Category: Fibromyalgia

Water Metabolism

Water Metabolism is a key diagnostic marker for people with chronic diseases like Long Covid, Fibromyalgia Lyme disease etc. Especially when we’re working in the world of disease clusters like IBS, POTS and MCAS or histamine responses, but it can apply basically anywhere.

Sadly, this is something that your primary and even most specialists just ignore. It’s both a very new and very old way of looking at functional health disorders so most clinicians either think it’s pseudoscience or they’ve just never heard about it because even though we like to think medical practice is pure science, its about as susceptible to fads as your average teenager’s tiktok feed but at the end of this post I will teach you how to tell if it’s out of whack yourself.

55 to 60 percent of the weight of a human body is water. Its what makes us deliciously plump like a brined turkey and is of course a big part of our electrical functioning because that water carries electrolytes that help keep your lights on.

If you weren’t stoned out your mind in high school biology you may recall that water moves across the selectively permeable phospholipid bilayer membrane of your cells by osmosis (At least that’s what I learned because I wasn’t cool so nobody offered me drugs until college). And like most of the places where medical science has a giant donut hole in it that indifferently keeps people sick, that’s not wrong but it’s missing the important part of the picture.

Knowing a few things would fill that donut hole and make it as delicious as you:

If osmosis were the only way water moved around our body we’d die of dehydration so enter Aquaporins. These are your cells’ HOV Lanes where water can move much more rapidly than simple osmosis. More on these in a second.

The importance of a great deal of physical movement like walking which most of our ancestors did all day long. it wasn’t just a stupid walk for their stupid mental health it was a normal part of everyday life until we invented couches and office furniture, unless you were wealthy enough to be carried around on a palanquin by other people constantly being fed bread and fruit–which is why many chronic illnesses nowadays mimic the diseases of the bougie classes in olden times. Carbs are cheap and feed fungus. Time is our real precious resource and you should spend more of it not being sedentary if you can. Gentle movement is the key to creating the vacuum forces that move water through your lymphatic ducts and the interstitium which is the flooded zones between cells where water can pool and start getting yucky.

Water in our bodies is just like water in nature.

Where it moves fast it is healthy, maybe even safe to drink. Where it sits still it grows pond scum.

The interstitium is a lake. It has three times as much fluid as the cardiovascular and lymphatic systems combined and nothing pumps it along as well as gentle physical activity. If you’ve read our posts on Long Covid and POTS you’ll recall a special role played in that process by fungus. Here we can see how mold toxins directly inhibit aquaporin function and result in more water being held in the interstitium:

Swamp monster time.

So if you’re constantly feeling puffy and soggy like a human loaf of french toast, but also showing signs of dehydration like like dizziness and headaches? Right here, this is you. And drinking more water might not be the solution. the “8 cups a day” rule is just something somebody pulled out of their butt and has no scientific evidence behind it. Hydration levels can be managed best by learning to pay attention to thirst:

that walking and gentle movement also promotes sweating which is the literal transit of water out of your body and a big way our bodies stay internally clean.

Don’t be this guy.

Along with movement comes a need to breathe. Your lungs are a giant literal pump. If you think it’s only for air make a “HHHH” sound in cold weather. the reason you can see your breath is because it’s carrying water.

The other things necessary for healthy water metabolism are regular bowel movement, regular urination, and for uterus owners in the right stage of life a regular menstrual cycle. If you went on oral birth control or had a hormonal IUD implanted, and immediately gained 15 pounds of water weight maybe that wasn’t the best thing for your POTS.

So, diagnosis:

Many of my patients have had mold toxin tests done and my honest take is that they’re unnecessary for managing these kinds of illness. While it’s nice to have a lab say “this is what’s making you sick” it doesn’t usually lead to effective treatment and often points people in the direction of fear-based behaviors that I won’t get into here because I don’t want a horde of methy RVs following me everywhere I go. Mold toxicity can generally be assumed here because it is part of the picture for everyone who falls into this disease cluster, see my posts on Candida, and is taken into account already in the treatments that actually work such as our Fibromyalgia protocol and Long Haul Covid toolkits.

One of the oldest and most accurate ways of diagnosing water metabolism problems comes from Chinese Medicine. Many areas of China are riddled with mold toxicity and a huge category of Chinese medicine practice is in the area of “Damp” diseases.

If you’ve ever seen an acupuncturist they probably wanted to look at your tongue but they might not have been able to say why because most of them have a fisher price medical education and I’m not throwing shade here except at the schools, I had that too, but it’s important to note that many acupuncturists, even the very good ones, often have a difficult time explaining what they are doing in a modern context.

The tongue is a muscle we can see and its relative swollen-ness can tell us a lot about whether or not excess water is being retained in the body, and why. If you have these scallopy toothmarks, it may be you.

The tongue also grows out of pharyngeal arches which create different sections of your body, and their status is still reflected in the different sections of the tongue, even when you’re no longer a fetus.

Chinese medicine calls these sections an organ knows as the “three burners” and this is often mislabeled as pseudoscience because anatomists can’t find any camp stoves inside a human cadaver.

BUT when you look at the interstitium’s ability to move elements of your microbiome from one part of your body to another,

and you separate that microbiome into three distinct regions (respiratory, gastrointestinal, urogenital) corresponding with the pharyngeal arch regions, the three burners organ makes a pretty nice metaphor and starts to sound a lot more real.

So by looking at the tongue, you can see the parts of the body affected by excess water retention.

Distal third: Head and upper torso

Center: GI system (edges: hepatobiliary system)

Proximal third: Kidneys & urogenital system

Now go for a walk and consider a light sweat every day as one of the key things you can do for your health.

This is one of the foundational pieces of understanding for chronic illnesses, and most of the kits & protocols on our website for Fibromyalgia & Long Covid address the common dysfunction with water metabolism we see. Click below to explore more:

Fibromyalgia Stage 2: Resolving Heavy, Achy Pain

Fibromyalgia Stage 2: Resolving Heavy, Achy Pain

Now that you’ve dealt with the wind and dampness that caused your wandering pain, it’s time to address Fibromyalgia Stage 2.

This stage is associated with deep, constant (think sleep-interrupting) achiness in the muscles that usually worsen with strenuous exercise. You might also be experiencing heavy and continuous pain in the joints of your neck, shoulders, back, and hips.

And don’t be surprised if you also seem a little forgetful or absent-minded. Although brain fog can pop up during any stage of fibromyalgia, it appears especially prevalent in Stage 2.

Lifestyle Considerations in Stage 2 Fibromyalgia

In most cases, heavy, achy pain is associated with digestive troubles and chronic fatigue. That means focusing on your microbiome — the collection of microorganisms that call your gut home. Maintaining a healthy microbiome not allows you to fend off the heavy, achy pains of Fibromyalgia Stage 2, but it also offers relief from a host of gastrointestinal disorders, including IBS!

To achieve the optimal microbial environment, you first need to consider what lifestyle factors are discouraging the growth of good bacteria and promoting the proliferation of fungus and other bad pathogens. You’ll need to reduce your consumption of sweet, rich, or sticky foods. Most dairy products and alcohol are going to work against you too.

You should approach probiotics with a good dose of skepticism – we do! And please, no kombucha! On the other hand, you won’t usually go wrong with sauerkraut and kimchi if you tolerate fermented vegetables well. Both are great for encouraging the growth of healthy gut flora that’s needed for good digestion.

Try Abdominal Self-Massage

You should also be performing abdominal self-massage after EVERY meal.

Next to eating right, taking the right medicines, and being in nature, abdominal self-massage is one of the best things you can do to promote digestive and microbial health. That’s because every time you do it, you’re:

  • Encouraging peristalsis
  • Helping your body create more enzymes and stomach acid
  • Secreting bile
  • Promoting the smooth distribution of gases that significantly impact overall wellness

It’s also extremely relaxing and feels really good!

Performing abdominal self-massage is incredibly simple and takes only minutes. But it’s enormously beneficial, especially if you struggle with fibromyalgia pain, IBS, constipation, or bloating.

Sip on Some Gut Tea: Huo Xiang Zheng Qi Tang

The Huo Xiang Zheng Qi formula is widely used in Chinese medicine to promote digestive health. It contains a ton of good stuff for eliminating the damp-type heavy, whole-body pain associated with Fibromyalgia Stage 2, including:

  • Magnolol: One of our favorite anti-fungal compounds
  • Curcumin: A potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant
  • Baicalin: Another powerful anti-inflammatory
  • Quercetin: For regulating histamines

This potent gut tea is sold over-the-counter in China to treat damp-type diseases like food poisoning, traveler’s diarrhea, and summer flu. Huo Xiang Zheng Qi Tang can also be used as a summer and autumn drink to increase sweating and thirst and promote healthy fluid metabolism, or in high-exposure environments to prevent the onset of viral “damp plague” type diseases. It’s also excellent for treating the damp-type Fibromyalgia flares associated with new viral infection or other activation of the immune system.

For Fibromyalgia Stage 2, we recommend brewing one or two bags of Huo Xiang Zheng Qi Tang and sipping on it all day long.

A Dose of Aquada and Microgard Plus with Every Meal

Finally, take a small dose of Aquada and Microgard Plus with every meal.

Aquada is a super-premium version of the classical Chinese formula Er Miao Wan or “Double Awesome Pills” that combines Cang Zhu (Red atractylodes) and Huang Bai (Phellodendron) — two of the most potent substances on earth for regulating microbial health.

The berberine in Huang Bai gives Aquada strong anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties, while Cang Zhu provides lots of volatile anti-fungal compounds that restore healthy water metabolism, starve fungus of sugars, and eliminate damp-type heavy pain.

Microgard Plus is an Imperial grade herbal formula containing botanical extracts to promote a healthy and diverse microbiome. It’s traditionally used to relieve bloating, cramps, and fatigue after eating, irritable bowel, food sensitivities, nausea and poor appetite related to excess dampness and what Chinese Medicine calls “food stagnation” — over-consumption of rich, fatty, sweet foods aka the Standard American Diet.

Contact Crawford Wellness Today

I hope you found this post informative and helpful.

To order our Fibromyalgia Stage 2 Protocol package, head over here:

If you have any questions about the treatment of fibromyalgia and the relief of heavy, achy pain, please ask away by sending the clinic a message via our contact page.

Fibromyalgia Stage 1: Freedom from Wandering Pain

Fibromyalgia Stage 1: Freedom from Wandering Pain with Crawford Wellness

How can I free myself from fibromyalgia?

This is a question I get from many of my patients struggling to cope with the widespread pain, sleep problems, and fatigue typical of this chronic condition.

What is Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia isn’t so much a disorder as a syndrome that currently affects around 4 million adults in the United States. Although it can hit just about anyone at any time, it’s most common in women between the ages of 20 and 50.

Fibromyalgia usually causes several types of generalized body pain, fatigue, and muscular stiffness. In some cases, these symptoms are accompanied by poor sleep, headaches, numbness or tingling, difficulty concentrating, dizziness, sensitivity to light or noise, digestive upsets and painful periods.

Because individual sufferers can manifest a range of fibromyalgia symptoms, misdiagnosis is common – especially when practitioners fail to take in the bigger picture. Unfortunately, mainstream medicine has – until very recently – either misunderstood or ignored the problem entirely. Many people suffering with Fibromyalgia feel ignored by their medical providers, blamed for overemphasizing the severity of their pain, or pushed away with psychiatric medication.

Wind and Dampness: The First Pathological Factors Behind Fibromyalgia Wandering Pain

Fibromyalgia is characterized by different types of pain. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine these indicate different kinds of underlying syndromes, and can be best treated by working in stages. We often make the analogy of repairing a house damaged by storms and left to decay: if you replace the soggy carpet before repairing the roof, it will get damaged again with the next rainfall.

Relieving wandering pain, usually described as pain that affects different points on the body at varying times, is the first stage of treatment. To relieve this type of pain, Chinese Medicine focuses on removing two pathological factors: Wind and Dampness.

Biomedically speaking, the phenomena of Wind and Dampness are the results of multiple pathogens lingering in the body and working together, such as Epstein Barr Virus (EBV) reactivated by the presence of a biofilm-forming bacteria (source). Now, you might think that killing the responsible virus would eliminate the pain. But it’s not that simple—viruses like EBV aren’t really alive, at least in how we generally consider animal cells to be alive. For one thing, they don’t have all the components that make a typical cell typical. And they don’t reproduce on their own – they require our cells to do that.
So, while some viruses like Herpes Zoster or EBV – and it’s looking like SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes long-haul COVID – can go dormant for years at a time, they never really die. They’re always lurking in the background, just waiting for the right conditions to arise which allow them to thrive again.

The conditions which allow this most easily to occur are the presence of biofilm-forming bacteria; in small amounts these are a natural part of the human microbiome; but overgrowth can lead to excessive mucus and viral reactivation.

Removing Wind and Dampness: Here’s the Tea

Our favorite way to address the first stage of Fibromyalgia treatment is with Xiao Chai Hu Tang, a formula that’s more than 2,000 years old and stars Bupleurum Chinense (Chai hu). It is the most commonly used formula in Chinese Medicine for removing lingering pathogens and expelling the Wind that causes fibromyalgia wandering pain. To power it up, we combine it with San Ren Tang to flush lymphatic fluid, transform biofilm, and begin modulating the microbiome of the GI and respiratory systems (remember this includes your skin) to a healthier profile.

Bupleurum Chinense (Chai hu) is a perennial herb native to the grasslands of China, India, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan, but the absolute highest quality is sustainably wild-crafted from Tibet. Along with a ton of beneficial saponins, Bupleurum is also associated with some fantastic pharmacological effects:

  • Soothes Liver-qi stagnation
  • Anti-inflammation
  • Anti-cancer
  • Anti-fibrosis
  • Anti-hyperlipidemic
  • Choleretic (promotes bile secretion)
  • Digestive-enzyme promoting effects
  • Immunomodulation
  • Pathogen control by anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-endotoxin properties

In Wind Tea, Bupleurum combines with other amazing ingredients – Scutellarie to slay bacteria, Phinelia to bust up biofilms, and ginger to warm the GI tract.

You’ve Also Got to Sweat

Plant medicines like Bupleurum inhibit the ability of a virus to enter your cells and replicate. But to take fibromyalgia pain relief to the next level, you’ve also got to sweat.

Why? Because sweating helps your body release its own anti-fungal and anti-microbial compounds dermicidin and lactoferrin (source) to keep the microbiome of your skin healthy.

Drinking hot herbal tea is an easy way to do this. But gentle physical exercise, saunas, and breath-holding will make it even more powerful.

Contact Crawford Wellness Today

I hope you found this post informative and helpful.

To order Wind tea, head over here:

If you have any questions about the treatment of fibromyalgia and the relief of wandering pain, please ask away in the comments or send the clinic a message via our contact page.

Chinese Medicine Specialty Care

Chinese Medicine Specialty Care

Chinese Medicine in the US is evolving.

Chinese Medicine Specialty care is something that was once only available by traveling to China. In most areas of medicine, when you have a serious chronic condition, you see a specialist. Someone who has devoted their career to the deep study of only a select few areas of understanding.

Until recently in the US, this was not possible to do. In the time I’ve been in practice this profession has gone from being one of relative outcast in the medical world to being one of the most exciting and sought-after fields. Whereas we used to have to scour dusty old shelves and “know a guy” to get good educational materials and Chinese herbs or learn a specialized acupuncture technique, we now have access to the highest-quality books, experts and medicinal substances on the planet and are able to offer a level of care on par with the very best that is available in China or anywhere else.

Another way that the profession is evolving is that we are starting to specialize. Most acupuncturists are general practitioners, and are very good at it. That’s our training in school — we cover a wide variety of topics, in breadth if not in depth — and we often see a wide variety of different types of patients and medical conditions in practice. A few of us now are beginning to create medical specialties in our field.

I’m interested in four areas: Fibromyalgia, Lyme Disease and Chronic Infections, Neurovascular Conditions and Oncology.

All of these have a few things in common: they are conditions that reflect the space where our bodies meet our environment. They are complex. They are often debilitating or even life-threatening. And they are treatable.

I have devoted my career to studying from the very best experts in these areas of medicine to be able to create treatments that can dramatically improve and extend the lives of my patients. If you or someone you care about are suffering with a condition in one or more of these areas, I invite you to join my practice.

And of course, if you’re struggling with your health somewhere else, I’m happy to help you there too. The things that Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine have always treated well: chronic pain, allergies, hormonal balancing, digestive problems — come in for an appointment and I’ll tell you what I can do, or give you a referral to the best care I know of for you.