Friday, September 21, 2007

October Support Group Held Only at PCH...Windhorse Rides Again

Next Princeton Area Support Group Meeting is Saturday, October 6 beginning at 1:00 p.m. at Princeton Community Hospital, Education Classrooms 1 & 2. The Beckley Area Support Group Meeting will not be held in October due to scheduling conflicts at Raleigh General Education Center.

Windhorse Healing Arts Center in Bluefield is sponsoring "Coping with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain" workshop featuring Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) practitioners on Saturday, September 29 beginning at 9:30 a.m. and running most of the day. Participants will be able to actually experience one-on-one sessions with the practitioner(s) of your choosing. There is a fee to attend. I've included their event flyer with our regular mailing for October's meeting. Windhorse helped defer the cost of our October "Meeting Alert" mailing in exchange for this notice.

While VHFA does not endorse any of these alternative healing arts as effective, science-based therapies for fibromyalgia, a number of these may help with relaxation and could actually make you feel better due to the placebo effect or other unknown cause. If you do attend, I recommend listening to the respective practitioners and testimony from other attendees with some skepticism. Remember that the nation's leading fibromyalgia experts we have heard from over the last 18 months have reached basic consensus on the effective management of fibromyalgia and agree that complementary and alternative medicine plays a role in the management of fibromyalgia. However, CAM should be viewed as only a small portion of an effective fibromyalgia treatment plan. Most experts recommend that you choose alternative therapies like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Bio-Feedback since these have been fairly well-studied and have shown some results in reducing pain and other FM symptoms. Regular participation in educational activities such as local support groups are considered a part of CBT. Other CAM therapies have not been shown to be effective or have not been supported by legitimate, peer-reviewed studies published in major medical or scientific journals.

Finally, a multi-discipline approach utilizing a combination of proper medications+daily exercise+good sleep hygiene+healthy diet+CAM therapies are what all the leading fibromyalgia medical experts agree upon as components of the best management plan for fibromyalgia symptoms. Currently, there is no cure for fibromyalgia. Beware of any practitioner who claims to have a cure.

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