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Fibromyalgia and Chronic Myofascial Pain: A Survival Manual (2nd Edition) Paperback – June 30, 2001
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“Devin Starlanyl has a remarkable determination to help relieve mankind of unnecessary suffering. The guidance in this book an serve both practitioners who have yet to understand the nature of their own musculoskeletal aches and pains, and patients who are unable to find a practitioner adequately skilled in this neglected subject. The message of this book is a voice crying out in a wilderness of neglect.”
—David G. Simons, M.D., Clinical Professor of Medicine at Emory University
“In a 1997 book review, I extolled the extraordinary features of the first edition of Starlanyl and Copeland’s Survival Manual. As caregivers to FMS/MPS patients and sufferers themselves, their advice in the book was superbly tuned to readers’ needs. Now, in this second edition, Starlanyl and Copeland have outshone themselves. Having updated the Survival Manual and enhanced its laudable features, they have made an already valuable book almost priceless.”
—Dr. John C. Lowe, Director of Research, Fibromyalgia Research Foundation, Board Certified, American Academy of Pain Management
—Richard Finn, Director, Academy for Myofascial Trigger Point Therapy, coauthor, Myofascial Pain Syndrome: Manual Trigger Point & S-EMG Therapies
“Devin Starlanyl and her work are incredible resources to the fibromyalgic community. She has tirelessly researched her subject and freely and lovingly shared it with those who have suffered pain and disability.”
—Dr. Craig N. Anderson, D.C., past president of the Vermont Chiropractic Association
About the Author
Devin Starlanyl specializes in education in the field of fibromyalgia and chronic myofascial pain. She is the past director of the Fibromyalgia and Chronic Myofascial Pain Institute and serves as facilitator for the FMS and CMP support group at a local hospital. A consultant and clinical researcher who assists FMS/CMP patients through FIBROM-L listserv, an Internet support group, Devin Starlanyl also maintains a comprehensive Web site about FMS and CMP (http://www.sover.net/~devstar). She is the coauthor of the first edition of Fibromyalgia & Chronic Myofascial Pain Syndrome and author of The Fibromyalgia Advocate, and as someone with both conditions, writes as one who understands “from the inside.”
Mary Ellen Copeland, M.S., M.A., is coauthor of the first edition of Fibromyalgia & Chronic Myofascial Pain Syndrome and also knows firsthand the consequences of FMS/CMP. A distinguished teacher, writer, and lecturer, Ms. Copeland is the author of Healing the Trauma of Abuse, The Depression Workbook, Living Without Depression and Manic Depression, The Worry Control Workbook, The Loneliness Workbook, and Winning Against Relapse. Her audiotape, Living with Depression and Manic Depression, and her videotape, Coping with Depression, are widely used by therapists and depression clinics.
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I have to say, I have learned a lot since my early FM days (12 years ago). While much of the information in this book still remains very useful and illuminating -- especially about body work and trigger points -- other aspects of it are obsolete.
I found out through simple trial/error and pure accident that guaiafenesin is *not* harmless or without long term side effects. If you take it for a really long time -- as I did, based on the info in this book -- your body seems to develop almost a dependence on it, such that stopping it results in TERRIBLE rebound pain and stiffness... much worse stiffness than you probably would have had if you had never, ever taken guaiafenesin.
When I suddenly ran out, I had the worst attack of FM that I had ever had. I started back up on the guaiafenesin as soon as possible. But I still felt so debilitated, and like I was just getting stiffer and stiffer over time. Several months later I ran out of guaiafenesin again, and again went through a horrible flare of FM. Fortunately, I had started the Fatigued To Fantastic! (F2F!) protocol by then. That helped my a lot. and I have never taken guaiafenesin again (I can't remember if Teitelbaum recommends against guaiafenesin, or for it, or doesn't mention it at all -- I think he doesn't mention it, or maybe only in passing).
I plan to avoid guaiafenesin like the plague from now on. In a way, guaiafenesin seems to behave almost like some anti-spastic drugs -- in that, once you stop them, you suffer rebound spasticity.
NSAIDS don't help, much, either, except temporarily. Again, as with the guaiafenesin, if you take naproxen or ibuprofen ALL the time (like on a daily basis), you wind up in more pain and stiffness than if you only took them sporadically (like when you really, really need pain relief). It's been years since I was on a RX COX-2 inhibitor (I used to take Vioxx, but I think the only one left on the market is Celebrex), but it would not surprise me if that has the same effect, because all NSAIDS affect some part of the cyclo-oxygenase system.
Though I despise the way Teitelbaum has come to shill for his own supplement products -- much the way Priscilla Slagle, MD who wrote "The Way Up From Down" did -- I think his theory and protocol works. I started to see a lot of improvement in my daily energy plus a reduction of my pain/stiffness, just from primarily adding d-ribose, a very bio-available CoQ10, very low dose melatonin (with sleep herbs to improve sleep), and very low impact exercise (like, just walking) to my daily regimen. (I also inadvertently lost 15 lbs. in 6 months, which I attribute to finding a really great CoQ10 supplement).
But, this book is still a classic, and it will help you get a good foundation of understanding of fibromyalgia if you have been newly diagnosed. I wouldn't say not to read this book. I would say, don't believe it's the gospel. A lot of work has been done since even the 2nd ed. of this book was published, and more is being learned all the time.
I do agree with Teitelbaum, in that I think there is some kind of mitochondrial/cell metabolism disruption going on with FM and CFS. But I also agree with a lot of this book -- that massage, trigger point work, and (if possible) physical therapy helps greatly.
Just stay the heck away from the guaiafenesin, at least in the doses recommended in this book. (Temporary use during a cold/flu should be okay. But I don't even use it for that anymore, as it seems to trigger terrible rebound spasticity/stiffness/pain now -- for me, anyway).
I have done many things to help myself and now am almost pain free. This book covers some of it. I do think the book spends too much time dwelling on the illness and not enough time on what to do.
Eat a healthy diet filled with natural foods. Foods full of antioxidants, Food that is basically grown in your own garden or in a garden close to you. Fresh food. Work on lymph flow by stretching slowly I even brush my skin, massage and use of oils like coconut, sesame, castor and mustard to rub on your skin. And many other things mostly slowly stretching the muscles. I started with small stretching then more elaborate Yoga moves. This book is good and need to be read and re-read for a complete understanding.
It is one of many sources. More people need to write and spend time on this very important subject of health.
The difference between FM and CMPD is significant but they often come together. Although this manual may still be hard to understand to a new patient, as the body and concept are complex, finding a doctor that recognizes the difference and is willing to learn or communicate via a guide like this will help many people tremendously, who are not finding relief via current FM treatment protocol.
I am not a doctor or even in the medical field. Just a patient, along with family, that has been dealing with this for decades.
Have learned more about both of these medical conditions from this one book than from any other book I have ever read on these issues. This is my go-to book for questions/answers, descriptions, reference sets.
Written in easy-to-understand layman's terms with many illustrations. The authors are reputable doctors with a wealth of knowledge. They have also written two other books that I have found invaluable: "The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook" and "The Fibromyalgia Advocate." I highly recommend all three books.