Plant a seed of hope, a seed of gratitude, a seed of life.
The Fibromyalgia Garden
Is there really such a thing as a fibromyalgia garden?
I have been gardening for some time now. I wish that I could say that I am good at it but the truth of the matter is that I am not. But I love to do it and I find it helpful in controlling the aches and pains of my fibromyalgia. That is why I call it my fibromyalgia garden; a garden that helps with my fibromyalgia.
For those who suffer with fibromyalgia, the symptoms can vary in intensity and duration. And, the symptoms themselves can change. Yet it is safe to say that for most, fibromyalgia produces aches and pains that can be annoying at least and debilitating at most. Also, it produces a great deal of fatigue. Sensitivity to heat and cold is another problem that fibromyalgia survivors have.
So how does working in my garden help me, especially when I have to deal with all of the symptoms of fibromyalgia? This is how it helps. (Now remember fibromyalgia is different for everyone but don’t rule out gardening to help your fibromyalgia without hearing me out first.)
1. Physical Stimulation – As I mentioned, I am not a great gardener. I have so much to learn but because I have the space and the desire to garden, I find it a healthy challenge for me. Physically, I get to move my stiff and achy body for a good cause; weeding! Getting up and down from the ground is not always easy to do but the action of doing this stimulates more than my muscles, it stimulates my nerves, joints, lymphatic’s and blood.
I try to garden two to three times a week. I live here in beautiful and very sunny Arizona so an added benefit I receive from gardening for my fibromyalgia is plenty of vitamin D from the sun! And, as you can imagine, I sweat a lot too! Sweating helps to cleanse my body from excess and inactive minerals, which I replace daily with a healthy vitamin and mineral rich morning shake.
2. Emotional stimulation – There is something about getting out into the sunlight and receiving its powerful light and energy. Call it metaphysical or spiritual, or whatever you choose but I call it enhancing. (Getting too much sunlight is called a sun stroke!) The sun’s rays are the force behind life. All living things, plants, insects and animals, need sunlight to survive AND TO THRIVE! (I know there are some deep water creatures and plants that can survive without sunlight but have you seen how ugly and deformed they look? I choose the sun.) It makes me feel better when I get out of the house or clinic and get into the outdoors.
Growing a plant from a seed or even a starter plant is both challenging and rewarding. There are many obstacles that get in the way of the plant’s growth. This is metaphorical of our own lives, isn’t it? With fibromyalgia, there too are so many obstacles that get in the way of our personal growth. When I fail to help a plant survive or thrive, I am disappointed. Yet, I also learn from the experience. What did I fail to do? Too much water or not enough? Did I give the plant (think metaphorically now) too much or not enough nutrients? Did I give it the right nutrients? What about sunlight; too much or too little? I personally learn about myself and my patients when I garden. Can you see how?
3. Spiritual Stimulation – When I am successful growing tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, or whatever it may be, I know that I have provided my family and me the healthiest, freshest produce available and, at the same time, I have helped to feed the world just a little bit. That makes me happy and grateful. Gratitude for what I have accomplished makes me think less about my problems and focus more on helping others. Perhaps this is the greatest source of strength and vitality for me; helping others.
Growing a garden, a fibromyalgia garden if you may, can be a help to you too. I hope that you will give it a try. Start small and simple as there is no need to stress yourself, nor hurt yourself attempting to grow a big garden. It’s just not necessary. Using growing pots might be a good place to begin, but start today to plant a seed; a seed of hope, a seed of gratitude, a seed of life!
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