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Acupuncture Helps Fibromyalgia Pain, Study Proves

A recent study by the Mayo Clinic reported that acupuncture helps Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS). One month after this double-blind study was conducted, patients’ Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire revealed marked improvement. David Martin, M.D., Ph.D., lead author of the acupuncture article and a Mayo Clinic anesthesiologist, said, “The results of this study convince me that there is something more than the placebo effect to acupuncture.” He added, “It affirms a lot of clinical impressions that this complementary medical technique is helpful for patients.”

Fibromyalgia symptoms

FMS is a medically unexplained syndrome characterized by chronic widespread pain and often debilitating fatigue. Most patients with FMS also suffer from one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety and Depression
  • Chronic headaches and Jaw Pain
  • Dryness of the mouth, nose, and eyes
  • Hypersensitivity to bright lights, noise, and smells
  • Brain fog (inability to concentrate)
  • Incontinence
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Numbness or tingling in the fingers and feet
  • Painful menstrual cramps
  • Restless Leg Syndrome

Current Western treatment mostly includes prescribing medications for the various symptoms associated with the condition, but research is showing that rather than loading up on a bunch of pills, about 90% of patients with FMS are turning to complementary medicine for treatment.

How acupuncture works with fibromyalgia

By the time my patients walk in my door, most of them have been to one or more specialists in an attempt to find a solution to their problems. While on the one hand they are relieved to hear from their doctors that nothing serious is wrong, on the other hand they are incredibly frustrated since this also means there is no clear treatment available.

In my practice, patients who have been diagnosed with FMS are relieved to finally find someone who can explain the reasons for their symptoms.

We don’t treat diseases, but rather the underlying root imbalance which is causing the disease

From a Chinese perspective, we do not diagnose patients with disease. Rather, we look at seemingly unrelated symptoms to find an underlying “pattern of imbalance.” Once that imbalance is identified and treated, symptoms begin to resolve. The muscles, which are the primary tissue involved in FMS, are related to the digestive system in Chinese Medicine. This is why, whenever there is a problem related to the muscles, we look toward the spleen/pancreas. Because we are now in Late Summer, the season associated with the Earth Element and the digestive system, it is an ideal time of year to address issues related to the muscles, which, again, are related to the digestive system. Treating an issue during its corresponding season can greatly magnify the effects of the treatment.

Then we also commonly find liver imbalance, since as pointed out in this article about random pains, that is often due liver imbalance and when the liver is treated and balanced, pain throughout the entire body improves.

But ultimately, each person is seen as an individual, and in real life each person with FMS will have at least a slightly different diagnosis.

While FMS is a debilitating condition, my own clinical experience gives me confidence in believing that no one needs to just surrender their lives to its limitations. Having the backing of this study by the Mayo Clinic, one of the most respected institutions of research in western world of medicine, will hopefully encourage more patients to turn to acupuncture for successful treatment and the healing they seek.

 

Sources:

-Mayo Clinic (2006, June 13) Acupuncture Relieves Symptoms of Fibromyalgia, Mayo Clinic Study Finds.

-Acupuncture Helps with Fibromyalgia Symptoms: Sam Gaines, Staff writer for Acu-finder.com

Tags: fibromyalgia