The Acupuncture Treatment of Fibromyalgia
Chief Complaint: fatigue, muscle pain, anxiety, depression, insomnia
Western Diagnosis: fibromyalgia
Medical History: Patient is a 45 year-old female, complains of fatigue, lack of energy and muscular pain and joint pain that travel from areas to areas, light headache.
Questioning exam: Patient feel anxious in crowded area, have problem to digest food, have acid reflex and indigestion problem. Patient depresses since her last daughter had married and moved away from home.
Pulse exam: Pulse is faint and choppy. Lower back and knee joint are sensitive to pressure. Shoulder and neck area are sensitive to touch.
Tongue exam: Patient is pale and hypoactive. Her speech is slow with no “chi”. Her eye is dry and no “shen”. Her tongue is dark purple with a pale and thin coating.
OM Diagnosis: The faint and choppy pulse is an indication of yang deficiency. A deficiency of spleen Chi leads to digestive problem as well as mental symptom such as depression and anxiety. It then, leads to a blood deficiency causing inability to nourish the heart resulting in insomnia. The exhaustion of kidney yang is the cause of lower back, muscular and joints pain
Treatment Principle: Nourish yang in Kidney and Spleen; improve on the flow of blood
Point Prescription: For spleen Chi deficiency: sp 6, St 36, Bl 18, Bl 20, SJ5; for blood deficiency: Ren 4, Ren 6; for Kidney yang deficiency: UB 40, GB 30. These are the major acupuncture points for the patient’s condition. However, I also find that with fibromyalgia patients, their complaints vary from session to session. As a result, addition points have to apply in order to deal with the ever changing symptoms. For example, LI 4, Extra 1 and G 20 are used to deal with headache and H 7 and Shenmen in auricular acupuncture are used to help the patient to deal with her anxiety.
Herbal Formula: Dong Qui is the main herbs I recommend for blood deficiency
Lifestyle Prescription: Moxabustion at St 20, H 7 and Sp 6 is proven to be very useful to enhance the patient’s energy level. 10 to 15 minute of acupressure treatment during the end of every session also proven to be extremely helpful for the muscle, back and joint pain.
Results: After 6 months of weekly treatment; followed by any other 6 months of biweekly treatment; the patient is leading a relatively normal life. Her digestion is normal again. The muscular and joint pain are minimal. Her energy level is up. The anxiety and depression have disappeared. Patient still come back for regular treatment on a monthly basis
Synopsis: I am very please with the progress of the treatment. Patience and flexibility are both the keys in dealing with fibromyalgia patient.
Stephen Tsang LAc. RAc, RMT, RT, BSc
Stephen Tsang Acupuncture & Acupressure Professional Services
12807 Woodbend Place
Edmonton, AB T5N 3V3 Canada