Did You Know? Fibromyalgia is a rare autoimmune disease that affects an estimated 6% of the world population.
To most, Fibromyalgia (FM) is a big word that requires deeper clarification. For FM patients, it simply translates to constant fatigue, severe joint pain, sensitivity to touch, and frequent digestive disorder. This rare autoimmune condition is chronic, and most FM sufferers are often also depressed and at wit’s end, especially when the visits to countless specialists have offered no respite. Not until they’ve been introduced to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
The East West Divide
Generally, most FM patients turn to TCM only as a final resort. While western medicine has its way in alleviating FM symptoms, this often comes with side effects. Common complaints include being in a constant state of confusion, feeling tired all the time like walking zombies, and even experiencing a loss of libido.
Overcoming the Yin Yang Divide with TCM
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theory, qi (vital energy) and blood flow along pathways that connect the whole body to nourish the body and support various functional activities of the body. The initial stage of FM is due to qi deficiency in the liver and spleen, where symptoms may include fatigue, depression, digestive problems, and insomnia. Invasion of external pathogenic factors then occurs, where cold may invade the body channels. As the FM condition progresses, the kidney yang is exhausted and blood becomes stagnated and pain becomes debilitating.
Through acupuncture, the circulation of qi and blood in the body can be restored. Acupuncture can provide pain relief and alleviate other symptoms like insomnia and reduce stress. By inserting fine needles into various acupoints in the body, acupuncture can free stagnated qi and blood to restore circulation, especially at the target joint regions. The treatment also triggers the release of endorphins, which reduces stress and enables a relaxing feeling after treatment.
Apart from acupuncture, you may consume herbal medicine and supplements to alleviate joint pain and other FM symptoms. Often prescribed in a powder or pill or a concoction with a combination of 6 different herbs, the formula is generally seen as a suitable treatment for FM patients due to its chronic nature. Through a TCM diagnostic, your TCM physician can better understand your condition and prescribe the right set of herbs that will aid towards alleviating symptoms.