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They're Playing Your Song: Why Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia Patients Need to Find Their Own Rhythm

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By Eunice Beck, RN • www.ProHealth.com • May 22, 2002


Dear Friends,

I recently read a story which inspired me to think about how music is a part of all of us. The story talked about the birth of a child in a primitive culture. The elders celebrated the birth by gathering to meditate with their gods. They were seeking the song of the child, recognizing that each soul is different. Each soul has its own melody. When the opera, for we are each that complicated, is recognized, it becomes synonymous with the individual. The person’s song is sung by his community at all the important times in his life. It guides him in ways that even he is unaware of. It is when that individual, for whatever reason, becomes inconsistent with his rhythm that his life becomes confused and out of balance.

I believe that each of us does have a melody which is our essence. I think that our melody may have been lost in the fatigue and pain. Being in tune with your body is one of the ways you regain control of how you are feeling, physically, mentally and emotionally.

It is said that music is the international language. I think it is also the language which sustains us. I know I have written one previous article about music as therapy.

But here we are talking about more than music, we are talking about the rhythms of the body, the rhythms of life. (Is this starting to sound like something out of The Lion King? )

Finding the cadence of your body, through the fatigue and pain, will help you match that tempo to the one that is naturally a part of you. Just another way of saying listen to your body and learn from it. If we hear the rhythm of our bodies, they will function in a more flowing, easy manner. We need to find our song.

For some of us, there may be an actual melody which sounds in our heads when our body is feeling well. If that melody is a little off key, we need to find the reason, and attempt to return to a balance which lets the music flow. I’m sure for many of us, our song is at a slower tempo than it was before, but it can still help us find the equilibrium which lets us function at our highest possible level. All of us want to live the best we can, given the circumstances with which we have to cope.

I do hear my melody frequently, and sometimes even hum it to myself. Some of you may feel like singing when you most strongly feel your song. Fortunately for me and for those around me, I have learned not to do this unless I am alone. Something I inherited from my Mother-I can’t “carry a tune in a bucket.” But that doesn’t mean the music isn’t there.

Of course, like all of you, there are many days when my song is so overwhelmed by fatigue and pain, it is nothing but a noisy clamor. Still, I try to find a moment when I can feel the pulse of my music. I seek to encourage this ability by listening to music, to perhaps put me in a place where my communication with my body will improve. My melody may be distant and difficult to hear, but its strength grows if I am able relax, and begin to match how I am feeling to the resonance of my body’s song.

Although I have no musical talent that I know of, there are songs which are “comfort food”, songs which touch my heart. It is this type of music that I listen to. I suspect it is encouragement for me because on some level it suggests to me my body’s melody. Some of you out there may have the talent to actually write your song, and you may find that this will help you to better stay in touch with your body.

The ability to adjust one’s function to match that rhythm at which one is most comfortable is a critical ability in our battle to maintain control over these diseases.

Our song gives us that rhythm adjustment. Mastering the ability to make those adjustments requires lifelong attention even from those who are healthy. We, who are fighting disease which complicates our lives with pain, fatigue, and brain fog, have a more difficult, and more important job, as conductor of our symphony. Whether your song is a quiet lullaby, or a rousing march, you can find a way to adapt your body to your rhythm. In doing so you will find the peacefulness and comfort that comes when your body is in tune.

You may feel a bit more like you are squeaking rather than singing at the moment. All of us with these diseases do at times, but our song is there. Try to find your melody, and adjust your life to it. Take care and be well.

Yours in health,

Eunice

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I welcome your comments and questions at: copingcorner@prohealthinc.com. My articles and email responses are not being offered as those of a health care provider. The information and opinions included are intended to give you some information about your disease. It is very important that you empower yourself with knowledge and participate in your own search for care. Any advice given is not intended to take the place of advice of your physician or mental health care provider. Always follow your physician's advice, even if contradicted by something written here. You and your physician know your situation far better than I do. Thank you and be well. Eunice



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