Fibromyalgia: How acupuncture can help
By Marieke A. Pieterman
I have several dear friends who have struggled with fibromyalgia. For decades, they’ve battled this chronic condition and everything that comes with it – widespread pain, insomnia, fatigue and cognitive difficulties.
Sadly, many of them feel it has robbed them of their life, and impacted their marriage and other relationships.
Fortunately, I’ve been able to help them with acupuncture -- and this research done by the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Department of Ataturk University explains why it worked.
Subjects in this study had been struggling with fibromyalgia for nearly four years. They were divided into three groups: true acupuncture, sham acupuncture (needled within a radius of 1-2 cm of the actual acupuncture point), and simulated acupuncture (round bandages placed on the actual acupuncture point with a needle punctured through the bandage, but not the skin).
Researchers not only examined subjective quality of life factors with these subjects, but also measured both levels of serum serotonin (well-being and happiness neurotransmitter) and levels of Substance P (the main pain neurotransmitter). In fact, earlier research had already confirmed that fibromyalgia patients had lower serum serotonin levels compared to healthy individuals.
The course of treatment was two treatments each week for a total of four weeks. Before and after each acupuncture treatment, both levels of serum serotonin and Substance P were monitored and a number of questionnaires were administered for subjective pain ratings and quality of life factors.
Follow-up visits were performed one month and three months after the completion of treatment. True acupuncture produced greater short-term results, as well as long-term positive patient outcomes. The sham acupuncture and simulated acupuncture groups did not provide long-term results. Serotonin levels increased significantly in both the acupuncture and sham acupuncture groups.
Serum Substance P levels significantly decreased in the acupuncture group while there was an increase in the simulated acupuncture group and no significant change with the sham acupuncture group. In addition, researchers found that subjects reported less pain, fatigue, and anxiety.
In conclusion, acupuncture was shown to provide a considerable amount of relief to people who suffer from fibromyalgia. Are you one of those sufferers? Have you ever considered giving acupuncture a try?
Acupuncture Fibromyalgia Relief Confirmed