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Acupuncture and Alternative Medicine for Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition characterized by widespread pain in the body's fibrous tissues, e.g. muscles, tendons and ligaments, that is accompanied by fatigue; mood, memory and sleep disorders; cognitive difficulties, headaches, and other symptoms.

Its exact cause is unknown but some studies suggest it may be related to chronic fatigue syndrome and autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. There is no cure for fibromyalgia and it is very difficult to treat. It afflicts women far more often than men.

Sadly, many fibromyalgia sufferers find it difficult or impossible to continue to work or take part in their favorite activities. This typically causes further disruptions in family life and social interactions that can compound the stress and anxiety that sufferers experience.

Maryland Holistics provides acupuncture and other natural care options which can help relieve symptoms of fibromyalgia.

At Maryland Holistics, we provide acupuncture and natural medicine services that can offer relief from many symptoms of fibromyalgia and help restore a sense of control and well being to your life.

Acupuncture, for example, can effectively reduce many types of chronic pain, often reducing or eliminating the need for powerful pharmaceuticals that come with serious side effects. It is important to note that pain medications sometimes need to be withdrawn slowly in order to avoid injury. If you are currently taking pain medications and decide you want to try acupuncture, you should discuss safer dosages with your doctor or pharmacist.

Perhaps even more importantly, acupuncture can reduce the stress, anxiety and depression so often experienced by fibromyalgia sufferers, as well as promote a deep sense of well being.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), one in five fibromyalgia sufferers uses acupuncture within two years of diagnosis. NIH researchers have concluded that acupuncture is safe and effective and warrants further study to better understand its positive effects.

We will also partner with you to review lifestyle issues that bear on your overall well being. In addition to acupuncture, we offer expert advice on diet and nutrition, exercise, work/life adjustments, meditation, and other stress reducing therapies. We believe these are critical factors in managing fibromyalgia as part of an integrative medical treatment plan that can help you reach your personal goals.

Additional Treatments which May Be Used In Combination
with Our Services

Fibromyalgia is commonly treated with pain relievers, anti-depressants, and anti-convulsive (anti-seizure) drugs.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen and naproxen sodium are sometimes helpful, but also present possible side effects that include stomach irritation, ulcers or gastro-intestinal bleeding, and damage to the liver and kidneys. NSAIDs should be used with caution by people over 65 or by anyone with a history of gastrointestinal problems. NSAIDs can also intensify or reduce the effectiveness of other medications so you should consult with your doctor or pharmacist about these effects before using them.

Pain killers such as tramadol are also sometimes prescribed although their effectiveness against fibromyalgia, especially for long term use, is questionable. The most common side effects of tramadol include headache, dizziness, drowsiness, fatigue, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and stomach pain, as well as nervousness, anxiety and hot flashes.

Antidepressants duloxetine (Cymbalta) and milnacipran (Savella) are often prescribed to address the pain and fatigue associated with fibromyalgia, while fluoxetine (Prozac) is sometimes used to promote better sleep. Side effects of antidepressants can include nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, heartburn, stomach pain, dry mouth, increased urination, sweating, dizziness, headache, drowsiness, muscle pain, a decrease in sexual desire or ability, and uncontrollable shaking. The most serious side effect, however, is an increased risk of suicide or suicidal thoughts, extreme anxiety, mood swings, and impulsive, hostile or irrational behavior.

Medications designed to treat epilepsy are sometimes prescribed to reduce certain types of pain. Gabapentin (Neurontin, Gralise) is sometimes helpful in reducing fibromyalgia symptoms, while pregabalin (Lyrica) was the first drug approved by the FDA specifically to treat fibromyalgia.

There is clearly a place for pharmaceuticals in many treatment plans. No single drug, however, successfully addresses the wide range of fibromyalgia symptoms. For example, one drug might help reduce pain but also increase fatigue; another may have a positive effect on depressed mood but cannot promote better sleep. All of this can add considerably to the frustration and anxiety so often experienced by sufferers of this disease.

Clinical research conducted by the NIH has shown that acupuncture can improve a broad spectrum of symptoms and distress connected to different aspects of well-being and quality of life. In view of this assessment, NIH researchers believe it's important to develop new standards for studying the effects of pharmaceuticals on general quality of life.

You May be Interested In:

Contact Our Office
Conditions A-Z (list and web links)
Pain Relief
About Acupuncture
Before Your Visit
Information for Physicians
About Dr. Eric Windsor
Biochemical Research on Acupuncture
How We Work with Lab Tests and Imaging

About Maryland Holistics

Maryland Holistics LLC is the private practice of Dr. Eric Windsor, D.Ac., L.Ac. Our serene, professional office is located in Ellicott City, MD. Maryland Holistics has provided care to thousands of satisfied customers since opening in 2009. Dr. Windsor is a preferred provider in the CareFirst, Blue Cross Blue Shield, GEHA, and United Healthcare networks.

3525 Ellicott Mills Dr., Ste E
Ellicott City, MD 21043
Phone: 301-588-5858
Fax: 443-308-5690