Fibromyalgia is a condition involving chronic musculoskeletal pain accompanied by excessive fatigue and exhaustion. Muscles and soft tissues surrounding the joints are the usual pain sites, however pain can be sensed in skin and organs throughout the body. Often onset is subtle, possibly affecting only one area, but over time, multiple sites are affected. The most common sites of pain include the neck, back, shoulders, arms, and legs, but any body part can be involved.

It is estimated that 900,000 Canadians, or approximately 3% of the population are affected by fibromyalgia. Women are estimated to be four to nine times more likely to develop the disease than men.

Diagnosis is made when there is a history of widespread pain in all four quadrants of the body for at least three months and pain sensation, when pressure is applied to at least 11 of 18 designated tender points on the body.

Fibromyalgia does not cause any direct physical damage to the body or its tissues and there are no laboratory tests to confirm this diagnosis. Usually a physical or emotional trauma triggers the symptoms, but not in all cases.

Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine can provide relief of symptoms by improving free flow of energy (Qi) or blood, and balancing internal organs like Liver, Spleen, Kidneys or Heart. Huang Di Nei Jing or Yellow Emperor’s Inner Canon describes pain theory as: “Bu tong ze tong, tong ze bu tong”, which means “free flow: no pain, no free flow: pain.”. A lot of tender points of Fibromyalgia are on or adjacent to actual acupuncture points.

For example the tender points at the base of the skull are actually on the Gall Bladder Channel (GB-20), and the name of the point in Chinese is “Feng Chi” meaning Wind Pool and is traditionally used for headache, head wind, one-sided and generalized headache, dizziness and so forth. A regular plan, with long-term, consistent integrative treatment is necessary in patients with Fibromyalgia. Please refer to http://tcmclineek.com/Research.aspx to see research on Acupuncture and Fibromyalgia.

Nutritional supplements like B-complex, Omega-3, Magnesium, and Vitamin C, in addition to drinking more water can help ease the symptoms of this condition.

Treatment plan

A comprehensive treatment plan for fibromyalgia is consisted of acupuncture and diagnosis based on traditional Chinese medicine on the first session, and follow ups of acupuncture and either nutritional therapy or Chinese herbal medicine. It is recommended to do 10 acupuncture treatments once a week, and maintain by doing one treatment every 2-3 weeks after. If herbs are part of a routine plan, the number of acupuncture visits can be reduced to every 2-3 weeks after the first 10 sessions.

Dr. Mort Neek is available at his Oakville office on Wednesdays  and Friday afternoons, by appointment.

You can also e-mail him at tcmclineek@gmail.com, or call for a free phone consultation @ 647-444-4083.

Please visit  http://www.tcmclineek.com for more detailed information on Fibromyalgia and its TCM differentiations.

Category: Acupuncture
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One Response to “Treatment of fibromyalgia with acupuncture, herbs and nutrition”

Esther Bartkiw October 12, 2011

Great article! Thanks for sharing/