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Mayo Clinic: "Acupuncture Relieves Fibromyalgia"

A significant study conducted under the watchful eye of Mayo Clinic researchers has clearly demonstrated that Acupuncture brings relief to fibromyalgia sufferers. These are very positive findings for individuals who wish to avoid a reliance on drugs to treat pain caused by this condition.

“This study shows there is something real about Acupuncture and its effects on fibromyalgia,” said Dr. David Martin, the Mayo Clinic anesthesiologist who was the study’s lead investigator. “Our study was performed on patients with moderate to severe fibromyalgia. It’s my speculation that if Acupuncture works for these patients with recalcitrant (hard to treat) fibromyalgia – where previous treatments had not provided satisfactory relief – it would likely work for many of the millions of fibromyalgia patients.”

Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder with symptoms that include widespread pain, tenderness and stiffness in the muscles. It is generally accompanied by fatigue, headache and sleep disturbances.  Fibromyalgia occurs mostly to women in their forties, it lasts many years, and varies in severity on any given day.  However, there are teenagers with fibromyalgia as well as people over 60.  Also, the severity of fibromyalgia is inconsistent.  On some days, a sufferer may be bursting with energy, while on other days fatigue, tender points of pain, and stiffness of muscles will ensue.  Waking up in the morning still feeling tired after a night’s sleep is also a common sign.

Fifty patients for whom symptom-relief treatments had failed were selected for the study. Mayo Clinic physicians who specialize in pain management randomly assigned subjects to a group that would receive six treatments over a period of two to three weeks. Follow-up data was collected from all patients immediately after treatment. Then, one month after care ended and then again seven months after treatment, they were re-interviewed to find out about their current levels of pain and other symptoms.

Following the initial treatments, symptoms of pain, fatigue and anxiety were most significantly improved in the patients given true Acupuncture. These patients experienced the largest improvements one month after their care ended. At the seventh-month follow-up interview, some patients reported that their discomfort had returned if no additional Acupuncture care had been administered.

Dr. Martin believed that in the study patients would have seen sustained improvement with ongoing Acupuncture. “It’s a reasonable expectation that if they received more Acupuncture after two to three months, they would have maintained their improvement,” he said. “Acupuncture usually works for about three months, and then patients need a less-intensive treatment session. These patients would need more acupuncture periodically for as long as they experience fibromyalgia symptoms.”

Acupuncture treatments may be combined with herbs, dietary changes, massage, or exercise.  These therapies accelerate the healing process in order to balance, build, and support the body’s functioning.  Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine is a drug free, safe, natural, and effective way to eliminate fibromyalgia.

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