Acupuncture and Natural Treatment Options for Fibromyalgia
There simply isn’t one major reason why people are suffering with fibromyalgia. Instead, a variety of emotional, constitutional, and nutritional factors combine to influence the onset and duration of this condition.
Western medicine and even alternative practitioners often struggle in effectively treating this condition. I recommend a comprehensive treatment of fibromyalgia that includes acupuncture, herbs, nutritional supplementation, and therapeutic exercises such as yoga. Since the condition is caused by a variety of factors, its treatment must be multi-layered.
Common painkillers such as aspirin, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen are not usually effective at relieving the pain of fibromyalgia. Other approaches, including acupuncture, herbal medicine, dietary counseling, exercise, and nutritional supplementation, are more likely to be of benefit. Anyone who experiences muscular pain and/ or fatigue that persists for longer than a week or two should consult a health care provider. There may be an underlying medical disorder that requires treatment. Many different disorders can cause symptoms similar to those of fibromyalgia, including anemia, depression, hepatitis, and Lyme disease. Many of these can be ruled out by simple blood tests.
The effectiveness of acupuncture for fibromyalgia has been proven clinically. The study found that acupuncture treatments signicantly reduced pain, fatigue, and anxiety. You can read the abstract to that study here. Acupuncture is an excellent treatment method for reducing pain and inflammation, improving energy, and harmonizing emotional imbalances. For fibromyalgia, I recommend committing to treatment once a week for 6-8 weeks, then assessing the progress. If practiced skillfully, acupuncture can be very helpful for fibromyalgia patients.
Treating fibromyalgia with herbs tends to be so specific to the patient’s constitution that listing off a few formulas is not all that helpful. One Chinese herbal formula, however, is used extensively for fibromyalgia. It is called shen tong zhu yu tang. This formula promotes blood circulation and reduces inflammation. It is used for systemic pain. Other formulas, like Liu Jun Zi Tang, can help with fatigue. Herbs are also used to improve sleep and mood.
Because digestion is often impaired in those with fibromyalgia, a healthy diet is essential. Colon cleansing is recommended to rid the gastrointestinal tract of mucus and debris, and to improve nutrient absorption. Food allergies can exacerbate the discomfort of many disorders. Determine hidden food or chemical hypersensitivities by appropriate tests.
The daily diet should include milled flax seed, 2 or more tbsp., or cold-pressed, unrefined flax seed oil. Flax seed and its oil contain substances that help relieve the inflammation of fibromyalgia. The oils of fatty fish such as trout, cod, halibut, mackerel and salmon also contain omega-3 fatty acids and therefore work as anti-inflammatory agents.
Eat a high-fiber diet that includes plentiful servings of raw and steamed vegetables. Maximize your intake of greens.
Eat four to five small meals daily rather than three larger ones. This will ensure that you have a steady supply of nutrients available for proper muscle function.
Avoid processed foods, which increase inflammation
Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and sugar. These substances enhance fatigue, increase muscle pain, and can interfere with normal sleep patterns.
Drink eight glasses of pure water daily. Fresh juices and herbal teas are also good choices. A plentiful intake of liquids is important for flushing out toxins.
Investigate the possibility that food allergies and/ or sensitivities may be contributing to the problem.
Balancing Sleep Cycles
Treating sleep deprivation is a top priority for patients with fibromyalgia. Neurotransmitters are regulated in delta sleep. Fibromyalgia patients don’t get enough of this, as they are jolted awake by intrusive alpha waves many times a night. They often wake feeling like they have been hit by truck because cellular repair and neurotransmitter balancing hasn’t happened. Chamomile, valerian, and 5HTP can be helpful for getting more delta sleep. The Chinese herbal formula suan zao ren tang is also a safe, effective choice for improving sleep.
As you can see, there are many natural treatment options for healing fibromyalgia. The treatment process can take a few weeks or months, but it is certainly worth pursuing. Do the best you can to commit to an organic whole foods diet, regular exercise, yoga, nutritional supplementation, and acupuncture. This should provide you with a vast framework of resources for healing yourself.
For All-Natural Treatments for Fibromyalgia, contact Katie Robinette at Robinette Acupuncture Denver, today.
Questions? Send me an email and I’ll be happy to answer them.