Fibromyalgia Treated by Eastern Medicine

Fibromyalgia can often be accompanied by chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) or myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME). There is a lot that is not understood about fibromyalgia but from the eastern standpoint, we look at the spleen energy of the patient where there is always a deficiency that is noted. From here, we can strengthen and nourish the body as a whole. The spleen energy is involved in one’s overall energy, proper digestion, nutrient absorption, blood production, and immune system function. With fibromyalgia, there is usually major points of tenderness throughout the body and is characterized by chronic widespread musculoskeletal pain. Unfortunately, it often accompanies sleep, mood, fatigue, and memory issues as well. It can be triggered by stress, injury, or even possibly a viral infection. The pain can be described in a variety of adjectives from aching, throbbing, stiffness, or even burning.

Some of the tell-tell major points of tenderness to look for are inside the knee, inner elbows, top of shoulders, a little over an inch above the collar bone in the upper chest region, the base of both the neck and skull, upper outer edge of thigh, lower back, and at the 2nd rib insertion area. Eastern practitioners take note that the spleen acupressure points of fibromyalgic patient all tend to be very sensitive to touch.  Other symptoms often found with fibromyalgia patients are depression, anxiety, memory problems, fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome, headaches, tingling in the extremities, and many more. For a diagnosis to be made, the pain must be widespread and unexplained lasting a minimum of three months with 11 of the 18 indicative points sensitive with only tender applied pressure.

The root cause and patterns which appear when assessing patients in an Eastern Medical assessment, the spleen is often the center of attention with building up the foundation of health to allow the patient to regain overall energy, nourishment from better food absorption, and simply improving the immune system and blood production. This is done by using spleen nourishing points on the body, proper food therapy, and an herbal formula customized to how the individual is presenting. Certain patterns seen with fibromyalgia include damp-heat of specific meridians or organs, liver and spleen disharmony, spleen and kidney yang deficiency, blood stasis, and yin-deficiency fire patterns. These patterns are all treated differently based on how the body is revealing the imbalance. Some cases show more signs of heat, cold, stagnation, or just deficiency. Some fibromyalgia cases can present with painful obstruction syndrome with coldness and deficiency, some have more heat sensations, some have more spasms and cramps, and others reveal more severe pain with blood stagnation and blood stasis.

A well balanced diet is needed consisting mostly of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, seeds (chia, flax, sunflower), and nuts. Eating 4-5 small meals a day to ensure nutrients and proper energy for the muscles to work optimally. Avoid caffeine, sugar, and alcohol as well as processed or fried foods. Adequate exercise like a daily walk and gentle stretches will greatly help the overall circulation and help reduce anxiety and stress. Hydration plays a big part to help flush out toxins. This can be accomplished with herbal teas, steam-distilled water, and fresh vegetable juicing.

Supplements which are very helpful include magnesium which is a major anti-inflammatory component useful in every cellular process. Omega-3 fatty acids help the body create prostaglandins which naturally reduce inflammation throughout the body. Vitamins A, C, and E all help maintain the cell’s ability to produce energy by fighting free radicals. 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is an amino acid which acts as a precursor for the brain to produce serotonin. This helps improve mood. Fibromyalgia is connected to depression and is often tied into an emotional disorders. Hot baths, massage, and stretching are all recommended to ensure good circulation for both mind and body. Other nutrients which would also be beneficial are acidophilus, coenzyme Q-10, and lecithin with meals. Lecithin is a phospholipid which is found in egg yolks and soybeans. It is rich in choline which is an essential nutrient.

Acupuncture for fibromyalgia not only helps manage the pain but also can help treat the underlying causes. The symptoms accompanying this disorder are many and can be managed with a series of treatments. The Ren meridian is used to support the immune system and alleviate depression and anxiety. Specific liver points can be used to relax the muscles and help circulation. Longevity points on both the spleen and stomach meridians help the body to absorb nutrients and improve overall digestion.

Eastern medicine has used acupuncture for treating fibromyalgia by lowering pain levels, improving overall health and regulating the immune system, as well as enhancing relaxation and sleep. Other conditions which may accompany fibromyalgia has been treated with acupuncture include chronic fatigue syndrome and myalgic encephalomyelitis, arthritis, immune system disorders, migraines, myofascial pain syndrome, depression, and many more. Call today for your journey to health and wellness: 772-626-6419.