and yoga’s holistic view of health.

Kuran explains complex ideas with clean, concise language such as the theory of the central nervous system’s part in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and yogic components such as Ayurveda.

Step three goes through mindfulness as a tool for healing. (Which I am super passionate about!)

Step four discusses using the breath as an energy source, “Pranayama can increase your fitness and energy levels – without getting out of bed!”

Step five is the actual yoga! Kuran provides a more active routine, a gentle restorative routine and discusses yoga Nidra.

“Like other forms of meditation, yoga Nidra helps release serotonin and decrease cortisol which lowers your stress response.” I adore yoga Nidra and it’s a vital part of my coping when I’m tired, especially when I have tiny babies and am not sleeping much at night – so I always enjoy learning more about it.

I loved the suggestion that even in a flare up we can do yoga. Practicing yoga doesn’t mean a big routine or even physical movement – Kuran points out that even visualizing yourself doing yoga poses can be useful. A breathing practice while lying in bed is sufficient. This makes yoga such a useful tool for those fighting chronic fatigue – its adaptability.

If you enact the action points suggested at the end of each step you will be a long way toward a holistic healing process.

I highly recommend this book and yoga if you struggle with chronic fatigue.

Get your reading on

Purchase your copy from Amazon here. (Affiliate link: Please note that if you make a purchase using my link, I will make a small commission at no extra cost to you).

If you love reading like me try Amazon Kindle Unlimited Membership – you can try your first month free and access unlimited reading or listening on any device! They now have magazines too! It’s also available for those of us who use Amazon.com.au *squee*.

If audio books are more your speed, as they are for me with three little ones, you know you can get a free trial of Audible on Amazon here. I’ve recently started reading a lot more audio books as the hands free option is far easier to access with the wee ones. You will get access to two audio books, plus two Audible Originals, and other cool membership options for 30 days. Cancel anytime if you don’t want the full subscription.

Yoga for chronic fatigue

See my review of Kayla’s first book!

Join us for this special course to utilise mindfulness and meditation in your journey.

Mindfulness for the chronic life

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The Best Books I’ve Read About Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

It’s no secret that I’m a reader if you’ve been reading my blog or following my Pinterest for any amount of time. As I gear up for a third baby and delivery and get through a third pregnancy, here’s the books I’ve been loving.

Best Books I've Read about Pregnancy and Breastfeeding - they probably aren't what you expect

Some of these links are affiliate links – if you make a purchase using my link I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you. 

Expecting Better by Emily Oster

Someone in my birth month forum on Baby Centre mentioned this and I’m so glad they did. I adored the fact that Oster has done the research for me so I can consume the data and make my decisions about everything from sleeping position, to deli meat and epidurals.  You can see my full review on this book here.

Bringing up Bebe: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting by Pamela Druckerman

Curious after a quote I read from this book in a blog post, I ordered this book from the library. The insights into another culture’s parenting is amazing. I actually found some sleep tidbits that resonated with me such as “the pause” – where you give baby five minutes to see if they are actually waking or just transitioning sleep cycles. I liked the writing and the content.

The Mama Natural Week by Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth by Genevieve Howland

This was a very pretty week by week guide from Mama Natural packed full of tips and tricks for getting through pregnancy and birth with plenty of data so you can make your own decisions.

Mindful Hypnobirthing: Hypnosis and Mindfulness Techniques for a Calm and Confident Birth by Sophie Fletcher

Meditation has made a huge difference to everyday life so why shouldn’t I employ the principles into labour? Research suggests that there are benefits to mother and baby from meditation! I like their affirmations so much that I created myself some pretty pictures with them written on for use during labour.

Other posts about pregnancy and parenting:

Fibromyalgia Pregnancy: Items on My Baby Registry
Pumping or Expressing for Your Baby: Parenting (Fibromyalgia or Not)
Early Pregnancy Symptoms and Fibromyalgia (2018 Edition)

A Simple Guide to the Hard Parts of Birth by Lindsey A. Van Alstyne from Mother Rising

This is a free ebook that you receive when signing up to this blog’s newsletter. It is a great, compact, not airy fairy guide to labour – the best I’ve read yet. I wholly recommend this.

Breastfeeding Made Simple: Seven Natural Laws for Nursing Mothers by Nancy Mohrbacher and Kathleen Kendall-Tackett

This book really promotes laid back feeding as a way for mama to get more rest and help baby learn to latch well. It goes through the science of nursing and baby biology which I enjoyed. The best piece of learning – use those first two weeks to set up your supply, more milk out equals more milk made. I will really work on getting 8-12 feeds per 24 hours.

How to Succeed in Breastfeeding Without Really Trying, or 10 Steps to Laugh Your Way Through by Natasha Shur and Paulina Shur

If you want a light-hearted breastfeeding book, this is it. But don’t think it isn’t well backed by scientific knowledge. My number one take away is that postpartum women are the most undertreated of the medical world, ask for the pain relief if you need it. Labour is rough on your body. Pain relief is more likely to support than hinder lactation.

Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia by Melissa Reynolds (that’s me!)

If you want a book specifically about pregnancy with fibromyalgia you might like my book Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia- its my research and experience, including the results of two informal surveys I took with advice from other mamas fighting fibromyalgia while pregnant.

If you love reading like me try Amazon Kindle Unlimited Membership – you can try your first month free and access unlimited reading or listening on any device! They now have magazines too! It’s also available for those of us who use Amazon.com.au *squee*.

If audio books are more your speed, as they are for me with three little ones, you know you can get a free trial of Audible on Amazon here. I’ve recently started reading a lot more audio books as the hands free option is far easier to access with the wee ones. You will get access to two audio books, plus two Audible Originals, and other cool membership options for 30 days. Cancel anytime if you don’t want the full subscription.

If you want to know more about Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia:

Come and see my resources page, including diaries from my pregnancies (I’ve done this three times), articles, resources and more.

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Expecting Better: Debunking Pregnancy Myths by Emily Oster- A Book Review

As a third time mama there are still things I need to learn and am curious about. I am still reading up on pregnancy, labour and newborns.

Affiliate notice please note that some of my links are affiliate links, if you make a purchase using one of these links I may make a small commission at no cost to you. 

Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom is Wrong- and what you really need to know by Emily Oster is my current favourite pregnancy book.

my favourite pregnancy book as a third time mama
Synopsis

Pregnancy—unquestionably one of the most pro­found, meaningful experiences of adulthood—can reduce otherwise intelligent women to, well, babies. We’re told to avoid cold cuts, sushi, alcohol, and coffee, but aren’t told why these are forbidden. Rules for prenatal testing are hard and fast—and unexplained. Are these recommendations even correct? Are all of them right for every mom-to-be? In Expecting Better, award-winning economist Emily Oster proves that pregnancy rules are often misguided and sometimes flat-out wrong.

 

A mom-to-be herself, Oster debunks the myths of pregnancy using her particular mode of critical thinking: economics, the study of how we get what we want. Oster knows that the value of anything—a home, an amniocentesis—is in the eyes of the informed beholder, and like any compli­cated endeavor, pregnancy is not a one-size-fits-all affair. And yet medicine often treats it as such. Are doctors working from bad data? Are well-meaning friends and family perpetuating false myths and raising unfounded concerns? Oster’s answer is yes, and often.

“Ive always been someone for whom knowing the data, knowing the evidence, is exactly what I need to chill out. It makes me feel comfortable and confident that I’m making rhe right choices.” Pxxi

I wholly agree with Oster. There were several things in this book that immediately made me feel much more comfortable. The coffee abstaining recommendation? Nonsense. Switching to decaf, no help at all. Up to three or four cups a day, according to well constructed research is absolutely fine.

She also discusses the research around medicine use in pregnancy. It was really helpful. In fact, it enabled me to feel comfortable with allowing myself to take something to help with the symphysis pubis disorder pain. She explained the rigorous process that occurs for a medicine to be categorised at B – therefore B is likely safe. She still gives us the information, happy for us to make our own choice.

It suits my personality to look into the research, including assessing the quality of the research. I love this. But as a currently pregnant woman with a job, two small children and a chronic illness, I really appreciated that she had done the work for me.

That is what I aim to do in my writing on this blog and in my books and courses. I collate the information and give my personal experience so you can make your decisions. So you can see how a book like this would appeal.

More posts you might like

This book was thoroughly researched and the writing was simultaneously clear and yet personal. Oster wondered and worried about these things too. From deli meats, to sleep position and epidurals – this book covers the major worries.

I wholly recommend this book to all women, pregnant or trying to conceive. Or even just those who are curious!

Get your copy here!

PS: Are you currently pregnant? Do you have a baby registry yet? I created mine through Amazon – a cloud based registry ensures you aren’t stuck to one shop in one location. I have managed to find products on Amazon that I just can’t get here in New Zealand, it has the best selection and discounts. You can create yours here. I shared what is on my registry in this post.

PPS. Did you know you can get a free trial of Audible on Amazon here. I’ve recently started reading a lot more audio books as the hands free option is far easier to access with the wee ones. You will get access to two audio books, plus two Audible Originals, and other cool membership options for 30 days. Cancel anytime if you don’t want the full subscription.


For more information about pregnancy with Fibromyalgia

Pregnancy with Fibromyalgia free miro courseSee the first video here with the link to the free workbook with all of the further reading links.

Learn more about the full Pregnancy and Fibromyalgia course here.

 

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The Pain Companion: Everyday Wisdom for Living with and Moving Beyond Chronic Pain by Sarah Anne Shockley

Recently I was lucky enough to be given a chance to read and review Sarah Anne Shockley’s book The Pain Companion: Everyday Wisdom for Living with and Moving Beyond Chronic Pain.

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Please note that some of my links may be affiliate links, if you make a purchase using one of these links I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Synopsis of The Pain Companion

The Pain Companion cover image

In the twenty-first century, one might wish that pain were an easily treatable nonissue. It is not. Millions of doctor and emergency room visits stem from pain, and addiction to pain medications, rampant in the United States, often takes root in an attempt to manage unremitting discomfort. 

In The Pain Companion: Everyday Wisdom for Living With and Moving Beyond Chronic Pain (New World Library, June 12, 2018), author Sarah Anne Shockley, who has personally lived with chronic pain since 2007, offers fellow pain sufferers a compassionate and supportive guide for living with pain that can be used alongside their ongoing medical or therapeutic healing programs

“I cannot know your personal suffering, of course; only you can,” writes Sarah. “But I do understand the experience of being in significant and relentless pain for long periods of time, and I understand the fear, sadness, and frustration associated with long-term physical debilitation. So I can say that this book has been written from inside of pain, a perspective on the experience and the healing of pain that we are seldom offered.”

Further reading you might like:

For more about meditation and Fibromyalgia see my post about it here.

My Review of The Pain Companion

In this sensitive, beautiful book Sarah Anne Shockley explores what it means to live with chronic pain and how she manages it using meditative approaches.

The book is divided into parts: The pain moves in, the emotional life of chronic pain, meditative approaches to physical pain and when pain is a teacher.

Shockley defines chronic pain early in the book: “Chronic pain is a very complex condition involving much more than just the physical symptoms of the body. It includes emotional and psychological aspects as well, due to the incredible stresses of living with pain on a daily basis, and the ramifications of basically losing one’s life to pain.” P18

The Pain Companion book review by Melissa vs FibromyalgiaAnd she hits the nail on the head. The emotional and psychological aspects are just as important to address as the physiological ones.

Shockley explains how she came to understand this and how it ultimately helped her cope with the pain: “This practice of extending understanding and compassion to myself was more than just a psychological wellness exercise. It was a crucial interior movement that created space for real healing and unexpectedly began to relieve my physical pain as well.” P22

In part three Shockley talks of meditative approaches and not fighting the body and the pain so hard (extending understanding and compassion to herself and the pain). She explains how she began to listen to the pain, to see what it was trying to tell her. And in doing so she reduced the intensity.

We need to ask ourselves: What is this pain trying to tell us? What is its origin?

We are given 12 meditative exercises to work through starting with the breath. Now I have been a meditator for several years now but I still find visualisation and the idea of talking to my pain difficult. However, there are many exercises here that are excellent gateway approaches, especially the noticing the breath and learning to relax this way.

Usually I devour books, but this one I savoured. I read it in sections and really absorbed what she was saying. This is not a guidepost for curing chronic pain, or even how to overcome it, but more about how one woman managed to coexist with it in a way that ultimately reduced her suffering.

If you want to see an interview with the author about this book, see here.

You can get your copy of The Pain Companion here.


For more information:

Come and join my free You vs Fibromyalgia micro course.

https://youtu.be/CHNH7glJFI8

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Win A Copy of Melissa vs Fibromyalgia Book!

Would you like your own digital copy of Melissa vs Fibromyalgia: My Journey Fighting Chronic Pain, Chronic Fatigue and Insomnia? You can enter to win below!

Affiliate note: Please note that some of my links are affiliate links and I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you. 

melissa vs fibro new cover

Synopsis Melissa vs Fibromyalgia Book

Are you struggling with Fibromyalgia/chronic pain/chronic fatigue and insomnia? Melissa shares the ways she fights these symptoms and her journey from miserable to thriving despite Fibromyalgia.

Melissa Reynolds has fought Fibromyalgia since she was 14 years old. Only, she didn’t receive a name for her invisible opponent until she was in her 20s. Unfortunately, the name of the illness did not come with help.

However, she took matters into her own hands and in seven years, she went from miserable and barely coping with life to thriving.

Using a combination of research and personal trial and error, she has managed to bring her pain and fatigue levels down and minimise the effects of the debilitating brain fog by using everything she has written about on her blog MelissavsFibromyalgia.com.

With a passion for research, health and wellness, Melissa combines her findings (both research and anecdotal evidence) with personal experience and hopes that sharing this knowledge will make even one life a bit easier.

“I wish this book had been around when I first got diagnosed.” Deb, a Fibro Fighter

“This book is a very interesting read. It is packed full of information that is easy to understand and apply. The book reads quickly and doesn’t weigh you down with heavy text. Melissa is a brilliant writer and I enjoy her work. I recommend her book if you have fibromyalgia or know someone who does.” – Jessie

“Another fine book by Melissa Reynolds. I like that every chapter is stand alone. You can start anywhere and go anywhere. You can read from back to front if you want.” – Danny van Leeuwen, Opa, RN, MPH, CPHQ, http://www.health-hats.com 

You can enter the draw for your own digital copy here: 

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Redesigned MvF

Posts you might like

9 Inexpensive Items I Use to Fight Fibromyalgia

Why I’m Treating the Fibromyalgia as Naturally as Possible

My Daily Log, Why I Track Fibromyalgia Symptoms

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6 Books for those with Chronic Illness and a Giveaway!

Are you ready to spring clean your healthy habits in 2018?

We’ve compiled a list of books perfect for people living with chronic illness who want to make impactful changes to their health and life.

6 Books about Chronic Illness and a Giveaway!

Enter to WIN 6 BOOKS!

If you would like a chance to win all of these books, then head on over to the giveaway page!

The books are:

Affiliate notice: Please note that some of my links are affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may make a commission at no extra cost to you.

yoga for chronic pain coverYoga for Chronic Pain: 7 Steps to Aid Recovery From Fibromyalgia Through Yoga by: Kayla Kurin – In this book Kayla tells us how she utilises the benefits of yoga for chronic pain. See my review here!

Thriving in the Workplace with Autoimmune Disease: Know Your Rights, Resolve Conflict, and Reduce Stress by: Holly Bertone – “This is the first book ever to educate individuals specifically with autoimmune disease on their legal and disability rights in the workplace.”

Melissa vs. Fibromyalgia: My Journey Fighting Chronic Pain, CMelissa vs Fibromyalgia book coverhronic Fatigue, and Insomnia by: Melissa Reynolds – This is my book! This is where I share everything I have researched, learnt and do to fight Fibromyalgia.

Radical Health: Insightful, Humorous, Compelling by: James Lilley – “This book will help you get from simply surviving to thriving in easy to understand steps.”

The Complete Guide to Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis: A Road Map to Long-Term Healing by: Alexa Fredrico – “There is no clearly defined path that newly diagnosed people should follow and therein lies the author’s motivation for this book.” Alexa is another chronic illness blogger who found a disappointing lack of whole-person health-focused information for her illness and so created it!


If you love reading you can try Amazon Kindle Unlimited! Just sign up here Kindle Unlimited Membership Plans. Amazon Kindle Unlimited gives you unlimited reading (say what?), unlimited listening to their audiobooks.


The Easy Anti-Inflammatory Diet: Fast and Simple Recipes for the 15 Best Anti-Inflammatory Foods (HARDCOPY) by: Karen Frazier – “Chronic inflammation has been linked to just about every health concern out there, and research indicates that certain foods are the root cause. But with the plethora of information available on the Internet, it can be difficult to know exactly which foods an anti inflammatory diet consists of—and moreover, how to easily incorporate it into your daily life.”

If you would like a chance to win all of these books, then head on over to the giveaway page!

Sharing is caring, please feel free to share this post so that your friends can have a chance to enter too!


For more information

sign up to newsletter

To purchase your own copy of my book

Melissa vs Fibromyalgia book cover

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Yoga for Chronic Pain by Kayla Kurin Book Review

“Yoga and meditation led me to a new way of thinking about my body and about what the worlds ‘illness’ and ‘health’ mean. It gave me the tools I needed to manage my pain and fatigue, and live a full life, even when I wasn’t feeling my best. Eventually, it led to my full recovery.” – Kayla Kuran, Yoga for Chronic Pain: 7 Steps to Aid Recovery from Fibromyalgia with Yoga.
If you’ve been following my work for any amount of time you’ll know I’m obsessed with yoga and meditation.
Yoga is a multi use tool for strength and pain management. Meditation is my favourite tool for deep rest and pain relief and has decreased my funky fight or flight response.
Yoga for Chronic Pain Book Review image
Affiliate notice: Please note that some of my links are affiliate links, if you make a purchase, I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you.
As soon as I heard about Kayla Kuran’s book Yoga for Chronic Pain: 7 Steps to Aid Recovery from Fibromyalgia with Yoga, I was like “Me! Me! Pick me!” And Kayla kindly sent me a copy.
The book begins with Kayla’s journey and how yoga helped her on her journey to wellness.

 If you love reading you can try Amazon Kindle Unlimited! Just sign up here Kindle Unlimited Membership Plans. Amazon Kindle Unlimited gives you unlimited reading (say what?), unlimited listening to their audiobooks.

Step one invites you to learn about your pain.
Here we learn the difference between acute and chronic pain and how chronic pain affects the autonomic nervous system.
There’s a good action point here – start a journal and track your symptoms and what the context was to catch the patterns.
Step two delves into the science of yoga.
Here we learn about the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda and how it helped Kayla on her journey. Ayurveda provides a more individualized answer for us and is holistic in nature.
Step three is all about taming the mind through mindfulness.
Here I found the answer as to why meditating instead of attempting to nap (and getting frustrated about being unable to) – because I’m focusing on what I can control (practicing meditation) and not on what I can’t (sleep). The frustration is secondary and controllable. The sleep is primary and not in my control.
Kayla provides five ways to use meditation. And encourages us to set a mindful goal for your pain management plan. Something we can control (like meditating instead of napping, doing some breathing practice before bed).
Step four using breath as am energy source and takes you through some options for practice. Here she talks about Yoga Nidra guided meditation which I adore for coping with sleep deprivation.
Step five yoga postures to relieve pain – this is the jam!
“Yoga and meditation help rewire the brain. In yoga we call this namaskar, and in the scientific world, it’s called neuroplacticity.” 
There are two practices offered – a morning flow and an evening restorative and both are just lovely. There is also guidance for making a flare up plan that involves yoga.
Step six self care – this includes yogic self care such as massage, meditation and following your passions. There’s also some good tips for getting sleep and for reorienting how you think about sleep.
Step seven invites us to take mindfulness into daily life.
If you enact the actions Kayla provides, you will certainly be on a positive step on your way to fighting Fibromyalgia.
You can get your copy of Yoga for Chronic Pain here.

Nerdy note:

If you read a lot, like me (I read around 100 books per year), then you might like Amazon Kindle Unlimited! Just sign up here. Amazon Kindle Unlimited gives you unlimited reading (say what?) and unlimited listening to their audio books. If brain fog is an issue and you need to re read over again, it’s all there. Happy reading! It’s also available for those of us who use Amazon.com.au *squee*.

 

If audio books are more your speed, as they are for me with three little ones, you know you can get a free trial of Audible on Amazon here. I’ve recently started reading a lot more audio books as the hands free option is far easier to access with the wee ones. You will get access to two audio books, plus two Audible Originals, and other cool membership options for 30 days. Cancel anytime if you don’t want the full subscription.


For more information

Sign up to my free eCourse You vs Fibromyalgia

 

You can find my book, which is everything I know and do to fight Fibromyalgia, including yoga and meditation here:

Melissa vs Fibromyalgia book cover

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Living the Best Life with Fibromyalgia: A Book Review

At this point, I’ve read a lot of the research and books by doctors with Fibromyalgia, what really perks my ears up is a book written by a fellow fibro fighter.

Alisha Nurse interviewed me for her Overcomers series recently and I began reading her book Living the Best Life with Fibromyalgia. She gave me a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

Affiliate notice: Please note some of my links are affiliate links, if you make a purchase, I may make a small commission. 

It has a pretty and inspiring cover:

living your best life.PNG
Image from GoodReads

In the introduction, Nurse shares how she was diagnosed – after years and years of being fobbed off by doctors (sounds familiar).

The chapters are broken into: Challenges, Diet, Recipes, Medication and Supplements, Lifestyle, Meaningful Living with a summary at the end.

In challenges Nurse presents some of the key issues we face.
The symptoms

“Each of us battles our demon symptom, the one symptom that is king above all else. For me, that’s the chronic exhaustion. But my GP says there is nothing she can recommend for me except exercise.”

I can relate to this, my demon symptom is my neck and doctors have been generally unhelpful.

Other challenges include: the people who disbelieve us. The impact of stress. The invisibility of our illness.

In Diet, Nurse outlines how she (step by step) implemented dietary changes. She provides a list of healthy foods.

The recipe section includes some nourishing teas to try and some delicious, nutritious foods.

In the medicines and supplements chapter she discussed an important point around medicines:

“When I consider how fibromyalgia steals our dreams and lives, I staunchly decided that I would have some quality of life on medication than have a longer life in a worse off position.”

I want to thank Alisha for this piece of honesty with which I wholeheartedly concur.

In Lifestyle, Nurse lists some good, practical tips for living well with fibromyalgia. Including eating well, Epsom salt baths, exercise, pacing, managing stress.

Meaningful Living – help others, have empathy and faith.

“Have faith, believe and work without ceasing.”

In this compact handbook, Nurse provides you with some of the things that have helped her. Hopefully you can find something here to help you on your journey.

Find her book here.
Find her website here.

If you love reading, like me, you can try Amazon Kindle Unlimited! Just sign up here Kindle Unlimited Membership Plans. It’s also available for those of us who use Amazon.com.au *squee*.

If audio books are more your speed, as they are for me with three little ones, you know you can get a free trial of Audible on Amazon here. I’ve recently started reading a lot more audio books as the hands free option is far easier to access with the wee ones. You will get access to two audio books, plus two Audible Originals, and other cool membership options for 30 days. Cancel anytime if you don’t want the full subscription.


Find my book, which is everything I know and do to fight Fibromyalgia:

Melissa vs Fibromyalgia book cover

 

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My Favourite Five Books About Fighting Fibromyalgia

At this point in my journey, it’s rather hard for content I read to contain new information. However, these are my top five books for anyone with Fibromyalgia, whether you are starting out or a veteran. Often I will re-read these and glean new threads to follow up on to take me further into my healing journey.

My Five Favourite Books About Fighting Fibromyalgia

I use affiliate links, so if you make a purchase using these links I gain a small commission without extra cost to you. Thanks for supporting me to bring this information to you.

1. The FibroManual: A Complete Treatment Guide to

Fibromyalgia for You and Your Doctor by Dr Ginerva Liptan

Dr Liptan is a doctor who has Fibromyalgia. She developed it while in medical school, with little recognition of it among those in the mainstream medical field at the time. Through research, trial and error, she has managed to recover from (not cure) Fibromyalgia.

Her book The Fibro Manual: A complete Fibromyalgia Treatment Guide for You and Your Doctor (2016) is a revelation. Not in that it has entirely new ideas for me, but her research coupled with her experience (personal and professional) has produced conclusions that resonate with me.

For example, she believes sleep to be a vital factor in treatment:
“Sleep studies show that Fibromyalgia subjects show abnormal “awake-type” brain waves all night long, with reduced and interrupted deep sleep and frequent “mini-awakenings” (Brandi 1994; Kooh 2003). This deep-sleep deprivation leads to pain, fatigue, and poor brain function (Lerma 2011; Moldofsky 2008; Harding 1998). Treatment focused on increasing deep sleep is the key to improving all these symptoms.” The Fibro Manual: A complete Fibromyalgia Treatment Guide for You and Your Doctor (2016) Dr Ginevra Liptan p25.

She has chapters dedicated to helping us achieve a whole night’s sleep. This includes a table of medicines that can help the different parts of the brain with sleep disturbances. (I always look up medicines online to check potential side effects etc.)

Once sleep is tackled, she explains how to approach the rest – food intolerances, nutritional imbalances, pain, fatigue and fibro fog.

The structure is such that it is designed for us to gain an understanding of our illness and the ways forward (vital as we are often our own advocates) and also to share the information with our doctors (who, as a profession, like evidence-based treatment).

There is a handy appendix with a useful treatment plan that you can show your doctor. Liptan also provides tips for how to effectively work with your primary physician (who sees many patients a day in 15 minute slots and doesn’t necessarily have time to read all the research on Fibromyalgia) including to break up your issues (ie. fatigue, then pain, then other) and how to approach treatment ideas.

I’d wholly recommend reading this book, whether you are newly diagnosed or a veteran needing a tune up.

2. From Fatigued to Fantastic! by Dr Jacob Teitelbaum

Dr Jacob Teitelbaum is one of a few prominent physicians who treat Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. He wrote From Fatigued to Fantastic! And has developed the SHINE protocol to help manage the illnesses. An important part of the SHINE protocol is nutrition. Based on research Dr T found that people with Fibromyalgia/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome tend to be short on some key nutrients, including the B complex, vitamin C and D and magnesium.

I’m a real fan of Dr Teitelbaum, he has so much information freely available online. He has a real wealth of information on his website. I’ve slowly come back to each letter of his SHINE protocol as I’m ready to tackle it. Currently I’m working on H – Hormones. This is where the adrenals and thyroid come into play. My thyroid results are considered optimal. But I am taking an adrenal supplement – a completely natural one made only from herbs. I have read his books multiple times. Each time I glean new understanding. There is an entire checklist section at the back for you to work through.


If you love reading, like me, you can try Amazon Kindle Unlimited! Just sign up here Kindle Unlimited Membership Plans. Amazon Kindle Unlimited gives you unlimited reading (say what?), unlimited listening to their audiobooks. It’s also available for those of us who use Amazon.com.au *squee*.

If audio books are more your speed, as they are for me with three little ones, you know you can get a free trial of Audible on Amazon here. I’ve recently started reading a lot more audio books as the hands free option is far easier to access with the wee ones. You will get access to two audio books, plus two Audible Originals, and other cool membership options for 30 days. Cancel anytime if you don’t want the full subscription.


3. Take Back Your Life: Find Hope and Freedom From Fibromyalgia Symptoms and Pain by Tami Stackelhouse

I enjoyed this book. This woman has achieved a lot. In addition to this book, she has set up the International Fibromyalgia Coaching Institute to train fibro coaches – these people work with and advocate for people with Fibromyalgia. I read this book on Amazon Kindle and have dozens of bookmarks and highlights all throughout. She talks about managing pain, increasing energy, improving sleep, how to work with your doctor, how to help yourself heal, and bring more joy into your life. She talks about her own journey which I feel is really important, and she is real. She is proud (and rightly so) or working her way in her chosen career (helping others with Fibromyalgia) by putting in workable boundaries – she takes regular breaks, has Wednesdays off for recovery and works to her body clock starting and finishing later than the usual expectations.

4. The Fibro Fix: Get to the Root of Your Fibromyalgia and Start Reversing Your Chronic Pain and Fatigue in 21 Days  by Dr David Brady

Dr Brady’s big thing is that a lot of Fibromyalgia patients are misdiagnosed, that there are not as many people with classic Fibromyalgia as those diagnosed as Fibromyalgia – simply because the doctors give up. After reading the first part of his book, I confirmed that I probably am a “classic” Fibromyalgia patient – my thyroid levels are considered optimal (not just “normal” as most doctors look at), I don’t have candida etc. He prefers natural treatments over pharmaceutical and puts emphasis on diet. His 21 day plan involves detoxification, diet and movement. I don’t necessarily believe that the body cannot properly detox on its own. Nor that a special diet will “cure” us. But there are a lot of useful nuggets in this book.

5. Suffered Long Enough: A Physician’s Journey of

Overcoming Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue and Lyme by Dr Bill Rawls

Another physician who has tackled the fibro beast themselves, and Lyme – his protocol focuses on rooting out the infection that causes Lyme. He sells a vitamin package that I have read positive reviews about. However, it doesn’t cure these people, it is an addition to what they already do. I wouldn’t purchase the whole set as a lot of the ingredients I have already come across and/or tried. It is also expensive to ship these things to New Zealand. There’s a lot of good, natural information here.

Do you read a lot like me? You can try Amazon Kindle Unlimited with a 30 day trial period! Just sign up here Kindle Unlimited Membership Plans. Amazon Kindle Unlimited gives you unlimited reading (say what?), unlimited listening to their audiobooks and a membership could make a good gift, do you have a birthday coming up?


I have shared my personal journey and research as I have taken myself from miserable to thriving in Melissa vs Fibromyalgia. I have also shared my journey and research through pregnancy with chronic pain and fatigue.

I’d love to hear your favourite books about chronic pain, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia. You may also like to check out my Reading Corner with even more books.

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Melissa vs Fibromyalgia: As Close to a Roadmap as I can Give You

My book Melissa vs Fibromyalgia: My journey Fighting Chronic Pain, Chronic Fatigue and Insomnia is available for preorder on Amazon now! It’s release date is 29 January 2018.

Melissa vs Fibromyalgia book cover

This is what I wish the doctor had pressed into my hands when I was given, at last, a reason (or as close as I can get) for the pain, fatigue and insomnia I had been fighting for nearly 10 years already.

Who wouldn’t want a road map that lays out the specific steps to take to reduce pain, increase energy and generally limit the misery of not knowing?

I can’t provide a finely detailed road map tailored to you, but I have done the next best thing – I wrote up my experience combined with the research.

What’s in it?

I share the key things that help me and what the research says about these things so that you have somewhere to start. I have gone through many books, articles and pieces of research. I’ve done numerous experiments on myself – from figuring out my ideal walk length to trying low dose naltrexone

Nothing I’ve tried has severe side effects. I do share my experience with amitriptyline, an older tricyclic antidepressant that can help with sedation (to fall asleep), pain and headaches. This has several potential side effects, mostly mitigated for me by the low dosage, that means the cost/benefit ratio doesn’t work for many. The chances of it working, of the effects not wearing off and potential side effects make it a tricky option. I’ve always said I am lucky that the locum GP – who I saw once, saw my history of insomnia and put me on it – gave it to me prior to my being able to research, because I’d probably not have tried it.

Other than the low dose naltrexone and amitriptyline, the things I do are generally low in the side effect profile and self-controlled.

Self-efficacy is vital in managing this illness. Every day we have to do the work. We can’t hand this off and expect to be well.

Free Bonus

As a special free bonus for those who purchase my book before 11 February 2018, you will get FREE access to my new eCourse You vs Fibromyalgia: Arm Yourself with Knowledge. This has five lessons and goes through what Fibromyalgia is, my six tips, the quick list of the nine things that work for me, why I consider sleep as king and a sneak peak at pregnancy, nursing and parenting with Fibromyalgia (this is the subject of it’s own full eCourse).

How to access it

Email hello @ melissavsfibromyalgia . com with the proof of purchase (a screenshot of of your Amazon orders page with Melissa vs Fibromyalgia: My Journey Fighting Chronic Pain, Chronic Fatigue and Insomnia in there) and I will respond with the password and link to the course. The course will be released the day the book is.

Are you ready to get started on the next phase of your fight against fibromyalgia?