Improving an Understanding of Fibromyalgia

If you have fibromyalgia, perhaps you've come across the reaction of confusion when trying to explain to people the chronic condition you have that can, on bad days, be debilitating and even demoralizing. Education is a powerful tool to can help people understand the illness. Equally powerful is creating a general awareness of the syndrome.

National Fibromyalgia Awareness Day

Every year on May 12 is the official National Fibromyalgia Awareness Day. The day was first celebrated in the United States in 2007 at California State University, Fullerton and had 700 attendees.

Depending on what day the date is on in a particular year, Awareness Day activities may be scheduled for the closest Saturday or Sunday. In the United States the day is full of speeches and education festivals as well as a walk and wellness festival.

The festival typically also includes annual Walk of FAME. FAME is an acronym for Fibromyalgia Awareness Means Everything. In 2010 more than 200 people participated in the walk. The walk went through the California State University Campus and included refreshment and inspiration stops.

National Fibromyalgia Awareness Day also attracts contributor booths with more booths available each year the day is organized. In 2010 there were 30 exhibitor booths. Some of the perks the exhibitors provided were product demonstrations, samples and free massages. Overall the exhibitors goal ways to show people ways to live happier and healthier lives and they can do this even if they have fibromyalgia.

Internationally

National Fibromyalgia Awareness Day is celebrated all over the United States. Here's a list of some of the states that participate.

· Hot Springs, Arkansas

· 4 locations in California

· 3 locations in Colorado

· Smyrna, Delaware

· 5 locations in Florida

· 2 locations in Georgia

· Moscow, Idaho

· 2 locations in Illinois

· 3 locations in Indiana

· Louisville, Kentucky

· 2 locations in Michigan

· 2 locations in Minnesota

· 2 locations in Missouri

Other states that participate in this event include Nevada, New York State, South Carolina, Virginia, Utah and Wisconsin.

National Fibromyalgia Awareness Day is also celebrated in Australia, Canada and Spain too.

Getting Involved

If you suffer from fibromyalgia or know someone who has been diagnosed, you can help increase awareness of the syndrome that's often been called the "invisible illness."

There is, of course, always the option of sending people education material about the illness randomly throughout the year. But it's more likely that they'll pay attention if the information you provide them is given on a very specific day.

One way to help increase awareness of this day is to simply send out an email to everyone on your list. A single email is good enough since you don't want to appear pushy or end up producing spam.

Don't just say it's National Fibromyalgia Awareness Day. This won't mean much to anyone who doesn't know a thing about the condition. Provide a little bit of background information about exactly what fibromyalgia is as well as its symptoms, diagnosis and treatment.

Share information about the day on social media such as Twitter or Facebook. Keep your message short possibly with a link to this site and the National Fibromyalgia Association.

Check to see if there are events being arranged in your area. Volunteer to help organize the event and promote it. Register as a walker in the National Fibromyalgia Association's Walk of FAME (Fibromyalgia Awareness Means Everything). Register on your own or get a bunch of friends together and register as a team. Even if you can't physically walk because of scheduling conflicts or health reasons, you can register as a virtual walker.

 

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