Treat Fibromyalgia with Acupuncture

fibromyalgiaFibromyalgia is a condition caused by unknown factors affecting about three percent of the world’s population with women at a higher risk for developing it. It is determined that a person is diagnosed with this condition when there is unexplainable pain within all four quadrants of the patient’s body for more than three consecutive months. Pressure will be applied to specific points on the body to test for signs of pain as well. In some cases, fibromyalgia develops after the patient experience psychological or physical trauma, though it is also common that there is no explainable cause.

Below are most of the symptoms people with fibromyalgia report. Most patients report a combination of at least four to five of them.

Symptoms of Fibromyalgia

– Widespread, Chronic Pain
– Short-Term Memory Loss
– Mood Changes
– Insomnia
– Depression
– Exhaustion
– Irritable Bowel Syndrome
– Digestive Problems
– Migraines
– Anxiety
– Stiff Joints
– Numbness in Hands and Feet
– Incontinence
– Dry Eyes, Nose, and Mouth
– Lack of Focus
– Hyper-Sensitivity

Oriental Medicine Treatment for Fibromyalgia

Oriental Medicine Treatment for FibromyalgiaStandard medical procedures are not typically sought out by those diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Instead, most patients seek out alternative medicines to treat and manage this disease. Oriental medicine and acupuncture are effective methods for treatment the symptoms of the syndrome.

Oriental medicine does not target the condition itself, but instead focuses on the symptoms caused by it, all which are listed above. An oriental medicine treatment plan has to be customized to suit the exact need of the patient. This means that every person will have a unique, specialized plan created especially for them. A plan will take the exact symptoms, body type, severity, and psychological state into consideration to come up with the perfect treatment for you. Each plan will include a combination of several methods and techniques including herbs, acupuncture, lifestyle changes, exercise, and dietary changes.

Traditional Chinese medicine states that the pain caused by fibromyalgia is believed to be caused by a blockage of Qi, commonly known as life energy, within the digestive system, heart, and spleen. To treat pain, an acupuncturist will determine which organ or system is disrupting the flow of Qi, target specific acupuncture points, and perform the necessary techniques in order to allow the energy to flow once more. Acupuncture sessions are usually scheduled twice a week for several months, though this depends entirely on the severity of your condition.
Oriental medicine also includes improving the quality of your life. This will not only help manage the symptoms of fibromyalgia syndrome, but will strengthen the immune system and decrease your susceptibility to stress. Below are several recommended changes you should make today.

fall-runningChange #1: Physical Activity

Exercise is a great way to improve bodily functions and mood altogether. Start with simplistic movements and stretches, and then move on to Qi Gong, Tai Chi, or Yoga for maximum benefit.

Change #2: Relaxation and Meditation

Stress can be a major cause of most physical problems. People don’t realize that stress can actually make you age and weaken at a much faster rate, which is why it is so important to properly relax your mind. Ten to fifteen minutes a day of deep meditation can significantly improve the mind’s ability to relax and handle problems more efficiently.

Change #3: Sleep Longer

Eight hours is the recommended amount of sleep for most adults, though it is more common for people to sleep five to seven hours. If you don’t get the optimal amount of sleep for your body, then it will result in a fatigued mind and body all day long. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every single day to get used to your new sleep schedule.

Change #4: Switch to a Healthy Diet

healthy dietAlthough junk foods may taste sugary and delicious, they will only worsen the symptoms of fibromyalgia. A proper diet that consists of fruits, nuts, lean meats, and vegetables will improve the immune system which lessens the chances of developing serious consequences from the symptoms. It is also important to drink plenty of water as well.
For those diagnosed with this syndrome, it is best to have a balanced diet that includes these specific vitamins: Vitamin C, Omega 3, B-Complex, and Magnesium. Vitamin C is used for fighting off diseases and stress reduction. Omega 3 improves the nerves and mental cognition. B-Complex vitamins promote the health of the nervous system. Magnesium helps the body create new cells, absorb calcium, and relax the muscles.

Study – The Effects of Acupuncture for Fibromyalgia

Mayo Clinic conducted a study on the effects of acupuncture for patients with fibromyalgia symptoms, mainly exhaustion and anxiety. The study consisted of two groups, one received acupuncture while the other group was to take standard medications. The group who received acupuncture reported an improvement in their anxiety and exhaustion levels than the group that was given standard medications.  Further studies are being conducted on this particular topic, but it is a fact that acupuncture does indeed relieve some of them symptoms.

Acupuncture Fibromyalgia Treatment Los Angeles

Oriental medicine and acupuncture are exactly what you need if you have fibromyalgia syndrome or know someone who does. This is the all-natural alternative you have been looking for with no side effects.  Give Dr. Laurie a call or send an email today to set up an appointment.

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Acupuncture for Fibromyalgia – A Natural Alternative Treatment

What is Fibromyalgia?

fibromyalgiaQuite simply, fibromyalgia syndrome is a disease that is currently unexplainable by modern medicine though it affects over two percent of the population of the United States. Treatment for this syndrome is a complex process because so little is known about it. Doctors will prescribe a variation of medications depending on the symptoms you have (listed below) to attempt to figure out what works. Many look into using alternative medicines rather than test medications with potentially harmful side effects. Acupuncture is the number one alternative method people use because it has been found to be much more effective than any other type of treatment.

Fibromyalgia Symptoms

Fibromyalgia syndrome causes chronic pain throughout the body, as well as exhaustion, depression, insomnia, anxiety, irritable bowel syndrome, numbness of fingers, poor blood circulation which can lead to Raynaud’s phenomenon, lack of focus, restless leg syndrome, painful menstrual cycles, migraines, pain in the jaw, stiffness of joints, dry mouth, dry eyes, dry nasal passages, incontinence, and hypersensitivity to sounds or bright lights.

Fibromyalgia Diagnosis

In order for a doctor to diagnose a person with fibromyalgia, they must have a history of chronic pain in all four quadrants of the body for at least three to four months. As of now there are not any tests that can verify that one actually has this syndrome, so a diagnosis is simply a highly educated guess. The symptoms of fibromyalgia typically show after some sort of physical or mental trauma, but no one can be certain that is the main cause. It has been discovered that women have a higher chance of developing this syndrome compared to men.

From the perspective of oriental medicine, any type of pain or disease results when there is an imbalance of Qi, or life energy, somewhere in the body.  They have found that disruptions in the spleen, cardiovascular system, liver, and kidney can cause fibromyalgia syndrome to occur.

How Acupuncture Helps Treat Fibromyalgia

Acupuncture for Chronic Pain ReliefAn acupuncture session will not treat fibromyalgia as a whole. Instead it treats it by dividing up the symptoms that the patient has and treating the imbalances related to those symptoms. The diagnosis looks at their emotional state, type of pain, sleeping patterns, general health, age, and the specific symptoms they have. There is no standard acupuncture treatment for fibromyalgia.  Each treatment will be unique to each patient.

Lifestyle change is necessary when dealing with the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Implement the following tips for best results:

7 Lifestyle Changes That Help Fibromyalgia

1: Drop sugar. Stop drinking beverages filled with sugar, such as soda. Sugar increases inflammation and raises blood sugar which later crashes.  Watch out for so called “natural” beverages too that are loaded with sugar.  Refined sugar in any form is not your friend.

2: Reduce stress.  This is a tough one, as life comes with stress.  You can deal with it by taking up meditation (below), any kind of activity or exercise, a daily nap, going to the beach, listening to relaxation tapes, even seeing a therapist or hypnotist.  Prolonged stress can significantly damage the body and mind.  It could be that a radical change may be necessary such as changing jobs or the like.  Finding a way to manage stress is essential.

3: Meditate. This is a form of stress reduction.  The practice of meditation is a proven stress reducer that helps the body create a sense of calm and a continuing sense of well being. While 15 minutes is recommended, even 5 or 10 minutes can have a powerful effect on your day.

4: Eat clean. Stop eating processed and refined foods like white bread and pasta.  They raise blood sugar which increases inflammation.  Inflammation causes discomfort and pain.  Slow burning carbohydrates like oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice, beans and potatoes do not.

5: Start exercising!  While even basic movements may be painful exercise helps restore strength and endurance. Tai Chi, Qi Gong or Yoga are great for easy stretches, careful strengthening, deep breathing, along with relaxation techniques. The gentle stretching will clear tension that builds when muscles tighten and tense and improve overall circulation. Be sure to check with your doctor before starting any exercise program.

6: Protein power. Consume foods that contain protein like lean meats and fish.  Also eat vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, and complex carbohydrates.

7: Sleep.  The body requires 8 hours of restorative sleep per day for optimum health.  Lack of sleep increases inflammation, cortisol, lack of energy and more.  Maintain a routine sleep schedule and make your bedroom a sanctuary from every day stress. Practicing good sleep habits will give your body an opportunity to get stronger and heal.

8: Blood flow.  Look into performing a Chinese self-massage every morning. This will stimulate your acupuncture points, which improves the flow of one’s Qi. Doing so will help your body defend against any oddities, as well as fibromyalgia.

Mayo Clinic Study – How Acupuncture Affects Fibromyalgia

The Mayo Clinic recently performed a study on if acupuncture actually does help treat fibromyalgia. They did find that acupuncture is indeed a reliable treatment for the syndrome and the symptoms that develop because of it. The patients who were diagnosed with fibromyalgia reported that acupuncture treatments helped them overcome their fatigue, depression, anxiety, as well as many other symptoms they had.

The study required two groups of people with the first group consisted of twenty-five people who were to receive acupuncture, while the second group contained twenty-five people who received mock acupuncture treatments. The group that received the real treatments reported a significant improvement in their health after one month.

Dr. David Martin, the lead doctor of this study, reported that this study had proven acupuncture to be a helpful treatment as well as proved that studies on acupuncture can be efficiently performed. There has been an increase in the amount of scientific studies on the efficacy of acupuncture.  It was also reported that the study only used those who had severe conditions, which made the entire process more controlled. Dr. Martin suggests that more doctors should perform more studies on how acupuncture affects those with fibromyalgia.

 

Acupuncture for Fibromyalgia

Acupuncture for Fibromyalgia Syndrome

fibromyalgia6 million people in the United States are affected with a condition known as fibromyalgia syndrome. Most people afflicted have disappointing results with western medical treatment.  Acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine are growing in popularity for sufferers of fibromyalgia is acupuncture.

So what exactly is this syndrome? Fibromyalgia is actually medically unexplainable. This syndrome is known for causing chronic pain throughout the body, insomnia, depression, and fatigue with most of these symptoms occurring all together at once. In order to diagnose such a disease, the symptoms of pain must be within all four quadrants of the body for at least three months. Fibromyalgia does not cause physical damage to the body and there is no way to confirm that one actually has this syndrome. It is quite often that the symptoms of fibromyalgia occur after an emotional or physical traumatic event, but this might simply be a pattern that is noticed more than others since there are no known absolute triggers.

fibromyalgia painOriental medicine dictates that when the body feels pain, there is a disruption of Qi at a certain point of your body. (Qi = life energy) So when the life energy of the kidney, heart, spleen, and liver become unbalanced, conditions such as fibromyalgia can occur.

Acupuncture balances the flow of Qi in the body and mind and thereby treats most forms of pain and inflammation effectively.

5 tips to reduce your Fibromyalgia symptoms naturally:

Tip #1: Clean up your Diet
A proper diet is extremely important for staying healthy, especially for those who have fibromyalgia as those with it have found that eating right reduces the symptoms from occurring.  Eliminate refined carbohydrates and sugar.

Tip #2: Get Quality Sleep
It is important to get at least eight hours of sleep per night in order to reduce stress and strengthen the immune system of the body which will helps fight  illnesses.

Tip #3: Start Meditating
Meditation is proven to be the best way to relieve stress and prevent it from building up. Meditation will help a person stay level-headed while increasing their focus overall.

Tip #4: Exercise Exercise Exercise!
Yoga, Qi Gong, and Tai Chi are three examples of exercises that can help one replenish their strength against fibromyalgia. Although it can be painful, exercise will relieve the muscles and enhance circulation of the blood and life energy. Be sure to focus on stretching and deep breathing the most.

Tip #5: Reduce Stress
Stress can develop into all sorts of problems such as depression, exhaustion, fatigue, a weak defense system, and even physical pain. Both mental and physical stress can increase the stress hormone cortisol which can severely affect the flow of blood and Qi in the system. Although it may not always be possible to rid yourself of the cause of your stress, you can manage it. It would be wise to look into stress reduction classes, meditation courses, eating the right diet, and exercising in order to efficiently manage your stress.

If you have fibromyalgia or any of the symptoms associated with it contact me today to set up an acupuncture appointment to get your body feeling better.