Acupuncturist Questions Acupuncture

Should I get acupuncture for my fibromyalgia?

I heard acupuncture can actually help me cope with my pain. Is this really true? How does it help?

19 Answers

I have only treated one fibromyalgia patient and I was unable to get them symptom free. But this was due to the patient not showing up enough. My mother has had it for decades and is symptom free. No fatigue. No pain. That is how it helps most people.
Fibromyalgia can be a little tricky because the pain may be aggravated by the needles. However, there are many other techniques we can use to alleviate your pain. What's most important is that you keep verbal communication with your acupuncturist. If anything is starting to flare up the pain, let us know right away so we can stop and try something else.
Yes, acupuncture can help for pain of fibromyalgia. Based on research: acupuncture therapy is associated with changes in the concentrations of pain-modulating substances in serum. Thus releases the pain of fibromyalgia.
I have helped many people with fibromyalgia pains. The treatments help to calm the body which helps with better circulation which helps decrease pain. Many of my patients report feeling less pain and happier!
It certainly can help with fibromyalgia. Acupuncture increases serotonin, dopamine and other endorphins that help the patient feel more relaxed, less discomfort and generally uplifted. It also improves circulation and individual organ function, which in the case of fibromyalgia, is putting along.
Yes. I have treated a few with that condition. Between acupuncture, cupping, massage and herbs. It is very possible to get to a lessened or more manageable level.
Acupuncture can help calm nerve impulse transmission by multiple means. It can lower cortisol levels, balance hormonal imbalances, lower high blood pressure, improve respiration and so on. It does this by working on imbalances in the meridians (along which the acupuncture points are based) and aiding in maintaining a healthy balance. This may take some time, as fibromyalgia is a serious condition that doesn't just develop overnight.
Diet, sleep and exercise play a HUGE part in how your body responds to the condition as well. Seeing a dietician and seeking advice from your doctor as to how much sleep and exercise are recommended for you may be a good idea. Environmental factors such as humidity, living in a damp or moldy environment, excessive heat or cold can affect fibromyalgia pain. Of course, I'm sure you already know a lot of this. But doing further research on how to help yourself will only aid in your recovery and help decide if acupuncture is right for you.
Acupuncture needling and other modalities such as cupping, magnet therapy, gua sha, massage and so on can be very helpful. But the degree to which they help can vary from person to person. Needles may be too traumatic for some to handle. I have done acupressure on patients that are too needle phobic. That's massage in a specific therapeutic way on the points where I would have placed needles. The comfort of my patients is of the utmost importance and if needling causes severe pain or anxiety, then that is counterproductive to treatment. It's normal to feel a little pinch, or tug, people describe it in different ways. But it should go away within a minute and if it doesn't, or it gets worse, I take it out. There are other points that I can try.
I also would highly advise you to try some relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, tai chi, etc. These can help with sympathetic and parasympathetic responses to pain as well. Good luck!!!
Hi there,

TCM is known to treat pain and many other conditions. Please first consult with your regular primary care physician for a recommendation and referral. It could be energy flow blockage to mental stress, etc...
See both your physician and acupuncturist for proper diagnoses.
Good afternoon,

Yes, you should get acupuncture for fibromyalgia.

Happy New Year,

David
Acupuncture doesn't just help you cope with the pain of fibromyalgia, it helps eliminate it. So yes, I strongly recommend you seek out an acupuncturist and get a series of treatments. You DON'T have to live in that pain.
Fibromyalgia (FM) symptoms can include changes in physical function and well-being, fatigue, sleep challenges, stiffness and pain. While some studies found that acupuncture provides relief even for severe FM, other studies found no benefit. Some researchers have put this contradiction down to the many variables involved in FM, differences in study design and patient study groups.

Although not every person receiving acupuncture has reported the same level of success, the fact that there are relatively few to no side effects suggests that acupuncture is surely worth a try to see if you can benefit.

In terms of the 'how does it help'…a March, 2018 study published in the journal Pain Medicine examined the effects of acupuncture on FM symptoms. The researchers found changes in two chemicals that may explain the improvement of pain. There was an increase in serum serotonin, sometimes called the happy chemical, while there was a decrease in levels of substance P, thought to be involved in transmission of pain and other nerve impulses.
Yes, acupuncture can work on your physical pain and help your mental stress along with fibromyalgia, which greatly improves the healing success.
Yes, do it.
Yes absolutely. I have patients who have suffered from mild to severe fibromyalgia. They are now in different stages of treatment, but have all reported a better quality of life with less pain and especially clearer mind. Fibromyalgia in acupuncture is not specific to one cause/issue. Depending on the person and the status of their major organs (there are 5 that Eastern medicine is based), the problems and manifestations are different. Find a practitioner who is the best partner for your health journey and start immediately so that you can naturally live well at the quality of life you were accustomed to enjoying.
Yes you should get acupuncture. It has been around for thousands of years because it “really” works. It helps by moving blood and energy within the body
I have had great success with fibromyalgia patients using acupuncture. It helps relieve the muscle tensions, heal the muscles and helps you sleep more deeply. Lack of deep sleep is assumed to be one of the factors that leads to fibromyalgia - the time we sleep that lets the body heal isn't reached, so the small tears we get all day build up without the sleep.

The acupuncture can help relieve the tension from the unhealed tissue, help blood flow more easily to help healing continue and helps you sleep so the issue isn't exacerbated.

Find a licensed practitioner who works well with pain. Good luck
Acupuncture is great for treating pain. Everyone's pain is different in this medicine. We look and treat the individual's signs and symptoms. With some of our fibromyalgia patients, just being able to have a bowel movement or sleep without pain has made a tremendous change in their quality of life.
Yes, FM is a tough condition for patients. Because it affects many systems of the body, not just the myalgia, it needs a 6 month or even longer treatment in my experience. About 70% of patients need to combine Chinese herbal medicine based on an individual condition. It works beautifully.
Acupuncture is generally an excellent choice for dealing with the pain of fibromyalgia. I've worked with several fibromyalgia patients and usually get good results for them.

How acupuncture works in this condition is still, largely, an open question. We know acupuncture is regulating several neurotransmitters in the spinal cord and brain which have to do with pain sensation. Acupuncture also appears to be changing parts of the brain's pre-frontal cortex. This brain area has a lot to do with how pain information is processed.

For the best results you're going to need to do two things:

1. Make sure you're seeing an NCCAOM board certified acupuncturist. You can start with the "Find a Practitioner" page at NCCAOM.org to find someone local.

2. Acupuncture is a dose-dependent front-loaded process. This means you're going to need to commit to several (probably 3-5) treatments up front. Usually we space these a week apart, but if your pain is severe your acupuncturist may suggest more frequently to start.