Ever heard that eating olives or sucking a lemon can cure motion sickness? The theory behind this remedy, according to Prevention magazine’s editor Rebekah George, is that:
“Motion sickness causes you to produce excess saliva, which can make you nauseated. Compounds in olives dry out your mouth and can help soothe queasiness. Try eating a few olives at the first hint of nausea. Sucking on a lemon can also do the trick.”
As George explains, home remedies: “grew from necessity, when formal medical care either didn’t exist or wasn’t widely available to everyone. Our ancestors made do by using whatever they had on-hand to treat their various ailments, and then sharing what worked for them with their friends and neighbors.”
Inspired by this unusual cure, we decided to trawl the internet for some of the quirkier remedies that relate to pain relief for common fibromyalgia symptoms: ranging from more established methodologies to the simply bizarre.
It’s important to note that we’re unable to comment on the success (or otherwise) of any of these practices, and they certainly should not be considered as a replacement for the treatment prescribed by your GP!
With this warning in mind, we check out some of the more unusual treatments that have been suggested for fibromyalgia, and do a spot of myth busting along the way.
1. Sniff a green apple
Dr Alan Hirsch, of the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation (Chicago), reports that the scent of green apples can reduce: “the severity and duration of migraine headache pain and may have a similar effect on joint pain…The scent seems to reduce muscle contractions, which are the main cause of pain in migraines.”
Although we can’t vouch for the effectiveness of this remedy, upon further investigation it seems that Dr Hirch’s research should potentially be taken with a pinch of salt, according to an article in the Chicago tribune.
Nevertheless, the link between scent, pain reduction and general relaxation is certainly an interesting topic to investigate and, if you’d like to find out a bit more how aromatherapy may benefit your fibromyalgia symptoms, some further info can be found here.
2. Pump up the volume
We’re all aware of the relaxing benefits that can be felt by listening to calm and soothing music, but did you know that listening to your favourite tunes may also have a positive effect on your fibromyalgia symptoms?
According to a study conducted by researchers at Glasgow University: “Both frequent music listening and a perception of music as personally important were… found to relate to higher quality of life. Also, personal importance of music was significantly related to listening to help pain. These findings suggest beneficial effects of music listening to long-term pain.”
3. Check out Van Gogh’s Sunflowers
According to researchers from Italy’s University of Bari, pain is felt less acutely when a subject is experiencing a work of art that they find to be aesthetically pleasing. You can read more about the study here. Now, whilst you may find it difficult to get to the National Gallery and see Van Gogh’s famous Sunflowers (or one of your other favourite artworks) in person; most major galleries run an online shop where you can order prints and postcards of famous works in their collection and get them delivered to your door!
Also on the art front, you may also want to consider exploring your own creativity in the form of Art Therapy. Used as a complimentary treatment for a wide-range of illnesses (mental and physical); we look forward to reading the results of this recently completed clinical trial, by the Federal University of São Paulo, entitled: ‘Art Therapy to Treat Women With Fibromyalgia’.
Whilst a good old-fashioned warm bath can do wonders for your aches and pains: balneotherapy takes this line of thinking one step further and generally involves a treatment course including hot baths, cold baths, or baths with mineral salts, and it is usually practiced in spas.
Balneotherapy is said to improve anxiety, insomnia and joint pains (amongst other ailments) and a study published by the US National Library of Medicine concluded that: “balneotherapy is effective and may be an alternative method in treating fibromyalgia patients.”
5. Bee sting therapy (ouch!)
Not for the faint hearted, according to an article in Everyday Health a treatment involving controlled bee stings is thought to improve the function of the immune system and reduce pain and inflammation.
However, before you run out to the nearest bee hive, the founder and medical director of the neurOasis Headache and Pain Center (New York), Anthony P. Geraci, strongly warns against the bizarre form of therapy: “There are several problems with this treatment, including the fact that too many bee stings can cause harm and even death,” he explains. “Also, no scientific evidence exists for this therapy. Most doctors would not recommend it.”
Oh well, looks like bee sting therapy is off the list!
Have you ever tried a quirky home remedy to try and treat your fibromyalgia symptoms? Or, have you found that creativity and music have helped improve your general wellbeing? We’d love to hear about your experiences.
We do not endorse any research, studies or sources mentioned within our blogs and comments. Furthermore, we do not endorse any medical advice provided, and would strongly recommend anyone seeking medical advice to contact their local healthcare provider.