Fibromyalgia is Curable
Dr. Yong Liu
(M.D. in China)
Board Certified Acupuncture Physician
Board Certified Facial Specialist
Recently, fibromyalgia become to another hot topic follow the yeast infection, chronic fatigue syndrome. It is a very disable disease; most patients cannot continue their usual lifestyle. There is no good treatment for this group of patients so far. Therefore it is necessary to develop and found out an effective approach to cure this disease.
In 1990 American College of Rheumatology established a criterion for the classification of fibromyalgia. It is what widespread pain has been present for at least three months; Pain can be in both sides of the body, above and below the waist. In addition, axial skeletal pain (cervical spine, anterior chest, thoracic spine or low back pain) must be present. Low back pain is considered lower segment pain. Pain in 11 of 18 tender point sites on digital palpation (with an approximate force of 4 kg).
Except for the muscular pain, the common clinical symptoms of fibromyalgia include fatigue, insomnia, joint pains, headache, restless legs, numbness and tingling of extremities, impaired memory, leg cramps, impaired concentration, nervousness,depression.
Considering all above clinical manifestations, the Traditional Chinese Medicine interprets the fibromyalgia as a Bi (obstruction) syndrome. Bi means obstruction or blockage, which was caused by the combination of pathogenic wind, damp and cold. So the energy stagnation and blood stasis cause pain. In the homeostasis condition, Qi and blood should move and flow smoothly. How to make sure the Qi and blood flow smoothly in the meridians and vessels is the key to cure pain.
The difficult thing is that Bi Syndrome is a complex syndrome, which is caused by multi- pathogenic factors. Depending on which factor take the major portion, the type of pain is varied. Such as when the cold is the major pathogenic factor contribute to the Bi syndrome, pain is fixed with chilly sensation; when the damp is the chief factor, pain will be dull with a very heavy sensation together; when the wind is the major factor, pain is movable and widespread.
Understanding the basic pathology, it will be very easy to understand the therapeutic principle for Fibromyalgia. It is logic to unblock the obstruction and disperse the pathogenic factors from the meridians/muscle. The best modality is acupuncture andherbal medicine.
Acupoints selection should be based on the individual patient's condition. But there are some general rules and acupoints can be followed: Du.20 to calm down the patient. Most fibromyalgia patient suffers varied degree of anxiety, insomnia (or very sleepy), headache and depression. To stimulate this point can benefit these sufferings.
Liv.14, Liv.2, Liv.3. These three points can help liver energy flow smoothly. Liver is the organ to regulate the energy flowing and distribution in our body. To be sure the liver function well is equal to pave the pathway to final cure of the most diseases.
U.B.11, U.B.12, U.B.13, U.B.14, U.B.15, G.B.20. These six acupoints can be used to relieve the tension of neck and shoulder, which is the most complaint in fibromyalgia patients. It was found out that the spinal canal would be stenotic in patient with chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia syndromes, and that decompression of craniovertebral stenosis would lead to improvement in symptomatology and objective neurologic findings.
As to how to use herbal medicine, there is a patent herbal formula named Du Huo Ji Sheng Wan, which is a classic herbal formula to disperse wind, damp and cold and at the same time to warm the meridian to unblock the obstruction of meridian/channel.
Following the above instructions, 60% cure rate can be reached for fibromyalgia patients clinically. If you differentiate more detail in each case and have more knowledge in using the Chinese herbal medicine and with a good technique of acupuncture manipulation, the much higher successful rate will be achieved.
Massage can be an adjunct therapy for fibromyalgia. Only the gentle massage is suitable for fibromyalgia patient. Because the patient has a lot of tender spots, deep neuro- muscular massage will cause patient suffer more. Gentle pushing and rubbing to let the energy flow through can relieve the pain temporarily, if applying some herbal oil such as Bao Xin An You, the result will be more remarkable.
According to my personal experience, there are tips we need pay attention. Most the fibromyalgia patients had tried many therapies, from pain medicine, anti-inflammatory, antibiotics and steroid to acupuncture, massage, and homeopathy therapy and so on. They are discouraged. Especially they were told many times that fibromyalgia is not a curable disease. When they came to see me, they did not have any hope, only want to try another shot with another new doctor. If you give one or two sessions of treatment without significant result, they will quit. Often the patient told me I had seen 18 doctors in the past 6 months. Actually, they have no faith to any medical profession already. But if they do not give us time and chance, there is no way to help them. As a doctor you must explain very clear the situation and the characteristics of fibromyalgia, to let patient give us at least two months period. As a patient of fibromyalgia, you should be more patiently and more positive, there is definitely one way to help you.