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Seattle/Shoreline Acupuncture & Moxibustion: Treatment of Fibromyalgia with Acupuncture, Moxibustion and Hypnotherapy, Part 1

I you live in the Seattle/Shoreline area and are suffering the symptoms associated with Fibromyalgia, treatment of Fibromyalgia with Acupuncture, Moxibustion and Hypnotherapy can help you regain your life back.

Fibromyalgia(FM) is a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, paresthesia, trigger points, accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues. FM affects predominantly women in a ration of 8:1 compared to men.  The disorder is found commonly around the globe regardless, of culture , ethnic groupings or climate. Using a 1990 American College of Rheumatology (ACR) classification criteria, it was reported that 3.4 percent in women, and 0.5 percent of men were present with symptoms  of FM.  It was first thought that FM was mainly present in young women, however, it is now known that it is most prevalent in women aged 50 and above.  The prevalence increased with age, being 7.4 percent in women between the ages of 70 and 79.fibromyalgia-s1-photo-of-pain-locations

Clinical Manifestations of  Physical Signs and Symptoms

The presentation of symptoms are defined by a generalized aching and stiffness of shoulders/shoulder girdle, trunk and hip. The pain may also affect the low back and radiate either upwards or downwards into the buttocks. There may also be pain and stiffness in the neck region that radiates into the upper trapezium and para scapular areas.  Some patients describe the pain as a constant dull ache, gnawing, sharp and stabbing, fixed and migrating. And even when joint pain is found, upon examination, the joints are intact and often are free of any rubric or swelling. Trigger points  in the muscles are common and are generally constant in there location. In some cases patients report stiffness upon waking (along with fatigue) that can improve with movement. A patient may also feel cold. In fact,  there are reports of Raynaud’s phenomena where the hands turn ice cold, and color can range from white to black.

 

Clinical Manifestations of Emotional and Mental Symptoms

Many patients experience cognitive dysfunction (known as “fibrofog”). which may be characterized by impaired concentration, problems with short and long-term memory, short-term memory consolidation, impaired speed performance, inability to multi-task and diminished attention span. FM can also be associated with anxiety/depression. Sleep disturbances such as insomnia are commonly reported as well.

Causes

The cause of FM is unknown. There are hypothesis in the scientific community that name genetics, lifestyle, sleep disturbance and psychological factors all contributing to the pattern of FM and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

Diagnosis and Treatment of FM and CFS using Acupuncture, Moxibustion  and Hypnotherapyimages

As each person is an individual, treatment is also individualized…. A person’s constitution, lifestyle, past medical history and etiology are all considered when making a diagnosis in the frame work of  Oriental Medicine. Generally, there are 4 common patterns for fibromyalgia. (However, I must stress that the “diagnosis” frame is a “living”, flexible pronouncement that is always being considered and reconsidered.)

1. Liver Qi Stagnation

anxiety, emotional upset, headaches (including migraine headache), being easily angered, muscle stiffness in neck and shoulders, insomnia, waking frequently and having difficulty falling back to sleep, irritable bowel syndrome. All symptoms may be triggered by emotional stress.

2. Qi and Blood Deficiency

specifically spleen qi deficiency and heart blood/liver blood deficiency, with such symptoms as chronic fatigue, exhaustion, dull headache, muscle weakness and numbness, insomnia, dream-disturbed sleep and waking up tired, palpitations and depression.

3. Qi Stagnation and Blood Stasis

aches and pains in the whole body, burning or gnawing pain with tingling sensations in extremities, headaches.

4. Kidney Deficiency

there will be impotence or lack of libido for males and infertility issues for both males and females. Other symptoms: sore lower back with restless leg syndrome, irritable bladder, dysmenorrhea, amenorrhea, premenstrual syndrome, hot flashes and night sweats.

 

 Treatment of FM and CFS with Hypnotherapy and Self-Hypnosisimages

As stress may have been a major contributor to the onset of FM, it is vital to introduce techniques and practices for the FM patient to manage and reduce stress levels.  Hypnosis has an impressive track record in the treatment of FM and CFDS. Teaching the patient how to develop self-hypnosis on a regular basis will reduce stress, pain and will promote relaxation and well-being.

  • Since 1995 the National Institute of Health (NIH) has recommended hypnotherapy as a treatment for chronic pain
  • A 1999 study reported in the European Journal of Pain states “Hypnosis is a powerful tool in pain therapy.” Researchers used a PET imaging scanner to trace the blood-flow pattens of fibromyalgia patients while under hypnosis and “proved there are actual blood-flow changes and patterns in the interplay between cortical and subcortical brain dynamics,” concluding that “the patients had less pain during hypnosis than at rest.” Based on this research, the concluded that hypnosis intensifies the efficiency of fibromyalgia pain management
  • A study also presented in this same journal (April, 2009) revealed the following research regarding repressed anger and the exacerbation of fibromyalgia pain: “CONCLUSIONS: Our study suggests that anger and general tendency to inhibit anger predicts heightened pain the in everyday life of female patients with fibromyalgia.”

 

Stay tuned for Part 2, where we will discuss life style changes that can aid in the recovery from FM and CFS

 

 

 

 

 

 

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