Modern medicine has no idea what causes fibromyalgia. The fact is that fibromyalgia is often the diagnosis when no other conditions can be identified by objective tests or X-Rays.
The most common signs of fibromyalgia are pain, which may appear in several or many areas of the body, exhaustion or overwhelming fatigue, and stiff muscles upon awakening in the morning.
What Causes Pain
Where there’s pain, there's no flow.
Pain is caused by the stagnation of energy or fluids. When flow is restrained or interrupted, pain occurs, alerting us to the problem. Three causes of pain are:
1. Obstruction (blocked flow – due to injury, swelling, oversupply or engorgement of qi or blood)
2. Constraint (restrained flow – due to emotional, psychic, or mental constraint),
3. Deficiency (weak flow – due to deficiency of qi or blood)
To treat fibromyalgia, the TCM physician must diagnose the underlying conditions of the pain.
Fibromyalgia, according to traditional Chinese medicine, is not one disease, but likely a combination of several disease patterns. Western doctors, unaware of these patterns, diagnose them all as fibromyalgia. Any of the following disease patterns might be diagnosed as fibromyalgia.
Note that we don't need to distinguish between these to provide symptomatic pain relief, but we do need to diagnose the correct patterns to understand the underlying root causes in order to cure the disease.
WIND-COLD-DAMP WITH INTERNAL HEAT
JUE YIN COLD
SPLEEN AND KIDNEY DEFICIENCY
SPLEEN AND KIDNEY YANG DEFICIENCY
SPLEEN AND KIDNEY YANG DEFICIENCY WITH LIVER QI STAGNATION
SPLEEN QI DEFICIENCY WITH YIN AND YANG DEFICIENCY WITH DEFICIENCY HEAT AND LIVER QI STAGNATION
LIVER AND KIDNEY YIN DEFICIENCY
QI AND YIN DEFICIENCY WITH LIVER FIRE
QI AND BLOOD STAGNATION
INTERNAL COLD CAUSING PHLEGM AND FLUID STAGNATION
COLD STAGNATION BLOCKING THE CHANNELS
DAMP STAGNATION BLOCKING THE CHANNELS
PHLEGM STAGNATION BLOCKING THE CHANNELS
COLD-DAMP IN THE LOWER JIAO
PHLEGM-DAMP IN THE LOWER JIAO
Where there's flow, there's no pain.
Acupuncture for Fibromyalgia
A study done by the Mayo Clinic on acupuncture on fibromyalgia concluded that fibromyalgia symptoms were relieved by acupuncture. 50 patients were divided into two groups: one received acupuncture while the other was given simulated acupuncture. Both groups had six sessions over 2-3 weeks.
The researchers found that improvements were found in fatigue and anxiety levels on par with medications, such as anti-depressants and acetaminophen. On the other hand, several other studies found no statistical improvements from acupuncture treatment.
Many acupuncturists believe that standardized research is not helpful or revealing in the practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine, as the techniques and the points used are very different from one person to another. This is especially true in a condition such as fibromyalgia, which can consist of various patterns to an acupuncturist.
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