Fibromyalgia affects millions of individuals, almost 4 million to be more exact, and causes widespread pain as well as a number of accompanying symptoms. At Sasha Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine, we offer an alternative and effective method for combating fibromyalgia pain through acupuncture and Chinese Medicine.

By utilizing a holistic approach to care, Chinese medicine can help to resolve fibromyalgia symptoms such as stiffness, fatigue, sleep issues, mood and memory problems, and trouble concentrating. As such, acupuncture offers an effective and natural method for alleviating fibromyalgia pain.

Understanding Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a diagnosis characterized by a cluster of symptoms such as widespread pain, stiffness, fatigue, sleep disturbances, mood issues, memory problems, and difficulty concentrating. It is believed to result from changes in pain signal processing in the brain and spinal cord. Even mild stimuli can trigger amplified pain signals in individuals with fibromyalgia.

Acupuncture's Role in Alleviating Fibromyalgia Pain

Acupuncture stimulates the release of endorphins, the body's natural pain relievers. These endorphins block the nerve cells that receive pain signals, providing relief. The Cleveland Clinic recognizes fibromyalgia as a condition associated with endorphin deficiency and acknowledges acupuncture as a means to boost endorphin levels.

Furthermore, acupuncture may influence the serotonin levels and substance P. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and plays a role in pain and cognition. Substance P transmits pain signals from different body parts to the brain and spinal cord. Studies have shown that individuals with fibromyalgia often have low serotonin levels and increased substance P levels.

A study conducted at Ataturk University's Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Department examined the effects of acupuncture on female fibromyalgia patients. Participants were randomly assigned to receive acupuncture, sham acupuncture (needle insertion at locations not recognized as acupoints or along meridians), or simulated acupuncture (a bandage was applied to an acupoint, and a needle was inserted into the bandage but not deeply enough to puncture the skin below). The study found that serotonin levels significantly increased after acupuncture treatment, demonstrated by a greater increase in the acupuncture group. Additionally, substance P levels decreased significantly only in the acupuncture group

Assessing Participant Response

The study used various assessments to evaluate the participant's response to the intervention. Pain levels were measured using a visual analog scale (VAS), and the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ) was used to assess patients' ability to function and rate the severity of symptoms.

Across all three groups, significant improvement was observed in average VAS scores. However, the acupuncture group demonstrated the most substantial improvement (a 42% decrease in average score compared to 12.8% for the sham acupuncture group and 11.2% for the simulated acupuncture group). Similarly, both the acupuncture and sham acupuncture groups showed significant improvement in FIQ scores, with the acupuncture group displaying greater improvement (a 42.7% decrease in average FIQ scores compared to a 9.6% decrease in the sham acupuncture group).

Contact Sasha Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine

If you're seeking relief from fibromyalgia pain, consider acupuncture as a beneficial treatment option. Contact our office today to learn more about our individualized treatment plans or schedule a consultation with Dr. Aleksandra Mihajlovic, DTCM, who can address your specific needs.

For more information, click here to visit our other post on fibromyalgia.

Reclaim Your Health & Wellness

Acupuncture treatments provide many benefits beyond just pain relief for those suffering with chronic neck or back pain.