Group-based Approach Reduces Pain Magnification in Fibromyalgia

Pain Medicine News Mobile  by Rosemary Frei, MSc

A study comparing the use of a multidisciplinary program and standard treatment for patients with fibromyalgia suggests that the intervention can significantly improve some aspects of the disease up to three months post-intervention.

In a multicenter, randomized controlled trial presented in poster form at the Canadian Pain Society’s 2011 annual meeting, a team led by Patricia Bourgault, RN, PhD, randomized 28 people with fibromyalgia to the PASSAGE program and another 29 to usual care. They found the intervention significantly reduced subjects’ magnification of pain and significantly increased their ability to ignore pain sensations.


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Steps to Reduce VA Claims Backlog

Military Report:

Week of July 16, 2012

The Department of Veterans Affairs processes more than a million disability compensation claims a year, for veterans of every age and era, whether they served in wartime or during periods of relative calm. Despite this, 558,000 claims are in “backlog” status. A new electronic claims processing system VA wide To address this issue.

Read Tom Philpott’s latest Military Update to learn more about the new VA system.



Please Note: at the time of this post, VetsPrevail is open to any and all veterans-the press release states that it is only 500, it is now accessible to all veterans

Vets Prevail Press Information

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Vets PrevailSM Increases Outreach Efforts to Combat P.T.S.D.

Vets PrevailSM has enrolled 500 U.S. veterans and active duty troops in its groundbreaking, web-based training program that helps reintegration into civilian life by building resilience against stress-related disorders. A service of Prevail Health Solutions LLC (“Prevail”), Vets Prevail quickly met and surpassed the enrollment goal set during its Veterans Day launch last month. Featuring interactive e-learning sessions tailored to the military audience that dynamically convey the most relevant content to each user based on his or her input, the lessons also are supported by instant message chats with Veteran Peer Mentors that strike the right balance between anonymity and community. The privacy and convenience of the online program overcome the problems of stigma and access that have prevented many veterans from taking the first step to mental health care.

In light of the strong response, Vets Prevail now has filled its initial allocation of users, funding for which was provided by Welcome Back Veterans, an initiative of Major League Baseball and the McCormick Foundation through a grant to the Veterans’ Corporation, Inc. Since the program is offered at no cost to veterans and service members, Prevail actively is seeking additional support to provide access to Vets Prevail for all veterans and service members, nationwide.

“We knew the Vets Prevail program would achieve a strong response, but we anticipated 500 enrollments within 4 months, not 3 weeks.” says Richard Gengler, CEO and Co Founder of Prevail. “The groundswell of demand shows that today’s military is facing an entirely new set of challenges that require innovative technology solutions. As a veteran-owned organization, we are dedicated to our fellow warriors. We believe this has allowed us to effectively reach out to our military community in a unique way and recruit members of this generation of service members and connect to create a community of care, online.”

Besides actively reaching out to service members by social media, news outlets and email, Vets Prevail is continuing the “We Prevail” campaign by producing a collection of videos showing veterans and family members conveying stories about the effects of PTSD and giving testimonials in support of the Vets Prevail program. Celebrities are also being invited to record their endorsements and names will be announced soon. The videos will be released on the website and circulated through social media and online properties.


Prevail Health Solutions LLC is a Health 2.0 company founded in January 2008 by Richard Gengler and Roger Sweis, then MBA students at University of Chicago. The company was created to provide effective and accessible mental health care to the growing number of soldiers and National Guard members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Gengler, a former US Navy pilot, and Sweis, a former health care executive, combined their backgrounds to create a unique delivery model to bring mental health resources to returning troops. Prevail has received financial support from the National Science Foundation to develop its innovative web-based technology.


Hate Crimes Against Disabled People

Hate Crimes Against Disabled People Soar To A Record Level

June 18, 2012


‘Anti-scrounger’ rhetoric blamed for doubling of offences since 2008 financial crisis.

The number of disability hate crimes reported to police has reached a record high, sparking concerns that the Coalition’s “anti-scrounger” rhetoric is fuelling hostility to the most vulnerable members of society. A total of 1,942 disability hate crimes were recorded by police forces in England, Wales and Northern Ireland last year.

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Although this particular report is from overseas, join our Community to respond to this article, and network with others to find ways to combat this issue.

Don’t hate me for the bad spelling…This was copied directly from the article.


Memorial Day 2012



Run for the Wall

recognizes the sacrifices and contributions made by all veterans who have served our nation. Veterans of recent conflicts and those currently on active duty are especially welcome to join us as we ride for those who cannot.

Mission Statement: To promote healing among ALL veterans and their families and friends, to call for an accounting of all Prisoners of War and those Missing in Action (POW/MIA), to honor the memory of those Killed in Action (KIA) from all wars, and to support our military personnel all over the world.

Philosophy: We strive to maintain a safe, supportive and private atmosphere in which all participants can reflect and heal on their journey to the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C. in the hope that they can return home to a new beginning.


  1. To guide the participants across America.
  2. To educate future generations as to the importance of accountability in wartime actions emphasizing that no one should be left behind.


Thousands Come to Vietnam Homecoming Celebration

CONCORD, N.C. — Thousands of people came to the Charlotte Motor Speedway Saturday to give Vietnam veterans the welcome home that many of them said they never got four decades ago.

Saturday’s Vietnam Veterans Homecoming Celebration featured several bands, the 82nd Airborne Division “All American Chorus” and parachute jumps. The main attraction was a replica of the Vietnam memorial wall listing the names of those were killed in the war.

Related Photos

The Moving Wall Vietnam Veterans Memorial

The event also had veteran service organizations that could provide help for veterans.

Related Content

Video: Vietnam Veterans Homecoming at Charlotte Motor Speedway
Story: USO honors Vietnam veterans at celebration

The USO of North Carolina organized the event and gave out more than 60,000 free tickets.

Millions of U.S. troops — including 216,000 from North Carolina served in the Vietnam War. More than 58,000 U.S. soldiers were killed in Vietnam, including 1,600 from North Carolina.

From ABC11, Larry Stogner – a Vietnam veteran himself – and Gilbert Baez – an Army veteran were in attendance.


How to Use Fresh Ginger for Pain

How to Use Fresh Ginger for Pain


By Samantha Volz, eHow Contributor


Though it may be best known for its spicy taste, enhancing food products such as ginger ale and ginger snaps, ginger can be used for much more than flavoring. Ginger has been used as a medicinal aid around the world for more than 2,000 years. Indigenous to Asia, this spice was used by the ancient Chinese to aid upset stomach, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Fresh ginger can also be used to treat headaches, arthritis and other pains.


Things You’ll Need

  • Ginger
  • Knife
  • Juicer or blender
  • Stove
  • Water
  • Pot
  1. Food and Drink

    • 1

      Cut fresh ginger into slices, one to two inches thick.

    • 2

      Run through a juicer or blender until you have ginger juice. You can drink this at a thicker consistency if you want; set your blender accordingly.

    • 3

      Drink up to four grams of fresh ginger juice or tea per day to help with headaches or arthritis pain.


    • 4

      Cut fresh ginger into slices, one to two inches thick.

    • 5

      Boil a pot of water on your stove; turn the heat off once the water reaches full boil.

    • 6

      Soak the fresh ginger slices in the hot water for an hour, so that the ginger soil seeps into the water.

    • 7

      Rewarm the water, but do not bring to boil again.

    • 8

      Soak a clean cloth or washrag in the ginger water and hold to the painful area of your body. The ginger and warm water will help to alleviate pain and inflammation.

Tips & Warnings

  • The ginger-water mixture used for your compress can also be drunk as a tea.
  • Do not consume more than four grams of fresh ginger per day. Excessive doses of ginger can cause heartburn, diarrhea or irritation in the mouth.
  • People with gallstones or any bleeding disorders, as well as those taking blood-thinning medications, should consult their doctors before ingesting ginger.

Read more: How to Use Fresh Ginger for Pain |


War’s Amputees: 4 out of 5 Say “Life Is Full”

Wars’ Amputees: 4 of 5 Say “Life Is Full”

By Mark Thompson | @MarkThompson_DC | March 12, 2012 | +
Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Michael J. Carden

Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Michael J. Carden
Marine Corporal Raymond Hennagir plays basketball with fellow military amputees in 2010

Nine of 10 have mental disorders. Two of every three suffer from PTSD, and 40% suffer from traumatic brain injury. Nine of 10 are on 100% disability. Four of five also suffer from diseases of the nervous system, and diseases of the musculoskeletal system and connective tissue. Many are living with moderate to extreme pain.

Yet amid all this bleakness, there is some good news: more than four of every five also say their “life is full.”

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What’s Your Trigger?

Fibro Haven:

How can we begin to heal if we do not understand why we are ill?

Healing from chronic illness is so much more complicated than just treating the symptoms. Prescription meds may help us cope, but they do not correct the original imbalances that led to dis-ease. And with difficult-to-understand illnesses like fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, it is not always possible to pinpoint just one specific cause. Often it is a series of causes like a traumatic event experienced while in the midsts of some other type of recurring life stressors. There are many different types of traumas that can lead to chronic illness – physical, emotional, viral, environmental. With so many possible factors, it is easy to see why treatment is so difficult.

Knowing your trigger.

When putting together my blueprint, it was easy for me to pinpoint the exact moment when my trigger was switched – the day I broke the porcelain toilet with my head. Yes, I would definitely say that qualifies as a trigger. And the immediate downward spiral of my health from that day on is a clear indicator that the physical trauma opened the door to chronic illness. So I can with confidence say that my trigger was physical. That is the easy part. But what I must also consider is how my lifestyle leading up to the trauma left me predisposed to developing chronic illness.

Not everyone who suffers a debilitation head trauma ends up with fibromyalgia.

The concussion and brain trauma that resulted were expected outcomes to the physical trauma, but the pain and fatigue that increased daily were not. So why did I end up with fibromyalgia after the head trauma? Was I genetically predisposed to it? Did my lifestyle leading up to the accident leave me vulnerable to chronic illness? In both cases I believe the answer to be yes. But I am not a medical professional, and I cannot change or debate my genetics, so I am only going to focus on my lifestyle leading up to the event.

Busier is not always better.

I had what I thought at the time to be a very healthy and active lifestyle. I had a great job, a fun and active social life, I exercised regularly, ate well, was in a healthy relationship  – sounds pretty perfect, right? Well upon reflection it was not so perfect after all. In reality I was wound so tight that I was just waiting to snap. I never said no to anything. I was always on the go, never really taking the time to relax and enjoy my life. I was simply pushing through one experience to get to the next, like a small child who won’t drift off to sleep for fear of missing out on something. I had to be engaged and involved in everything because it was how I defined myself – “I am Dannette, the girl with the most active and full life ever!” With or without the head trauma, my lifestyle was eventually going to catch up with me. A crash was inevitable.

So while I can easily state that my trigger was physical, the depleted state of my being leading up to the physical trauma likely left me vulnerable to the prolonged crash of chronic illness.

Why is it so important to understand all of this? Again, I am not a medical professional, so this is all theory on my part based on living many years with chronic illness, and my current experience with improved health. The reason I think it is so important to understand the trigger is because I believe it will best inform how we should approach our own unique blueprints for healing.

My trauma was physical and so is my treatment.

Unless this is your first time reading my blog, you know that I directly attribute the healing I am experiencing to my regular practice of yoga. I was very athletic leading up to my accident, and tried many times over the course of the first 13 years of my illness to return to my former athletic ways, only to fail and end up in miserable pain. When I discovered the healing powers of gentle and restorative yoga, my body responded immediately. I found movement without pain! And because of the neurological nature of FM, yoga is an excellent mindful movement to practice as it regulates and balances the central nervous system.

I did not have any viral issues to address, like so many people with FM and CFS do, so in a way I am fortunate. My blueprint is pretty direct. I have seen tremendous improvements by incorporating gentle movement back into my life, and by addressing several other contributing issues like food allergies (eliminating gluten), and toxicity (heavy metals).

Of course this is a simplified explanation of the many years of trial and error it took me to piece my blueprint together, but I believe if each of us take the steps to really address and acknowledge our triggers, we can begin to piece together a blueprint for healing. Take a long and truthful glance back on your life before the trigger. Were there other factors of your lifestyle that may have left you vulnerable? A difficult marriage or childhood? This would require adding an emotional healing component to your blueprint. Do you see where I am going with this?

I am no longer the girl who thinks I need to say yes to everyone and everything. In fact I try very hard to participate in only things that nourish me, and eliminate people and activities from my life that do not. Healing requires effort, and sometimes we have to make hard choices. It also requires us to be able to honestly reflect on how we, unknowingly or not, contribute to our own illness. It is only with awareness that we can make progress. So if you are ready to begin you blueprint, start here: What’s your trigger?

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