Fibromyalgia
336 Case Studies
152 Member Stories
52 Research

Fibromyalgia Is a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, memory, mood, and sleep difficulties. Acupuncture can help.

What is fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia Is a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, memory, mood, and sleep difficulties. Fibromyalgia is described as an inflammation of the Fibrous or connective tissues of the body. A great number of people with fibromyalgia describe the symptoms as such as the aches and pains of a severe case of the flu. Fibrositis, fibromyalgia, and fibromyositis are names given to symptoms believed to be caused by the same general issue. Researchers believe that fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by changing the way your brain processes pain signals.

Symptoms sometimes begin after a bodily injury, surgery, infection, or significant psychological stress. In other cases, symptoms gradually accumulate over time without a single triggering event.

Women are more likely to develop fibromyalgia than are men. A lot of women and men who have fibromyalgia have tension headaches, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, depression, and nervousness.

While there's no cure for fibromyalgia, research suggests that Acupuncture can help not just in managing pain, but in helping anxiety and fatigue as well.

See: Fibromyalgia and auto-immune treated with Bisoma acupuncture and Sasang Asian herbs.

How does TCM view fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is categorized as Ji bi (muscle impediment) in TCM. There are three other primary specific patterns in this syndrome: xu Lao (vacuity taxation/fatigue), yu sheng (depressive condition/depression), and Shi mian (sleeplessness). Each of these patterns has a slightly different symptom image based on the origin of the imbalance.

In TCM, the heart of fibromyalgia syndrome is due to Liver-Spleen disharmony. This routine sits squarely in the middle of the rest of the patterns associated with fibromyalgia.

You might have heard the expression "meridians." In TCM these are now known as jing Luo, the significant longitudinal distributions and security vessels otherwise called the neurovascular system. The healthy flow and function of the systems result in good health and vitality. There are 12 chief pairs that are each associated with different organs each comprising a yin organ and a yang organ. In this opinion the liver and spleen are a lot more than just organs; they are a pattern of working in the body including the physiological range of the distribution which feeds it. For the time being, in a Liver-Spleen disharmony, this might indicate that the "liver" is too weak or too strong because of poor diet or repressed anger, or the "spleen" is weakened from over-worrying or continuing and unrelenting stress.

Everything is reflected in the mind. The distinctive inherent patterns and continuing additional lifestyle burdens add up and manifest as strange neurotransmitter/receptor patterns in our brains. Our brains and our bodies interact like yin and yang, each affecting the other.

See: How To Manage Fibro Fog Or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Acupuncture treatment for fibromyalgia

Acupuncture appears to modestly reduce many types of chronic pain, so it's not surprising that many people with fibromyalgia are interested in trying it. A recent Mayo Clinic study on the effectiveness of acupuncture for fibromyalgia symptoms concluded that it may have a beneficial role not just for pain management but also for fatigue and anxiety.

Acupuncture involves the insertion of very fine needles to various depths into strategic points on your body. They are usually left in place for 20 to 30 minutes and sometimes are further stimulated by the addition of heat or electricity. When performed by a trained practitioner, acupuncture has few risks.

Fibromyalgia can be difficult to treat, and a combination of treatments may be necessary to control your symptoms. If you're having trouble finding relief for your fibromyalgia pain, it may be worth trying acupuncture.

Your pains can be significantly relieved as early as 3 weeks of twice a week acupuncture visits. Additionally, Chinese herbs could be an important part of the improvement procedure. The overall treatment is up to 3 or 4 weeks for a maximum outcome. The goal at the start is to decrease pain. As you continue the treatments, the relief continues to improve. The accumulated benefits will enable your body to better self-regulate towards experiencing less pain by itself. The main reason is that acupuncture educates the body to help itself. Acupuncture relieves the tension and pain reaction in the brain. Additionally, it quiets the physiology down toward the normal functioning of the human body. Because of this, the nervous system can regulate itself more readily.

Fibromyalgia (fibromyositis syndrome FMS) mostly affects women between 20-50 years old. It's chronic, widespread, and acute. The features are muscle aching, pain, stiffness, insomnia, fatigue, and depression.

FMS is a brain-body dating illness. It can be distinguished from other chronic muscle-joint pain from the presence of tenderness or pain on a pressure in at least 11 of 18 specific points within the body. 70-90 percent of FMS sufferers also have at least one of the following: sleep disturbances, headaches, swollen feet, numbness and/or tingling, difficulty thinking and concentrating, sensitivity to light, sound, smells, hypersensitivity to stress, painful menstruation, and dry mouth.

See: Migraine With Aura Symptoms & Natural Treatments

Studies in Acupuncture for Fibromyalgia

Researchers estimate that the vast majority of fibromyalgia patients try different treatments to ease their symptoms. The ancient Chinese medicine, acupuncture, might be one that can help.

A study published in the June edition of 2006, Mayo Clinic Proceedings revealed that acupuncture can alleviate fatigue and anxiety in fibromyalgia patients for up to seven weeks following the treatment. This study was presented at the 11th World Congress on Pain. They concluded that acupuncture significantly improved symptoms of fibromyalgia. Symptomatic improvement wasn't limited to pain relief and has been significant for anxiety and fatigue.

David P. Martin, MD, PhD, and Mayo Clinic colleagues analyzed 50 fibromyalgia patients; half were treated with acupuncture, half obtained fake treatments. Neither group knew which treatment it was receiving.

The patients got six treatments over a two- to three-week period. They were questioned about their symptoms immediately after treatment, one month later, after seven months later.

According to their responses to the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire, a standard instrument in fibromyalgia therapy, the "true" acupuncture patients had significantly less fatigue and fewer anxiety symptoms one month after treatment compared to the "fake" acupuncture group. The questionnaire also asks about physical impairment, pain, stiffness, depression, and how well someone feels or rests. For all these, there were no differences reported by both groups.

See: Abdominal Acupuncture helps 19 year Old Female with Back and Neck Pain

Summary

According to researcher Dr. Martin of Mayo Clinic, "fibromyalgia symptoms likely do respond to acupuncture, but acupuncture may not work for everyone, nor is acupuncture a cure for the syndrome. What's perhaps most significant is that there are comparatively few to no side effects to acupuncture performed by qualified experts using contemporary disposable needles -  in stark contrast to some medicines that do have severe side effects."

See: Living and Controlling Fibromyalgia day by day

References

1. Improvement in Fibromyalgia Symptoms With Acupuncture: Results of a Randomized Controlled Trial

Martin, David P. et al., Mayo Clinic Proceedings, Volume 81, Issue 6, 749 - 757

2. Deare JC, Zheng Z, Xue CC, et al. Acupuncture for treating fibromyalgia. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013;5(5):CD007070. Published 2013 May 31. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD007070.pub2

3. Bidonde, J., Busch, A. J., Schachter, C. L., Overend, T. J., Kim, S. Y., Góes, S.M., … & Foulds, H. J. (2017, June 21). Aerobic exercise training for adults with fibromyalgia. Cochrane database systematic review,  ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28636204

4. Cuatrecasas, G., Alegre, C., Fernandez-Solá, J., Gonzalez, M. J., Garcia-Fructuoso, F., Poca-Dias, V., … & Puig-Domingo, M. (2012, March 31). Growth hormone treatment for sustained pain reduction and quality of life in severe fibromyalgia. Pain, 153(7), 1382-1389, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22465047

5. Deare, J. C., Zheng, Z., Xue, C. C., Shang, J., Scott, S. W., & Littlejohn, G. (2013, May 31). Acupuncture for treating fibromyalgia. Cochrane database systemic review, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23728665

6. Fibromedications are not a cure all. (2013, February 15)

arthritis.org/about-arthritis/types/fibromyalgia/articles/fibro-meds-offer-little-relief.php

7. Holton, K. (2016, June 14). The role of diet in treatment of fibromyalgia. Pain Management, 6(4), 317 - 310

futuremedicine.com/doi/10.2217/pmt-2016-0019

See: Migraine, Body Ache, Anxiety, Depression, & Insomnia with Bisoma & Tetrasoma Acupuncture and Sasang Herbs

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