Fibromyalgia is a debilitating chronic condition that often involves long-term, widespread pain throughout the body most often focused in the muscles and nerves. Often experienced with Fibromyalgia are symptoms such as distinct fatigue, insomnia/sleep problems, headaches, depression, and anxiety.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is a condition where the diagnosis primarily refers to the severe and prolonged tiredness or exhaustion that is not relieved by rest and is not directly caused by other medical conditions. Secondary symptoms for chronic fatigue often include body aches, headaches and depression.
The similar nature of these conditions has these two diagnoses often going hand in hand and/or are often interchanged depending on the pattern of manifesting symptoms. This often makes it challenging to effectively treat, which in turn is understandably frustrating for client. So, when we get asked if acupuncture can help with either Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue we confidently say yes but with the caveat that a holistic program should be the base of any program whether it includes acupuncture or not.
Like so many chronic conditions these conditions are not a simple one-to-one, cause and effect situation. To effectively address the personalized symptoms one may be experiencing we must look at the whole picture and then determine the appropriate strategy for optimal long-term quality of life. As a part of a holistic program based on personalized diagnosis acupuncture can be a great resource for those suffering from Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue and, besides many personal case results, the research supporting this conclusion becomes more and more prevalent every day. (See references below).
The challenge in any holistic program is that it often takes time to provide optimal results. Conditions like these require a layered approach often including many integrated therapies. Therapies require consistency and time to provide optimal long-term results. This is mostly because we do not want to just address the symptoms we want to dissolve the condition as a whole. Effective personalized diagnosis leading to the appropriate treatment program plus a consistent time frame leads to the best possible results.
There may be times where acupuncture is not appropriate and so you want a practitioner who can substitute and integrate therapies to provide the optimal treatment each time you visit your practitioner. At the same time focus should be on developing a lifestyle that supports each individual in his or her own experience. This is where success rates go up, as our ability to incorporate a program within an individual’s lifestyle improves so do the results.
Understandably, this can be a challenge for the client in the beginning so having the ability to customize the program for each client and as best as one is able support them through the initial stages until there is traction on the condition is crucial. The benefit of this approach is that success won’t only be measured by management of the symptoms but slow and gradual improvement across one’s lifestyle.
Many individuals ask about herbs or supplements they have found via various advisory resources and the truth of the matter is that supplements will likely prove to be the primary source of a long-term solution. However, the most common mistake across the board is people taking supplements because someone mentioned it might be good. The truth is that with the appropriate diagnosis the precise supplements for each client’s specific condition can be identified which reduces the risk of side effects, regression or relapses, wasteful spending and most importantly dramatically improves outcomes. All supplements have a time and a place and we will always improve our investment when we have the right supplement for the appropriate condition.
It is important that we understand that no one can guarantee specific results. However, by customizing treatments, whether it include therapies like acupuncture, dietary therapy, supplements or lifestyle practices, if they are based on a sound diagnostic protocol we dramatically increase the chances of improved quality of life.
Excerpt from Fibromyalgia Research Article
“CONCLUSIONS: The limited amount of high-quality evidence suggests that real acupuncture is more effective than sham acupuncture for improving symptoms of patients with FMS. However, because this conclusion is based on a single high-quality study, further high-quality randomized trials are needed to provide more robust data on effectiveness.” Source: UK PubMed
Acupuncture has shown in many ways to help with athletic performance. Mostly utilized for recovery and maintenance, acupuncture offers support for post workout recovery by reducing pain and improving range of motion. This allows for better blood flow to aid in the recovery process thus allowing for more challenging workouts, greater frequency of workouts and better pre-event taper. Acupuncture also helps prevent potential negative posturing that one may develop by accommodating injury, post-workout soreness or any posture resulting from the "muscle bound" experience of high intensity training.
"Newsweek reported that in 1999 scientists at the Beijing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine made athletes run 5,000 meters, and afterward had some of them sit for acupuncture treatments before they had a chance to catch their breaths. The heart rates of the ones who received the treatments recovered more quickly than those in the control group."
Integrative health is a somewhat evolving terminology with a definition that is equally still evolving. However, Everspring Health suggests that integrative health is a metric that we can use to gain perspective of our health as a whole and in turn use that information for our benefit. The perspective of integrative health requires us to consider all intersecting aspects of an individual's life and lifestyle before a final diagnosis is made and subsequent plan is implemented.
Through the use of integrated protocols (see Integrative Medicine) we make note of a web of symptoms or experiences where the final diagnosis is based on the value of the intersecting points and the relation of all possible factors within one's experience. We finalize this process by asking how do these experiences relate to one's overall quality of life. The diagnosis in relation to one's quality of life becomes our chief objective for developing a plan for integrative health, namely quality of life.
To benefit from this perspective the client needs to find a practitioner who is well trained to determine which intersecting points are valid to the diagnosis and most importantly which are valid to the client's quality of life. Quality of life is our mission and integrative health is the service we strive to provide at Everspring Health.
Dietary therapy can range from strict dietary protocols used in hospitals to everyday programs that can enhance an individual's quality of life. In general, for diet to be used as a therapy it does need to involve a targeted result which may range from disease abatement to the reduction of daily aggravations to weight loss/management to helping control biometrics like cholesterol or blood pressure or post operative recovery among many others.
While all of the above are a part of Everspring Health's dietary therapy service we do so with a focus on quality of life - meaning we develop a program to help make your day better. So while impeding conditions are an obvious opportunity to use diet as a therapy by pursuing quality of life we have so many more opportunities to effectively use this resource.
Anyone who has ever had an acute or chronic skin breakout, digestive malady, headache or other seemingly annoying issue that shouldn't be normal but isn't so severe for a medical procedure may distinctly benefit from dietary therapy. At the same time individuals who might be looking to refine their daily experience by possibly reducing fatigue, improving alertness, improving on a training regimen would likely see benefit from a personalized dietary plan.
It is important to note that what is good for us does not always mean that our food cannot taste good. In fact, while some habits may need to be dissolved, most experience a better quality of life not just because of what they are feeling but also because they are enjoying their food. Mealtime shifts from something we have to do to a time where we can enjoy what we are doing as well as who we are with.