you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be
happy, practice compassion.
slowing the passage of time
you know that?
courtesy of ank.murphy
Canadian Guidelines for the Diagnosis of Fibromyalgia (FM) syndrome
Dr. Jackie Gardner-Nix
is frustrating for those of you suffering from fibromyalgia
(FM) as there is no blood test or
biopsy or other investigation that definitively proves you have the
condition, and there are still health care professionals
who feel it is a vague entity at best. This makes it hard to claim
disability from your insurers, who inevitably seem to want a
rheumatologist to diagnose it.
group of health care professionals has developed the Canadian
Guidelines to assist in the diagnosis and management of FM, recently
published in “Pain Research and Management” which is the pain journal
of the Canadian Pain Society. These
guidelines have also been endorsed by the Canadian Rheumatology
the first paragraph states:
fibromyalgia (FM) has been recognized as a clinical syndrome for the
past two decades, recent neurophysiological evidence of pain dysregulation has provided
scientific validation. The controversy surrounding FM stems from the
subjective nature of complaints and lack of any defining abnormal
rates in Canada are in the order of 2 to 3%, so it is not rare, and it
affects women more than men, mostly in middle age, though it can affect
all age groups.
recommendations were made, and the whole document is available on the
Canadian Pain Society website (http://fmguidelines.ca).
The first recommendation is:
a condition that can wax and wane over time, should be diagnosed in an
individual with diffuse body pain that has been present for at least
three months, and who may have symptoms of fatigue, sleep disturbance,
cognitive changes, mood disorder, and other somatic symptoms to
variable degrees, and when symptoms cannot be explained by any other
the guidelines recommend the diagnosis can be made by the
family physician, so that management can be instituted early, to avoid
deterioration which might occur during the long wait to see a
rheumatologist, which often results only in the same recommendations
already made by the family doctor.
is no magic formula to treat FM. Each person’s management is tailored to the individual.
Early mobilization and activity are mandatory, and improved self-care is also an important part of
treatment. Sometimes stopping working, to reduce the stress of having
to go into work, is the start of the slippery slope to worsening
symptoms and deconditioning, as lack of routine and despondency
contribute to the slide. As in management of any condition, the
sufferer can create a “basket” of strategies and interventions with the
help of their health care professionals. Having a well-defined daily
routine is part of the basket, particularly with regard to sleep
hygiene measures, as the loss of restorative sleep is certainly a major
player in the condition of FM.
MBCPM Courses and Retreats for Health Care Professionals, Alumni and
us to find interested Health Care Professionals, as we want to keep our
MBCPM courses running and extend them to everyone who needs them in
Ontario and beyond!
next MBCPM Facilitator training is
planned for August 6th to 15th this year, and will
incorporate a “practicum”. This is a 4
day MBCPM course for patients in Toronto, affording the
chance for new facilitators-in-training to sit in, audit, and
participate — particularly important for those from outside Ontario who
cannot audit our existing courses. A silent weekend retreat for the
facilitators-in-training, including alumni, will follow. Then there
will be 4 days of facilitator training. Returning facilitators-in
training will be welcomed
back to any of the future training sessions, at a reduced cost. For
more details and course requirements, please visit www.neuronovacentre.com/mbcpm-facilitator.
Centre for Mindfulness Studies (CFMS) in Toronto is hosting a 1 day workshop for Health Care
Professionals as an introduction to MBCPM on Friday, November 8, 2013.
For more information
please follow the event web page.
Care Professional Courses
are two ten week courses in MBCPM planned for Fall
2013 for Health Care professionals at various sites in Ontario to
experience the benefits of the MBCPM course, helpful for stress as well
as pain, and to learn more about chronic pain. The courses will be
available starting later in the Fall this year: on October 1st and 2nd
in after work time slots: 4 to 6 pm. Sites and scheduling can be found
on our website at http://www.neuronovacentre.com/mindfulness-programs-for-health-care-professionals.
Patients and Health Care Professionals
silent retreat, or “meditation intensive”, is scheduled for Saturday
and Sunday, August 10th and 11th
2013, at Hart House, University of Toronto. It is non
residential, and runs from 9:30 to 4:30 pm
each day. Meditations alternate and include sitting, walking, body
scan, and other meditations and there will be 1 hour of yoga each day.
It is recommended for
those alumni or others
with a consistent meditation practice. Space is limited. Please call
our office if interested at 416 264 2424, or email us at email@example.com.
day silent retreat at St Michael's
Frankford, who runs MBCT courses for the dept
of psychiatry at St Michael's, will run a half
day silent retreat, Thursday, Aug. 1st 2013. It
will be in the Li Ka Shing Building, room 136 from
9:30 to 12:30. Our alumni are welcome: please contact our office: firstname.lastname@example.org,
to link to Rachael.
Day All Day Patient Course in MBCPM
are running our first ever four day all day (9:30 am to 4:30 pm) MBCPM
course for pain sufferers in Toronto from Tuesday August 6th to Friday
August 9th, at St Michael’s hospital. This might appeal to those who
have limited time to do the once a week version of our course, or who
live in a part of Canada or Ontario which does not receive our service. Space is
limited. Please contact Sara in our office at
416 264 2424, or email@example.com.
Courses for the Fall of
are now scheduled at various sites in Ontario for the fall and
locations and times for the entry
level classes can be found on our website.
The Level 2 MBCPM course will be lead in the fall by Dr. Bobby Esbin MD
at St. Michael’s Hospital. Class will start on Monday September
9th from 5:00 to 7:45pm in Room 6002 Cardinal Carter Wing.
Classes will run for six weeks, up until Monday October 14th and will
be continued after a short break. Class start up again Monday
December 2nd to Monday December 23rd. If you wish to enroll for
this session please email Dr. Bobby Esbin: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note a Physician’s Referral is required to attend this session.
In Haliburton, Barb Fraser will be
running a level 2 class this Fall also (
see below for contact details).
Alumni courses (Level 2 and Emotional skills) are
still not scheduled yet with Dr. Jackie until more
facilitators are trained.
Maintenance class from 4 to 5 pm on Thursdays for selected sites (see
website) including St Michael's (room 16101) will finish July 25th and
resume September 19th 2013, and are
led by Dr Jackie.
Where can I find MBCPM courses elsewhere?MBCPM
entry-level courses, using our curriculum and materials, are being
Community Health Centre
Lisa Laflamme (M.S.W.,
R.S.W.) (Facilitator) with
Nancy Shosenburg (M.H.P.)
Ontario Kingston Community Health Centres
full for Fall 2014 and there is a wait list for January 2014.
(Facilitators Ruth Dubin
M.D., Ph.D. and Evelyn Bowering M.S.W.)
Phone: 613-542-2949 x1179
Darren Roberts (Trudylynn
MD is Facilitator)
Highlands Medical Centre
Barb Fraser (M.S.W., R.S.W.) (Facilitator)
Phone: 705-455-9220 x312
but only to
patients of Cambridge Memorial Hospital Mental Health Program
Mary MacDonald-Young (M.S.W., R.S.W.) (Co-facilitator with Cathy
Martin-Hernandez M.S.W., R.S.W.)
Phone: 519-621-2333 x3308
They are also offered in
Vegas, USA - Dr Dona Costa
Australia - Dr Elliot Gerschman
courtesy of ank.murphy
for High Blood Pressure
Rosa Raponi Newton
You may have heard that one of the added benefits of meditation is that
it can lower blood pressure. This is because the body experiences a
so-called “relaxation response” which involves the blood vessels
literally opening up so that blood can flow more freely without the
resistance or pressure that goes along with hypertension. Dr. Randy Zusman, of the Massachusetts
General Hospital says: "It's
basically a plumbing problem. You're
pushing the same amount of blood through a bigger pipe,"¹
when your body is responding to meditation. Dr. Zusman
and his colleagues explored this phenomenon over a 3-month long study² which compared two groups
of people with high blood pressure – one group was taught to elicit the
relaxation response through meditation while the other group was given
information about the effects of stress on blood pressure. By the end
of the 3-month period, the group who learned to meditate was more
successful at lowering blood pressure and eliminating anti-hypertensive
Lower Blood Pressure, Open Up and Say ‘Om’, NPR, August 21,
J. A., et al. 2008: Stress management versus lifestyle
modification on systolic hypertension and medication elimination: A
randomized trial, The Journal of Alternative and Complementary
Medicine, 14, 129-138.
Did you know that:
milk and, also, bananas,
really do have a substance in them that promotes sleep? Tryptophan is a
naturally sedating amino acid that is contained in the building blocks
of proteins. Tryptophan is available by prescription, and can be discussed with your
physician and/or pharmacist if you are thinking of using it for sleep.
Book Review: The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion
by Brenda S. (Alumni)
Mindful Path to Self-Compassion: Freeing Yourself from Destructive
Thoughts and Emotions.
PhD (published by The Guilford Press, 2009).
book is an excellent easy read that blends perfectly with our MBCPM
explains that when things go wrong we get
stuck in the shame and blame cycle, which causes more emotional pain.
He encourages us to label and accept our emotions and offer ourselves
the same compassion that we would offer a friend in distress.
x Resistance = Suffering
the first section of his book, Germer
discusses Discovering Self-Compassion, where he encourages us to be
kind to ourselves and listen to our bodies, “bear witness
to our own pain and respond with kindness and understanding”.
teaches us the futility of resistance,
the more we resist anxiety the more it is fueled. Consider when we can’t sleep and we get anxious as
to how the next day is going to be ruined without rest creating a
vicious cycle that ensures sleep won’t happen. Better to accept that
sleep is out of the question and accept that you will survive the day
regardless and why not use this time to meditate. “Your
relationship to sleeplessness has to shift. Once you begin to truly,
genuinely accept not sleeping, your body will finally get a chance to
rest” (p 20). When dealing with
difficult emotions he encourages a meditation to label the emotions and
where they sit in our bodies and then to “soften, allow and
love” (p 67). He teaches “three
mindfulness-based skills we can use to handle difficult emotions: (1)
focused awareness, (2) open-field awareness, and (3) loving-kindness.”(p
81). After we mindfully “feel the pain” we
use self-compassion to“cherish
yourself in the midst of the pain”.
the second section he
teaches how to practice loving-kindness and introduces the meta
I be safe, May I be happy, May I be healthy, May I live with ease.”(p
134) and then encourages us to think of beloved family members and
friends in this way and then distant associates and
then those whom we have enmity with and then
the population of the world as a whole. Once we care for ourselves we are free to care for
the third section, Germer
encourages us to find balance and looks into various personality types
that we may identify with and how to use compassion to free ourselves
from self-imposed hindrance,
On the Air: The Light Within
Light Within Broadcast Series with host Joan Jacobs www.jjacobshealth.com
Hear Dr. Gardner-Nix discuss chronic pain management with Joan Jacobs
on the The
Light Within radio show at http://joanjacobs.srbroadcasting.com.
Scroll down until you see Radio Show and click on the play
courtesy of ank.murphy