we often forget that our ancestors relied primarily on feeling to understand and manage their world. The suppression of feeling and bodily sensation is an aberration of the modern world, not an evolutionary advance.
Maitland shares his “evolutionary” explanation of fibromyalgia, how the role of fear in stone age times served the function of survival, but in our chaotic world of today, sensitive people effectively burn out in their attempts to employ stone age survival mechanisms in the fast churning world of today. Maitland again,
Fibromyalgia is not a disease in the usual sense, it is a fear disorder based on a genetic quirk. It is a maladaptive fear response that results when unrelenting stress and trauma, destructive parenting, and/or childhood trauma are coupled together in a highly sensitive individual who pursues the futile attempt to live in a chaotic world at odds with his or her bodily and psychic resources.
In this article, Jeffrey Maitland is explaining both proximate and evolutionary explanations of fibromyalgia. A “proximate” explanation looks at the symptoms of fibromyalgia. An “evolutionary” explanation looks at how fibromyalgia would be consistent with our stone age patterns of responding to fear and stress. After explaining both of these, Maitland then writes,
a phenomenological approach to fear shows that it is an orientation toward the world in which the person does not want to be present. For most people, a loaded gun placed at their head accompanied by angry threats is enough to make them not want to be present. Fear mobilizes us for action. But as we have seen, if we are constantly subjected to the kind of pain, stress, or abuse that we can neither control nor escape, we will remain helplessly immobilized and unable to defend ourselves. In order not to be present to our suffering under such conditions, nature has given us a way to escape by providing us with a way to numb our experience. If we are unable to escape by running away or by fighting, we immobilize ourselves by going into high state of sympathetic arousal. If we remain stuck in this immobilization response, we, in effect, anesthetize the boundaries of self and body and cease being fully present in the present.
Maitland goes on to say
Since fibromyalgia is a fear response rooted in unresolved trauma and/or relentless stress that is constantly being triggered by the patient’s world, it goes without saying that a form of psychotherapy that is capable of discharging chronic sympathetic arousal is an extremely important part of the treatment program.
This is the most exciting article I’ve come across yet about fibromyalgia. It seems to be cryingn out for a way to address fears. Maitland and Teitelbaum have found a comprehensive way to help many people with their symptoms. By paying particular attention to each person’s individual issues, and using a combination of psychology, drugs, hormones, exercise, sleep therapy and more, they are finding much success. I have to wonder how much more effective their work could be with the addition of tapping. EFT stand for the EMOTIONAL FREEDOM TECHNIQUE. Fibromyalgia, according to Maitland, is a kind of emotional prison of fear. EFT, according founder Gary Craig, presumes that a person’s emotions are stored not in the ‘mind’ of the person, but in their energy system. Maitland’s article here is the strongest confirmation yet for me of the perfect fit between EFT and helping people who have fibromyalgia