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Balance and Fibromyalgia

After 25 years of diagnosing and treating patients with fibromyalgia, I am struck by a perception of imbalance consistently present in the lives of patients with this syndrome. I too often observe individuals who are working too hard, not playing hard enough, and hardly resting at all. And more often than not, there seems to be a lack of time for stillness, reflection, and spiritual refreshment. It has long been my contention that reestablishing harmony among the different aspects of our selves—physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual—would go a long way in restoring good-quality sleep, reducing pain and fatigue, and diminishing the central nervous system amplification associated with fibromyalgia.

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To Work in the Shade of a Wide Umbrella

Reader, welcome to this blog's first post. I hope you find the blog informative, insightful, interesting, (and other things that don't necessarily begin with the prefix "in"). We'll cover a lot of territory here. 

So, we begin with Pierre-Auguste Renoir, the famous 19th-century French impressionist who worked for over 60 years and created beauty (some claim he painted about 6000 pictures) all the while living with Rheumatoid Arthrtitis. 

Fortunately, 21st-century artists who live with RA have unbelievably more treatments available to them than Renoir; but it's not the thought of Rheumatoid Arthritis I want to leave with you. Rather, it's the thought of Renoir's "can-do" spirit that impresses me. We can hardly expect to live our lives without disease—and we have little control over that. Perhaps all we can control is how we structure healthy, productive days while living with the diseases that will accompany us. 

I encourage all of those living with disease,  and you, too, Reader, to seek fresh air, to work in the shade of a wide umbrella, to feel the comfort of a blanket draped across the shoulders, and to wear fashionable hats. And to do beautiful work.

Notice how Renoir holds his brush cupped between his twisted hands. Remain inventive. 

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