Fibromyalgia is a syndrome. When Western medicine calls something a syndrome and they do this with other conditions such as PCOS as well, they are lumping together a bunch of symptoms that are commonly seen together and putting a label on it. So roughly since year 2000 women have begun complaining about a variety of symptoms and now it is fibromyalgia. Myalgia is muscle pain so it’s obvious that the main condition is all over muscle pain that is extremely sensitive to pressure.
Can Acupuncture Help Fibromyalgia?
The symptoms of fibromyalgia can be treated using acupuncture and Chinese Herbs. The beauty of Traditional Chinese Medicine in treating the complexity of a syndrome like fibromyalgia is that we can treat the whole person versus treating each symptom individually. Acupuncturists can float between treating a patient with emotional issues causing pain to accidents or both. It’s all part of what we do.
How Does Chinese Medicine Treat the Fibromyalgia?
We treat like we treat everything else by first taking a detailed history of your life including places you have lived, traumas and accidents, surgeries, medications, any significant emotional upset, current symptoms being experienced and then pulse diagnosis.
To understand what a fibromyalgia patient is going through I searched for an online forum where folks are sharing their problems with each other. I find this to be more real life than going to a medical site where they give you lists of what they decide is important. It’s very eye opening…
Here are some I will share…
- “It feels like everything has an electric current running through it”
- Falling over….as if feeling drunk, but has not touched alcohol
- Always tired.
- IBS symptoms
- Agoraphobia – fear of places or situations that appear unsafe
- Brain fog, depression, memory and concentration issues
- Temperature changes where one may feel very hot and then very cold. One person reported feeling boiling hot and sweating, but her skin was cold to the touch.
These symptoms came out of a long thread, but what really got me was the complaints by each person stating their doctors did not know what to do with them and when they tried they could only treat each symptom individually. This resulted in them being sent to a different specialist for each condition and given more tests. Acupuncture can treat all the above symptoms. It will take time and commitment, but the patient will only need to see one person through their healing journey.
While reading the forum each person had a different set of symptoms. Damp and Heat, two concepts in Chinese Medicine are very present.
Damp is well….damp. Go outside in Austin in the summer and you will feel a damp environment. Damp manifests in the body as feeling heavy, foggy head, the sensation of feeling drunk, depression and certain kinds of headaches. Damp is related to the Pancreas, it is Earth and related to the Stomach. The Pancreas and Stomach are also meridians. Food that cause Damp are diary (ice cream, cheese, and milk). Sugar is also damp. One thing you can do right now is stop eating diary and sugar.
There is a saying that where there is Heat there is Cold.
“When the yang dominates, then there is heat; when the yin dominates, then there is cold. Doubled cold results in heat; doubled heat results in cold.” HuangdiNeijing (Translation by Paul Unschuld)
The Stomach channel or Lower Yangming channel is a channel that has a lot of blood and qi. It can produce a lot of heat symptoms. One of the indications of the Lower Yangming channel is climbing to the roof top, taking off one’s clothes and singing or yelling. Sounds strange, but what made me thing of this indication is how hot the person must feel. The Stomach channel is naturally related to digestion and naturally paired with the Pancreas channel.
Can Chinese Medicine Reveal Why Someone Has Fibromyalgia?
Why this is all happening could be so many reasons. I believe the patient generally has a sense of what happened. My job is still look for obstructions in the channels that are holding the body in this configuration. First I search for scars. (Click here to learn about Scar Therapy). Second, I study each channel looking for any clue and asking questions. We will find something. Believe me. Then begins the process of treating these areas we find. Note I am using the word ‘we’. It’s teamwork. Each treatment should reveal something new. Symptoms hopefully will change for the better. It’s slow. It’s slow because it took a long time for this configuration to create itself.
If you want to talk to me, I encourage you to call me. I will offer you a 20 minute free phone consultation. Reach me by email to set it up: email@example.com.
Have a great day!