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Natural Awakenings Tucson

Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia and PTSD

What do chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have in common? All three of these illnesses are devastating. They have many symptoms in common such as low energy, chronic pain, depression and poor sleep. For each of them there is no definitive diagnosis, so they are often misdiagnosed. There is often a feeling of hopelessness and being misunderstood. Most health professionals are trying to manage the symptoms of a person where multiple systems are failing. The benefits of these treatments are usually minimal and often the medications cause additional problems.

The other factor these diseases have in common is that the nervous system is stuck in fight-or-flight. The person is acting as if the stressful event or series of events is still occurring in the now moment. Their nervous system is stuck in a loop. The body prepares again and again for an event that is no longer happening. This chronic tension distorts the posture, diminishes breath and makes every organ strain.

Over time, the body starts to break down from constantly having to be in protection mode. The nervous system needs reset so it can remember the relaxation response. When the relaxation response is activated, the blood pressure drops, the muscles relax and energy is freed up to start healing and repairing the body. The mind stops racing and the person can sleep better and make better choices. The whole cascade of illness begins to unwind and the person can become healthy and strong again.

For many people who have been diagnosed with chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia and PTSD, if they look back at their history, they were exhibiting fight-or-flight symptoms for decades before their body “collapsed” and the collection of symptoms were given a name. These symptoms of a nervous system in constant survival mode are poor posture, shallow breathing, chronic tight muscles, poor sleep, high blood pressure and a mind that won’t shut off.

Those with any of the above symptoms can take action today before the problems worsen. The right chiropractor who knows how to reactivate the relaxation response can help turn on one’s healing power.

Joanne Haupert, Doctor of Chiropractic, has been helping people with PTSD, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue since 1998. For more information, call 520-584-0343, email [email protected] or visit

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