Acupuncture for Fibromyalgia

What is Fibromyalgia?

fibromyalgiaQuite simply, fibromyalgia syndrome is a disease that is currently unexplainable by modern medicine though it affects over two percent of the population of the United States. Treatment for this syndrome is a complex process because so little is known about it. Doctors will prescribe a variation of medications depending on the symptoms you have (listed below) to attempt to figure out what works. Many look into using alternative medicines rather than test medications with potentially harmful side effects. Acupuncture is the number one alternative method people use because it has been found to be much more effective than any other type of treatment.

Fibromyalgia Symptoms

Fibromyalgia syndrome causes chronic pain throughout the body, as well as exhaustion, depression, insomnia, anxiety, irritable bowel syndrome, numbness of fingers, poor blood circulation which can lead to Raynaud’s phenomenon, lack of focus, restless leg syndrome, painful menstrual cycles, migraines, pain in the jaw, stiffness of joints, dry mouth, dry eyes, dry nasal passages, incontinence, and hypersensitivity to sounds or bright lights.

Fibromyalgia Diagnosis

In order for a doctor to diagnose a person with fibromyalgia, they must have a history of chronic pain in all four quadrants of the body for at least three to four months. As of now there are not any tests that can verify that one actually has this syndrome, so a diagnosis is simply a highly educated guess. The symptoms of fibromyalgia typically show after some sort of physical or mental trauma, but no one can be certain that is the main cause. It has been discovered that women have a higher chance of developing this syndrome compared to men.

From the perspective of oriental medicine, any type of pain or disease results when there is an imbalance of Qi, or life energy, somewhere in the body.  They have found that disruptions in the spleen, cardiovascular system, liver, and kidney can cause fibromyalgia syndrome to occur.

How Acupuncture Helps Treat Fibromyalgia

Acupuncture for Chronic Pain ReliefAn acupuncture session will not treat fibromyalgia as a whole. Instead it treats it by dividing up the symptoms that the patient has and treating the imbalances related to those symptoms. The diagnosis looks at their emotional state, type of pain, sleeping patterns, general health, age, and the specific symptoms they have. There is no standard acupuncture treatment for fibromyalgia.  Each treatment will be unique to each patient.

Lifestyle change is necessary when dealing with the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Implement the following tips for best results:

7 Lifestyle Changes That Help Fibromyalgia

1: Drop sugar. Stop drinking beverages filled with sugar, such as soda. Sugar increases inflammation and raises blood sugar which later crashes.  Watch out for so called “natural” beverages too that are loaded with sugar.  Refined sugar in any form is not your friend.

2: Reduce stress.  This is a tough one, as life comes with stress.  You can deal with it by taking up meditation (below), any kind of activity or exercise, a daily nap, going to the beach, listening to relaxation tapes, even seeing a therapist or hypnotist.  Prolonged stress can significantly damage the body and mind.  It could be that a radical change may be necessary such as changing jobs or the like.  Finding a way to manage stress is essential.

3: Meditate. This is a form of stress reduction.

4: Eat clean. Stop eating processed and refined foods like white bread and pasta.  They raise blood sugar which increases inflammation.  Inflammation causes discomfort and pain.  Slow burning carbohydrates like oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice, beans and potatoes do not.

5: Start exercising!  Moving the muscles will improve circulations and cellular oxygenation of the muscles.  Simple forms of exercise are fine like yoga, walking, Tai Chi.

6: Protein power. Consume foods that contain protein like lean meats and fish.  Also eat vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, and complex carbohydrates.

7: Sleep.  The body requires 8 hours of restorative sleep per day for optimum health.  Lack of sleep increases inflammation, cortisol, lack of energy and more.  Sleeping is when your body repairs itself from the rigors of the day.

8: Blood flow.  Look into performing a Chinese self-massage every morning. This will stimulate your acupuncture points, which improves the flow of one’s Qi. Doing so will help your body defend against any oddities, as well as fibromyalgia.

Mayo Clinic Study – How Acupuncture Affects Fibromyalgia

The Mayo Clinic recently performed a study on if acupuncture actually does help treat fibromyalgia. They did find that acupuncture is indeed a reliable treatment for the syndrome and the symptoms that develop because of it. The patients who were diagnosed with fibromyalgia reported that acupuncture treatments helped them overcome their fatigue, depression, anxiety, as well as many other symptoms they had.

The study required two groups of people with the first group consisted of twenty-five people who were to receive acupuncture, while the second group contained twenty-five people who received mock acupuncture treatments. The group that received the real treatments reported a significant improvement in their health after one month.

Dr. David Martin, the lead doctor of this study, reported that this study had proven acupuncture to be a helpful treatment as well as proved that studies on acupuncture can be efficiently performed. There has been an increase in the amount of scientific studies on the efficacy of acupuncture.  It was also reported that the study only used those who had severe conditions, which made the entire process more controlled. Dr. Martin suggests that more doctors should perform more studies on how acupuncture affects those with fibromyalgia.

 

Laurie is the Best! Her treatments have been so helpful for my optimal wellness, especially in times of extra stress. Highly recommended!
Tyler Sussman
Tyler Sussman
2021-03-25
I was not a believer in acupuncture but my trainer insisted that I go and try it for several issues I had going on. Laurie was great. She was very patient with me when I listed all my health concerns. She was very considerate and caring. She explained my conditions in traditional Chinese medical terms which made a lot of sense to me. I was concerned that the actual treatment with acupuncture would hurt but it didn’t at all and I felt great after! Acupuncture works! Highly recommend.
Jeffrey Nicholas
Jeffrey Nicholas
2019-07-14
Laurie is the best acupuncturist in Los Angeles! She keeps my periods regular and pain free and treats my chronic back pain to keep me moving!
Tracy Anderson
Tracy Anderson
2019-07-14
I truly wish I could give Dr. Laurie Binder more than "5 Stars" as she's worth at least 10! She has truly transformed my life in a very short time. I started meeting with Laurie about 5 weeks ago, having never done acupuncture and not knowing what to expect. She was so kind, ebullient, compassionate and patient (I ask a LOT of questions) while explaining the procedure, the needle point placements, the history of acupuncture and the benefits of the therapy. Just by taking a quick glance at my tongue and feeling my pulse, she was able to diagnose a Spleen Qi Deficiency. Obviously, I had no clue what that meant, but when she started listing the symptoms--chronic fatigue, anxiety, being a worrywart, trouble losing excess weight, bloating and gas--the diagnosis was spot on! And, honestly, I had resigned myself to the fact that "that's just who I was" at this point in life. But to my extreme delight, after just one treatment with Laurie I noticed tremendous improvements in most of these areas. Almost instantly, that incessant chatter and worry that had filled my brain for years was quieted; and, it has continually diminished with each additional treatment. I now have a clear headspace and can focus on things that matter and bring me joy - I signed up with a Personal Trainer (I had been "thinking about it" for 2+ years), I am eating a clean/healthy diet for the first time EVER, I have let go of toxic/unhealthy relationships that I held onto for far too long and I just signed the lease on a new apartment after vacillating for the last 6 months. All of this in 5 weeks! In addition to those tangible "life" changes, my energy is phenomenal, my sleep has improved, I have little to no mood swings (I'm a Cancer lol) and I am the happiest I have been in many many years. I can't thank Laurie enough for her truly gifted work. I am, quite frankly, amazed by just how quickly and dramatically she has helped me transform my life for the better. I recommend her without reservation.
Simon Smith
Simon Smith
2019-04-19
Laurie gets six stars in my book. She is attentive, knowledgeable and a healer. She has always been present with me...every single time I've seen her. In my opinion, there is nothing more important, comforting and healing than that
Stephen Capaldo
Stephen Capaldo
2018-09-29
Acupuncture may not be for everyone, but if you have a fear of needles, please don't let that be a factor in seeking treatment from Dr. Binder. Acupuncture needles are so thin that the sensation you feel is more like a "zing" than a pin prick. I know, because I'm one of those people who really doesn't like needles at all. It took me a long time to try acupuncture as a way to relieve some aches and pains that otherwise wouldn't go away. I tried massage, body work, chiropractic, everything but would wake up feeling stiff and tired - no it wasn't my mattress or pillow. After two treatments with Dr. Binder my energy levels had increased dramatically and my aches and pains were gone. Really. Since then, I have found acupuncture treatments to help a variety of issues in a natural, healing way rather than seeking medications that only mask symptoms. Dr. Binder is a kind, caring, healing person with an abundence of knowledge and an excellent "bedside manner." Her offices are calm and soothing and so is her treatment process. I highly recommend her to anyone, especially those of you who are not fans of needles.
Jill Mazur
Jill Mazur
2018-06-09
I have seen Laurie for just over one month regarding weight loss. I have lost 10lbs so easily. Her acupuncture and her diet sheet is amazing. There was no pain but lots of gain (loss) in weight! I have never been so happy with any other method of weight loss, her scheme is enjoyable and certainly gets the results.
Victor Green
Victor Green
2018-06-06
I started going to Laurie for pain. It was my first time receiving acupuncture and really didn't know what to expect. Laurie's office is comfortable, relaxing and quiet. Laurie took the time to discuss my concerns. She really listened and really made me feel comfortable my first time. I am very active; I was in a lot of pain and discomfort and did not know how to manage that. Within a few sessions with her I could feel a great difference in my over all heath and had a lot less pain. Every time I see her I feel better. She is truly amazing at her work and really knows what she is doing. She has changed my life and helped me get my body running it's best with very little pain throughout my day. I see her weekly and her services only get better, she never rushes my appointment, she always listens to my needs and I truly feel better every time I see her. Not just after the session but truly better and the pain does not come back. It's amazing, some of the issues I have had my entire adult life and have been seen by several doctors and they could never help me. Laurie is helping me with these issues and I have incredible results from her. I would highly recommend her acupuncture and alternative health services. She knows what she's doing and truly cares about her patients and bettering their health.
Gia Genau
Gia Genau
2018-06-05
I'm so glad I found this wonderful acupuncturist in Dr. Laurie! I have had acupuncture with several practitioners but Laurie is the best. Great bedside manner and you can tell she genuinely cares about her patients.
Jim Carraway
Jim Carraway
2018-05-29
I have had back pain for years and haven’t been able to find relief with doctors. Dr. Binder was very companionate, listened to my complaints, and was extremely thorough. Dr. Binder is very knowledgeable and explained the process in a way that was easy to comprehend. I felt at ease with her and the process was painless. I felt immediate relief after my first treatment. I highly recommend Dr. Binder for any ailment you may have.
Elaina Hassan
Elaina Hassan
2018-05-29
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