According to the ancient theories of Chinese medicine fibromyalgia follows patterns of imbalance associated with the Qi (vital energy loosely), organs and energetic qualities of the body leading to pain syndromes. Some of the patterns are as follows:
1.) Latent Pathogens—According to Chinese medicine, a cold or flu is treated by releasing the pathogen to the exterior. Part of this process includes opening the pours by causing a sweat. If an exterior pathogen is not treated properly, it can become lodged in the interior of the body. This unresolved virus (that may or may not be a virus) can lodge itself in the muscle tissue, or, more seriously, in the organs of the body. Interestingly, antibiotics are very “cold” in nature and cold causes contraction. When antibiotics are used in the presence of an exterior pathogen, the pathogen cannot move to the exterior. Environment toxins are also pathogenic factors that can become “stuck” in the muscle tissue.
2.) Liver Qi Constraints—The liver is dynamic in its ability to move Qi in all directions in the body. When the liver function becomes constrained, there is a tendency for the liver to become “heated”. Not only does the liver function become impaired, but the liver overacts on other systems. It can affect the Heart function causing insomnia and the Spleen function & Large Intestine functions causing digestive difficulties. With Liver Qi constraints there is typically an emotional imbalance causing frustration, easy anger and even depression
3.) Dampness—Imagine a sticky substance like phlegm adhering to every cell in your body. Most of us think of phlegm as something that is restricted to the respiratory system, however, given the right conditions phlegm can turn up throughout the body. In the case of FMS it is often lodged in the muscle tissue causing stagnation and pain. This is one of the factors that make FMS so difficult to treat. Western medicine has no way of recognizing or clearing dampness from the tissues.
4.) Qi Deficiency—Patients suffering with FMS typically experience bouts of severe lethargy. Their energy is often so depleted that they cannot hold down a job or care for there families on a consistent basis. Unfortunately, tonifying qi with herbs, heat therapy and acupuncture often strengthens the latent pathogen and worsens the condition. On the other hand, if the body does not have adequate qi, there is not enough strength to expel the pathogen. This is why it is necessary to have an informed approach in treating this condition. There has to be a correct energetic diagnosis and a delicate balance maintained throughout the treatment process.
The patterns listed here are just a few of the hundreds of patterns seen in FMS patients. No two fibromyalgia patients have the exact same symptoms. With a disease pattern this complex, it is necessary to use a multitude of healing modalities to have a significant, long-standing impact on fibromyalgia. I have found the following methods, used in unison, to be the most effective way of treating fibromyalgia:
1.) Acupuncture—brings the body, mind and spirit into balance.
2.) Heat Therapies—moxabustion, heat lamps, hot rocks and other techniques are used to dry dampness.
3.) Hydrotherapy—used to apply diaphoretic herbs. Sweating helps to release pathogens caught in the interior to the exterior.
4.) Therapeutic Essential Oils—applied topically for pain reduction.
5.) Chinese & Western Herbs—used to release exterior pathogens, soothe the liver, drain dampness and bring the body back into balance.
6.) Homeopathy—best for clearing toxins on a cellular level and for clearing allergies.
7.) Diet & Nutritional Supplementation—Chinese Food Therapy guidelines are used to further balance energetics in the body. Each patient is assessed individually for supplement needs avoiding overloading the liver with too many remedies.
8.) Exercise—tai qi, qi gong, and yoga are recommended to help build and move Qi.
9.) Flower Essence and Tapping Acupressure Points—for emotional clearings.
10.) Energy Work—chakra balancing and qi gong healing brings harmony to all energetic systems. Patients learn to meditate.