8 reasons why you should try acupuncture to treat fibromyalgia
If you suffer with fibromyalgia – or, indeed, any sort of chronic pain – you’ll know only too well the misery that level of discomfort brings.
And if you haven’t been able to find an effective treatment for the condition, you may have given up hope of ever finding an answer.
But if you haven’t yet tried acupuncture then it could well be the solution that significantly reduces or mitigates the pain you’re experiencing and allows you to reclaim some control over your life.
Before we look at how acupuncture can help, let’s just explore the reasons why it’s important for your general health to be as free as possible from severe pain – because the reality is that the acute discomfort that defines your life at the moment could also be having a hugely detrimental impact on your general physical and mental wellbeing.
What is fibromyalgia and what causes it?
Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that is characterised by widespread pain, fatigue, and tenderness in the muscles and soft tissues.
While the exact causes of it are still unknown, there is a popular medical opinion that it is related to abnormal levels of certain neurotransmitters in the brain and spinal cord, as well as changes in the way the body processes pain signals.
3 ways chronic pain impacts your general health
Chronic pain can have a significant impact on general health, as it can cause physical, emotional, and psychological symptoms. Broadly speaking these fall into three categories:
- Physical health: Chronic pain can interfere with daily activities and can cause sleep disturbances, fatigue, decreased appetite, weight changes, and decreased physical activity levels. It can also lead to the development of other health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, and substance abuse.
- Emotional health: Persistent acute pain is widely known to cause emotional symptoms such as irritability, anxiety, depression, and a decreased ability to cope with stress. It may also lead to social isolation, which is a big contributing factor to poor emotional health.
- Psychological health: Changes in brain chemistry are caused by chronic pain and can affect mood and motivation. They can also lead to changes in cognitive functioning, such as problems with memory and attention.
So, if we accept that chronic pain can have a broad range of negative effects on general health, then it’s clear that finding ways to manage and mitigate it is essential in minimising its impact on physical, emotional, and psychological well-being.
5 ways that acupuncture can help
Acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine that involves the insertion of superfine needles into specific points on the body.
It has been used for centuries to treat a variety of conditions, including chronic pain, and has been found to be particularly effective for fibromyalgia.
Here are 5 benefits that can come from using acupuncture to treat fibromyalgia:
- Pain relief: One of the primary benefits of acupuncture for fibromyalgia is its ability to relieve pain. Acupuncture needles stimulate the release of endorphins, which are natural painkillers that the body produces. These endorphins can help to reduce pain and improve overall feelings of well-being.
- Reduced inflammation: Inflammation is a key component of fibromyalgia, and it can contribute significantly to pain and stiffness. Acupuncture has been found to have anti-inflammatory effects, which can help to reduce inflammation and improve overall symptoms.
- Improved sleep: Many people with fibromyalgia struggle with sleep problems, including insomnia and sleep disturbances. Acupuncture has been found to improve sleep quality and reduce the frequency of sleep disruptions, which can lead to better overall health and well-being.
- Reduced stress and anxiety: Fibromyalgia can be a stressful and anxiety-inducing condition which can exacerbate a wide range of symptoms. Acupuncture has been found to have a calming effect on the nervous system, which can help to reduce stress and anxiety and improve overall feelings of relaxation and well-being.
- Fewer side effects than medication: While medication can be an effective treatment for fibromyalgia, it often comes with unwanted side effects. Acupuncture is a non-invasive and drug-free treatment option that has few, if any, side effects.
There is evidence to support acupuncture as a complementary treatment for fibromyalgia, and one of its key advantages is that it offers patients a different approach that can be used in harness with clinical treatment.
In other words, it’s not an ‘either/or’ choice, which makes it an attractive option for those patients who are looking for different answers but who have understandable reservations about compromising their clinical care.
What is certainly true is that as with all integrated medical care, treatment for fibromyalgia is most effective when it is combined with lifestyle changes that create the best possible environment for the approach to be effective – whether that’s complementary, clinical, or alternative medicine.
Overall, acupuncture is a safe and effective treatment option for people with fibromyalgia. It can help to reduce pain, inflammation, and stress, and improve overall health and well-being. You can read more about acupuncture and fibromyalgia by clicking here. There is also more information here and here
If you are considering acupuncture for fibromyalgia but would like more information about how it works, please get in touch for a confidential, no-obligation chat. We’d love to explain more.