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Alternative Therapies for Fibromyalgia

Updated on December 27, 2015

What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS) is a physical disorder that causes the sensory system to become hyperaware of environmental stimuli (hypersensitivity), including smell, sound, light, vibration, and, most notably, pain and all these stimuli cause pain. As the name implies, it involves a condition of the muscle and fibrous tissues in the body. “Fibromyalgia” literally means a condition of pain in the muscle and connective tissue fibers. World Health Organization officially defines FMS as a physical, rather than mental, disorder.

Over 80 percent of those with fibromyalgia suffer with painful trigger points, which can leave them in both a physically and mentally weakened state. People with FMS also have higher levels of Substance P (Pain), a chemical that causes the nerve receptors along the spine to become more receptive to painful sensation. Substance P can move up and down the spine, sensitizing nerves along the spinal chord, and ultimately causing pain to shoot to various areas of the body.

"Fibromyalgia affects approximately 10,000,000 people in the United States and Canada. There are some estimates that would place that number even higher. The incidence of fibromyalgia is greater the farther North you go. The average age at onset is between 35 and 55 years old, but fibromyalgia can affect any age. Approximately 90% of those affected are female. The average time between the onset of symptoms and the establishment of a diagnosis is 5 years." Rob Robertson, M.D.

Fibromyalgia Diagnosis and Treatment

Some of the “Names” of Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is nothing new; doctors have been aware of this condition for centuries, and have referred to it by many different names, including chronic rheumatism, muscular rheumatism, fibrositis, myofibrositis, and spinal irritation. Some of the terms once used to describe fibromyalgia, such as “morbid affectation” and “Charcot’s hysteria,” reflect an unfortunate tendency of the medical community to dismiss FMS as a form of hypochondria or mental illness. Indeed fibromyalgia sufferers show no presentation that suggests physiological changes or affectation, so diagnosis of this syndrome is that of exclusion. Physicians must first rule out diseases for which there are measurable tests, and only then is a diagnosis of fibromyalgia considered.

Do you have a history of chronic bone and muscle pain that has affected you daily, literally moment-to-moment basis and you have had several diagnoses which eventually are labeled Fibromyalgia. Maybe the doctor has even told you, it can only be maintained not cured and you have to live with it. Well more and more patients are realizing that their problems can not only be cured but prevented from recurring with Fibro regimen.

 

Massage Helps Fibromyalgia

Alternative Therapies Used For Treatment of Fibromyalgia

Dr. William Hennen M.D. has created two natural products that are FMS specific. They are FibroAMJ, a day-time formula, and a night-time formula for those of you who suffer from poor sleep. Dr. Hennen also brings us Transfer Factors, the ultimate immune boosting natural product.

A Healthy Diet, a light exercise program, stress alleviation and an interest in personal health are the cornerstones of the holistic treatment program for fibromyalgia. Physical therapy, relaxation techniques, herbal remedies, nutrition and diet therapy, exercise therapy, massage therapy, deep heat therapy, and biofeedback are all helpful in some cases.

Magnesium utilization is also increased by the presence of estrogen, and this might explain why many women are diagnosed with fibromyalgia after menopause, when estrogen levels would decrease. Sometimes the condition coexists with chronic Fatigue Syndrome and those with both conditions together are usually, deficient in magnesium. Magnesium supplementation has produced very good results in treating fibromyalgia in these set of people.

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter responsible for sleep induction in humans and it has been noted that the major cause of pain in people with Fibromyalgia is the low levels of serotonin noticed in this people. So 5-HTP a precursor or serotonin can improve the condition through adequate nutrition. The result is more dramatic if a combination of 5-HTP (100 mg), St. John's wort extract (300 mg, 0.3-percent hypericin content), and magnesium (150 to 250 mg) three times per day. 

Acupuncture, a Chinese medical system based on the principle of restoring the normal balance of life forces by inserting fine needles through the skin to various depths along specific dermatomes. According to some theories of acupuncture, the needles cause changes in blood flow and increase or reduce the levels of neurotransmitters carrying impulses in the brain and spinal cord. In a 2006 Mayo Clinic study, acupuncture significantly improved symptoms of fibromyalgia.

Chiropractic Care is based on the philosophy that restricted movement in the vertebral column may lead to pain and reduced function. Spinal adjustment (manipulation) is a method used by chiropractors in treating restricted spinal mobility. The goal is to restore spinal movement and, as a result, improve function and decrease pain. Chiropractors manipulate the spine from different positions using varying degrees of force. This Manipulation is done gently as it must not be force for the desired result to be achieved effective. Chiropractors may also use massage and stretching to relax muscles that are shortened or in spasm. Because manipulation has its risk. If it is not properly done and the wrong movement of the spine occurs, it could as well result in paralysis. So only qualified and licensed practitioners should be consulted.

Doctors of Osteopathy go through rigorous and lengthy training in academic and clinical settings; just like medical doctors to medical doctors they’re licensed and are to perform many of the same therapies and procedures. Osteopathy differs from conventional medicine but is similar to chiropractic medicine in the use of manipulation to treat joint and spinal problems.

Massage Therapy is a method of health care that has been there for ages. It involves use of different manipulative techniques to move your body's muscles and soft tissues. The therapy aims to improve blood circulation of blood in the body just like in acupuncture, increasing the flow of nutrients. Massage can reduce your heart rate, relax your muscles, improve range of motion in your joints and increase production of your body's natural painkillers. It often helps relieve stress and anxiety. 

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