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Does acupuncture really have an effect on easing Fibromyalgia symptoms or is it just the placebo effect?
Find out more below...
As we've seen on the previous page about Fibromyalgia & TCM acupuncture, there have been positive results in studies of fibromyalgia and acupuncture. But is it really safe to say that acupuncture definitely helps Fibromyalgia?
Well it depends on which studies you believe because there are some studies out there that suggest that acupuncture actually does nothing for Fibromyalgia…
For example, according to Elisabeth Deffner, a study undertaken at the University of Washington found that there was no more improvement in the patients who had had acupuncture treatments than in those who had ‘pretend’ treatments. A ‘pretend’ acupuncture treatment could be where needles do not actually go into the skin, or where they are not placed in the right locations on the body. Drawing from these particular studies, some say that the ‘pretend’ treatments have just as positive effect on Fibromyalgia sufferers as real acupuncture does. [ref 38]
However the differences in results may have to do with the different ways in which the studies are done:
Fibromyalgia & Acupuncture : Is It Just The Placebo Effect?
Here's where it gets interesting...
Research also reveals that the placebo effect seems to play an interesting role in chronic pain and fibromyalgia sufferers. It seems that you really can apparently make your brain release its own natural painkillers (endorphins) just by believing a medicine will relieve your pain…
Dr Daniel Clauw (quoted below) was part of a team of researchers who took part in a University of Michigan study which investigated the placebo effect on fibromyalgia sufferers:
And Dr Jon-Kar Zubieta, lead author in another study of the placebo effect (at the same institution) emphasizes that apparently, the placebo effect is not phsychological:
If Dr Clauw’s findings are correct, then this makes it even more difficult to determine whether the studies which contradict acupuncture’s efficacy for easing Fibromyalgia symptoms can be trusted or not. Indeed, it’s all very confusing!
So What’s The Verdict?
When it comes to figuring out whether acupuncture can ease your fibromyalgia symptoms or not, it still seems to be a case of trial and error. There certainly doesn’t seem to be a definitive verdict on whether acupuncture really does help fibromyalgia or not. But overall, the majority of studies and reviews I have come across have been positive.
According to US-based licensed acupuncturist and herbalist, Leena Sikand-Cook [ref 33], a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in 1998 revealed that:
That study was undertaken only a year after it was formally recognized
by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Since then, TCM acunpuncture
has grown in popularity.
To help you make up your mind though, I’ll leave you with two last quotes from medical professionals who are experienced in acupuncture and Fibromyalgia:
You can also read personal reviews by ME/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome & Fibromyalgia sufferers who have tried acupuncture here...
Category: Fibromyalgia : fibromyalgia , acupuncture and placebo effect : Does acupuncture ease Fibromyalgia symptoms or is it just the placebo effect?
Common misspellings of fibromyalgia : fibro myalga, fibro mialga, fibro maligia, fibro mailgia, fibro mayaglia, fibro milagia, fibro myealgeia, fibro myalja, fibro myalgea