What is fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a disease characterized by widespread
musculoskeletal pain accompanied by tiredness, memory, mood, and sleep problems. Fibromyalgia is described as an inflammation of the connective tissues of the body. A large number of people with
fibromyalgia describe the symptoms as like the aches and pains of a serious
case of the flu. Fibrositis, fibromyalgia, and fibromyositis are titles given
to symptoms considered to be a result of the exact same general issue.
Researchers believe that fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by changing
the way your brain processes pain signals.
How does Ayurveda view fibromyalgia?
Diagnosis is difficult and frequently overlooked because of symptoms of fibromyalgia are vague and generalized. Coexisting nerve and muscle disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, spinal arthritis, or Lyme disease may further complicate the diagnostic process. Presently, there are no tests available to diagnose fibromyalgia. The diagnosis is usually made after ruling out other medical conditions with similar symptoms.
According to Ayurveda, Fibromyalgia reflects weak digestion, channels blocked by toxins, and diminished dhatus (tissues), and hence Fibromyalgia therapy works on those variables first. All three doshas are out of order though Vata often dominates the picture. The principal focus of Ayurvedic treatment is to balance the body and strengthen the muscles and nervous system. Toxins are cleansed in the body channels and digestion is improved to avoid the recurrence of the accumulation. Stress-reducing techniques like yoga, pranayama, and meditation are also recommended, as well as diet and lifestyle adjustments to eliminate the causative factors.
Fibromyalgia is perceived as a Vata imbalance and described as ‘Mansa Dhatugat and Mansavrut Vata’. Vata is the most important imbalance and aggravated Vata destabilizes the nervous system and may create hypersensitivity resulting in pain and tenderness. Accumulation of Ama (toxins) and shrotorodha also contribute to the ailment.
Ayurvedic Treatment of Fibromyalgia
The Caraka Samhita Sūtrasthāna describes the importance of the Vata dosha in the human being. Caraka informs us that Vata is the subtlest material of the body penetrating as a life force everywhere in the structure. What’s more, it sustains, activates, and coordinates the sensory and motor organs.
The treatment of fibromyalgia, which is primarily a vātavyadi disease, focuses on both Vāta samshamana (re-balance) and samshodhana (purification) of the nervous and musculoskeletal systems that become deranged because of accumulation of ama (toxins).
Can Ayurveda cure fibromyalgia?
There is no cure for fibromyalgia. But Ayurveda can manage symptoms at the root cause.
No specific cause has been pointed out for
fibromyalgia though many things life genetic factors, lifestyle, psychological
anxiety, disturbed digestive tract, physical traumas, and sleep disturbances are
suspected behind the pathology. From Ayurvedic perspectives, inadequate
nourishment, disturbed digestion, and accumulation of toxins (ama) in stations seem
to be the causes of the syndrome. Before beginning Fibromyalgia therapy, the Ayurvedic physician first diagnoses the root-cause and then designs a customized strategy
that’s different for each patient.
Symptoms frequently associated with fibromyalgia include:
· Sleep disturbances
· Memory impairment
· Anxiety or depression
· Chronic muscle pains
· Stiffness in joints
Ayurvedic treatments for fibromyalgia
The following integrative therapies are often part of the Ayurvedic treatments for fibromyalgia
a) Panchakarma Therapy
This is the major physiotherapeutic process
employed in this disease and ideally is the first intervention in fibromyalgia
if the patient has no contraindications in which case it’s deferred. Although
treatments need to be customized for each individual, the overall highlights
include the following:
~Nirgundi tailam as sarvābhyanga ~Bāspa
Sweda/Samstra Sweda herbalized with nirgundi ~Madana phalam churna + yastimadhu
churna as vamana ~Kalkas (pastes) of sariva, neem, nirgundi, (12 grams each
mixed with 75 ml milk + 30 ml ghee) + 1/2 cup cooked yellow mung dal + shuddha
tankana (borax) as lepa ~Brahmi or Bala tailam as shirodhara ~Shigru tailam
(Moringa oleifera) or anu tailam as shirovirechana ~Prasarani tailam or Bilva
tailam as anuvasana basti
Pre-purification steps namely ‘snehan’ and ‘swedan’
are extremely helpful to balance ‘Vata’ and to loosen the toxins. Snehan is
your herbalized oil massage. This oil is applied to the whole body with a
specific sort of massage. Swedan is sudation or perspiration and is given
immediately after the snehan. An herbal concoction might be added to the steam
to the additional enhancement of effect. Daily herbalized oil massage also provides
a deeply soothing and balancing effect to the whole nervous system. The movement
of massage creates friction and heat that enhances circulation and helps
cleanse the areas of chemical impurities that could be aggravating and
hyper-sensitizing nerve cells.
b) Ayurvedic Diet and Nutrition
The diet for people with fibromyalgia is a
modified Vata-pacifying diet. It should include (pathyam):
· Vegetable juices and soups.
· Coconut water and Coconut milk.
· Juice of carrot (33 percent), water (33%),
ginger root (1 inch), garlic (1 clove), beetroot (1), spinach (handful), and
red pepper (1).
· Ample cumin, coriander, black pepper, ginger
asafetida, garlic, fennel, and garlic.
· Moderate amounts of green salads with dressing
of lemon juice, olive oil and a little bit of salt.
· Cooked veggies such as: squashes, zucchini, yam, pumpkin and tomato.
· Kichadi (recipe produced by cooking white
basmati rice and mung dal, 1:1 or 2:1 proportion)
· Warm milk with warming spices such as
cinnamon, cardamom, ginger and clove
Fibromyalgia patients should reduce the following foods listed (apathyam) and behaviors:
· Hot, fast & fried foods; processed sugar, very
bitter and astringent foods such as brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower,
spinach, broccoli, and potatoes.
· Reduce the number of raw foods to <20% of the diet
· Excessive black tea, alcohol, coffee, yogurt,
c) Emotional Behavior
It’s well documented that fibromyalgia is often
worsened by increased anxiety, anxiety, and mental fatigue. There are hormonal
changes and other biochemical reactions to stress that can aggravate the nervous system, and the immune reaction. The sleep disturbance that’s often
made by fibromyalgia symptoms increases fatigue which in turn increases one’s
susceptibility to stress which in turn aggravates the fibromyalgia condition.
Meditation, Yoga, Pranayama and analysis of
religious philosophy are recommended for encouraging private recovery and
relaxation of the mind. Efforts must be made to raise the Sattvic quality of
Various stretching exercises are proven to have
a beneficial impact on fibromyalgia. Normal practicing of sets of different
postures is useful in making healthy flexibility throughout the entire body.
Yogic breathing practices will also cause a state of restful alertness in body
and mind. Progressive deep comfort, i.e., shavasana (Corpse posture) brings
about a relaxed state of mind that prepares the person for meditation.
e) Lifestyle modifications
Among the most significant factors for balancing
Vata and maintaining stability in the nervous system is to have a lifestyle
that doesn’t disturb natural physiological rhythms. When we eat, sleep, and
exercise in continuously changing and disturbing patterns, the body loses its
normal balancing cycles. Therefore regularity in our daily routine can be
particularly helpful in reducing Vata imbalances.
Ayurvedic herbs for fibromyalgia
Ayurvedic Herbal Medicines for fibromyalgia
(Please always seek advice from a qualified
Ayurvedic Physician for individualized prescription and dose schedule before taking
any Ayurvedic medicines. You should also consult with your doctor for any drug interactions)
– Dashamularishtam 15ml (1 Tbsp) 2X/day
– Turmeric Churna +Triphala churna (50:50 mix) 1/2
– Shuddha (pure) guggulu (Commiphora mukul) as 70
percent 5:1 hydroalcoholic extract 25 drops 3X/day
– Kaishore Guggulu as 70 percent 5:1
hydroalcoholic extract 25 drops 3X/day Vāta + Pitta reduction)
– Yogaraj Guggulu as 70 percent 5:1 hydroalcoholic
extract 25 drops 3X/day (Vāta + Kapha reduction)
– Triphala Guggulu as 70 percent 5:1
hydroalcoholic extract 25 drops 3X/day (Vāta + Kapha reduction)
– Chyawanprash 1 tsp 2X/day
– Āmalaki Churna (Emblica officinalis) 3 g added
to 3-6 oz. Warm milk 1 tsp honey
– Nāgakesara [flowers] (Mesua ferrea) 2 g with
warm water 3X/day or as 40 percent 5:1 hydroalcoholic extract 25 drops 3X/day
– Herbal Mix (I):
Guduchi (4 units ) Pippali (3 units ) Kantakari
(2 units ) Dhanyaka (1 unit) Tulsi (2 units ) Maricha (1 unit )
45% 3:1 hydroalcoholic extract 25 drops 3X/day
– Herbal Mix (II):
Ashwagandha (4 units ) Vidari (3 units )
Shatavari (2 units ) Pārijāta (1 unit ) Nirgundi (2 units ) Chitraka (2 units )
50 percent 3:1 hydroalcoholic extract 25 drops 3X/day
– Nāgara Yastimadhu Haldi Nirgundi Kwath (Ginger
Licorice Turmeric Nirgundi Tea) is a fantastic alternative to NSAID’s or
aspirin to relieve minor aches and pains. Steep 1 teaspoon each of those four
powders in 5-7 ounces of warm water for 10 minutes. Strain. Consume 2 cups
[Licorice root has anti-inflammatory actions
like cortisone, but without the damaging side-effects. Caution: If overused
(>4 cups per day ), licorice can elevate blood pressure and decrease the serum
potassium. Don’t use this herb on a daily basis for at least seven consecutive
days and avoid it if you’ve got high blood pressure. After seven days just
eliminate it from this formulation.]
Ayurvedic home remedies for fibromyalgia
One can try some of the home remedies below to manage the symptoms:
· Mix a blend of ashwagandha powder, Shatavari
powder, and Bala root powder in equal amounts and store in a glass bottle. Take one teaspoon of the with warm water or milk twice daily.
· Create a powdered preparation of dried ginger
root, celery seeds and cumin seeds in equal amounts add rock salt to taste, and
consume 1 teaspoon with water.
· Massage your entire body gently with lukewarm
sesame oil and follow hot fomentation. It’s effective in relieving fatigue.
Scientific studies in Ayurveda for fibromyalgia
Research on fibromyalgia syndrome points to debatable insomnia and lack of restorative sleep, pain, anxiety, and
depression–all related to some neurotransmitter/receptor dysfunction in the
brain. The brain isn’t sending the right messages into our own bodies.
Study 1. Treatments offered at The Maharishi Ayurveda
Health center in Norway is based on Maharishi Vedic medicine, which is also
known as Maharishi Ayurveda. It’s a consciousness-based revival of the ancient
Ayurvedic medicine tradition in India and is established by Maharishi Mahesh
Yogi, the founder of the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique. 
In a pilot study Fibromyalgia patients
undergoing therapy at Maharishi Ayurveda Health Centre in Norway showed
significant improvements six months post-therapy. Since fibromyalgia is
considered a treatment-resistant condition, these encouraging results warrant
Study 2. Researchers conducted a controlled,
nonrandomized feasibility study that compared results in 21 patients treated
with Ayurveda with those of 11 patients treated with a traditional approach at
the end of an inpatient hospital stay. The primary outcome was the effects of
fibromyalgia on patients as evaluated by the FIQ. Secondary outcomes included
scores of pain intensity, pain perception, quality of sleep, depression, & anxiety.
Follow-up assessments were done after 6 weeks. Results. At two weeks, there
were similar and significant improvements in the FIQ and for the majority of
secondary results in both groups with no substantial in-between-group
differences. The beneficial effects for the two treatment groups were partially
maintained for the primary outcome and several secondary outcomes at the 6-month follow-up, again with no substantial in-between-group differences. The
findings of the feasibility study imply that Ayurvedic therapy is not inferior
to conventional treatment in patients with acute FMS. 
Many people with fibromyalgia can be
aided by improved nutrition, appropriate and specialist detoxification
processes, good exercise, and specific Ayurvedic herbal preparations. As more
Ayurvedic physicians turn their attention to this disabling syndrome, the
future outlook is now improving for those affected by fibromyalgia.
Additionally, recent scientific studies indicate that specific regions of the
brain and specific neurochemicals (i.e. substance P, endorphins, nerve growth
factor) may be involved in the pathophysiology of fibromyalgia and study in
these areas are continuing.