The Microvasculature

So I’m still intrigued by the idea that the hand can be the key to pain relief for people with fibromyalgia. Avacen 100 is a device that claims to offer whole-body pain relief via muscular relaxation through the hands. While “claims” is the key word and I’m eternally skeptical about miracles, Albrecht et al (see library) has done research since about 2013 looking at arteriovenous shunts in the palm of the hand and noting extra “sensory fibers” in people with fibro. An article on (see library) indicates that the AV shunts are not working properly in people with fibro. At the same time, I’ve seen announcements that the mystery of fibromyaglia has been solved, and it seems to point back to this same research.

In an effort to start to understand what the heck people are talking about with the hands, I looked at cutaneous blood vessels and a little bit about how they work. And I ran into some old friends: hypothalamus, baroreceptors, cortisol, cholinergic discharges, bradykinin, peptides, and ACE inhibitors, the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. Of course the body is all connected, so it shouldn’t be surprising, but I never connected the hypothalamus to the skin. So I looked a little further at Slomimski et al (see library) and found out that skin cells (epidermal and dermal cells) “produce and respond to classical stress neurotransmitters, neuropeptides, and hormones.” There are a lot of factors that affect how the skin functions, and in turn, how the skin functions affects how the body functions.

What’s remarkable is how many crossovers between the skin and fibromyalgia I’ve found with very little effort. I don’t understand how everything affects everything else, but looking at it like a puzzle, there are a lot of puzzle pieces in common. A lot:

cytokines neuropeptides hypothalamic hormones
N-acetyl-serotonin pituitary glucocorticoids
catecholamines ACTH steroids
histamine thyroid-stimulating hormone opioids
serotonin corticotropin-releasing factor endocannabinoids

In addition, the same “classical neuroendocrine axes” that drives the production of these molecules echo the same systems that are malfunctioning in people with fibromyalgia:

  • hypothalamic -pituitary-adrenal axis
  • hypothalamic-thyroid axis
  • serotoninergic system
  • melatoninergic system
  • catecholaminergic system
  • opioid and endocannabinoid system

As always, frustration sets in. The pieces are there, but I can’t see the big picture. I can see the patterns or that there are patterns like an elaborate code, but I can’t see how the pieces fit together. Is it ignorance? Brain fog? Fatigue? Am I just too old to figure this all out? Too tired? It’s like not being able to think of that perfect word to describe something, that word on the tip of your tongue teasing your brain.


Avacen 100?

On a day when I’ve deliberately stayed in bed in order to sleep and rejuvenate after several weeks of running and excitement, I know that I’m too tired and too sore because I’m looking at the easy way out. No, not offing or drugging myself – both are probably counter-productive. I ran into a “medical device” while looking at some research on circulation as it pertains to people with fibromyalgia, and it looks….interesting. Has anyone used an Avacen 100?

Here’s the link: <;

Essentially, from what I can tell, it’s a device that you put your hands in, and it takes away the pain in your body. It doesn’t say it’s a cure for fibro, but it’s supposed to be a drug-free pain reliever. Can I get feedback from anyone?

Can You Just Peel My Skin Off and Get It Over With?

Lately I’ve been distracted by my own skin. Sometimes it feels like my skin is my whole problem, and if I could just get rid of my skin, I’d feel sooo much better. The people I’m around everyday probably wouldn’t agree and would discourage me from shedding my largest organ.

So what’s with my skin. I think the “white noise” type pain that I feel pretty much 24/7 and which usually comes at low levels (maybe 2 or 3 on the pain scale, 8 or 9 on the relentlessness scale), really stems from my skin. That’s the pain that really drains me of energy. Sometimes if my significant other rubs my back or arms or feet, it feels like my skin is peeling off. I am probably right about being pretty immature for my age because my skin is definitely that of an adolescent – with the wrinkles of a middle-aged woman. I can’t use moisturizers because I break out or the perfume gives me headaches. I can’t use conditioner on my hair or nice shampoos that would make my thin(ning) hair perk up and look glamorous because the chemicals make my scalp break out. I have to use medicated shampoo even though I don’t have a dandruff issue. My skin’s a mess! I’m wondering if it’s a “fibro thing” or if my sensitivities to chemicals is the “fibro thing” or if it’s all just me overreacting to discomfort.

It’s time to start researching again, dive back into my pile of articles that are not quite read. I’m going to start with skin and see if I can figure out any connections. While I’ve been out, there’s been another “breakthrough” for fibro having to do with arteriole-venule shunts, but this is research that actually started at least around 2014. It’s been rediscovered and I think some new information is available. I’m going to start there.  I have an article talking about the shunts and glaborous skin. Don’t ask me what that’s all about, but I’ll find out and let you know. Glaborous skin… I think I have a lot of that.

Hello Turkey!

While I’ve been out gallivanting and doing pretty much everything except writing, I’m very happy to say visits have been continuing in my absence, and from all over the world. I’m very happy to see Turkey join in the conversation, although for every country that joins us, there’s a person in pain.  So… welcome, thank you for joining us, and I’m sorry to see you… All at once.