Fibromyalgia is one of the most common rheumatic disorders in the world behind arthritis.
People suffer from fibromyalgia experience a wide range of symptoms, including pain, aches and muscle tenderness and stillness, fatigue, with sleep disorders and intestinal bowel symptoms.
Fibromyalgia often been diagnosed if you have 11 out of 18 specific points on the body are painful or tender to pressure. Interestingly, many of these tender points are similar to the acupuncture points.
Acupuncture TCM and Fibromyalgia
According to the theories of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and acupuncture, imbalance and blockage of the Qi (vital energy) flow can result in symptoms and signs that reflect a Western diagnosis of fibromyalgia.
Qi (pronounced “chee”) is the vital energy that animates and supports the functions of the body. It flows through specific pathways, called meridians, and provides nourishment for the entire body.
Our bodies try to maintain a healthy balance of Qi flow through the meridian system. Should the supply of Qi has changed, or the flow of Qi has been disrupted, the pain starts.
Cause of pain – TCM explanation
Where there is blockage in the meridian, there is pain
Where there is malnutrition of the area, there is pain
When Qi is abundant and freely circulating throughout the body, there is health and pain-free living.
When Qi becomes “blocked”, or The supply of Qi is inadequate, the pain or stiffness related to fibromyalgia appears.
What do you do to help my fibromyalgia?
Firstly, we will ask you a few questions including:
- Where are the pain;
- How long do you have the pain,
- The factors which aggravates/triggers the pain;
- factors relieve your pain;
- Whether you have any sleep problem, emotional disorders such as anxiety, depression; and
- A complete medical history
Then we will check you with the unique Chinese medicine diagnosis approach including tongue check, pulse palpation, acupuncture points /meridian palpation, to make a diagnose according to TCM theory.
A treatment plan will make according to the diagnosis. The treatment may include acupuncture, cupping therapy, acupressure, or Chinese herbs. The treatment plan are tailored to address the meridians, your internal organs’ functions which are out of balance.
The goal is to eliminate symptoms and addressing the causes of the symptoms and underlying imbalance.
Other ways can help
Acupuncture and Chinese medicine are safe and effective treatment of fibromyalgia. There are some other ways which can help promote balance and health, including:
- Chinese herbal formulas,
- Dietary recommendations and nutritional advice, and
- Calming relaxing exercises
Research of acupuncture for fibromyalgia
In november 1997, a research from the the National Institutes of Health (NIH) showed that acupuncture could be effective in treating fibromyalgia. Not only can it treat the pain and discomfort, but it can also address the underlying problems that have caused the imbalance.
1n 1999,University of Maryland School of Medicine had conduted a study to assess the effectiveness of acupuncture for fibromyalgia. The result suggested that real acupuncture is significantly more effective than SHAM acupuncture for improving the symptoms of fibromyalgia.- Berman BM, Ezzo J, Hadhazy V, Swyers JP. Complementary Medicine Program, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore 21207, USA.The Journal of Family Practice [1999, 48(3):213-218]
An article published in 2006 also showed that acupuncture significantly improved symptoms of fibromyalgia. Symptoms improvement was not restricted to pain, but was most significant for anxiety and fatigue – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16770975