Fibromyalgia is a chronic disease known for causing extensive musculoskeletal pain that is debilitating and quality-of-life reducing. The disorder affects both the soft tissue and the joints. While the majority of patients are women, anyone with a family history of fibromyalgia, a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PSTD), or a diagnosis of a rheumatic disease such as lupus are at increased risk.
Of the estimated 2 percent of the population diagnosed with fibromyalgia, research shows that up to 90 percent use complementary or alternative medicine to manage their symptoms. Acupuncture, in particular, has become a popular and effective treatment choice.
Characterized by chronic widespread pain fibromyalgia sufferers may also experience a heightened and painful response to pressure, insomnia, fatigue, and digestive problems. Emotional health and mental clarity may also destabilize causing mood swings, anxiety, brain fog, and memory loss.
Symptoms usually appear after physical or emotional trauma but a trigger is not always evident. It is diagnosed when there is widespread pain throughout the body for a minimum of 3 months, and when pressure is applied to 11 out of 18 specific body sites.
Acupuncture and Oriental medicine offer pain relief for the body, emotional balance for the heart, and mental clarity for the mind. According to acupuncture and Oriental medicine, pain is seen as a disruption to the flow of Qi within the body. This is best expressed in the Chinese saying: “Bu tong ze tong, tong ze bu tong” which means “free flow: no pain, no free flow: pain.” The disruption that presents as fibromyalgia is often associated with disharmony of the Liver, Spleen, Kidney and Heart systems.
Oriental medicine focuses on treating each individual based on their constitution, emotional state, the intensity and location of their pain, digestive health, sleeping patterns, and an array of other symptoms. Treatment often includes a combination of Oriental medicine modalities, including acupuncture.
5 Tools for Symptom Relief
Although fibromyalgia is a disorder that can be disabling for many due to chronic widespread pain and fatigue, there are some things you can do to alleviate the symptoms and improve your overall quality of life.
Learn and Practice Stress Reduction Techniques
Chronic stress can lead to fatigue, depression, a weakened immune system, and a host of serious physical and psychological ailments.
When under stress, your muscles contract and tense affecting nerves, blood vessels, organs, skin and bones. Chronically-tense muscles can result in a variety of musculoskeletal conditions and disorders, including muscle spasms and pain.
While it isn’t always possible to remove the external forces causing stress, the ability to effectively deal with stress is a choice. Take time for yourself and cultivate the energy you need to handle your stress more effectively.
Eat a Well-Balanced Diet
Managing your diet may seem time-consuming, but the benefits it offers make it worthwhile. Many fibromyalgia sufferers find relief through a properly-managed diet.
Make sure you are including nutrients in your diet shown to combat nerve sensitivities, improve cognition, boost the immune system, and reduce swelling.
While even basic movements may be painful, exercise helps restore strength and endurance. Tai Chi, Qi Gong or Yoga are great for easy stretches, careful strengthening, deep breathing, as well as relaxation techniques.
Gentle stretching will clear tension that builds when muscles tighten and will improve overall circulation. Be sure to check with your doctor before starting any exercise program.
The practice of meditation is a proven stress-reducer that helps the body create a sense of calm and a continuing sense of well being. While 15 minutes daily is recommended, even 5 or 10 minutes can have a powerful effect on your day.
Get at least 8 hours of restorative sleep. Maintain a routine sleep schedule and make your bedroom a sanctuary from everyday stress.
Practicing good sleep hygiene will give your body an opportunity to get stronger and heal.
Dr. Mindy Boxer is a holistic practitioner who has grown into her specialties in an organic way. Understanding a range of disciplines allows her to integrate the wisdom of Ancient healing in combination with the most recent innovations in Scientific research. This dynamic blend has enabled Dr. Boxer to help patients in the prevention and treatment of disease for over 25 years.
Dr. Boxer has a particularly keen understanding of Women’s Health issues including Gynecological irregularity, PMS, Fertility, IUI & UVF support, Healthy Pregnancy & Delivery, and Menopausal issues. Her interest in the human body as a dynamic system has given her the understanding to deal with such problems as improper Digestion and elimination, Cancer Support, Allergies, back pain, tight neck and shoulders, carpal tunnel syndrome, respiratory distress, chronic fatigue, Insomnia, Stress, Anxiety and Depression.
She has also studied the art and science of Homeopathy, earning her Diplomate in Homeopathy from the Hahnemann College of Homeopathy in 1995. This allows her to treat the whole person — physically, mentally, emotionally.
Proper Nutrition, Herbs, Acupuncture, and Homeopathic remedies are the tools Dr. Boxer utilizes to allow the body to heal itself and find its way back to balance. She is dedicated to helping her patients find “Radiant Health and Well-Being.”
3301 Ocean Park Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90405