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What is Fibromyalgia Acupuncture?

By Emma Lloyd
Updated May 17, 2024
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Fibromyalgia is a condition of unknown etiology which causes chronic pain that can last for years or even decades. For many people with this debilitating disease, fibromyalgia acupuncture can help manage symptoms of pain and fatigue. Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese practice which uses needles to stimulate pressure points on the body to achieve specific effects.

The defining characteristic of fibromyalgia is chronic pain. This somewhat mysterious condition causes pain and tenderness in soft tissue and muscles all over the body as well as in up to eighteen defined trigger points, and can also cause sleep disturbances as well as chronic fatigue. People with fibromyalgia often find that exercise and normal activity such as work, household chores, and even playing with their kids becomes impossible as a result of pain and aching, stiff joints.

Traditional Chinese acupuncture is based on ancient Chinese medical theory relating to Qi, the vital energy of the body. In the practice of acupuncture, vital pressure points all over the body are stimulated to restore the body’s balance and vital energy. During this procedure, an acupuncturist inserts long, thin acupuncture needles into pressure points all over the body to stimulate the desired effects. The pressure points targeted during an acupuncture session depend on the effect the session is intended to achieve.

Fibromyalgia acupuncture should only be performed by a trained and licensed practitioner to ensure that correct procedures are used. It may also be beneficial to work with a practitioner who has specific experience in fibromyalgia acupuncture. Traditional Chinese acupuncture can be a very effective complementary therapy for people with fibromyalgia, as acupuncture has no negative interactions with medications or other treatments, and side effects of acupuncture are very mild.

One important thing to note about fibromyalgia acupuncture is that, according to a study completed by scientists at the Mayo Clinic, most patients don’t find any significant increase in their activity levels and physical ability as a result of the treatment. Instead, people who received two to three acupuncture sessions per week had improvements in their levels of pain, fatigue, and anxiety. As well, people who received the treatment reported that their most significant improvement wasn’t a reduction of pain levels, but of anxiety and fatigue levels.

In short, the main benefit of this type of traditional acupuncture treatment is an improved ability to cope with fibromyalgia symptoms, rather than an actual improvement in symptoms themselves. Even so, the significance of this kind of improvement is high, due to the fact that coping with chronic pain and fatigue can lead to both depression and anxiety disorders. Rather than providing a cure, fibromyalgia acupuncture is a way of giving fibromyalgia sufferers help in living with the symptoms.

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