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Pain, Pain, Go Away - Fibromyalgia

Author: Rita Bishop, Special to Valley News

Date Published:
Publisher: Daily News - Valley News - Northeast

Multi-method approach offers relief.

We all may have an occasional pain-in-the-neck, either literally or figuratively. However, there are those who suffer with an extreme amount of pain on a daily basis, sometimes for many years, from a condition called Fibromyalgia.

They are people like Justin Monroe, a hairdresser in Studio City who was in such chronic pain he had to hire and extra assistant just to get his job done. "I had tried herbs and medications," said Monroe. Then a family member told him about a local therapist, Viviane Oberhand, who uses Time Line Therapy® and Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) in a personalized approach to get rid of any underlying emotional issues that contribute to Fibromyalgia pain.

"I was skeptical. But when you're a person who suffers from chronic pain...," he said, as his thoughts drifted back. "I have to say that woman saved my life. She is very talented and very spiritual. For me it worked total miracles. Viviane helped me through a hard time in my life, and I now consider her a friend for life."

The process Oberhand employs combines several types of therapy including guided imagery and a technique called Time Line Therapy®. Clients learn from the root cause of their pain, without having to re-experience it

"The premise of my work is that when the mind cannot make sense of life - and the mind is not at ease - the body goes into disease," stressed Oberhand. "Anger, sadness, fear, guilt and conflict can contribute silently to many health problems."

Those suffering with chronic pain have often exhausted every avenue in seeking relief. They have usually gone to many doctors, had extensive tests, and tried numerous medications.

Elise Gelfand, a resident of Chatsworth who suffered with Fibromyalgia, was familiar with that scenario. "For years, I could barely stand up straight," said Gelfand. "Doctors had wanted to put a morphine drip in my spine," she said with concern. "But I didn't want to be on disability." That was when she sought consultation with Oberhand. She admitted she hadn't known what to expect, but went in for a consultation and decided she might as well try it - she had tried everything else. "There was an orientation, and I had one session," said Gelfand.

And the one-time session she had with Oberhand proved successful. After the therapy, she reported that her pain was 80 percent gone. "I would recommend [Oberhand] 100 percent to anyone who has that level of pain, let alone anyone with a milder case," said Gelfand.

The U.S. Government's National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases say that Fibromyalgia is a disorder that causes muscle pain and fatigue. People with Fibromyalgia have 'tender' points on the body. Tender points are specific places on the neck shoulders back hips, arms, and legs. These points hurt when pressure is put on them.

Fibromyalgia is hard to diagnose because many of he symptoms are like those of other disorders. There is no lab test for fibromyalgia. The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) has developed criteria for fibromyalgia. According to ACR criteria, a person is considered to have fibromyalgia if he or she has widespread pain for at least 3months, with tenderness in at least 11 of 18 specific tender point sites in the neck, spine, shoulders, hips and knees.

While the cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, it affects as many as one in 50 Americans. Most people with fibromyalgia are women, however men and children can also have the disorder. Most people are diagnosed during middle age.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet approved any medicine to treat Fibromyalgia. Doctors treat Fibromyalgia with medicines approved for other purposes. Pain medicines and antidepressants are often used in treatment.

Oberhand considers her work to be complimentary with the clients' medical care. She only works with clients after receiving written approval from their physicians. Oberhand offers a safe, painless alternative of pain relief. Without side effects. In order to determine if someone is ready to let go of their pain, Oberhand offers a free consultation to answer any questions.

Viviane Oberhand works from locations in Tarzana and West Los Angeles, California, and can be reached at 818-631-4812. For more information, visit

In addition to her work with Fibromyalgia, Oberhand also works with anxiety disorders, motivation, fears, phobias, smoking cessation and sleep disorders.