Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Fibromyalgia Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chinese medicine classifies fibromyalgia as a Bi syndrome (Painful Obstructive Syndrome) and occurs when there is in invasion of the body by external forces which obstructs the blood circulation and the flow of Qi in the channels and collaterals (meridians).

Fibromyalgia is often classified as a rheumatic condition but it is not related to arthritis because it does not cause inflammation or damage to the joints, muscles, or other tissues. Like arthritis, however, fibromyalgia can cause significant pain and fatigue, and it can interfere with a person’s ability to carry on daily activities.

Major symptoms are widespread muscle pain, fatigue, and multiple tender points characterize Fibromyalgia. Tender points are specific places on the body—on the neck, shoulders, back, hips, and upper and lower extremities—where people with fibromyalgia feel pain in response to slight pressure.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) classifies Fibromyalgia as a Bi zheng or (painful obstruction syndrome). Proper treatment of pain requires a careful evaluation of the type of disharmony (excess or deficiency, cold or heat, exterior or interior), characteristics (qi and/or blood stagnation), and locations (upper body, lower body, extremities, or internal organs).

Optimal treatment integrates the use of Chinese medicinals, acupuncture and Tui-Na therapies. All these therapies work together to strengthen (tonify) the underlying deficiencies, strengthen the body, and facilitate recovery from chronic pain. TCM pain management targets both the symptoms and the causes of pain, and as such, often achieves immediate and long-term success. TCM pain management is often associated with few or no side effects. Acupuncture and herbal medicine tonify qi, blood, yin and yang; and strengthens the overall constitution of the body.


Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

Chronic fatigue syndrome is a debilitating and complex disorder characterized by profound fatigue that is not improved by bed rest and that may be worsened by physical or mental activity. Diagnosis is made when you have severe chronic fatigue of six months or longer duration, your tiredness must be severe enough to decrease your ability to participate in ordinary activities by 50%.

Other known medical conditions excluded by clinical diagnosis; and concurrently have four or more of the following symptoms: substantial impairment in short-term memory or concentration; sore throat; tender lymph nodes; muscle pain; multijoint pain without swelling or redness; headaches of a new type, pattern or severity; un-refreshing sleep; and post-exertional malaise lasting more than 24 hours. The symptoms must have persisted or recurred during six or more consecutive months of illness and must not have predated the fatigue to be diagnosed with this condition.

The exact cause of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is unknown. Some researchers suspect it may be caused by a virus, such as Epstein-Barr virus or human herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6). However, no distinct viral cause has been identified.

In addition to pain and fatigue there may be symptoms of trouble sleeping or sleep disturbances, recurrent ongoing depression, morning stiffness, headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, painful menstrual periods, numbness or tingling of the extremities, restless legs syndrome, temperature sensitivity, light sensitivity, cognitive and memory problems (sometimes referred to as “fibro fog”), lassitude and post exertional fatigue or a variety of other symptoms.

Research is looking for an answer:

The cause of fibromyalgia pain:

Researchers have found the main source of pain in Fibromyalgia patients, and contrary to what many believe, it does not stem from the brain. Up until recently, many physicians thought that the disease was “imaginary” or psychological, but scientists have now revealed that the main source of pain stems from a most unlikely place- excess blood vessels in the hand. Researchers Find Main Source of Pain in Blood Vessels

Many researchers are examining other causes, including problems with how the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) processes pain. Some scientists speculate that a person’s genes may regulate the way his or her body processes painful stimuli. According to this theory, people with fibromyalgia may have a gene or genes that cause them to react strongly to stimuli that most people would not perceive as painful. However, those genes if they, in fact, have not been identified.

In cases of chronic fatigue or energetic disorders, many times lab tests are normal but there are still general and non-diagnostic signs and symptoms, western medicine offers few treatment options since there is not a clear diagnosis.

Traditional Chinese Medicine – Acupuncture treatment aim is to reduce pain, calm the mind, and relax the entire body.



Effectiveness of acupuncture in the treatment of fibromyalgia.

CONCLUSIONS: participants experienced significant improvement at 8 weeks of treatment. Acupuncture treatment as delivered was effective at reducing FMS symptoms in this outcome study.

Essentials of Chinese Medicine: Internal Medicine Hardcover – October, 2003by Anshen Shi, Shih-Shun Lin, Leigh Caldwell ISBN-13: 978-0972843959  ISBN-10: 0972843957

Effectiveness of acupuncture in the treatment of fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) National Institutes of Health 

Centers for Disease Control Basic Facts about Chronic Fatigue

Fibromyalgia – A Medical Mystery Solved by Dr John Lowe

Researchers Find Main Source of Pain in Blood Vessels