Fibromyalgia is a chronic illness that doesn't get the attention that it deserves. The American Chronic Pain Association estimate that roughly 6 to 12 million people in the country suffer from fibromyalgia, with females making up 90 percent of sufferers. Much like depression, fibromyalgia causes the afflicted person to suffer in silence. It is the intangibility of the illness that makes it so taboo, and causes people to question its credibility as a disease. Is it all in mind? Is the person exaggerating their pain? Are they just lazy? With such negative thinking surrounding the illness, it is understandable why a sufferer may avoid seeking help.
Common symptoms of this autoimmune disease include chronic widespread pain and fatigue. Given the elusiveness of fibromyalgia, doctors can struggle to diagnose it accurately. It's not surprising then that 70 percent of sufferers are unaware that they have the illness.Fighting fibromyalgia with acupuncture is akin to fighting fire with fire; acupuncture is, after all, a treatment that requires the insertion of needles into the skin. How can this possibly help with pain relief?
The ancient Chinese healing therapy of acupuncture work on the belief that illness occurs because a bodies energy flow or chi is blocked. The needles inserted to aid in unblocking these channels thus releasing the person of the symptoms of the disease. The needles usually remain in the skin at various depths and points for up to 30 minutes. The practitioner may introduce heat or electricity to stimulate the energy flow further.
Some studies into acupuncture have shown that brain chemistry can be altered by the practice and results in an increased pain threshold. The engagement of electrical stimulation into the treatment can also aid in reducing the pain that a sufferer is currently experiencing. Acupuncture is, therefore, both prevention and cure in a sense, providing immediate relief and prepping the body to manage future pain better. Studies have suggested that the treatment can stimulate endorphin production, and these happy hormones boost mood and sense of well-being.
It is no secret that acupuncture is proving to be an effective treatment for fibromyalgia with one in five sufferers using it as a treatment within their first two years of diagnosis. The National Institute of Health released results from trials conducted on acupuncture effects on chronic pain sufferers. The results were astoundingly positive, with a summary stating that the alternative treatment was better for pain management than non-acupuncture therapies. Overall, the patients that engaged in the study reported better sleep quality, decreased pain and fatigue.
If acupuncture alone is not enough, counselling can make a welcome and positive addition. Acupuncture homes in on the physical side of the illness for sufferers, while counselling can help them to overcome the mental blocks that take hold.
With fibromyalgia still requiring some time to go regarding research and cures, acupuncture can provide some sense of relief in the interim. With some patients saying that they saw results after just one treatment, there is no reason not to give it a shot.