Fibromyalgia mostly affects women between the ages of 20 and 50 years of age. It is basically "pain in your fibrous tissues", characterised by chronic, widespread, severe muscular aching, pain and stiffness, accompanied by insomnia, fatigue and depression.
It is neither a rheumatic, inflammatory, progressive, or a degenerative disorder. However, it is not solely a psychosomatic or psychiatric disorder.
The pain the sufferer feels is very real and maybe sometimes debilitating.
70-90% of Fibromyalgia sufferers will also have one or more of the following symptoms:
sleep disturbances, headaches, swollen feet, numbness or tingling, difficulty thinking and/or concentrating, dizziness and hyper sensitivity of the sensory organs.
How can TCM Help?
In western or conventional medicine, anti-depressants and non-steroidal anti-inflammatories are prescribed. Ironically, some of the side effects of these include the same symptoms of Fibromyalgia.
In Chinese medicine, we look at Fibromyalgia, as a liver-spleen disharmony. This means that the Qi (chi) or energy of the liver energy system is depressed and stagnant, and the spleen Qi is weak. However, other energy system organs may be involved as well.
Because every patient with Fibromyalgia has a slightly different medical pattern discrimination, each patient's treatment is individualised.
The person's diet and lifestyle are crucial in the recovery process, which normally takes a few months. It is advisable the person exercises moderately as well.
Acupuncture, Chinese herbs and massage all aid in moving the stagnant Qi and replenishing the weak Qi.
Warm baths with some of the Warm Spirit invigorating herbal salts may aid in a speedier recovery from the pain experienced by Fibromyalgia sufferers.
"Our study confirmed that acupuncture reduced the risk of coronary heart disease in patients with fibromyalgia in Taiwan. Further clinical and mechanistic studies are warranted."
- Acupuncture decreased the risk of coronary heart disease in patients with fibromyalgia in Taiwan: a nationwide matched cohort study, by MY Wu, MC Huang, JH Chiang, MF Sun, YC Lee, and HR Yen. Read more here.
"There is low to moderate-level evidence that compared with no treatment and standard therapy, acupuncture improves pain and stiffness in people with fibromyalgia. There is moderate-level evidence that the effect of acupuncture does not differ from sham acupuncture in reducing pain or fatigue, or improving sleep or global well-being."
- Acupuncture for treating fibromyalgia, by JC Deare, Z Zheng, CC Xue, JP Liu, J Shang, SW Scott and G Littlejohn. Read more here.
"The present study suggests that acupuncture treatment is effective to relieve pain for FM patients in terms of QoL and FIQ."
- Effects of acupuncture to treat fibromyalgia: a preliminary randomised controlled trial, by K Itoh, H Kitakoji. Read more here.
"TCM therapies appear to be effective for treating FM. However, further large, rigorously designed trials are warranted because of insufficient methodological rigor in the included trials."
- Traditional Chinese Medicine for treatment of fibromyalgia: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials, by H Cao, J Liu and GT Lewith. Read more here.
If you suffer from Fibromyalgia, you may consider seeking a more natural approach to recovering your health through Traditional Chinese Medicine. Dr Li's TCM Clinic has qualified practitioners who specialise in women's health. Contact us today for your first free consultation.
Dr. Li's TCM Clinic - Lane Cove, Rhodes, Macquarie Centre, North Ryde & Chatswood