July 10th, 2012

Fibromyalgia, Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine

If you have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia you are not alone. Fibromyalgia is a
widely misunderstood syndrome characterized by chronic, all over musculoskeletal pain.

Other symptoms that may occur with it include fatigue, depression, insomnia, anxiety,
foggy thinking and increased sensitivity to odors, bright lights, and noises, numbness
and/or tingling in hands and feet and even digestive disturbances.

Current estimates indicate that between three and six million Americans have fibromyalgia,
affecting more women than men. There is much that is still unknown about this condition,
and all too often conventional treatment methods are not effective. As a result, many
patients are turning to acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine for relief with
favorable results.

A June 2006 study documented in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings reports that acupuncture
was found to be helpful in reducing fatigue and anxiety in fibromyalgia patients for up to
seven months. A new study by the University of Michigan has shown that acupuncture
decrease pain signals in the brain much the same way that painkillers such as morphine
and codeine are thought to work.

In the language of Chinese Medicine, acupuncture and herbal medicine works by removing
the blockages in the body that are causing disruption and pain. It helps the body restore its
natural balance so it can begin to heal. Treatment is tailored to your unique presentation
and your constitution.

In addition to treatment with Chinese Medicine, there are other things you can do to
restore and maintain your health when dealing with Fibromyalgia:

  • Eliminate processed foods, especially white sugar and white flour. These products are
    causing or contributing to scores of conditions and diseases in this country. Current
    research shows a big connection between gluten sensitivity and all autoimmune
    diseases. While there are differing opinions as to whether fibromyalgia is an
    autoimmune disease, gluten intake is known to exacerbate digestive problems
    for some—and is an issue that fibromyalgia sufferers also experience.
  • Other foods that interfere with digestion and the health of the whole body include
    greasy or fried foods, iced drinks, alcohol, fruit juices, foods and sodas containing
    high sugar content, and coffee.
  • It’s important to have some level of activity every day, but lifting weights or intense
    exercise may be too much. Activities like swimming, yoga, walking and tai qi can
    be beneficial. See below for a current tai qi schedule.
  • Reducing stress is imperative for recovery. Relaxation or meditation CDs can lower
    your stress levels and help you learn to relax your mind and body. Here at Sydney
    Cooley Acupuncture, I have some relaxation CDs for sale.
  • Having a spiritual practice and feeling a sense of purpose for why we are on this
    earth are both important tools to help us get beyond life’s challenges and see a
    bigger picture. Having such perspective is also imperative to the healing process.

    The Purpose Principle
    by Kevin Doherty is a book I recommend that can aid you
    in cultivating a greater sense of meaning in your life.

If you are dealing with Fibromyalgia or experiencing similar symptoms, acupuncture may
provide some relief. Call to make your appointment today.

Sydney
L. Ac, Dipl OM
970-426-8736

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