Fibromyalgia is a syndrome of unknown cause that affects the body's muscles and connective tissues, causing pain and fatigue. Currently, the disorder affects as many as 5 million Americans, according to the National Institutes of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. It has been reported to be two times as prevalent in veterans. Find out how acupuncture for fibromyalgia, along with other holistic treatments, may help alleviate the symptoms of this disorder.
One veteran's experience
U.S. Army Brigadier General Becky Halstead, the first female West Point graduate in U.S. history to command at the strategic level in Iraq and Afghanistan, had to retire after being diagnosed with fibromyalgia. “Agonizing pain, debilitating fatigue, joint stiffness, and sleep deprivation — you name it and I felt it,” says Halstead. “There I was in Iraq, responsible for over 20,000 military men and women, and I privately struggled to physically keep myself going.”
As part of her initial course of treatment, Halstead was prescribed every drug imaginable. The pills only masked her pain and resulted in a downward spiral of reactions that affected her psychological and physical health. She discovered that chiropractic treatment improved joint motion, reducing — and in some cases eliminating — the pain and symptoms associated with fibromyalgia.
Acupuncture treatment for fibromyalgia
In addition to chiropractic treatment, acupuncture offers a viable treatment option for fibromyalgia that also positively impacts a patient's overall wellness and health. Acupuncture treatment is tailored to an individual's constitution and fibromyalgia syndrome pattern. The benefits of acupuncture for fibromyalgia and other ailments include:
- Improves pain and musculoskeletal aches and stiffness
- Treats fatigue and anxiety
- Regulates sleep patterns
- Increases energy
Why alternative medicine helps
Many individuals find that traditional Western medical therapies do not effectively treat the muscle pain caused by fibromyalgia and turn to alternative therapies such as acupuncture. The National Institutes of Health has issued a consensus statement concluding that acupuncture is effective in treating many pain-related conditions, of which fibromyalgia is one.
The Acupuncture and Massage College’s community clinic offers acupuncture, massage therapy and herbal medicine for the treatment of a wide range of health conditions, as well as for overall wellness. To schedule an appointment, call (305) 595-9500. For information about AMC’s Oriental Medicine and Massage Therapy programs you can email our admissions department.