Fibromyalgia and Los Angeles Acupuncture – What You Need to Know

What is Fibromyalgia?

Quite simply, fibromyalgia syndrome is a disease that is currently unexplainable by modern medicine though it affects over two percent of the United State’s population. 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. The best bet would be to look into using alternative medicines rather than test medications with harmful side effects on your body. Acupuncture is the number one alternative method people use, which is because it has been found to be much more effective than any other type of treatment.

This 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.

In order for a doctor to diagnose a person with fibromyalgia, they must have a history of chronic pain in all four area 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

Since fibromyalgia has such a wide range of symptoms, there are many variations of alternate treatments one could get. Each ways is customized for a person, so it will always be effective, especially compared to doctor prescribed medications. Alternative treatments may include methods such as different types of herbs, dietary recommendations, specific exercises, psychological therapies, and acupuncture.

An acupuncture session will not treat fibromyalgia as a whole. Instead it treats it by dividing up the symptoms that a person has. Each person is different, as is their emotional state, type of pain, sleeping patterns, general health, age, and the specific symptoms they have. Each person treated with acupuncture will have their own treatment designed specifically for them.

There are a few lifestyle changes one can make to help treat the symptoms of fibromyalgia. These changes can be seen below.

Lifestyle Changes You Can Make to Help Treat Fibromyalgia

Change #1: Stop drinking beverages filled with sugar, such as soda. Soda contains a mass amount of chemicals and ingredients that are bad for your body.

Change #2: Reduce the amount of stress you have in your life. Stress can completely ruin a person, especially if it is prolonged. Find a way to manage it before anything serious arises. Relaxation tapes may be a good idea.

Change #3: Stop eating processed and refined foods like white bread and pasta. Products like those contain no nutrition in the slightest and can cause obesity if eaten often.

Change #4: Start exercising! Exercise can prevent all sorts of illnesses and diseases, so it is important to get at least three hours of it per week. Exercises that can get the blood pumping can be activities like tennis, swimming, running, weight lifting, or yoga. At the very least be sure to walk a little bit every day.

Change #5: Consume foods that contain protein, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, and complex carbohydrates.

Change #6: Change any bad patterns or habits you may partake in. Replace that habit with a hobby you can really focus on.

Change #7: 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.

A Study on How Acupuncture Affects Fibromyalgia

Mayo Clinic recently performed a study on if acupuncture actually does help treat fibromyalgia, which 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 any 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 treatment 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 studies there is on acupuncture which can help doctors figure out which conditions are best treated with an acupuncture session. 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.

 

Exercise – 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.

 

Meditate – 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.

 

Restorative Sleep – Get at least 8 hours of restorative sleep. Maintain a routine sleep schedule and make your bedroom a sanctuary from every day stress. Practicing good sleep hygiene will give your body an opportunity to get stronger and heal.

Treating Autoimmune Disease with Acupuncture

What is an Autoimmune Disorder?

If a person’s immune system attacks its own body, this is considered an autoimmune disease.  Based on research by the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, over twenty percent of Americans have this disorder. There are quite a number of illnesses and diseases that can be classified as an autoimmune disorder such as lupus, thyroid disease, type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, Addison’s disease, Gullain-Barré syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, myasthenia gravis, and rheumatoid arthritis (which we will go into more detail about below).

Any type of autoimmune disorder causes the immune system to attack its own cells. When the body is healthy, this occurrence is completely impossible. If this process occurs in the body then it is more than likely that you have this disorder, but it can be difficult to pinpoint exactly which disease you may have until more symptoms occur.

Viruses and bacteria can cause the immune system to malfunction resulting in a person acquiring an autoimmune disease, but this usually only occurs if the person has the potential of an autoimmune disorder due to genetics. These toxins cause an autoimmune reaction in the person which activates the disease in the body. Slowly signs of the disorder will show starting with symptoms like muscle pain without exercise, rashes, dry eyes, sudden weight loss, fever, hair loss, chronic fatigue, numbness of body parts, or heart palpitations.

Autoimmune treatment can be quite expensive due to the frequent trips to the doctor and for the high costs of medication. This is why more and more people are researching alternative such as oriental medicine or acupuncture. Not only do these alternatives treat autoimmune diseases, but they are also meant to increase a person’s overall health and wellness.

Manage Autoimmune Disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis with Acupuncture

It is said that when the body’s energy flow is disrupted or blocked, it can become quite sick. This energy, known as qi by those who follow ancient oriental medicine techniques, can be managed with a method known as acupuncture. This technique clears blockades in the body in order to get the qi flowing correctly once again. When that happens, balance is restored in the body thus ridding from it sicknesses like autoimmune disorder. This is just the general explanation of course, there is a lot that goes into acupuncture and should only be done by those who have been in the field for awhile.

Health specialists have found that acupuncture techniques cause the nerve cells in the pituitary gland and different parts of the brain to release hormones into the body. These hormones help regulate functions in the body and will aid in managing an autoimmune disorder. Along with acupuncture, to treat such a disorder one would have to take various other natural treatments such as herbal medicines and stress relieving exercises.

One of the most popular types of autoimmune diseases is rheumatoid arthritis. This disease can cause inflammation, pain, swelling, redness, stiffness, warmth, or worst of all loss of feeling in the joints. This disease can last throughout a person’s life if not treated as soon as possible using the correct methods. Acupuncture is the best choice for managing this disease, as well as any illness causing inflammation or pain within the body.

Acupuncturists know exactly how to control the energy flow within your body using very thin needles so that the body no longer feels pain in a specific area. Certain herbs will be used as well depending on the current condition of the body. Whether is be for an autoimmune disease, chronic pain, rheumatoid arthritis, or stress, acupuncture and the right oriental medicines will help you manage it.

Acupuncture and Fibromyalgia from Los Angeles Acupuncturist

August 2009
Laurel Binder L.Ac., RNCNP
1322 2nd Street, Suite 36
Santa Monica, CA 90401
310-564-4325

Acupuncture for Fibromyalgia Syndrome

6 million people in the United States are affected with a condition known as fibromyalgia syndrome. Most people who have this usually turn to alternative methods of treatment rather than visit the doctor’s office. Alternative medicine is the best way to treat any negative condition affecting the body. The most popular alternative treatment people use for fibromyalgia is acupuncture.

So what exactly is this syndrome? Well, 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.

Oriental medicine states that when the body feels pain, there is a disruption of Qi at a certain point of your body. When the life energy of the kidney, heart, spleen, and liver become unbalanced, conditions such as fibromyalgia could occur. Acupuncture cannot be done specific to fibromyalgia, but the symptoms can be treated and in most cases this treats the root of the problem as well.

In order to relieve any symptoms of this condition, or just to increase the quality of life in general, it is best to follow the five pieces of advice below.

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 help prevent any 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 exercises that can help one replenish their strength against fibromyalgia. Although it can be painful, these exercises 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. When the body is stressed every muscle in tensed which will severely affects 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, then it would be best to consult with someone who knows all about oriental medicine and acupuncture. Contact me today to set up and appointment to get your body feeling like new or better than it has ever felt.

In This Issue

  • Acupuncture for Fibromyalgia Syndrome