Fibromyalgia Tired of Being Sick and Tired

Myalgia (muscle pain) characterizes this often-devastating chronic rheumatic pain disorder of unknown cause. The pain is usually described as "achy" but a few patients tell me they can also experience burning, throbbing, stabbing, or shooting pain. To make this dish sound even more appetizing, fibromyalgia is often accompanied by side orders of chronic headaches, strange skin sensations, temporomandibular joint pain (TMJ), insomnia, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), anxiety, palpitations, fatigue, poor memory, painful menstruation, and depression.

Diagnosing fibromyalgia is difficult because we don't know what causes this condition. Patients are often frustrated because they have met many physicians who say, "It's all in your head." There have been links to the onset of symptoms and exposure to Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) that causes mononucleosis. Since pain and fatigue are key symptoms, others have thought it may be connected to chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).

Fibromyalgia occurs mostly in women, many of whom have experienced insomnia, anxiety, stress, or depression along with the muscle aches. The symptoms are often severe enough to greatly interrupt their normal life and, in many cases, patients are unable to stay at work or continue normal household activities like cooking, childcare, or shopping.

Treating fibromyalgia successfully requires a consistent and sustained approach by both the patient and acu-pro. I have been pleased to have helped many patients regain their lives, but it took both of us working together with spouses, friends, and

Get the Point

Sigh and the world sighs with you! Sighing out loud on an exhalation helps to -further release tight muscles as you perform acupressure. The sigh makes sure you are taking in enough air, which helps to oxygenate sore muscles and help release emotional stress and worry that may contribute to your aches and pains. All together now, say "Aaaaah!"

conventional physicians, creating a true balance of healthcare and self-care. In oriental medical theory, most of the patients I've seen have some form of cold-damp-wind pain. This name implies that the pain gets worse with cold, better with heat; is characterized by poor digestion and achy, heavy, tired muscles; and the pain changes location between the tender points.

The tender points used to diagnose fibromyalgia are >- Around the lower neck. >- Upper chest by the second rib. >- Around the upper thigh. >- Middle of the knee joint. >- Base of the skull. >- Neck and upper back. > Mid-back. >- Inside of the elbow. >- Upper and outer muscles of the buttocks.

Acupuncture, massage, and Chinese herbal medicine are recommended as effective treatments by the Fibromyalgia Network (see Appendix D, "State and National Organizations")- The Network is an organization that provides information to patients with this potentially debilitating condition. Moxi-bustion or infrared heat treatments are also useful in driving out the cold. Nutritional supplements such as antioxidants (coenzyme Q10, vitamins E and C) are helpful in managing this condition, as are dietary changes to eliminate dampness and build immunity.

Any of the tender points can be pressed with slow, gradual pressure while breathing deeply for one to two minutes.

Acu-Moment

Render Tender Points Painless

Relieving tender points.

Feel around for a sore spot at the end of your clavicle or collarbone, LU-1 (Central Residence). With your fingers in a loose fist resting against your chest, use reinforced fingers, breath deeply, and hold these points for two to three minutes. Mild pressure may be applied as you exhale; release as you inhale. This will invigorate your neck muscles and stimulate circulation in your lungs.

Now that youVe got the top part of your body in better shape let's move on to the rest. I have always felt it's better to have options in treating conditions such as headaches, dental, and neck pain. Fibromyalgia has also responded so favorably to treatment that I had to include it in the text. Go ahead to the next chapter to begin experiencing the relief for some of the most common shoulder and joint pains.

The Least You Need to Know

>► Acupuncture gives serious sinus relief.

V The National Institutes of Health (NIH) suggests acupuncture shows evidence for helping post-op dental pain.

V Say "no way" to neck pain through acupressure.

V Oriental Medicine holds help for fibromyalgia sufferers.

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