Episode 129: Whole Body Vibration for Fibromyalgia with Sarah Aboody, T-Zone Vibration

Exercise is one of the foundational pillars of health, but with fibromyalgia, we have extra sensitive bodies and nervous systems, and we need to be gentle. That means finding the right exercise to meet our needs can be tricky.

Today, Tami is excited to introduce you to a tool helping her feel even better and that she’s recently been obsessed with: a T-Zone Vibration machine. These machines use whole body vibration, a modality used for decades to increase muscle strength, bone density, and more. In fact, several studies have shown the benefits of whole body vibration for improving fibromyalgia symptoms.

To explore this further and share the results of a small informal study with our students and coaches, Tami is joined by Sarah Aboody, the Owner and General Manager of T-Zone Vibration. In this conversation, Sarah and Tami discuss how whole body vibration works and its uses for improving muscle strength, bone density, flexibility, mobility, and circulation, why oscillating vibration works best for fibromyalgia, benefits and uses of whole body vibration, the results of the informal study on the use of the T-Zone Vibration with Tami and some of our students and coaches, exercise as a pillar of health and how the T-Zone Vibration machine can help to build the habit, guidance for optimizing the use of the machine, why pain and fatigue might temporarily increase after whole body vibration, adapting whole body vibration for different needs, benefits of T-Zone Vibration machines, comparison of the smaller and larger vibration machines, special offers if you want to try a T-Zone Vibration machine, guidelines for getting started with whole body vibration, important considerations and precautions for individuals for whom whole body vibration may not be suitable, and more.

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Episode 128: The Power of Rest: Embracing Life’s Winter Season

Rest is not a luxury. It’s required for healing your mind, body, and soul.

A month and a half into the new year, everything around us is about making this your best year ever. From classes to articles, social media posts, and podcast episodes, there’s so much messaging about becoming a new and better version of yourself.

While growth is a good thing, and the transition into a new year can be a great time to make the changes to move closer to the life you want, you might find that these messages aren’t resonating. What if you’re feeling exhausted or frustrated? What if you can’t figure out where on earth you’d scrounge up the energy to make these changes?

Today, Tami talks about the power of rest and embracing life’s winter seasons. In this episode, you’ll learn about the significance of rest and its impact on healing, exploring life’s seasons and how they relate to personal growth, spring as a season of new growth, what it looks like to open yourself to new experiences, summer as the season of maturing, why we’re often more comfortable in the summer seasons of our lives, how these seasons relate to our fibromyalgia, fall as a season of harvest, acknowledging the process of letting go and accepting change, winter as a time to embrace rest as a necessary component for healing and growth, the power of winter rest, understanding what rest means, using the 80/20 rule for managing your energy, practical tips for embracing more rest in your life, the concept of deep relaxation, the benefits of embracing moments of a “blue mind state,” how to cultivate a “blue mind state,” aligning your actions to embrace the season you’re in, remembering the inevitability of spring’s arrival, things to consider leaving behind during your personal winter, ways to nurture that power of rest, the delicate balance between self-care as work and self-care as compassion and grace for individuals with fibromyalgia, and more.

While you’re waiting for spring to come, lean into your winter season and accept it for what it is. It’s an essential part of life and carries a lesson for you. Get the rest you need and reach out for help to move forward into spring growth.

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Episode 127: Fibromyalgia Stories of Hope & Healing #8

Most of us with fibromyalgia have to spend a lot of physical and emotional energy teaching the people in our lives about our condition. From friends and family to doctors and coaches, it can be draining.

That’s just one of the ways working with a Certified Fibromyalgia Coach® transformational. It’s invaluable to have someone in your corner who knows what you’re going through because they’ve been there and have the tools to guide and support you.

What would it be like to improve your quality of life significantly? How would your life change if you could improve your symptoms by 50%?

Today, in the eighth installment of our Stories of Hope and Healing, Tami shares inspiring excerpts from our January 2024 event. You’ll hear from four graduates about their stories and how they’ve been able to improve their fibromyalgia symptoms. On average, our graduates improve their symptoms by about 50% during the three-month program, and many people’s lives look dramatically different today than they did before starting.

In this episode, you’ll hear about Julie’s diagnosis and how she went from years of just one to two down days per year to four years of barely being able to get out of bed, why the journey of becoming a Certified Fibromyalgia Coach® was transformational for Julie, learning to give yourself grace on your bad days, why Julie wrote Chronic Illness at Work, her passion for advocating for the fibromyalgia and chronic illness communities, how she’s set and surpassed goals she never believed she ever could, the importance of setting goals and celebrating your successes, why Kaylynne ultimately decided to join the Certified Fibromyalgia Advisor® program, what surprised her (as a skeptic) about working with her fibro coach Brenda, why being able to address her fatigue had a massive knock-on effect on many areas of her life, prioritizing your energy for restoring yourself, the changes that made the biggest impact on improving her fibromyalgia symptoms, developing a positive relationship with your body, Kaylynne’s message to high achievers and perfectionists who are struggling with their fibromyalgia, Viktoriia’s early symptoms of fibromyalgia and how traumatic events in her life made it more difficult to manage, her move to Canada and search for relief from her increasing symptoms, the huge reduction in symptoms Viktoriia experienced after joining the Certified Fibromyalgia Advisor® program and working with fibro coaches, the series of difficult events and experiences that led Viktoriia to join the Certified Fibromyalgia Advisor® program for a second time and what she did differently, her recognition that she has to actively choose to support her body every day, Viktoriia’s new approach to life management, the tools that have made the most significant impact on her fibromyalgia, the impact of food on her well-being, how her coach Robin helped her with emotional overwhelm and her mental health, the challenges of managing stress and emotions, letting go of perfection, Deb’s decision to become a Certified Fibromyalgia Coach®, how changing her approach resulted in an improvement in symptoms of 68%, the value of experimentation and her experiences working with clients, what it’s like living with an invisible illness, why being a coach helps you with your fibromyalgia, the significance of focus and tools to manage fibromyalgia symptoms, focusing on living in the current body you’re in and making necessary changes for managing fibromyalgia, reducing stress and allowing time for the body to heal, how you can join the next Certified Fibromyalgia Advisor® program, what you can expect from the course, and more.

If you’re looking for ways to feel better, you’ll be inspired to hear their stories.

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Episode 125: How To Handle Health Discrimination and Harassment with Meredith Holley

“Taking action and being clear about what we expect does not have to be disrespectful.” – Meredith Holley

It’s very common for people with invisible disabilities like fibromyalgia to experience workplace conflict and discrimination because of it. From snide remarks to outright harassment, it can feel so isolating and even make your symptoms worse.

Despite that, most people don’t want to file a lawsuit. While it sounds so noble to have civil rights litigation, it’s a stressful process that often damages everyone involved. People want the tools and support to create a healthy workplace culture where issues are resolved so people can keep their jobs and receive the medical care they need.

In this episode, Tami is joined by attorney Meredith Holley to talk about speaking up for your needs and handling harassment and discrimination respectfully, whether it’s happening at work or at your doctor’s office. They discuss Meredith’s journey into workplace conflict mediation and communication coaching, her experience with sexual harassment in the workplace, arming yourself with tools to empower yourself at work, how workplace conflict can worsen your fibromyalgia symptoms, the three pillars of empowered communication and how you can use them to handle workplace harassment and discrimination, acknowledging the impact of harassment and our tendency to minimize its effects, the weight of experiences that our cultural values label as “little”, the concept of internalizing blame and responsibility for others’ actions, the importance of setting boundaries, the emotional impact of carrying labels and experiences related to disability, recognizing the choice to embrace or limit yourself in response to your health situation or workplace experiences, the initial steps of noticing and acknowledging harassment, the three steps for bystander intervention, strategies for handling harassment and discrimination with respect and self-focus, listening to your body and taking actions to ensure personal safety in challenging situations, the value of understanding the best ways to communicate with your healthcare providers, navigating challenges with requesting workplace accommodations, embracing open-mindedness and flexibility and a focus on desired outcomes, navigating the balance between self-advocacy and collaborative decision-making with healthcare providers, using professional expertise as a tool, resources you can access, Meredith’s message for you, and more.

If you’re experiencing workplace conflict, know you are not alone and did nothing to deserve it. There are steps we can take to ease the pain and energy drain. This is a problem that’s worth solving.

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Episode 124: One-Year Breakthrough To Fibromyalgia Healing With Kim Osborne

We often underestimate what we can accomplish in a year. The goal can seem so massive that we think we’ll never get there and don’t even bother to try.

That’s why it’s so important to hear stories of hope from people who have been where you are. There is so much you can do in a year; whether or not you go for it, the year will go by. It’s up to you to decide what you want to do between now and then.

Today, we’re having a special bonus episode where Kim Osborne, a current student in our Certified Fibromyalgia Coach® training program, joins Tami. In September 2022, when Kim came to Tami, she was struggling. She was at the end of her rope and didn’t know what else to try. Many of the things that used to help her cope weren’t working for her anymore, and even with her training as a health coach and yoga instructor, she was still feeling miserable. In this episode, Kim shares what worked for her and how her life transformed over the past year.

In this conversation, Tami and Kim discuss Kim’s fibromyalgia diagnosis and the start of her journey, her experience with prescribed medications and struggle with the recommendations from her rheumatologist, the downward slide many of us experience where our lives get smaller and smaller, why Kim decided to explore alternative solutions including seeking a fibromyalgia coach, the decisive moment when you realize life can get better, the feeling of finding hope and support in a community who truly understands you, the powerful impact of being coached by the right person, surprising lessons that came from working with Kim’s fibromyalgia coach, Robin, the drastic difference between a trip Robin took a year ago and again this year, being open to changing goals and expectations when we recognize what our bodies need, Kim’s progress in the past year, the importance of taking action between now and the future, recognizing the real role of a coach, why seeing a functional medicine doctor was game changing for Kim, the subtle difference between wanting to fix fibro and wanting to help yourself feel as good as possible, why Kim decided to take the Certified Fibromyalgia Advisor® course instead of only working with a coach, Kim’s plans for the upcoming year, her experience working with clients during her Certified Fibromyalgia Coach® internship, remembering that each person’s fibromyalgia journey is unique, Kim’s message of hope and encouragement if you’re struggling with your fibromyalgia journey, and more.

If you don’t have your own hope, borrow Kim’s. You can find ways to feel better, and we would love to help.

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Episode 123: Revealing Hidden Diagnoses Beyond Fibromyalgia with Dr. Isabelle Amigues

“You can only truly heal once you’ve accepted what’s going on.” – Dr. Isabelle Amigues

When you’re able to reflect on your fibromyalgia as a teacher, you stop fighting your body and put yourself in the best position to heal. Tami often describes fibromyalgia as the biggest gift life has given her. It’s a sentiment that can be difficult to understand when you’re struggling with getting through each day, but there are things you can do to move forward on your fibromyalgia healing journey.

For too many of us, when we received our fibromyalgia diagnosis, the doctor simply gave us the news and sent us on our way. What is omitted in that process is the fact that several rheumatological conditions can occur alongside fibromyalgia, and by treating those, you may experience significant relief.

If you’ve been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and your treatment is not working well, that’s a sign that something else may be going on.

Today, Tami is joined by rheumatologist Dr. Isabelle Amigues to talk about her journey from doctor to patient and why it’s crucial to have the correct diagnosis. In this episode, Tami and Dr. Isabelle discuss Dr. Isabelle’s struggle with early parenthood and recognition she was feeling sad and unfulfilled in her life, her stage three breast cancer diagnosis and how it changed her approach to medicine, reframing cancer as a gift that’s here to teach her something, why her diagnosis taught her to live with meaning and intention, the self-love that came out of Dr. Isabelle’s cancer journey, looking at fibromyalgia as a teacher and why Tami believes it’s the biggest gift life has given her, Dr. Isabelle’s appreciation for her patients and why it’s important to her to empower them, why she created a holistic practice, common conditions associated with fibromyalgia, symptoms that suggest something else may be happening in addition to your fibromyalgia, challenges patients face when seeking a proper diagnosis, why it’s often a good idea to have at least one visit with a rheumatologist, Dr. Isabelle’s message for you, finding the right doctor for you, a doctor’s role as a coach, listening to what your body needs, and more.

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Episode 122: Generational Trauma with Ruschelle Khanna, LCSW

Family stories play a crucial role in shaping our beliefs about health, work, and other aspects of life. In previous episodes, we’ve talked about the way traumatic experiences can impact your health and fibromyalgia. Today, we’re taking it a step further and exploring how the traumatic events that happened to your ancestors can affect your wellbeing.

You may have a family story about a great-aunt who is always sick and uses that to escape family obligations. Or maybe you watched your grandfather work himself to the point of illness. Even positive stories can get twisted over time; either way, they matter. They impact our relationship with our bodies, health, money, and even the world around us. The important thing is we can change those stories.

Today, Tami is joined by Ruschelle Khanna, a licensed clinical social worker and executive coach, to share her expertise on generational trauma. In this episode, Tami and Ruschelle discuss how Ruschelle came to do this work, how generational trauma can impact fibromyalgia and overall wellbeing, why Ruschelle decided to write her book, the concept of inheriting memories and traumatic experiences, Ruschelle’s experience with fear stemming from her mother’s early memories, the impact of family stories and peripheral experiences on generational trauma, how trauma affects the fascia and its connection to fibromyalgia pain, a recent example from a client of Ruschelle’s demonstrating the release of stored emotions through somatic therapy, how trauma affects the body’s flow of energy and information, looking at whether the muscular system, hormonal system, and energetic systems are flowing correctly, parallels between money management and fibromyalgia symptoms, the connection between strained family relationships, childhood trauma, and the development of chronic illnesses like fibromyalgia, what to do if your family isn’t supportive, why you need fo focus on and cultivate the areas where life is supporting you, talking to your body and acknowledging the thoughts and sensations in different body parts, why tapping is an excellent modality for working on the physical aspects of generational trauma, tracing family narratives and rewriting memories, where to find a genealogist or family constellation therapist for help in addressing generational trauma, the difference between coaching and therapy, healing through writing and connecting with ancestors, and more.

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Episode 121: A Gentler Way to Exercise with Fibromyalgia with Katarina Lotrič

For a lot of us with fibromyalgia and other chronic illnesses, working on our fitness comes in bursts. We’re told exercise is good for us, but when we go out and do what ordinary people do, it’s too much, and we crash. Then, that cycle repeats itself over and over.

Tami has found a tool that helped her and many of her students and coaches to shift away from this up-and-down cycle and into a healthy relationship with being active. It’s an app called Gentler Streak, and she’s been using it over the last year, during which it’s proven valuable for managing fibromyalgia symptoms while increasing fitness levels.

One of the things Tami loves most about Gentler Streak is that it’s more accurately in tune with how she feels and her normal versus a standard that might apply to someone who doesn’t have fibromyalgia.

Today, Tami is joined by Katarina Lotrič, co-founder and CEO of Gentler Stories, the creators behind the app. Katarina and Tami talk about the story behind the creation of Gentler Streak, recognizing that everybody’s normal is different, the unique features of Gentler Streak that make it suitable for individuals with fibromyalgia and other chronic illnesses, the evolution of Gentler Streak to focusing on a holistic approach to activity and wellbeing, challenges with existing health and fitness apps, making room for balance and self-compassion, launching the Gentler Streak app, privacy and how the app works with your Health app, the metrics that are tracked in the wellbeing section of the app, why the decision was made to use sleeping heart rate, the limitations of heart rate variability on the Apple Watch, factors that can impact your sleeping heart rate, how Gentler Streak determines when you’re doing too much activity, insights that can be drawn from heart rate data, the ongoing improvement of the algorithm and the app, tracking other activities and exercise minutes, why it’s important to log your activities at exercises, the special offer you can take advantage of for two free months of Gentler Streak, the important of getting good data in the app, feedback from Tami’s students and coaches about the app, becoming your own companion, how Gentler Streak can help you to treat yourself with kindness, why there isn’t an Android version of the app at the moment, why Tami checks the wellbeing tab in Gentler Streak first thing in the morning, how Tami tracks activity in Gentler Streak, Tami’s goal for using the app, and more.

Tami is so excited to share about Gentler Streak because it’s a gentle and fibro-friendly way to track physical exercise and body movement, and it does it without making you push too hard or feel like you’re not doing enough.

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Episode 120: How Do You Do It All? Ask the Coach

“How do you do it all?”

This question came up during one of Tami’s Ask Me Anything sessions during our annual alumni retreat, and it was so good that she decided to bring it to the podcast.

Before we get into the details, the short answer is Tami doesn’t do it all! At first glance, it’s easy to compare your life to what you see others doing. The problem with that is we tend to forget that we’re only seeing their highlight reel. You never know everything that’s going on behind the scenes at the deep level that you know your own life. On top of that, Tami’s fibromyalgia has been in remission for years, and it took a lot of work to get there. It doesn’t make sense to compare your everyday fibro life with that.

With that context in mind, in this episode, Tami shares how she chooses where to focus her energy and what to prioritize. She’s discussing the importance of making choices to prioritize the things that move you forward, how I learned to be intentional about choosing what to do, what it means to say no to say yes, the challenges of choosing between two good options, how to add more joy into your life, recognizing that you need to choose one habit to build at a time, why it’s worth it to prioritize improving your sleep quality, delegating tasks that are not in your zone of genius, offloading tasks in your personal life, how you can reduce your load with minimal resources, embracing imperfections in life, seeking support from others to reach your goals, the difference between talking to a coach versus a friend, finding the right professional help, and more.

As you continue to move forward into the life that you want to have, don’t be afraid to take a step back. Sometimes, that’s precisely what you need.

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Episode 119: Menopause and Fibromyalgia with Jeanne Andrus

“No woman is going to get to 90 years old without having gone through menopause.” – Jeanne Andrus

As women, society has trained us to be afraid of menopause. To view it as yet another trial we have to suffer through. The truth is that if you learn to accept it, menopause is a gift. And to take advantage of it, you need to support yourself through it. This is the time when we get to put ourselves at the center. After decades of people pleasing, it allows you to take yourself from the periphery and make decisions from a point where you are considered a priority.

Today, Tami is joined by The Menopause Guru, Jeanne Andrus. Tami and Jeanne discuss how Jeanne became the Menopause Guru, her purpose and passion for helping women navigate this period of their lives, the technical definition of menopause, symptoms and indicators of menopause, the potential connection between perimenopause and fibromyalgia, how hormone levels change from perimenopause onward, the adjustment period at the start of postmenopause, why menopause should be viewed as a journey with unpredictable experiences and changes in the body, testing hormone levels to determine menopause status, special considerations for identifying where you are in the menopause journey if you’ve been on hormonal birth control, why Jeanne suggests working with your doctor to taper off your birth control gradually regardless of menopause status, Tami’s experience with suddenly stopping her birth control pills, how the pituitary and thyroid glands work together to regulate hormone production, why it’s crucial to remember that menopause is a natural process, supporting yourself naturally through the menopause transition, the overlap of fibromyalgia and menopause symptoms, how hormone replacement therapy can help, the shift in perspective that many women experience in their early 40s, how biology influences our roles in life, Jeanne’s resources for women on the menopause journey, why you should start thinking about menopause in your mid-30s, embracing menopause as a gift, how fibromyalgia can impact menopause symptoms, and more.

For those of us with fibromyalgia, many symptoms of menopause overlap, like insomnia, brain fog, pain, and fatigue. You cannot blame all of your symptoms on fibromyalgia because they can be coming from many other places, including hormones. If you’re a woman who’s 30 or above, it’s time to start thinking about menopause.

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