Acupuncture For Chronic Fatigue And Fibromyalgia - Helen's Good And Bad Tales!
by Helen Rice
(Newcastle upon Tyne, UK)
I have had Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia for several years now. I thought I'd share some of my experiences with you all...
My First Experiences Of Acupuncture...
My first experience of acupunture was really good. I went to see a guy who was recommended to me by a friend with bad back pain. It was quite pricey at forty pounds (GBP) a session but well worth it as I got great relief from my pain symptoms (although it did not seem to impact upon the fatigue).
This practioner was western but had trained in Chinese style acupuncture and although I could only afford a couple of sessions with him I felt I had benefited greatly from the treatment. The needles were mostly placed at key points in my feet, legs and arms according to Chinese medical theory.
One of his practices was to burn a herbal infusion at the top of some of the needles
. The needles conducted heat into my body at key points
and the herbs released a relaxing aroma. I haven't found any other acupuncturists who do this so I don't know how widespread it is.
My Second Experience Of Acupuncture...
My second experience of acupuncture was with a western doctor who was trained in the traditional western medical tradition but had become interested in using alternative practices as well. However, he didn't 'buy into' the Chinese theories and instead believed in placing the needles directly into the area that was hurting
. So, for example, when I had bad period pain he placed the needles into my lower back and pelvic region (not at the same time!)
I have to say that I found this much less effective for my pains
and although I was getting the treatment for free I only went about half a dozen times because it just didn't feel 'right'.
My Most Recent Experience With Acupuncture...
My third time trying acupuncture was quite recently. I went to one of those chinese medicine shops in a local shopping centre that are becoming quite widespread. The Chinese guy doing the acupuncture was really nice and attentive to listening to my story (like most sufferers of Chronic Fatigue & Fibromyalgia this can take quite some time as my symptom list is huge).
Again he concentrated on putting the needles in my feet and hand area. He used a heat lamp to convey heat to the areas being treated
and I found this very soothing. However...
... at the end of the treatment he attempted to move my leg up and down while the needles were still in place and it was absolute agony!
I screamed out and probably scared a lot of his potential customers away. He was very upset and apologetic for having caused me pain. I am not sure if the addition of exercise was just too much
for my body to take (I was having a very bad flare up at the time).
I suppose if I were to sum it all up, I would say that I definitely believe that acupuncture is worth a try
and for some pains it seems to be very effective.
However, I think it is important to understand that different practitioners may have a totally different approach
. Many western trained professionals like physiotherapists are now practicing acupuncture, having been on short courses. I am sure they mean well but personally, I would prefer to see someone who has specialised in acupuncture for a long time
I think it is also worth asking them if they have any experience of treating people with ME/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and/or Fibromyalgia
, because our needs are not necessarily like those of people with simple back ache or head aches and we can be especially sensitive to treatments that other people might tolerate much easier.
Wishing you all good luck with your search for symptom relief. Helen x