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Alternative Medicine



Fibromyalgia and Energy Medicine
By Melanie Smith, AP, DOM

Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS) affects an estimated 2 percent of the population.  Research shows that up to 90 percent of people with fibromyalgia have turned to complementary and alternative medicine to manage their symptoms. Acupuncture and other forms of energy medicine, in particular, have become popular treatment choices for fibromyalgia.   

What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a medically unexplained syndrome characterized by chronic widespread pain, a heightened and painful response to pressure, insomnia, fatigue, and depression. While not all affected persons experience all associated symptoms, the following symptoms commonly occur together:

chronic pain
debilitating fatigue
difficulty sleeping
anxiety
depression
joint stiffness
chronic headaches
dryness in mouth, nose, and eyes
hypersensitivity
inability to concentrate (called "fibro fog" or "brain fog")
incontinence
irritable bowel syndrome 
numbness, tingling or poor circulation in the hands and feet
painful menstrual cramps
restless legs syndrome

Fibromyalgia is diagnosed when there is a history of widespread pain in all four quadrants of the body for a minimum duration of three months and pain when pressure is applied to at least 11 of 18 designated tender points on the body. On its own, fibromyalgia does not result in any physical damage to the body or its tissues and there are no laboratory tests that can confirm this diagnosis.

Symptoms often begin after a physical or emotional trauma, but in many cases there appears to be no triggering event. Women are more prone to develop the disorder than are men, and the risk of fibromyalgia increases with age.

An Oriental Medicine Perspective

The Oriental medicine theory of pain is expressed in this famous Chinese saying: "Bu tong ze tong, tong ze bu tong" which means "free flow: no pain, no free flow: pain."

Pain is seen as a disruption of the flow of Qi within the body.  The disruption of Qi that results in fibromyalgia is usually associated with disharmonies of the Liver, Spleen, Kidney and Heart Systems.

The Acupuncture and Energy Medicine Treatment

Oriental Medicine does not recognize fibromyalgia as one particular disease pattern. Instead, it aims to treat the specific symptoms that are unique to each individual relevant to their constitution, emotional state, intensity and location of their pain, digestive health, sleeping patterns and an array of other signs and symptoms. Therefore, if 10 people are treated with Oriental medicine for fibromyalgia, each of these 10 people will receive a unique, customized treatment with different acupuncture points, different nutritional supplements and different lifestyle and dietary recommendations.

Because symptoms of fibromyalgia vary greatly from one person to another, a wide array of traditional and alternative treatments have been shown to be the most effective way of treating this difficult syndrome. A treatment program may include a combination of acupuncture, energy medicine techniques, energy psychology techniques (Clearing and Manifesting Energies™, Advanced Clearing and Manifesting Energies™), energy medicine exercises, nutritional supplements and bodywork.

If you have fibromyalgia, integrative energy medicine may be what you've been looking for to ease your symptoms and reclaim your health and vitality.  Please call 727-522-6515 for a consultation today.

Energy Medicine Quick Tips for Fibromyalgia 

1.  Do the Daily Energy Medicine Routine.  If you are new to Energy Medicine, download our free eBook to get started.

2.  Homolateral Crossover Re-Patterning - with Fibromyalgia the body's energies are not properly crossing over from the left and right sides of the brain. An easy way to begin to shift this pattern is to take your index finger and beginning between your eyebrows, trace a large Figure 8 around your eyes several times and then repeat in the opposite direction.  The more times a day you do this exercise, the faster this pattern will change.  (For the full exercise and more information, see page 19 of our eBook.)  

3.   Balancing Triple Warmer and Spleen Meridians - while there are many ways to do this holding the Triple Warmer Acupressure Sedating points and the Spleen Strengthening points are the most beneficial.   

Triple Warmer Sedating Points -- hold First Pair (TW10 and ST36) for 3-minutes on each side of your body and then hold Second Pair (TW 2 and UB 66) for 1.5 minutes on each side of your body.   

Spleen Strengthening Points -- hold First Pair (SP2 and HT8) for 3-minutes on each side of your body and then hold Second Pair (SP1 and LV1) for 
1.5 minutes on each side of your body.  

For more information on Acupressure Strengthening and Sedating Points, Click Here to check out our Chart and DVD.

 

More Healing Help for Fibromyalgia

Although fibromyalgia is a disorder considered disabling by 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 Energy Medicine 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 to cultivate the energy you need to handle your stress more skillfully and 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.  A list of basic nutrients to combat nerve sensitivities, improve cognition, boost the immune system, and reduce swelling is included in this article.  Avoid white sugar, artificial sweeteners, additives, white flour, caffeine, alcohol, and processed foods.   Stop drinking sodas.  Sodas are acidic in nature and loaded with sugar and chemicals.  Sodas are detrimental to both the spleen and the kidneys. 

Exercise

While even basic movements may be painful exercise helps restore strength and endurance.  Tai Chi, Qi Gong or Yoga is great for easy stretches, careful strengthening, deep breathing, along with relaxation techniques.  The gentle stretching will clear tension that builds when muscles tighten and tense and improve overall circulation. Be sure to check with your doctor before starting any exercise program.

Meditate

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 is recommended, even 5 or 10 minutes can have a powerful effect on your day.

Restorative Sleep

Get at least 8 hours of restorative sleep. Maintain a routine sleep schedule and make your bedroom a sanctuary from every day stress free from TV and computers.  Practicing good sleep hygiene will give your body an opportunity to get stronger and heal.  

Eat Nutrient Dense Foods

The National Fibromyalgia Association recommends a balanced diet containing nutrient dense foods free of artificial additives and sweeteners to help your body fight fibromyalgia syndrome. Incorporate these nutrient rich foods in your next meal.

B-Complex Found in whole grains, beans, nuts, chicken, fish and eggs; B complex vitamins directly influence the nervous system's proper functioning and combat nerve problems such as tingling and tenderness.


Magnesium
 Found in nuts, grains, beans, fish, meat and dark green vegetables magnesium is needed for muscle flexibility and bone, protein and fatty acid formation.  Magnesium is also integral in making new cells, relaxing muscles, clotting blood and activating B vitamins.



Omega 3
 Directly affecting cellular function this fatty acid found in fish minimizes nerve sensitivity and improves cognition.



Vitamin C 
Helps combat stress, builds the immune system, and reduces swelling.  Vitamin C is found in a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables including citrus fruits, green vegetables, tomatoes, and berries.


Water
 Increases circulation of oxygen and nutrients throughout the body and helps to eliminate waste.

For more information on Dr. Melanie’s Energy Medicine for Healthy Living™ resources, please visit our website. 
Well Within

 

Author Bio

Melanie Smith is a Doctor of Oriental Medicine, Acupuncture Physician, Certified Eden Energy Medicine Practitioner, Licensed Massage Therapist and Feng Shui Consultant. Dr. Melanie’s work weaves Body, Mind and Spirit to help her patients fully realize a personal vision of wellness. She believes in empowering the patient through education and participation in their own healing process to awaken the healer within.  Dr. Melanie is also senior faculty for Donna Eden the author of the books Energy Medicine and Energy Medicine for Women and facilitates a monthly Energy Medicine Study Group.  She travels the country speaking and teaching on The Power of Energy Medicine and is the author of the Energy Medicine for Healthy Living™ Color Laminated Charts and DVD's.

Melanie and her partner Pauline co-own Well Within Natural Medicine, Inc., located in St. Petersburg, Florida where she integrates a variety of energetic, emotional, and therapeutic bodywork techniques, as well as, homeopathy, herbs and nutritional supplements. In 2005 Melanie and Pauline facilitated the Energy Medicine Tour to China.

Dr. Melanie is a member of the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, American Assoication of Oriental Medicine, Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine AllianceFlorida State Oriental Medical Association,  Associated Bodywork and Massage Professionals, East West College Alumni Association, and the Pearls of Wisdom Council.

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