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 Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

carpal tunnel syndromeCarpal tunnel syndrome is an overuse injury caused by constant repetition of a single task, which is usually due to work-related motions. In fact injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome are the leading cause of missed work days, with the most common being our main subject. Carpal tunnel syndrome is the reason for a few million visits to a physician each year. Typists are most known for injuring their wrist due to the constant motion of their fingers and wrists.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Symptoms

The symptoms of any similar injury include pain, cold feeling, lack of strength, feeling of stiffness, numbness, and tightness in the arms. Surgery and pain killers used to be the most popular option, though more and more people have been looking into more natural ways to treat this injury. Today people are turning to acupuncture as their treatment of choice. Researchers have also tested this method as a treatment and discovered that it may be a much better alternative than even corticosteroids for carpal tunnel syndrome.

What is a carpal tunnel anyway? This part of your body can be described as parts that make up the wrist, including all ligaments, bones, nerves, and tendons. Carpal tunnel syndrome develops when the tendons begin to irritate or swell which causes the symptoms listed in the paragraph above in the wrists, fingers, and palms. At first you’ll only notice a tingling or burning sensation in the hands and fingers. Eventually it will develop into pain that increases with movement and grip. When symptoms start showing up, that is the time to get it treated or else the consequences may be irreversible.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treatments

carpal tunnel syndrome acupuncture treatmentAcupuncture should be the treatment of choice. In oriental medicine it is said that any injury, which includes carpal tunnel syndrome, is due to an imbalance of blood and life energy at the injured area. Besides acupuncture, oriental medicine treatments include various stretching exercises, vitamin supplements, and optional herbal medications. Not only will these methods treat carpal tunnel syndrome, but can also treat conditions such as stiffness, insomnia, headaches, swelling, pain, inflammation, back pain, and neck pain. An acupuncturist will also take note of any conditions that may have causes carpal tunnel syndrome such as obesity, diabetes, or rheumatoid arthritis.

Proof: Acupuncture is the Best Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Treatment

A study conducted by the Clinical Journal of Pain in May of 2009 stated that acupuncture is similarly effective, if not more, than common medicines such as prednisone and corticosteroid for carpal tunnel syndrome. This study placed people into two separate groups with one receiving steroids while the other received acupuncture. It was discovered that the acupuncture group had a much better time managing their pain and a significantly larger reduction of swelling and tingling than the group who received prednisone.

If you would rather have a natural treatment that is less invasive than surgery and just as effective, acupuncture would be the choice to go with. Contact Dr. Laurie Binder at Santa Monica Acupuncture and Wellness if you or anyone you know has carpal tunnel syndrome.

Katy Perry Uses Acupuncture for Ongoing Knee Pain

Katy Perry Uses Acupuncture for Knee PainCelebrities Use Acupuncture

Celebrities and acupuncture usually go together quite commonly nowadays, though it isn’t always public. Once in a while, you’ll see a celebrity who reveals in the media that she or he used acupuncture to keep their career going. A lot of times, we see athletes, though we also see actors and even musicians celebrating the procedure. For touring singers and musicians, the strain of touring easily wreaks havoc on the body in more ways than one.

We might not expect someone as young as Katy Perry to need acupuncture. Once you delve into the world of acupuncture, however, you’ll soon realize that many young people use acupuncture to treat injuries so they stay physically competitive in their careers. Perry, managed to suffer a knee injury as the result of overusing her body during physically demanding show tours.

celebrity acupunctureWe’ve seen evidence of this before with other pop stars who overuse their bodies from energetic body movements on stage every night. Perry cites herself as the near equivalent of an Olympic athlete since she has to traverse a massive stage that goes into the audience on her touring show. In that regard, she’s now taken on acupuncture as a way to address her constantly sore knee.

What kind of results can be expected? Here at Los Angeles Acupuncture and Wellness, we frequently treat people for knee injuries, and many of them have outstanding results. The treatments work directly on knee and also in tandem with the brain and the perception of pain. Evidence of this is available through the Arthritis Foundation.

Studies on Acupuncture Helping Knee Pain

acupuncture injury treatment
While acupuncture helps knee injuries, it also works beautifully on those who suffer osteoarthritis in the knee. The Arthritis Foundation points to a German study that said those who had osteoarthritis in their knees had improved function after 15 regular sessions. Some of this is can be attributed to the theory of how the brain cuts off pain perception when a needle gets placed into an acupuncture point. Tim Rhudy, a licensed acupuncturist in Ohio explains this on the Arthritis Foundation site. His quote:

“Brain magnetic resonance imaging shows that deep needling of acupuncture points deactivates the part of the brain that deals with our perception of pain.”

This may help people who have to keep using their knees every day in order to maintain their careers. With medical evidence available to show this success, celebrities will likely continue using acupuncture so they don’t have to live in pain or use pain medications.

When the media covers story about a celebrity like Katy Perry, it shows the world how notable people use acupuncture as an excellent method for managing pain and joint issues.

Acupuncture for Arthritis Knee Pain

Let us help you here at Los Angeles Acupuncture and Wellness. Contact us to find out how extensive our treatments are and how pain in any part of your body may soon feel better or be eliminated with acupuncture.

Acupuncture for Chronic Pain Relief

Lasting Pain Relief

back painHave you been suffering with chronic pain? Do you feel like you have tried everything and relief is still nowhere to be found? When the heating pads, massage and medications are not working, consider acupuncture for pain relief.
Many people who are struggling with chronic pain have tried traditional medical approaches and are still in pain every day. Rather than live in misery, perhaps trying a new approach is appropriate. While not in the traditional repertoire of treatments for pain, acupuncture can bring much-needed relief and improve your quality of life.

A Natural Approach to Treating Chronic Pain

Acupuncture involves using thin needles (it’s pain-free) to stimulate the body internal energy flow. This internal stimulation helps to connect with and channel misdirected chi that is at the root of your pain. Chi (Qi) is the life force or energy that flows through all living things. Ongoing pain is an indicator that chi has been disrupted. In order to achieve lasting pain relief, chi must be released so that it’s flow is not impeded.
Acupuncture for Chronic Pain ReliefAcupuncture helps relieve many types of pain. Whether it is used to relieve migraine pain by targeting chi that is causing neurons to misfire or to resolve skeletal issues like arthritis and lower back pain, acupuncture may be the answer you seek.

A skilled acupuncturist assesses the issues causing your pain and devises a treatment plan specific to your needs. Pinched sciatic nerve limiting your range of motion and making each movement painful? There’s a targeted acupuncture approach that focuses on releasing misdirected energy around your back, hips and legs that can help. Limited range of motion due to a pinched nerve? Targeting specific pressure points along the nerve can bring relief, sometimes after one treatment and lasting relief with a continued treatment regimen.

Acupuncture doesn’t just help with muscular and skeletal pain. If you have had surgery and are having problems with post-surgery pain and healing, acupuncture treatment can help speed up recovery and bring faster relief.

Often, acupuncture for pain is used in combination with more traditional Western medicine treatments. Your chiropractor may recommend acupuncture as part of a regimen that includes chiropractic adjustments, electronic muscle stimulation and heated massages.

Because acupuncture involves redistributing the flow of energy throughout your body, its benefits extend beyond pain relief. Properly flowing Qi leads to more energy and greater overall well-being. You will think more clearly, rest better and feel more serene.  All of this is a great environment for healing and achieving a higher state of being.  It helps make your body less susceptible for future muscle pain.

While most people do not consider acupuncture until all other options are exhausted, it might be time to rethink when acupuncture becomes part of your wellness plan. For centuries, acupuncturists have been able to provide effective and drug free pain relief that exceeds results provided by Western medicine.

At Los Angeles Acupuncture and Wellness, we work with our patients to establish a treatment plan that has a permanent and lasting positive impact on your life.
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Los Angeles Acupuncture for Back Pain and Stress

back painAcupuncture for Back Pain

Why does acupuncture work for back pain? A number of studies exists, such as a recent acupuncture back pain study conducted by the Group Health Center for Health Studies in Seattle, that have concluded that acupuncture is more effective in treating back pain than the standard treatment of medication and physical therapy. How it does that is a matter of some debate among researchers.

Traditional Chinese medical practitioners will tell you that acupuncture redresses an imbalance in the flow of energy through the body called “chi,” according to Harvard Men’s Health. Dr. Lucy Chen, a board-certified anesthesiologist, specialist in pain medicine, and practicing acupuncturist at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital puts the matter in more western scientific terms. Acupuncture seems to adjust neurotransmitters, hormone levels, and the immune system in the human body.

michael strahan acupuncture cuppingThe Spine Health site adds that acupuncture can release opioid peptides by stimulating the human nervous system. These kinds of opioids plays an enormous role in alleviating all kinds of chronic pain, including back pain. Another theory is that acupuncture serves as conductors of electromagnetic energy. This in turn stimulates the production of endorphins which serve as the body’s natural pain killers.

The National Institutes of Health have recognized since 1998 that acupuncture is a safe, effective method of pain relief, not only for back pain but also for post-operative dental pain, headaches, and carpel tunnel syndrome. Subsequent studies have only proven to bolster this conclusion.

Thus anyone who is suffering from chronic back pain for whom the standard treatments are not working may benefit from a course of acupuncture from a reputable practitioner.

For more information about acupuncture for back pain contact us.

Patient Testimonial

back pain acupunctureI was a patient of Laurie Binder’s for six months. My back pain and sense of well being improved almost immediately. Thereafter, I continued seeing Dr. Binder because I enjoyed the experience and great results. I recommend Laurie Binder highly.  She is very competent, caring and effective.

Michael W. Brentwood, CA

Acupuncture for Anxiety

New Study Shows Teens May Need Help Managing Stress

teen stressWhen you think about a person who is stressed out, chances are you have a picture in your head of an adult. A new study shows that teens are actually just as stressed, if not more so, than adults, and may need help coping with the pressure they feel. One solution may be acupuncture for stress and anxiety.

Researchers questioned 1,000 teenagers and found that more than a quarter of them are experiencing extreme stress, and over 50% of them have moderate anxiety levels. 34% of them are looking ahead and predict their stress level will only increase over the coming months.

What are teens stressed about? 59% of them have a hard time balancing all their activities such as school, work, and extra-curriculars. Then there’s homework, future college plans, and relationships with friends or family that add on to the pressure.

Effects of Stress

Because of high stress levels, teens are experiencing:

  • headaches
  • sleep disturbance
  • irritability and anger
  • depression
  • a feeling of being overwhelmed
  • difficulty coping

Researchers are concerned that teens are not learning healthy ways to deal with their stress level, which is setting them up for a lifetime of physical and emotional ailments. Many teens turn to emotional eating, video games, or time online as a way of dealing with their stress. Our country is at a record high for prescription drugs taken by teens to treat anxiety and depression. Others are turning to alcohol or illegal drugs.

Stress Relief for Teens

To set teens up for lifelong health, they need to be able to deal with stress in a healthy, constructive way. The stress they feel now isn’t going anywhere, so some suggestions for dealing with stress include exercising, relaxation techniques, as well as counseling or therapy. Acupuncture has proven to be very beneficial to adults suffering from stress and anxiety so it is something parents of teens should look into as another way of dealing with the pressure they feel.

If you or your teen are feeling stress and anxiety and are looking for healthy ways to deal with it, contact us.

How Can Acupuncture Benefit Me?

Kelly Ripa acupuncturePerhaps you have heard about acupuncture or maybe you know someone who has benefited from treatment. Most Americans are familiar with the process but few have actually experienced acupuncture for themselves. Chances are that one or more of our most common complaints could benefit greatly from this alternative treatment. Let’s look at some of the areas where acupuncture treatment is usually beneficial with the right practitioner:

Acupuncture Benefits

Improved Digestion  

Digestive complaints such as heartburn or excess gas have both been treated successfully and issues such as chronic diarrhea or serious constipation have also responded well to acupuncture treatments. More serious conditions that involve allergies to food, IBS or severe colitis can also see improvement after treatment.

back painPain Management

More familiar to car accident victims, acupuncture has proved to be effective in the treatment of whiplash injuries. It is more common today for a doctor to suggest it as an alternative or in conjunction with more conventional treatments. Headaches also respond well to acupuncture, even migraines or cluster headaches. Increased pain relief for symptoms of arthritis has also been reported among patients. You can also heal from surgery faster with acupuncture.

Gynecology

Often turned to as pain relief for cramps and body aches, acupuncture can also help relieve bloating and even irritability and mild depressive symptoms. Infertility problems have also been corrected with treatment and even symptoms associated with menopause such as, night sweats and hot flashes, are lessened after seeing the acupuncturist. Many women will tell you that when it comes to regulating your cycle and balancing your hormones, some other treatments aren’t as effective.It is not common knowledge that acupuncture can be a viable treatment for stress – but time and time again this proved to be the case. Many patients report deep relaxation and relief of anxiety symptoms even after one session. It appears that it can also be helpful during a time of crisis or personal trauma as it is effective in reducing the high levels of stress hormones present during these times.

Holistic Treatments

Today, all forms of treatment should be explored in a comprehensive treatment plan. You can learn more about holistic treatments for your ailment via acupuncture by contacting us.

Patient Testimonials

DougLaurie is simply the best! Her work has made a major improvement in my life. I strongly endorse her and her practice.

Doug G. Santa Monica, CA

Kelly testimonialI have seen Laurie several times for fatigue and insomnia. Laurie is a very knowledgeable acupuncturist and is such a sweetheart!  She knew exactly to treat me and I was feeling better after my first session. Laurie also followed up with me and made sure that I know she is available any time. I wish more doctors were like her.
Kelly A. Los Angeles, CA

iconLaurie Binder is amazing! I began going to her for fertility but have found myself running to her when anything needs fixing: sciatica, insomnia, stress, headache, nausea & colds to name just a few. I have yet to find anything that Laurie and her needles can’t sort out. She is a lovely woman who is nurturing as well as incredibly warm, calm and understanding. She is very easy to speak to. An appointment with Laurie is pure bliss. Thanks Laurie. You are sublime.
D.E. Santa Monica, CA

iconLaurie Binder is true healer! I would recommend her acupuncture treatments for anyone dealing with a physical condition that seems to have no cure. I’ve found real results from Laurie’s acupuncture treatments that have truly been life changing.
Lux L. Santa Monica, CA

testimonialI’m so glad I found this wonderful acupuncturist in Dr. Laurie! I have had acupuncture with several practitioners but Laurie is the best. Great bedside manner and you can tell she genuinely cares about her patients.

Jim C. Pacific Palisades, CA

testimonialDr. Laurie is the best acupuncturist in Los Angeles!
I mean, only if you want results from your acupuncture treatments. Her treatments always work, and the needles don’t hurt. She’s treated me for my myriad of weight training and overuse injuries. Here’s a list:

Bicep tendon: it’s been hurting on and off for a year. She treats it, I get 80-90% relief for a least two weeks. Then I go crazy on it and I’m back.

Lower back: this has been recent, she said I fell asleep as soon as the last needle went in. Still better after a week.

Sciatica: this was about 8 years ago. One treatment and it never came back. Of course I made sure to keep stretching in my routine.

Knee: I have arthritis in my left knee, and it’s easy to injure and inflame. If it bothers me a lot, she throws some needles around and I’m good to go.

Gas and bloating: I eat a lot. So sometimes my stomach doesn’t like it. She prescribed some herbs and they work great when I take them consistently.

Heat: my head gets hot sometimes and she’s got herbs for that. If it’s particularly bad she does some needles, and that works too. Kind of the opposite of the end of “Kiss of the Dragon”.

That’s enough of a list for now. Go see Laurie!
Jason K. Santa Monica, CA

Natural Pain Relief with Acupuncture

What is Pain?

painPain is how our brain interprets an unpleasant or uncomfortable situation, such as a muscle aches or the feeling we get when we burn our tongue on hot foods. A person’s perception of pain may be different from someone else’s, so it is difficult for scientists to give a perfect explanation of pain.

The two types of pain people can feel will either be acute or chronic. Acute pain is temporary and usually correlates with discomfort and soreness mainly occurring from post-surgery, small injuries, or illness. Chronic pain shows up quite frequently or is a constant pain. A few examples of chronic pain are headaches, nerve injury, pain from severe illness, back pain, or neck pain.

Although pain can be quite discomforting, the reason the body feels pain is in order to keep your body from participating in harmful activities. For example, when you are cooking on the stove and you accidentally touch the hot surface with your hand your body will let you know through pain. If you could not feel pain, then you could completely burn the skin off of your body.

Most people tend to visit the doctor and get prescribed to strong pain-relief drugs when they are hurt or for chronic pain. Although there are certainly applications for pain relief medications especially in the short term, long term use of such drugs can and often do have negative side effects.  Another reason people pursue pain relief treatments could be because their body has already adapted to the medication and now they need either a stronger medicine (with more negative health effects) or an alternative. Fortunately, there is a method that has no negative side effects and will never lose its effectiveness in pain relief. This technique is known as acupuncture.

acupuncture for pain reliefRelieve Pain with Acupuncture

Whether a person has an acute or chronic pain, acupuncture can work for both no matter where the pain is in the body. One of the scientific explanations to how this method can cure pain is that acupuncture activates certain endorphins that contain a pain relieving chemical within them. Another explanation is that the needles used also redirect pain signals from being transferred to the brain.

The original Chinese explanation, dated back to ancient times, is that acupuncture involves the energy of the human body. It is said that when energy is blocked or disrupted, it can lead to you feeling pain in a specific area. There are a variety of reasons to why a pathway can be obstructed, such as stress or illness. The needles used in acupuncture are used to clear the pathways so that energy can freely flow again and relieve pain. The needles are extremely thin and completely sterile. Although it may sound unpleasant, acupuncture is completely pain-free and safe to do.

Health organizations have said that acupuncture is the technique to use in order to relieve chronic pain conditions. Of course, while it may work for most people it may not work for some, but it is best to research into this alternative as it one of the best, natural ways one could use to heal their bodies.

Patient Testimonials

iconDr. Binder’s expertise in pain management and proactive health crosses both Western and Eastern medical techniques and is the result of top-notch training.  I recommend her and her associates highly and successful to friends and colleagues.  I have been seeking her care for more than 5 years.  She provides clear and succint answers to my questions, quelling any concerns I or those whom I have recommended about how her integrative medical practice coincides with and supports the work of other health professionals.  I recommend her w/out reservation.  Her office is clean, bright, quiet and pleasant to visit.
Beverly W. Santa Monica, CA


iconLaurie Binder is a gifted healer and acupuncturist. She gets awesome results in just a few treatments: she’s my “go to” for my numerous and recurring training injuries. Laurie’s acupuncture and herbs work! Here’s 9 reasons why you should see Laurie at Santa Monica Acupuncture and Wellness for acupuncture: 1. She gets results 2. She’s really nice 3. The needles don’t hurt 4. You feel great immediately after the treatment 5. Positive results fast 6. Great location and parking 7. Her office is really spiffy 8. She gets results 9. Results are great! In Los Angeles? Go see Laurie at Santa Monica Acupuncture and Wellness! Word.

In case in isn’t clear, Laurie at Santa Monica Acupuncture and Wellness is 100% badass.  This is where you should go for any natural treatment needs.  In the right hands, acupuncture works for pain, fertility, digestion, anxiety, energy and more.  Laurie is the best Acupuncturist in Los Angeles.  Laurie’s acupuncture works!
Jason K. Santa Monica, CA

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.