Fibromyalgia as Treated by TCM
Acupuncturists are often called upon to treat fibromyalgia, a complex of symptoms that frequently include muscle and joint pain; sensitivity to pressure; symptoms of the nervous system, such as numbness and tingling; fatigue; and bowel and bladder problems.
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Using a combination of acupuncture and highly tailored herbal approaches we can almost always remedy this problem for our patients.
From a UK acupuncturist's website comes these western research stubs:
(1) A new study has been carried out to assess the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating pain levels and decreasing the number of tender points in fibromylagia patients. Twenty nine patients with at least a six year history of fibromylagia were given acupuncture and tested by using a pain scale and by dolorimetry (a method of measuring pain perception in degrees ranging from unpleasant to unbearable by using heat applied to the skin). No other pain medication was taken. Pain levels were found to decrease from 64.0 to 34.5 after acupuncture, with a decrease in the number of tender points from 16.0 to 11.8. Results also showed an increase in certain blood chemicals (serotonin and substance P) which help to regulate pain. (Pain treatment of fibromyalgia by acupuncture. Sprott H, Franke S, Kluge H, Hein G. Rheumatol Int 1998;18(1):35- 36).
(2) A recent review of the literature on the treatment of fibromyalgia using acupuncture showed improvements in the myalgic index, in the number of trigger points, and in quality of life for the patients. (Current Pain Headache Report 2002;6(5):379-83).
The well regarded Cochrane Report reviewed much of the quality research on fibromyalgia and acupuncture and created a consensus report, which can be viewed here and suggests a strongly positive therapeutic role for acupuncture and Chinese medicine in treating this disorder.