Episode 61: Introducing FibroFokus: Norway’s First Fibromyalgia Outpatient Clinic

Introducing FibroFokus

Norway’s First Outpatient Fibromyalgia Clinic

What did you feel when you were diagnosed with fibromyalgia? Relief? Shame? Frustration?

These were all things Regina Frisch felt when she was finally diagnosed after 15 years of struggling. When she was ready to take action and asked what the treatment plan would be, her doctor told her they didn’t really have one.

Sound familiar?

It takes an integrative approach to treat fibromyalgia effectively. An integrative approach means treating the whole person, not just your parts.

When Regine learned that Norway’s medical system couldn’t provide what she needed, she used her contacts as a social worker and therapist to draw together a team of like-minded practitioners. Together, they founded FibroFokus, Norway’s first outpatient fibromyalgia clinic.

Listen in as Tami interviews Regine and co-founder Dr. Hege Tønnesen about their journey and the integrative approach they use with their patients at FibroFokus.

Key Points

  • When you go undiagnosed, you end up pushing and pushing until finally your body stops. Your body says no.
  •  We have to learn how to live in the bodies that we have and in the life that we have. We have to know how to manage ourselves in our real lives. 
  • If you really want to get better with fibromyalgia, you need to take a more integrative approach. You need to treat the whole person. 
  • Many people think that their lives will be much worse once they are diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Instead, life is just a little bit different and different isn’t bad.
  • It is really, really hard to make this shift of focus by yourself.

About FibroFokus

Regine Frisch was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 2017 after 15 years of struggling with pain and fatigue. When the options she was given by her doctor didn’t meet her needs, she decided to create what she wished all fibromyalgia patients could have. In May 2020, she founded FibroFokus, Norway’s first fibromyalgia outpatient clinic, with naturopath and nurse, Laila Grindeland, medical doctor Hege Tønnesen, and MIT Hanne Grete Jarland. As an integrative clinic, patients are treated by all providers working together as a team. The goal of FibroFokus is to reduce stigma, increase knowledge about fibromyalgia, and, ultimately, to help people live their best life ever.

Website: FibroFokus.no
Email: hei@fibrofokus.no
Facebook: @FibroFokus

About Regine Frisch & Dr. Hege Tønneson

Regine Frisch is Norway’s first fibromyalgia therapist, as well as the first graduate from Norway in the International Fibromyalgia Coaching Institute’s Fibromyalgia Advisor Training & Certification Program. She is a clinical social worker and family therapist with experience both from the Social Services Office and with social security benefits. For the last 13 years Regine has been working as a therapist and is a leader in substance abuse and trauma treatment in the specialist health service in Bergen, Norway. Regine is also a wellness agent in the Norwegian Rheumatism Association, and she teaches a mastery course for people with rheumatic diagnoses, muscle and skeletal disorders.

Dr. Hege Tønnesen is the consulting doctor for FibroFokus. She studied medicine and graduated as a doctor from the University of Bergen. She also completed studies, rotation, started in general medicine, took over a general practice for 11 years, and became a Specialist in General Medicine.

Dr. Tønnesen has met with many patients who have fibromyalgia and other chronic diseases. Like many doctors, she has experienced the frustration of not having very many good options for her fibromyalgia patients. This was one of her motivations for joining the founding team of FibroFokus.

Links & Resources

Other Episodes Mentioned

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Listener Shoutout

I was just diagnosed this week and found your podcast today. This episode (Episode 57: Talking To Others About Your Fibromyalgia) in particular has been very helpful to me. Thank you for the care you put into your podcast.

~ Listener on Facebook

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