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Study Supports Using Acupuncture for Fibromyalgia Symptom Relief

By: Vanessa Vogel Batt L.Ac. MSOM

The British Columbia Medical Journal (BCMJ) published a revealing study investigating the effectiveness of using acupuncture plus counseling to treat symptoms of fibromyalgia. The article entitled "Treatment of fibromyalgia with acupuncture and counseling," details the methods and results of the scientific study. The researchers define fibromyalgia according to the definition put forth by the American College of Rheumatology.

Fibromyalgia is a rheumatic condition causing all-over body pain, in the musculoskeletal system, for a minimum duration of at least 3 consecutive months. To aid in diagnosis, there is a map of 18 specific points on the body prone to pain. To qualify for an official diagnosis of fibromyalgia, a patient must experience pain in 11 out of the 18 sites.

Twenty female patients with an average age of 46 underwent twice-weekly acupuncture sessions for 12 weeks. They also received counseling sessions to learn more about nutrition and stress management to cope with their disease. All study participants received the same acupuncture points during their treatments. At the end of the trial, researchers evaluated the progress of each patient.

Seven of the participants showed significant progress in dealing with their symptoms. This group experienced a 50% or higher improvement in their personal evaluations of pain and other symptoms. One patient even reported a 78% improvement. Ten patients declared a moderate improvement, between 21-50%, while only three patients reported minor progress, between 10-12%. Thus researchers concluded the efficacy of using acupuncture combined with counseling for reducing the symptoms of fibromyalgia.

Source: Clarke T. Treatment of fibromyalgia with acupuncture and counseling. BCMJ, 2004;46:1 21-23 Retrieved online at http://www.bcmj.org/article/treatment-fibromyalgia-acupuncture-and-counseling

 

Are you or someone you know dealing with fibromyalgia?  Contact an acupuncturist to learn what Oriental medicine can do for you!

About the Author: Vanessa Vogel Batt, L.Ac., MSTOM, studied at the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, and practiced acupuncture and Oriental medicine in New York for several years. Vanessa enjoys traveling the world, and has published articles on acupuncture and Oriental medicine and related health topics for websites and publications in both the U.S. and abroad.

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