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No, I don’t mean the Jefferson Airplane song. I’m referring to an informative, accessible health tool aimed at college-age students. (It really applies to everyone, though.)

Go Ask Alice” is a health-related website created and maintained by Columbia University. From their about page:

It provides readers with reliable, accurate, accessible, culturally competent information and a range of thoughtful perspectives so that they can make responsible decisions concerning their health and well-being. Information provided by Go Ask Alice! is not medical advice and not meant to replace consultation with a health care professional.

Basically, think a combo of “everything you wanted to know about [insert health concern] but were afraid to ask” and newspaper advice column with reliable information.

The reason I like this website so much is how non-judgemental and accessible it is. Everything gets discussed. While sites like WebMD and the Mayo Clinic (online version) offer a range of in-depth medical information, they can at times be overwhelming – or over peoples’ heads. It’s all very well to talk about lifestyle changes for depression, but what about the writer who just wants to know “Will anti-anxiety meds make me a zombie?“. How about someone concerned about mismatched breasts?

These are the kinds of questions people are often afraid to ask their family – or university health center – doctor, because they’re often embarassing. Often, they should be asking their doctor – but it can take a push to get someone inside the door.

It’s certainly better than asking Yahoo Answers. (Have you seen the kinds of responses people give?)

So, if you want to ask a question, peruse other peoples’ questions, or just patroll for new and unusual medical information – Go Ask Alice is a fun and informative site.

This post is the second in a three-part series on exercising with physical limitations

Website, website, I’ve got your website right here! There’s a great website about exercise and physical limitations, and it confirms a lot of what I said the other day.

It appears that muscle deconditioning occurs when people with FM neglect exercise in order to avoid pain. Deconditioned muscles use excess energy to accomplish tasks. This may contribute to more fatigue and make the muscles more susceptible to microtrauma, thus aggravating pain with only a low intensity of exertion. This cyclical process leads to atrophy (wasting) and greater effort performing various activities. Exercise can help to counteract this deconditioned state by improving oxygen delivery, increasing cellular metabolism, reducing muscle tightness, and eventually relieving pain to some degree. An important benefit during aerobic exercise is that muscle temperatures rise and this may possibly lead to greater relaxation.

This excerpt is from the National Center on Physical Activity and Disability (NCPAD) website, which includes an entire section on Fibromyalgia. There’s information on types of exercise, how/when to incorporate aerobic exercise/strength training/stretching, and references to books and journal articles.

The website also has sections on a number of other disabilities, ranging from “Acquired Brain Injury” to “Yoga for Individuals with Disabilities.” A full list of conditions and their related sections can be found here.

NCPAD is funded by a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and run by the University of Illinois.

Disclaimer: As with all things, consult with your medical provider or trained professional before starting a new exercise program.

My Etsy Store

A fibro-friendly item from my Etsy store

I've been working on making fibro-friendly jewelry. I'd love it if you checked them out by clicking the image above, or going to www.etsy.com/people/RogueCrafter

About Me

This blog is intended as a place for me to reflect on my own healing journey, in the hopes that others may also gain insight from my experiences. I've "borrowed" a line from Robert Frost's poem, The Road Not Taken:

'Two roads diverged in a wood, and I
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.'

I think the most important thing for me now is that I feel empowered to be a force for positive change in my life. And that, my friends, has made all the difference.

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