Like many living with fibromyalgia, I am willing to try most things that have any chance of reducing my symptoms. A while ago, I took a course over a few weeks all about tai chi for those living with fibromyalgia.
I have always been a fast moving person, always wanting to help, running around at work, unwilling to take things slowly.
However after my fibromyalgia diagnosis I knew that had to change. Tai chi taught me how to safely move my body without causing more pain, how to get up from a chair slower to avoid injuring myself, and to take my time in reaching objects and stretching.
Although tai chi did help me in the regard, on the other hand it did not relieve any pain. If anything my mind focused more on the pain.
I found moving slowly draws my attention to where the pain is, as it often moves around.
I always struggle with standing still, which is why I’m always moving when I’m upright. When I walk with purpose, I can ignore the pain. When I’m still, I find my muscles tense up and my feet start to ache. This was the same with tai chi.
Despite practicing daily for several weeks, it felt the same as when I stood still. I often had to stop or adjust my position to get comfortable. My knee would feel like it wanted to pop out of place and my feet would hurt, even if only doing tai chi for a few minutes.
Overall I do see how tai chi may be beneficial to some and I appreciate how it helped me realise I need to take some things slower than I used to and be kinder to my body. Try it out with an open mind. If it works, great, if not, at least you tried it and on to the next experiment.
I fear that is what living with fibromyalgia is like. I am constantly experimenting with different treatments and options to see what does and doesn’t work for me. So much more research needs to be done. Doctors don’t know how to help, and so they follow whatever the advise is at the time, such as tai chi. If that doesn’t work I have found there is not much else they can recommend until the next treatment research comes around.