healthy habits for fibromyalgia
Did you know that the symptoms of toxicity in the body are almost identical to those of fibromyalgia? A few examples are pain, stiffness, painful joints, headaches, digestive issues, allergies, skin problems, weight gain, fatigue, insomnia, depression, anxiety, and brain fog.
Knowing this you might come to the conclusion that it’s toxins that are causing your symptoms, and so it’s time for a cleanse. But before you do, consider that the average home contains well over 500 toxins, most of them you can’t see, smell, or taste.
So, what’s the point of doing a cleanse if you are going to be reabsorbing all the gunk your home is throwing at you? It makes much more sense to first clean up your home.
Now, I know that most people are not at all excited about cleaning. That’s why I came up with a simple strategy that will help you remove the most toxins for the least amount of work.
The Pareto principle, also known as the 80/20 rule, states that roughly 80% of results come from roughly 20% of causes. Here are a few examples:
20% of factories cause 80% of pollution
20% of employees do 80% of the work
20% of athletes score 80% of the points
So, thanks to Alfredo Pareto you only need to tidy 20% of your house. Simply replace those items that are most likely to be making you ill with healthier and more natural alternatives. To find out if your body is perhaps toxic with this quick toxicity quiz.
joyful home cleaning
You might have heard of Marie Kondo. She’s that petite Japanese lady who loves decluttering people’s houses. Well, it turns out that her method of decluttering is ideal for fibromyalgia sufferers because it's centered on bringing more joy into your life. And if there’s one thing that fibromyalgia people need, it’s more joy.
Actually, you are not going to be tidying up, rather you are going to be practicing mindfulness through the art of tidying. You see, when you put your house in order you put your body in order too.
In The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up Marie Kondo lays out her method: pick one category of items such as clothes or books. Find all those items in your entire house and then put them in one big pile. And here comes the important part: take one item at a time and hold it in your hands. Look at the item and ask it, “Do you bring me joy?” If the answer is “no” take a few moments to remember the happiness it brought you, and let it go with grace. Next, find a proper place for each of the remaining items. To maintain order in the future always return an item to its designated place after you have used it.
The secret to Marie’s method is that she starts with the easiest category first and then tackles progressively more difficult categories each time. Her order is clothes, books, papers, miscellaneous items, and then lastly sentimental items. If you want a beautiful home you are welcome to follow this sequence, however our focus is not on tidying, but rather on creating a healthy home, so we will be following a slightly different sequence:
2. simple stuff
Actual decluttering starts with a few common sense ideas that are mostly free and don't require much energy or any precious spoons.
I’ve read hundreds of books on health and medical subjects, but few of them have had such a strong influence on the way I practice homeopathy as Marie’s little book on decluttering. In fact it’s transformed the way I practice homeopathy. You see, her philosophy of surrounding yourself with things that bring you joy can be applied not only to tidying but to health and healing as well.
In my practice I follow a five-part sequence: home cleanse, body cleanse, healthy lifestyle, mindfulness, and homeopathy. Marie’s question, “Does this bring me joy?” is the connecting thread running through all five parts of the sequence. This question, or slight variations thereof, connect five-part sequence into one complete and meaningful healing system.
Getting through all five steps could take a long time so to get the most out of it requires a few deadlines. Here are a few rough suggestions for completing the tidying up stage in under two weeks.
Part one ~ create a clear vision. Set aside an hour of private time to create a vision of what you want to achieve. You really don’t need to spend more than an hour on this project.
Part two ~ simple ideas. Set aside another hour to plan out a schedule. For example, “I’ll open my window every day weather permitting from 8am to 10pm while I do yoga … I’ll buy three pot plants for my living room next Monday.” A walk in the park.
Part three ~ reduce plastic. All you need is a couple of hours to get through the planning stage of this project. Read the page on reducing plastic in this website and perhaps do a little of your own research, and then go around your home noting which plastic items you will be replacing. Next, sit down with a pen and notebook and plan your shopping. “Tomorrow, when I go grocery shopping I’ll buy five glass bottles for condiments … next month I’ll get a stainless steel flask for carrying my water around with me.” Easy as pie.
Part four ~ healthy kitchenware. Again, all you realistically need is an hour. Read the page on healthy kitchenware, go into your kitchen and decide what will stay and what will go. Of course replacing kitchenware can be expensive so you want to space it out over six months or more. “My Teflon frying pan looks rather dodgy so I’ll get a cast iron pan on Friday after work … my plastic kettle is looking worn out but I don’t have the budget for a new one just yet, so I’ll boil water on the stove for now, and buy a new one in three months.”
Part five ~ healthy cleaning materials. Take two or three days on this step at the longest. Read the page on healthy cleaning materials, walk through each room in your house, and then in your notebook, list the items you want to keep, the items you want replace, and the items you want to make yourself. Make sure to include a timeline. “I’ll keep the commercial drain cleaner because I only unblock my drains every other year … I’ll also keep the dishwashing soap but I’ll get a pair of rubber gloves to protect my hands … this recipe on laundry detergent looks fun to make and I already have the ingredients so I’ll try it out.”
Part six ~ homemade cosmetics. This part is pretty much the same as part five. All you’ll need is three or four days at most.