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Acupuncture is a complementary medical technique that uses the specific placement of needles in the skin to help restore your health. It is part of the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) healing system, which originated in China about 3000 years ago.
TCM and acupuncture works in harmony with your body’s natural ability to heal. They are based on the idea that you have a life energy called Qi (pronounced Chi) that flows throughout your body along invisible channels called meridians. This vital energy (Qi) is believed to be responsible for your entire well-being: spiritual, mental, emotional and physical. But…
… when the flow of your vital energy becomes imbalanced, your Qi can become blocked. And it is believed that these ‘Qi blockages’ are what make you ill.
So, to improve the flow of your Qi, TCM practitioners use a combination of acupuncture, herbs and Qi Gong or Tai Chi (martial arts which combines meditation, slow, gentle movement and breathing exercises). With acupuncture for example, a trained TCM acupuncturist would place special disposable, hair-thin metal needles into your skin at specific points along the meridian channels in your body, to bring your Qi back into balance.
In terms of TCM , Fibromyalgia is apparently regarded (primarily) as a liver problem. The liver is responsible for making sure your Qi moves throughout your body, and when there are problems with the liver, pain can occur.
How Does Acupuncture Work?
Well it seems that the explanation depends on which approach you take...
The TCM Explanation Of Acupuncture:
The TCM (Eastern) explanation is that you have a life energy called Qi (pronounced Chi) that flows throughout your body along invisible channels called meridians. Your Qi (Chi) becomes imbalanced when you become ill, and by placing the acupuncture needles in your skin (in specific locations on your body), a qualified acupuncturist can ‘rebalance’ your Qi, and thus restore your health.
The Western Explanation Of Acupuncture: Endorphins
The Western explanation focuses on the connection between acupuncture and endorphins...
You see, your body actually releases endorphins naturally. These hormones are known to bring about a sense of well-being. Endorphins also enhance your immune system and (among other things) relieve pain. In fact...
...you are likely to feel more pain and to feel more anxious when your endorphin levels are low. And the Western explanation is that acupuncture actually increases your body’s production of these endorphins.
Dr Bruce Pomeranz from the University of Toronto studied the effects that acupuncture has on endorphins for 20 years.
Acupuncture - Is It A Recognized Medical Procedure?
In a word? Yes!
Acupuncture is widely used to treat a number of musculoskeletal pain conditions. It was formally recognized in 1997 by the National Institutes of Health (NIH):
Fibromyalgia & TCM Acupuncture
In a study of 50 patients in 2005, Dr David Martin and his colleagues from the Mayo Clinic investigated the efficacy of acupuncture on moderately- to severely-affected fibromyalgia sufferers. The study revealed that not only did acupuncture provide pain relief, but it also eased fatigue and anxiety - all common symptoms of fibromyalgia. What’s more, patients experienced minimal side effects; a welcome bonus for many fibromyalgia sufferers who often have to live with the unpleasant side effects of their medications.
In a Mayo Clinic press release, Dr Martin talked about the positive findings of his fibromyalgia study:
Another acupuncture study (led by Daniel Feldman et al. in 2001) compared 3 groups of Fibromyalgia sufferers:
The study found that the group of Fibromyalgia sufferers who had the real acupuncture improved the most:
Commenting on the study, Dr Feldman said:
How Long Does It Last?
The subjects of Dr Martin’s study (mentioned above) apparently experienced the most significant pain, fatigue and anxiety relief, one month after their treatment (which was six sessions of acupuncture). But the study also found that the fibromyalgia sufferers’ symptoms had returned to their original severity by seven months after treatment.
It’s also worth noting that, in Dr Martin’s study, the fibromyalgia sufferers’ physical abilities did not apparently improve even though their symptoms had improved:
Category: Fibromyalgia : fibromyalgia TCM acupuncture : What is acupuncture ? What is TCM ? How can TCM acupuncture ease Fibromyalgia symptoms ? Does TCM acupuncture ease Fibromyalgia symptoms ?
Common misspellings of fibromyalgia : fibro myalga, fibro mialga, fibro maligia, fibro mailgia, fibro mayaglia, fibro milagia, fibro myealgeia, fibro myalja, fibro myalgea