Friday, April 29, 2011

Letter to the President of the United States

Dear Mr. President,

Did you know that Dr. Janet Travell is the pioneer in understanding myofascial trigger points AND the first female physician in the Whitehouse? Did you know she treated President Kennedy for his personal chronic pain issues?

Fibromyalgia (FM) is a biological disorder. It is a disorder of the central nervous system that is further sensitized by input from the peripheral nervous system. But the proposed diagnostic criteria for fibromyalgia does not include assessment of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, restless leg syndrome myofascial trigger points which are knotted up pieces of muscle fiber called trigger points, that keep the brain in perpetual wind-up because of the peripheral pain and dysfunction, including shortening of muscle and neuropathies. We have been inappropriately labeled far too long. Many have been psychologically bruised by the medical community. Touch me. Feel the knots in my muscles, test me for thyroid autoimmune disease, and perform a sleep study on me that shows you I moved my legs 187 times in 4 hours and never reached slow wave progression sleep and then tell me it is all in my head.

I have communicated my concerns as a patient, author and advocate to Mr. Clark, Public Liaison, National Institute of Health, NIAMS division, editor of Arthritis Today, who published “The American College of Rheumatology preliminary diagnostic criteria for fibromyalgia and measurement of symptom severity” (see footnote) and the liaison for the American College of Rheumatology.

We need to avail all treatments including complimentary therapies. Pain and muscle dysfunction caused by myofascial trigger points should be treated with appropriate hands on therapy by those trained in the guidelines set forth by Dr. Janet Travell later joined by Dr. David Simons (first physician in outer space).

Can we, the fibromyalgia community count on you to take a stand? Without your support, we can expect another decade of unresolved pain, fatigue and dysfunction. Present research supports all I have said, but we need more, we need to move the science in the right direction until a cause and a cure is found.

Celeste Cooper, author of
Integrative Therapies for Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Myofascial Pain: The Mind-Body Connection (co-authored with Jeff Miller, PhD)

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