In our pursuit of pain relief, Fibromyalgia & other Chronic Pain patients are always looking for something better when it comes to treatment. Most of the time, medications are not enough and we look to alternative ways to treat our pain. Acupuncture and Energy Therapy (Emotional Freedom Techniques) are two methods that have shown to have some benefit for chronic pain sufferers.
Acupuncture is an important element of Traditional Oriental Medicine (TOM). Acupuncture is thought to have originated in China and is most commonly associated with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). Different types of acupuncture (Japanese, Korean, and classical Chinese acupuncture) are also practiced world-wide.
Acupuncture involves the insertion of thin needles at specific points (acupoints) which are primarily located along meridians. Meridians are interconnected channels through the body and the theory is that these meridians hold vital energy ("Chi") that circulates through the body. This energy flow is crucial to ones overall health and well-being. If the energy flow is blocked, it can lead to pain and health problems. There are twelve main meridians of energy and eight located in "inner pathways". The use of Acupuncture stimules certain points in the energy channels, restoring a healthy flow and balance.
TOM is becoming increasingly popular to treat Fibromyalgia in the US to treat chronic pain and FM symptoms along with the over-lapping conditions we face. It is also being used for a multitude of other conditions: sinusitis, common cold, bronchitis, asthma, conjunctivitis (pink eye), nearsightedness and cataracts, toothache, neurological and musculoskeletal disorders including paralysis following stroke, frozen shoulder, tennis elbow, sciatica, Osteoarthritis.
Theory suggests that numerous emotional and psychological disorders can be appreciated by acupuncture, which can help with addictions, phobias, obsessive behavior, eating disorders, and anxiety. Acupuncture can also be beneficial when used in conjuction with conventional medicine for both acute and chronic disease. It is also used as a form of preventive medicine.
The National Institutes of Health issued a statement indicating that acupuncture looks most beneficial for pain from musculoskeletal conditions and nausea. More research is being done to determine the effectiveness of acupuncture for treating and possibly preventing Fibromyalgia and other conditions. In a Mayo Clinic Proceedings (June edition) study, it says that acupuncture can relate fatigue and anxiety in FM patients.
Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) is a form of psychological acupressure. The basic theory of Energy Therapy or EFT is that all negative emotional and physiological issues are caused by a disruption to your energy system. This is the same energy flow involving meridians that is used in acupuncture. EFT can be used for pain relief, but in theory, you have to determine the main cause of the pain – the emotional side of the pain. There is an undeniable link between our emotions and our physical body.
FM patients have to deal with the stress and demands of everyday life just like anyone else, but sometimes our coping mechanisms are out of whack, so to speak. The pressure, stress and anxiety builds up and we are left feeling like everything is out of control. We feel helpless and overwhelmed. With some patients, there is often a tragic event that has inflamed their inability to cope, whether it be a physical or emotional trauma, it can leave us with the feeling of hopelessness. EFT is a gentle and noninvasive tool to address and mitigate perception and the reality of stress.
The main goals of EFT are to remove negative emotions, lessen food cravings, decrease or eliminate pain and to instill positive goals. This is done by the practitioner tapping their fingertips on the meridians on your head and chest while you think about your emotional barriers along with verbalizing positive affirmation. In theory, the combination of these things helps remove the emotional barriers from your energy system and reestablish your mind / body balance.
This does mean that Fibromyalgia is "all in your head"! No one can legitimately say that! It is simply a fact that our emotional health is absolutely essential to our physical health and healing. You can change your eating habits and lifestyle, but your body can not completely heal without removing the emotional barriers that trip you up.