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Razzle

Exercise ... Do more, do less, do nothing? What worked for you?

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Razzle

I have had the good fortune to confer with some of the top brain researchers in the world this past 4 years. Michael M. Merzenich who has had several PBS brain specials, Robert Sapolsky at Stanford, Daniel Amen (also many PBS brain specials) Malcom Lader in the UK and many others.

 

Off the subject of exercise but Dr. Merzenich is considered the father of neuroplasticity research and he told me to study primates brain ability to heal they give them SSRI's then stop them.

 

OK Exercise - none of these experts had a clue on how to heal a drug damaged brain. The one common theme was aerobic exercise. There is a great book out on this called SPARK on this. There is also the work of the Cooper Center on the benefits of aerobic exercise for anxiety and depression being better than medications.

 

For the first 3 years I could not do any more than walk - any strenuous activity made me critically ill. I still walk a lot and more if I am in a wave (which seems to be continual) but now I have been able to do some 10 mile bike rides.

 

Has anyone else found benefit/determent to exercise??

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squirrel

Can't do much int they way of exercise as my balance is so bad.

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summer

It's soooo important! I actually walked about 20 minutes today - in the heat. I'm tired so that lets me know that I must continue to do some type of exercise.

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Maybe

In the mid of 2010, while in hospital, I could even lift weights again and had no problems at all.

Now I cannot even walk too much or too fast or I will be back in a wave.

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Claudius

Already in my WD period (but stll unaware what was happening to me) I joined a hiking club and I walk each weekend about 12-20 kilometers. And though it has not speeded up my recovery, I get a lot of energy from it, social interaction and it helps staying in shape physically.

Also I swim each week for about 45 minutes. I think swinning is very good in preventing your muscles to stiffen, especially when you are homebound as I am for years due to the inability to work from the WD symptoms.

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lupe

Yesterday I was having a fairly decent day. I did a lot of laundry and groomed my dogs, brushing and nails...I have 4, and did quite a bit of vacuuming. I also did some picking up. I had a call from my health plan and they had a cancellation and wanted me to come in for a consult prior to a sleep study and so I said I would take it. I had to drive about 25 min into a busy area and so it was somewhat stressful. I came home and laid down for a while because I was feeling sleepy.( I wake up too early in the AM.... about 4:30-5AM.) I dozed a bit. I then went to visit my mom and did about 20 min of light pool exercise at her retirement center. We had dinner and then I came home. I was going to walk my dogs with my roommate but was feeling really lousy, like I was getting the flu so we didn't do it. I have had this happen a couple of other times and I think I was just too physically active. I felt really horrible for about an hour, I had to be lying down.

I feel ok this morning but worried about over doing it again today. I have fibromyalgia and took AD's for it. Some of them really helped but cannot take the side effects anymore. I am not taking any meds for it now. I have gotten too sensitive and cannot even take pain killers like aspirin.

I am wondering if anyone else has had a reaction like this to exercise or physical activity or is it maybe just my fibro symptoms without any treatments.

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Altostrata

Hi, lupe. I moved your new topic here, in the Symptoms and what helps forum. (There's only one topic to a customer in Introductions.)

 

This is a good question. Yes, some people find there's a limit to the amount of exercise and activity they can tolerate.

 

Please remember that not only has your nervous system been sensitized from withdrawal, it's very wearing on your body, too.

 

Just that could trigger fibromyalgia symptoms.

 

In fact, earlier in withdrawal I got what you might call fibromyalgia symptoms: Tingling, aching pain in hands, wrists, and shoulder; later a lot of shoulder and upper back pain. Acupuncture was quite helpful for the tingling pain and now it's all gone. I get periodic chiropractic treatment for what shoulder and back pain remains (it's exacerbated by too much time at the computer).

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lupe

Thanks Alto for your input.

I know that you are spending a lot of time on the computer!!!! I appreciate the time you put in.

It has been so helpful to see so many of my symptoms are being experienced by others and hope to get feedback if they have a problems with over exertion.

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solida

Hi lupe,

I have a dog too and I was used to be walking for hours before withdrawal.

Now, still if I walk for too long I feel sick with flu like symptoms afterwards.Its getting better and better, when I think about that in the second year of withdrawal I was bedbound.

 

lg solida

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Punarbhava

Hi Lupe...........

 

Yes, as others have indicated, over-exertion can intensify WD symptoms, not to mention, produce profound fatigue.

 

 

 

As solida stated, as one recovers one can take on more however, pacing oneself accordingly is important. I've learned to adopt the "Less is More" approach. I'm doing less than what I feel I can tolerate at the time. I'm having many days now where I feel as if I can go for hours straight however, I've learned to force myself to STOP and take REPEATED rest breaks between activities.

 

IF I don't rest, I pay the price and get hit with paralyzing fatigue where I literally can't move for several hours and/or I can pay a huge price the next day.

 

It's hard to know how to pace oneself though since, as one recovers, one's resilience can fluctuate from day to day, even hour to hour. Thus, the repeated rest breaks is the best I can come up with and it seems to serve me better than if I keep going (even if I feel okay).

 

It's so hard to take a break especially if one is feeling okish enough to get caught up on things that have been left unattended to for so long however, failure to do so (at least for me) results in negative consequences.

 

So sorry you also have to contend with fibro over and above WD. I don't have fibro, but like Alto, and many others, I did develop fibro-like symptoms during WD however, most have significantly faded in intensity.

 

 

I also found that upper body exertion produces more intense negative consequences than lower body exertion. I've witnessed this to be the case with many others in psyche drug WD.

 

The good news is eventually, we fully recover and will no longer have to be so cautious and gentle with ourselves.

 

Peace and Healing to You Lupe!

 

 

Punar

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lupe

Thanks punar!!!! I am trying to remember to pace myself because as you said it is tooooo easy to overdo when I feel good. Last night I actually felt like eating ice cream! So I had vanilla with chocolate sauce. It was so good but then I couldn't sleep probably from the chocolate(?) and also got really bad heartburn. I just cannot eat sweets since I quit the ADs. Because I only got about 3 hrs sleep I'm really tired tonight and going to try to get lots of sleep, haha, because tomorrow I move my mom. I think I have plenty of help and so I will take lots of breaks so I'm not miserable tomorrow night.

Thanks again for the feedback.

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Punarbhava

Thanks punar!!!! I am trying to remember to pace myself because as you said it is tooooo easy to overdo when I feel good. Last night I actually felt like eating ice cream! So I had vanilla with chocolate sauce. It was so good but then I couldn't sleep probably from the chocolate(?) and also got really bad heartburn. I just cannot eat sweets since I quit the ADs. Because I only got about 3 hrs sleep I'm really tired tonight and going to try to get lots of sleep, haha, because tomorrow I move my mom. I think I have plenty of help and so I will take lots of breaks so I'm not miserable tomorrow night.

Thanks again for the feedback.

 

You're most welcome Lupe! Oh, the ice cream with choco sauce sounds so divine but I understand how and why you suffered afterwards.

 

So sorry about only getting 3 hours sleep. I SO KNOW all about such nights (I've had far too many to count) (lol).

 

Wow, re: moving your mother. That's a big job but glad to hear others will be helping out. Hope all goes well and yes, do take lots of breaks. It will be hard to do especially when others are around but we have to learn to honour our CNS since, if we don't we pay a price.

 

 

Hope you were able to get a solid night's sleep before and after the move.

 

 

Peace and Healing to You!

 

 

Punar

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Altostrata

Just wanted to note about exercise:

 

Exercise can increase the release of cortisol, the stress and alerting hormone. Exertion may well make you feel lousy.

 

Walking is the form of exercise that least causes increases in cortisol. But if you do it strenuously and in the evening, you may well wake yourself up with some alerting hormone.

 

So don't overdo it, especially in the evening.

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Maybe

Hi all,

 

just wanted to bring up this topic again.

As we all know, exercise is so important for our health, ill or not ill. So I wanted to ask what exercises did you do that have helped you so far?

 

Sometimes I even have problems with plain walking. 2 or 3 weeks ago, I walked for an hour but very slowly. Still, I felt terrible in the evening, maybe 8 hours later. I very often have those delayed "bad phases", no clue what that could be.

 

So are there any other exercises that one could do besides walking? I guess walking for a mere 15 minutes doesn't really serve any purpose?

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Barbarannamated

Maybe,

15 minutes would be a great achievement for me on many days!

Go for it!

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Shanti

I find gentle exercise helps me, but if I cross over the line too much it makes me very ill. I like to just take a walk around the block.

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Maybe

Well, heading out for a little walk then today. Just around the block :)

 

@Shanti:

How does it feel, if you cross the line? When I overdo it, my whole body feels like crap. I do not get special symptoms like I normally do, but I overall feel miserable, like my system is going to shut down any minute.

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Shanti

Well, heading out for a little walk then today. Just around the block :)

 

@Shanti:

How does it feel, if you cross the line? When I overdo it, my whole body feels like crap. I do not get special symptoms like I normally do, but I overall feel miserable, like my system is going to shut down any minute.

 

Yes I feel that way too. I also get shooting pains down my legs and numbness. Also, nausea.

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Maybe

This is so weird. I only get those symptoms when I do too much sports. And it has gotten much, much worse after I did the acupuncture in June last year. I wonder what the acupuncture has done. Maybe it can be reversed by acupuncture? Though am I too afraid to try that, I guess.

 

Can this also have something to do with the glutamergic system or a too high colesterol level? How can I reduce this level naturally, if it is elevated? Is it possible to find out via a normal blood test?

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Maybe

Opps, I meant cortisone, not colesterol...

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Shanti

Didn't Barb post that she had acupuncture and had negative lasting results? I think the best way to try to fix that is to look up how to balance your Chakras. How to Balance Chakras. I don't recommend the kit they sell, but I'm posting that link because she explains the chakras well. There are ways you can balance Chakras without having to buy anything.

 

Oops, I see you're asking about acupuncture. I'd check with Barb about that.

Edited by Shanti

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Barbarannamated

I didn't have bad effects from acupuncture, but --for me-- there is wide variability among acupuncturists. A few worked wonders (for pain) and others had no effect even though they seemed to do similar things. One put a needle in the cartilage at the top of my ear--OUCH! It bled some, but sure seemed to work.

My regular acupuncturist is awesome, however he has an assistant who is not so good--for me. No negative effects, but no noticeable improvement.

I'm not suggesting that one visit has cured! I use chiro for neck and back. When that doesn't 'hold', I get acupuncture. I would prefer to use acupuncture 1st, but it's not covered by my insurance.

I haven't used specifically for WD.

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Maybe

I will have a look into the chakra balancing. I think during wd a lot of our "energy" is disturbed. Maybe it will help a bit.

 

My big fault was, that I had absolutely no symptoms for 2 or 3 before I had the acupuncture session and the therapist said that my energy was low and she wanted to increase it. So I guess she stimulated my cns very strongly, which threw me right back into wd. I did not know then that acupuncture could have such an effect on my cns.

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Shanti

I will have a look into the chakra balancing. I think during wd a lot of our "energy" is disturbed. Maybe it will help a bit.

 

My big fault was, that I had absolutely no symptoms for 2 or 3 before I had the acupuncture session and the therapist said that my energy was low and she wanted to increase it. So I guess she stimulated my cns very strongly, which threw me right back into wd. I did not know then that acupuncture could have such an effect on my cns.

 

For some reason, I'm just so leary about acupuncture. I never really thought about why until this was coming up. I think it's because it seems too forceful in altering the energy flow. Granted, I have not researched it. This is just my intuition.

 

I definitely feel our energy is disturbed from the withdrawals.

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Shanti

I totally overdid it. I walked two blocks instead of one and paid for it. I mean, really! This is insane that I can't do anything. Last night I had severe back pain, jerks, zaps, all of it. I'm gaining weight just sitting around. I can't wait til this is over and I can have my life back.

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Shanti

I just read that walking increases endorphines. Could this be why it's making me sick and my nervous system problems?

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Maybe

Did this come right after you walked or later?

For me the bad reaction is always delayed for hours and mostly starts in the evening, even when I walked in the morning.

 

Maybe it has something to do with the exhausted adrenals or something like that. There are lot of things that release endorphines, I doubt it has something to do with that.

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Shanti

It happens a few hours later, like you said, usually that evening. I had severe back pain too. It's just now feeling better. Took a full day and a half to recover from a 2 block walk! One thing I'm doing is stretching when I stand up to keep things circulating right. I only do it for a couple of seconds. It's not affecting me negatively.

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Shanti

I know it seems crazy that just a little walking causes us such harm. So I had to research more of how walking affects the brain. This is from an article called Brain Chemicals and Walking by Jamesh:

So it seems that many people believe that walking can have positive effects on your mood. But is that really so? Is there hard evidence, or just the firmly-held opinions of people who happen to like walking anyway? What effect does walking … or any exercise, for that matter … really have on your brain? To find out, we must learn a little bit about how the chemicals in your brain (neuro-chemicals) affect your mood.

There are four main brain chemicals that affect mood. They are:

Serotonin,
Adrenaline (also called Epinephrine),
Dopamine,
Endorphins.

Serotonin lifts your mood, increases your feelings of satisfaction (including being satiated–having had enough to eat), and lifts any depression. I’m sure that many people reading this will have experienced the mood-lift brought about by a rise in serotonin at some point. It is that satisfied feeling you may get after getting physically tired after doing something fairly strenuous but fun for some time, or eating a really good meal that you enjoyed. It is also that feeling of comfort we get from spending time with close friends or family we like.

Serotonin levels are lowered by:

chronic stress or anxiety,
starvation or a low-carbohydrate diet,
inactivity
leaving you feeling depressed, irritable, moody, and exhausted. Funnily enough, there is a way of low-carb dieting that actually boosts serotonin, but I’ll leave that until a later post.

On the other hand, serotonin levels are strongly elevated after a long walk, even at moderate intensity levels.

Adrenaline (Epinephrine) is responsible for the “fight or flight” response that occurs when we get scared, or feel stressed. The effect adrenaline has on the body is to increase heart rate and blood pressure, elevate temperature, stimulate the sympathetic nervous system (used for voluntary muscle contraction), repress the parasympathetic nervous system (used for digestion, immune response, injury repair, and sleeping) and increase cortisol levels. In today’s fast-paced world, we all probably experience adrenaline on a daily basis. Racing to get things done, being late, driving in rush-hour traffic, juggling too many tasks at once, and starvation can all stimulate adrenaline. Adrenaline can become depleted with chronic stress or anxiety, leaving you feeling worn out, exhausted, mentally drained, and often depressed. Adrenaline is temporarily elevated when we exercise at very high intensity levels. Exercising at lower intensity levels, or performing intervals, (alternating intense exertion and rest) can lower adrenaline levels.


You can read more of this article at the website. I put in bold the statement that walking increases Serotonin. I think this might be key as well because it messes with the part of the brain that regulates the serotonin and it's already all messed up.

Edited by JanCarol
fix link (now on Wayback)

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Maybe

Very interesting. When I walk only for maybe up to 20 or 30 minutes I feel ok, but up to an hour and I am miserable.

 

Maybe we still do not have enough receptors to reabsorb the serotonin that is produced then?

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Shanti

That,I don't know lol. I don't know technical stuff. But seeing that it does increase so many hormones it just seems that this is the issue. I'm jealous, I can only walk 5 - 10 minutes. One block. Two blocks and I'm done for.

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Maybe

Don't be jealous :)

You are still tapering and after that you may be back to your old self. I am already 27 months out and still in a mess in some areas.

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Shanti

Oh, well in that case I'm still a baby at this. lol. K I will stay hopeful.

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Tom

I did three acupuncture sessions, after reading some positive things on this site about it, and I think it had a very negative effect and brought about new symptoms. Or it could have just been a coincidence. This is a complicated mess we are in and it's hard to say what is causing what sometimes. But I don't think I'm going to take any more chances with acupuncture any time soon. Also, I'm not so sure about walking either. I've started to think recently that my mood gets worse after I've gone walking. I've been off the meds for a year now and have done quite a bit of walking. Perhaps I would have had an easier time of it had I walked a lot less. Who knows.

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Maybe

Hello Tom,

 

what did you aim for with the acupuncture? Or better, what did the therapist do?

Mine activated/stimulated the nervous system as I seemed to have too low energy. After being 2 or 3 weeks free of all symptoms I was thrown right back into worst withdrawl...

 

So I would not say that acupuncture is generally bad in wd, but more what is being done.

 

But yes, I am not going to ever test it again as long as I am in wd...

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Tom

I went to her for anxiety on the first visit, and then anxiety and sciatica on the next two visits. I told her repeatedly that I didn't want anything energizing or stimulating. Again, I don't know if anything she did caused my problems or not. But I had read your posts, which I somehow missed prior to going, and decided not to chance it.

 

I think acupuncture is probably like most things, good for some, not so much for others. Especially people with screwed up nervous systems in withdrawal. Some people can do B vitamins and some can not. Same for fish oil. I had a very sensitive system even before I ever went on meds, so I certainly think acupuncture could be powerful enough to cause problems in my current screwed up condition.

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