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Study Shows Acupuncture Alleviates Fibromyalgia Associated Symptoms

By: Vanessa Vogel Batt L.Ac. MSOM

Acupuncture has been shown to alleviate symptoms associated with fibromyalgia. The Mayo Clinic performed a scientific study regarding the use of acupuncture to address symptoms of fibromyalgia. They published the results in their journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings in 2006. Symptoms of this disease include persistent pain occurring in the musculoskeletal system, problems with sleeping, anxiety and extreme lethargy.

The study involved a total of 50 participants. Half received genuine acupuncture, with the addition of electrical stimulation applied to the needles. The other half received sham acupuncture, meaning the needles and faux electrical stimulation merely mimicked a true treatment. Treatment occurred six times for all patients within approximately a three-week time period.

Evaluations were made at the end of the trial, at one-month post-treatment, and another after seven months. Patients assessed the severity of their symptoms through the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire. At the conclusion of the trial and one month after, the real acupuncture group reported a significant drop in their levels of pain, anxiety and lethargy, as compared to the sham acupuncture group.

The acupuncture group experienced less of the benefits derived from treatment when evaluated seven months post-treatment. However, due to the outstanding results at the end of the trial and at the one month mark, head researcher Dr. David Martin M.D., Ph.D. concluded, "The results of the study convince me there is something more than the placebo effect to acupuncture."

Source: Martin, David P. et al., "Improvement in Fibromyalgia Symptoms With Acupuncture: Results of a Randomized Controlled Trial." Mayo Clinic Proceedings, Volume 81 , Issue 6 , 749-757 Retrieved online at


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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