While there is currently no cure for fibromyalgia, there are various options to treat the symptoms. To treat pain, over-the-counter medications like Tylenol or ibuprofen are often suggested. Other medications include antidepressants such as Cymbalta or Savella to treat both pain and fatigue or anti-seizure drugs such as Neurontin or Lyrica to treat pain. In addition to medication, therapies such as counseling, occupational therapy, or physical therapy may also help reduce symptoms.
Lifestyle alterations can also help reduce the pain, fatigue, and mood changes associated with the condition. Regular exercise, rest, supplements such as creatine, SAMe, and magnesium can help some improve their quality of life. Other recommendations include reducing stress, getting regular massages, and participating in yoga or tai chi.
Fibromyalgia, which affects approximately 4 million adults in the U.S., is characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain as well as mood, sleep, and memory issues and fatigue. Sometimes triggered by an emotionally or physically traumatic event, fibromyalgia is often thought to be caused by the brain and spinal cord amplifying pain sensations, though other explanations such as a genetic predisposition and infections. In many patients, fibromyalgia co-exists with other conditions such as anxiety, depression, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, migraines, and TMJ. Those with fibromyalgia often find their symptoms interfere with their ability to function at home or at their jobs and can develop anxiety or depression due to their decreased quality of life.
If you want to look into acupuncture to either replace or enhance your current treatment regimen, you need to find a practitioner who has the right education and experience. Look for a clinic that specializes in TCM rather than med spa services and ask about the experience and education level of the acupuncture specialists at the clinic. You can also ask what results their patients with fibromyalgia have experienced after being treated with acupuncture.
Fibromyalgia is a frustrating and potentially life-altering condition that negatively affects quality of life. If you’re ready to try acupuncture or other forms of TCM to treat your symptoms, reach out to the experienced, compassionate team at EBOM today. Our practitioners have helped hundreds of patients effectively treat conditions such as fibromyalgia and would love to help you.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioners believe that fibromyalgia is caused mainly by emotional upsets that affect the health of the liver as well as stagnation of energy activity that leads to blood stasis. Some TCM practitioners also believe that overexposure to extreme temperatures, lack of sleep, poor nutrition, and overworking can trigger the symptoms of fibromyalgia.
Most patients who find relief from their fibromyalgia symptoms start experiencing positive results in six to eight weeks of weekly acupuncture sessions. Some patients may be able to reduce their number of sessions after this initial period while others need to continue regular therapy to continue treating their pain and fatigue.
When you work with an experienced acupuncture practitioner, he or she will gather information on your health history and current concerns and learn more about other forms of treatment you have tried. This will help the practitioner determine how to best treat you with acupuncture.
Acupuncture, or the insertion of very thin needles into the body on certain points that correspond with meridians, has long been known to improve the flow of energy in the body and treat conditions that cause pain and fatigue.
An increasing number of studies show that acupuncture is an effective method of treatment for fibromyalgia. In addition to reducing blood and energy stagnation, acupuncture can also help improve quality of sleep, reduce stress, reduce inflammation, and trigger the body to release chemicals that are natural pain reducers.
One study showed that serotonin values were increased significantly after eight sessions of acupuncture. Another study showed that the decrease in pain intensity after ten weeks of treatment was greater in a group getting acupuncture than a group that was not. Yet another study treated one group of women who had experienced symptoms for more than ten years with acupuncture while treating a second group with group education. The study revealed that, after 810 minutes of acupuncture or 861 minutes of education, those who were in the acupuncture group experienced significant improvement over the group being treated with education.
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