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Acupuncture as alternative therapy for fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is considered to be a medical syndrome which still cannot be explained. The main characteristic of it is pain that is felt in various parts of the body at the same time. Apart from pain, those diagnosed with fibromyalgia experience insomnia, fatigue, depression and painful responses to pressure. Even though not all of the symptoms of this syndrome can be felt at the same time, a lot of them occur at the same time. Some of the symptoms which occur most often are chronic pain, problems with sleeping, anxiety, depression, stiffness of the joints, chronic headaches, jaw pain, problems with swallowing, dryness in mouth and nose, incontinence, restless leg syndrome, painful menstrual cramps and irritable bowel syndrome, among many others.

Alternative Therapies for Fibromyalgia

The syndrome of fibromyalgia is seen in no more than 2% of the population in the world. The success of treatment of conventional therapies is somewhat limited. Some of the main reasons why that is so, are because fibromyalgia is not a simple condition and it is still unexplained. The current treatment consists of prescribed medications which are supposed to treat various symptoms which occur with fibromyalgia. Such an approach towards treatment of fibromyalgia is considered to be a trial and error approach. Nowadays, the need for various types of alternative therapies is great. This fact especially refers to people suffering from fibromyalgia and other conditions that are connected with pain. Some of the treatment options which are most popular are acupuncture, chiropractic, massage and meditation. Conventional medicine is more and more being replaced by alternative medicine. All forms of alternative medicine are based on the belief that the body has the ability to heal itself with multiple techniques. Mind, body and spirit are all involved in these techniques. Not every form of alternative medicines provides benefits for those diagnosed with fibromyalgia but some are quite helpful. Holistic therapies have the effect on the whole being and that is the main reason why is advised for fibromyalgia patients. Because of this, a person will lessen the use of medications and increase normal activities.

Acupuncture is one of the alternative therapies that is used most often in patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia because it has shown excellent results in a majority of patients. Apart from acupuncture, biofeedback and electro acupuncture are also recommended for getting rid of symptoms of fibromyalgia. However, it is of great significance that the patient consults his or her doctor before opting for any of the alternative therapies. Experts believe that the best way to fight the symptoms of fibromyalgia is to combine conventional medicine with alternative treatments.

Acupuncture for pain in fibromyalgia

Before the treatment can start, it is vital that the syndrome is properly diagnosed. The patient is diagnosed when a history of widespread pain is present in all four quadrants of the body. The pain also needs to be present for at least three months. There are 18 designated tender points on the body and the pain needs to be felt in at least 11 of those when pressure is applied. Acupuncture therapy consists of a practitioner inserting one or more needles into the skin and underlying tissue. However, the needles cannot be inserted at any place but at specific points. Once in the skin, the needles are manipulated either by twisting or some other way in order for the endorphins to be released into the bloodstream. Through acupuncture a great deal of endorphins is released and that is good because they are considered to be the natural opioids of the body. Apart from the release of these opioids, energy blocks are removed as well. Once the blocks are no longer present the energy will be able to flow more easily through the energy chancels. Energy chancels are also called Meridians.

Brain chemistry is altered due to acupuncture, according to certain researches. Neurotransmitters are not being released in the same way and that is how it is altered. Neurotransmitters play an important role as they can make a person more tolerant to pain. Since fibromyalgia causes chronic symptoms, acupuncture is an excellent option as the effects of just one treatment can last for several weeks in some patients. During these weeks the patient will experience less pain.

The acupuncture points can be stimulated in another way, through electro acupuncture. In this therapy, the patient’s acupuncture points are pierced with needles hooked up to small wires. The wires are attached to very small electrical currents. Acupressure, massage and heat can all be performed at the same time as electro acupuncture is. This form of acupuncture is not the only branch that came from it as laser acupuncture exists as well. Laser acupuncture does not use needles but it still uses the same acupuncture points. Carpal tunnel syndrome is often treated with laser acupuncture.
When getting in touch with an acupuncturist, he or she should always be checked for the license.

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