Acupuncture may help ease pain and improve quality of life for people with fibromyalgia, a new study suggests.
Ten weeks after treatment, the pain scores of patients given acupuncture dropped an average of 41 percent, compared with an average drop of 27 percent for those given a simulated acupuncture treatment. The benefits were still seen after a year.
Chiropractic management is often recommended to help ease fibromyalgia pain and teach self-management skills. Learn more about the different types of physical therapy for fibromyalgia.
Recently, fibromyalgia patients have been seeking chiropractic care increasingly often. Because fibromyalgia causes numerous tender points all over the body, many fibromyalgia patients suffer from back pain, neck pain, and leg cramps. In an attempt to solve these problems, many sufferers have looked to chiropractors. Because simple adjustments to the neck and spine can restore the carriage of the whole body, a lot of fibromyalgia sufferers find that alignments of the spine can significantly reduce pain all over their bodies.
Theramine works with your body to manage pain and inflammation, providing the key nutrients and amino acids your cells need at the time they need them the most. Theramine uses a patented ingredient technology to efficiently promote the production of important neurotransmitters that are responsible for decreasing pain and inflammation. Theramine provides the amino acids and nutrients that are converted to serotonin, GABA, nitric oxide, serine and acetylcholine. These substances help your body and brain communicate more efficiently, and are essential in the process of reducing the amplitude of pain signals. Theramine addresses the increased amino acid requirements of pain syndromes safely and effectively without the side effects commonly associated with NSAIDs and narcotic pain medications. There have been two double-blind, multicenter clinical trials supporting the efficacy of Theramine for the management of pain.
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Some preliminary studies indicate that some medicinal herbs and natural supplements may help treat symptoms of fibromyalgia. Other studies of herbs and natural supplements, though, are less positive. If you want to take a natural approach to treating fibromyalgia, it’s important to learn as much as you can about the therapies you consider. The herbs and natural supplements described in this article are just some of the alternative therapies that may have an impact on fibromyalgia.
How Does 5-HTP Help Fibromyalgia Pain?
5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan) is a building block of serotonin. Serotonin is a powerful brain chemical, and serotonin levels are thought to play a significant role in fibromyalgia pain. Serotonin levels are also associated with depression and sleep.
For those with fibromyalgia, 5-HTP may help to increase deep sleep and reduce pain. In one study published in the Alternative Medicine Review, researchers reported that supplementation with 5-HTP may improve symptoms of depression, anxiety, insomnia, and fibromyalgia pain. However, there are some contradictory studies that show no benefit with 5-HTP.
5-HTP is usually well tolerated. L-tryptophan and possibly 5-HTP was associated with a serious condition called eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome. Some experts believe that a contaminant in these supplements led to the condition, which causes flu-like symptoms, severe muscle pain, and burning rashes.
Can Melatonin Help Relieve Sleep Problems Associated With Fibromyalgia?
Melatonin is a natural hormone that’s available as an over-the-counter supplement. It is sometimes used to induce drowsiness and improve sleep patterns. Some preliminary findings show that melatonin may be effective in treating fibromyalgia pain. Most patients with fibromyalgia have sleep problems and fatigue, and it’s thought that melatonin may help relieve these symptoms.
Melatonin is generally regarded as safe with few to no side effects. Due to the risk of daytime sleepiness, though, anyone taking melatonin should use caution when driving.
Is St. John’s Wort a Helpful Fibromyalgia Herb?
There’s no specific evidence that St. John’s wort is helpful in treating fibromyalgia. However, this herb is often used in treating depression, and depression is commonly associated with fibromyalgia.
There are several studies that show St. John’s wort is more effective than placebo and as effective as older antidepressants called tricyclics in the short-term treatment of mild or moderate depression. Other studies show St. John’s wort is as effective as selective SSRI antidepressants such as Prozac or Zoloft in treating depression.
St John’s wort is usually well tolerated. The most common side effects are stomach upset, skin reactions, and fatigue. St. John’s wort should not be mixed with antidepressants or any other supplement unless your doctor says it’s OK because the combinations can cause illness.
How Can SAM-e Help Fibromyalgia Pain and Depression?
It’s not known exactly how SAM-e works in the body. Some feel this natural supplement increases levels of serotonin and dopamine, two brain neurotransmitters. Although some researchers believe that SAM-e may alter mood and increase restful sleep, current studies do not appear to show any benefit of SAM-e over placebo in reducing the number of tender points or in alleviating depression with fibromyalgia. Additional study is needed to confirm these findings.
Can L-carnitine Help Improve Fibromyalgia Symptoms?
The studies are limited, but it’s thought that L-carnitine may give some relief from fatigue in people with fibromyalgia. Some researchers have also concluded that while more studies are warranted, L-carnitine may provide support for the muscular system of patients with fibromyalgia.
What About the Effect of Probiotics on Digestive Problems Associated With Fibromyalgia?
Probiotics are dietary supplements that contain potentially beneficial bacteria or yeasts. They may assist with the breakdown and proper absorption of food and help improve digestive problems such as irritable bowel syndrome — a common symptom of fibromyalgia. Some of the ways probiotics are used include:
Preventing and treating infections of the female genital tract
Treating irritable bowel syndrome
Side effects of taking probiotics are usually mild and include gas or bloating.
There are other herbs and natural supplements that people say have helped manage fibromyalgia symptoms. They include echinacea, black cohosh, cayenne, lavender, milk thistle, and B vitamins. Nevertheless, there are no definitive studies on the efficacy of these natural therapies.
How Can I Know Which Herb or Natural Supplement Will Help my Fibromyalgia?
Before taking any herb or supplement for fibromyalgia, talk to your doctor or pharmacist about possible side effects or herb-drug interactions. Herbal therapies are not recommended for pregnant women, children, the elderly, or those with weakened immune systems. In addition, some herbs have sedative or blood-thinning qualities, which may dangerously interact with anti-inflammatory painkillers or other pain medications. Others may cause stomach upset if taken in large doses.
Yoga Reduces Pain and Other Symptoms of Fibromyalgia
Women assigned to the yoga program showed significantly greater improvements on the standardized measures of fibromyalgia symptoms, levels of pain, fatigue, and mood, among other things.
Researcher James W. Carson, PhD, of the Oregon Health & Science University, says in a news release that the results “suggested the yoga intervention led to a beneficial shift in how patients cope with pain, including greater use of adaptive pain-coping strategies.” Those strategies included engaging in activities despite pain, acceptance of their condition, the use of religion as a coping mechanism, and the ability to relax.
Women in the intervention group also reported feeling less isolated and said they were less confrontational and less likely to see things in the worst light, or to “catastrophize.”
Studies show that fibromyalgia patients feel better when they deal with the consequences of their disorder on their lives. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) enhances a patient’s belief in their own abilities and helps them develop methods for dealing with stressful situations. CBT, also called cognitive therapy, is known to be an effective method for dealing with chronic pain from arthritic conditions. Evidence also suggests that cognitive-behavioral therapy can help some patients with fibromyalgia.
Although the effects of CBT and other non-medication treatments for fibromyalgia do not always last over the long-term, they may help certain groups of people, particularly those with a high level of psychological stress.
CBT may be particularly useful for addressing insomnia, one of the hallmark symptoms of fibromyalgia. In studies, patients who received CBT for insomnia woke up 50% less often at night, and had fewer symptoms of insomnia and improved mood.
The Goals of CBT. The primary goals of CBT are to change any unclear or mistaken ideas and self-defeating behaviors. Using specific tasks and self-observation, patients learn to think of pain as something other than a negative factor that controls their life. Over time, the idea that they are helpless goes away and they learn that they can manage the pain.
Cognitive therapy is particularly helpful for defining and setting limits, which is extremely important for these patients. Many fibromyalgia patients live their lives in extremes. They first become heroes or martyrs, pushing themselves too far until they collapse. This collapse reverses the way they view themselves, and they then think of themselves as complete failures, unable to cope with the simplest task. One important aim of cognitive therapy is to help such patients discover a middle route. Patients learn to prioritize their responsibilities and drop some of the less important tasks or delegate them to others. Learning these coping skills can eventually lead to a more manageable life. Patients learn to view themselves and others with a more flexible attitude.
The Procedure. Cognitive therapy usually does not last long. It typically consists of 6 – 20 one-hour sessions. Patients also receive homework, which usually includes keeping a diary and trying tasks they have avoided in the past because of negative attitudes.
A typical cognitive therapy program may involve the following measures:
Keep a Diary. Patients are usually asked to keep a diary, a key part of cognitive therapy. The diary serves as a general guide for setting limits and planning activities. Patients use the diary to track any stress factors, such as a job or a relationship that may be improving or worsening the pain.
Confront Negative or Discouraging Thoughts. Patients are taught to challenge and reverse negative beliefs. For example, “I’m not good enough to control this disease, so I’m a total failure” becomes the coping statement, “Where is the evidence that I can control this disease?”
Set Limits. Limits are designed to keep both mental and physical stress within manageable levels, so that patients do not become discouraged by getting in over their heads. For example, tasks are broken down into incremental steps, and patients focus on one step at a time.
Seek out Pleasurable Activities. Patients list a number of enjoyable low-energy activities that they can conveniently schedule.
Prioritize. Patients learn to drop some of the less critical tasks or delegate them to others.
Patients should learn to accept that relapses occur, and that over-coping and accomplishing too much too soon can often cause a relapse. Patients should respect these relapses and back off. They should not consider them a sign of failure.
Research also shows that patient education can be effective in treating fibromyalgia, especially when combined with CBT, exercise, and other therapies. Educational programs can take the form of group discussions, lectures, or printed materials, although there isn’t any clear evidence on which type of education works best.
The ancient Chinese practice of tai chi may be effective as a therapy for fibromyalgia, according to a study published on Thursday in The New England Journal of Medicine.
A clinical trial at Tufts Medical Center found that after 12 weeks of tai chi, patients with fibromyalgia, a chronic pain condition, did significantly better in measurements of pain, fatigue, physical functioning, sleeplessness and depression than a comparable group given stretching exercises and wellness education. Tai chi patients were also more likely to sustain improvement three months later.
This exercise helps you relax. Think of it as “meditation in motion,” with gentle, flowing movements instead of forceful actions. It can lower your stress, improve balance and flexibility, and build muscle strength. Sign up for a class at your fitness or community center.
Less Pain, More Energy
Don’t let the muscle pain and fatigue of fibromyalgia keep you on the sidelines. You can — and should — get moving. A few simple tweaks to common exercises can boost your energy, ease pain and stiffness, lift your mood, and improve your sleep. Check with your doctor before you start.
If you’re just getting started with exercise, choose low- to moderate-intensity activities. Your choices include mall walking, swimming, water aerobics, using a kickboard in a pool, yoga, tai chi, or biking. Start slow and increase the time and intensity as you can. Again, your goal is to work up to 30 minutes a day, 5 days of the week.
Strength exercises can lower your pain and help with depression. You don’t need to lift a heavy barbell. What matters here is the range of movements you take your muscles through. Before you start, get tips from a trainer at a fitness center. Ask how to use handheld weights, elastic bands, or strength-training machines the right way, so you don’t injure yourself or make your pain worse.
This is one of the best ways to take charge of your fibromyalgia. An aerobic exercise uses your large muscles over and over for a set period of time. Walking is the easiest, and you don’t need any special tools other than a good pair of shoes. Swimming and biking are also good options. The trick is to find something you like and do it for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. If you need to start with 10 minutes and work your way up, do it.
Stretch More, Hurt Less
Daily stretches can help your joints move more smoothly. You may hear this called range of motion. Focus on the big muscle groups: calves, thighs, hips, lower back, and shoulders. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds. Stop if it hurts. Try to stretch two to three times a week.
Many people with fibromyalgia have found that regular meditation has helped reduce their fibromyalgia symptoms. But what is the “right way” to meditate? Is there even a right way? There are numerous meditation methods that you can use to help reduce your symptoms and stress levels. Here are two of the most common types of meditation for fibromyalgia sufferers which help you get relief.
Concentration meditation is one of the simplest forms of meditation. It involves focusing your attention on a single object, such as a candle, flower, or statue. Simply sit in an upright position, with your shoulders level with your hips. The object that you are concentrating on should be placed in your line of sight, but not too far away from you. Let your eyes and attention focus on the object. While you are focusing, you will find that random thoughts will arise in your mind. When you become aware of these thoughts, gently pull your concentration back towards the object. Try to do this for ten minutes, twice a day.
Mindfulness meditation is one of the most effective types of meditation, and it is easy and enjoyable to perform. Sit in a comfortable position and let your eyes gaze downwards. Don’t close your eyes completely – instead, soften your gaze slightly. Let your mind take in all the aspects of your surroundings, including sounds, smells, and images, but don’t concentrate on or judge anything in particular. Instead, focus on enjoying these sensations and accepting your surroundings for what they have to offer. Try practicing this once a day for about 20 minutes.
Transcendental meditation has numerous followers and is good for promoting rest, sleep, and inner peace. It is often paired with religous worship in order to deepen faith. Sit down in a comfortable position and close your eyes. In your head, silently repeat a sound (called a mantra), over and over again. This sound should be meaningless but it should also feel soothing to say. With each repetition, the sound should become quieter and quieter, until your are left at peace with just your thoughts. Transcendental meditation should be practiced for fifteen minutes, twice a day.
It works to reduce pain, eliminate stiffness, and helps you to relax and take some time out for yourself. If you are interested in massage, this article will outline the treatment’s basic principles and how it can benefit your fibromyalgia symptoms.
How Does Massage Therapy Work?
Massage therapy can really reduce the pain, stiffness, and tender points caused by fibromyalgia syndrome. But how does it manage to do this? Well, no one is 100% sure on how massage actually reduces pain, but it may have something to do with the central nervous system.
It is theorized that massage therapy actually enhances the production of certain pain blockers, including endorphins, serotonin, and norepinephrine. These hormones work to counteract pain signals conducted by the brain, and this would explain why massage offers such dramatic pain relief.
IV Nutrition Therapy
What is IV Nutrition ?
IntraVenous Nutrient Therapy is the administering of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and anti-oxidants directly into the bloodstream. These nutrients are essential for normal body functioning towards health and optimum performance. It is a safe, powerful and innovative therapy that supports the resolution of numerous health problems such as infections, fatigue, heart disease and much more.
How is IVNT different from oral or intramuscular nutrition ?
Even if your digestion is not weakened, you can only absorb a minimal amount of vitamins from oral vitamin supplements. Food swallowed needs to be digested in the stomach, transported to the liver, metabolized and detoxified before it ends up in blood. Therefore, a minimal amount of the nutrients will reach the cells. Intramuscular (Injection) absorption is higher than that of oral, however, it still does not match the bio-availability of the intravenous route. Nutrients given by IV enter the bloodstream and immediately get pumped by the heart to the rest of the body.
Intravenous (IV) Vitamin Drips deliver vitamins, minerals and amino acids directly to the body for maximum absorption. This allows the nutrients to flood your body and nourish itself at the cellular level. By using this method we can safely deliver larger doses that would not otherwise be tolerated orally.
IV vitamin drips can be used both proactively to maintain optimum wellness and also to treat acute and chronic conditions.
Some of the specific benefits people may experience include increased energy, enhanced mood, improved sleep, decreased stress and anxiety, increased immunity, hydration, and muscle recovery.