For thousands of years, the ancient Chinese practice of acupuncture has been used for relief of many ailments, most notably pain. Traditional Chinese medicine explains that the method of strategically inserting needles into the skin allows balancing of the body’s energy, commonly known as qi (pronounced “CHEE”). By correcting this energy imbalance, pain or other maladies that it may have caused can be corrected.
Until recent years, acupuncture and its benefits went largely unrecognized by western medicine communities. However, as time has passed, medical studies have shown the effectiveness of the practice. In fact, the largest study ever conducted, which included 18,000 patients, recently concluded that in conditions such as chronic headache or arthritis, acupuncture is nearly twice as effective as traditionally prescribed drugs. Furthermore, additional studies have concluded that it can also alleviate some debilitating symptoms in fibromyalgia patients for months at a time.
An estimated 3% - 6% of the American population suffers from the chronic disorder known as fibromyalgia, which causes widespread pain, fatigue, and even anxiety. The exact cause of the disorder is unknown, and its duration and intensity varies for each patient. For those living with it, it can be a life-altering condition, leaving them unable to enjoy activities that others take for granted. While there are many variations in the treatment of fibromyalgia, acupuncture provides a safe method which has been shown to greatly reduce the associated symptoms.
Among the benefits fibromyalgia sufferers stand to gain from acupuncture are:
- Reduced Pain
- Improved Sleeping Habits
- Boosted Immune System
Additionally, other treatment methods may be applied to work in conjunction with acupuncture therapy. A well-rounded treatment plan is key to successfully treating the disorder. Rather than relying on medications such as pain relievers or antidepressants which alter brain chemistry, relief may be found in combining acupuncture with some or all of the following:
- Chiropractic Care – Fibromyalgia causes muscle tightness, discomfort, and a loss in mobility over time. Gentle chiropractic adjustments can help the muscles regain their pliability without causing damage.
- Cold Laser Therapy – Muscle tissue has been shown to have reduced healing capabilities in fibromyalgia patients. Cold laser therapy not only stimulates tissue healing, but decreases pain sensations as well.
- Exercise – Staying physically active is crucial for patients, allowing them to retain higher levels of comfort and flexibility. Aerobic exercise seems to be particularly helpful.
- Diet – Fresh and organically grown foods have less stress on the body, helping it function at its maximum capacity. A diet consisting of foods such as soy, nuts and berries, brown rice, and hormone-free chicken and turkey will be beneficial.
Fibromyalgia can be a frustrating and debilitating illness for the millions of individuals who struggle with it each day. It often leads to multiple doctors, different treatment plans, and a dependency on a range of pharmaceutical drugs. Thankfully, acupuncture can be a highly effective option, resulting in drastically reduced pain and fatigue for months at a time. Furthermore, when combined with complimentary therapies and appropriate lifestyle changes, it can mean a radical change in the quality of life for fibromyalgia patients.
The physicians at SouthEast Chiropractic in Gastonia, NC have included treatment of fibromyalgia as part of their practice for many years. They understand and have embraced the healing capabilities of acupuncture. If you currently suffer from fibromyalgia, contact our office or use our online appointment request form. We not only understand the effects that the disorder can have, but we also have the necessary experience to design your ideal treatment plan.