Fibromyalgia (FM) is a debilitating illness, which according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), affects 2% - 3% of the adult population in the U.S., or an estimated 3 - 6 million people. This chronic - pain syndrome affects women between the ages of 20 and 50 years old; as well as, men and teens. The prevalence of FM in women is much greater than men, occurring at a ratio of 7:1, and is generally under - diagnosed in both men and women.
The causes of FM are currently not understood, but more than likely they arise out of the complex interrelationship of the body and mind, creating a system - wide spectrum of symptoms such as: mild to severe pain that is chronic, body aches, tenderness, stiffness, sleep disturbance, not feeling rested after waking, and fatigue. Secondary symptoms which can complicate FM are irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), headaches / migraines, numbness and tingling in the hands and feet, depression and or anxiety, and problems with memory and concentration.
Since Western medicine doesn’t know the exact cause of FM, their treatment plan is based on treating the symptoms with a combination of physical therapy or exercise, stress relief and relaxation techniques, and drugs. Commonly prescribed drugs include: pain relievers (Ultram, Ultracet); muscle relaxants (Flexeril); antidepressants (Amitril, Elavil); and anti-seizure drugs (Lyrica); SSNRI’s (Cymbalta, Effexor, Savella).
From an Eastern point of view, the main pathomechanism of FM, especially in Western patients, is centered on the Liver and Spleen. A disruption in the normal functioning of these two organs causes either a deficiency in one or both, and or a disharmony between the two. Once this relationship is imbalanced it can cause other organ systems to display dysfunctional activities. Some of the characteristics of this disharmony of Liver and Spleen can manifest as various gastrointestinal issues, or even psychological problems.
In my experience with patients suffering from fibromyalgia, acupuncture and herbs, along with lifestyle changes can have significantly positive results after 2 - 3 months of therapy. Of course, the level of treatment success will vary from one patient to another; and some patients may need more treatments than others. Another major factor for a positive outcome, no matter what the chief complaint, will be the will / motivation of the patient to make the necessary changes in their life to perpetuate the healing process and to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Generally speaking, a patient will come in twice a week for the first month, and thereafter treatments are scaled back to once a week, twice a month or once a month as needed.
Get Your Copy of the Quad Cities Chronic Pain Report!
What you will learn by reading this report:
Why Western medicine fails in the treatment of chronic pain.
Why there’s no special training for doctors who prescribe dangerous pain killers.
Why pain killers are not a treatment and how they are part of the problem.
Why licensed & board certified acupuncturists are better qualified to treat chronic pain cases.