ACUPUNCTURE THE LATEST TREATMENT FOR FIBROMYALGIA…

The theory and practice of acupuncture originated in China. It was first mentioned and recorded in documents dating a few hundred years before the Common Era. Earlier instead of needles sharpened stones and long sharp bones were used around 6000 BCE for acupuncture treatment.

The word “acupuncture” means “needle piercing”. It is a traditional Chinese medical treatment using very fine needles, which are inserted into the skin at any of the 800 specially-designated points. It originated from a Dutch physician, William Ten Rhyne, who had been living in Japan during the latter part of the 17th century and it was he who introduced it to Europe.

A study conducted at Sheffield University in the UK looked at the long-term symptom reduction and economic benefits of acupuncture for persistent pain, An average of 8 acupuncture treatments was given to 159 people, while 80 received usual care instead.

After one year, people receiving acupuncture had reduced pain and reported significant reduction in worry about their pain compared to the usual care group. After two years, the acupuncture group was significantly more likely to report that the past year had been pain free. They were less likely to use medication for pain.

A scientific explanation is that acupuncture releases natural pain-relieving opioids, sends signals that calm the sympathetic nervous system, and releases neurochemicals and hormones.

Dove Press wrote that ‘A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Randomised Controlled Trials’, showed that ‘Acupuncture therapy is an effective and safe treatment for patients with FM, and this treatment can be recommended for the management of FM.’

Without balance in our bodies, there are many health-related problems we can encounter and having an Acupuncture treatment can help to restore your body systems to the right balance. They are quite often referred to as Yin (which is negative) and Yang (which is positive).

The Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapist’s explains how Acupuncture works. The acupuncture needle will stimulate the flow of QI [pronounced ‘chee’], which circulates in channels or meridians within the body. The QI circulates within the deeper organs of the body but connects to the superficial skin. In the state of a normal healthy body, a balance exists between these systems. Both the superficial energy and the deeper energy can be influenced by the stimulation of specific acupuncture points. If injury, disease, emotional trauma or infection occurs, the natural flow of QI within the meridians and organs may well be affected and the result is an altered flow, either a slowing or stagnation of QI causing pain and inflammation, or a deficit of QI, which may cause weakness, exhaustion and longer debilitating disease. The stimulation of relevant acupuncture points may free stagnation, reduce excess or indeed, increase QI to the specific area or organ and thus help to restore normal QI flow and balance.

ACUPUNCTURE, IS IT AS GOOD AS THEY SAY IT IS?

Acupuncture, is it as good as they say it is?

Back in 2009, after having numerous spinal surgeries and also being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia I was at a stage where no matter what gambit of drugs I was taking I was still in a lot of pain.

I was already having regular aromatherapy massage on my back which I found amazing, but the relief was short-lived, so I decided to go down the complementary therapy route and try something new.

Also, at that time, Acupuncture was available at my NHS pain clinic, so I was able to go for regular sessions which were to mainly treat my neck and arm pains. I found these to be beneficial and could notice a difference by the end of each session but as my treatments were only one session every two weeks, I soon found that my pain was back before my next session.

Acupuncture works by stimulating your own body’s healing mechanisms to help with pain and recovery. The concept has been part of traditional Chinese medicine since 1000BC where it was written in scripts on the holistic concept on how it can help heal the body.

Without balance in our bodies, there are many health-related problems we can encounter and having an Acupuncture treatment can help to restore your body systems to the right balance. They are quite often referred to as Yin (which is negative) and Yang (which is positive).

The Acupuncture Association of Chartered Physiotherapist’s explains how Acupuncture works. The acupuncture needle will stimulate the flow of QI [pronounced ‘chee’], which circulates in channels or meridians within the body. The QI circulates within the deeper organs of the body but connects to the superficial skin. In the state of a normal healthy body, a balance exists between these systems. Both the superficial energy and the deeper energy can be influenced by the stimulation of specific acupuncture points. If injury, disease, emotional trauma or infection occurs, the natural flow of QI within the meridians and organs may well be affected and the result is an altered flow, either a slowing or stagnation of QI causing pain and inflammation, or a deficit of QI, which may cause weakness, exhaustion and longer debilitating disease. The stimulation of relevant acupuncture points may free stagnation, reduce excess or indeed, increase QI to the specific area or organ and thus help to restore normal QI flow and balance.

There are several techniques in applying Acupuncture by Acupressure or Electro-Acupuncture which enhances the repair mechanism and enables an improved recovery time.

The conventional Acupuncture involves the use of single-use, pre-sterilised, disposable needles of varying widths, lengths and materials that pierce the skin at the Acupuncture points. The Physiotherapist will determine the locations of the Acupuncture points, based upon the assessment of the cause of the imbalance. A number of needles may be used at each treatment and these are typically left in position for some 20-30 minutes before being removed.

Trigger point Acupuncture may also be used to facilitate relaxation in specific muscles following trauma such as whiplash injury; for longer-term unresolving muscle pain such as repetitive strain injury (RSI) or as a means to obtain increased muscle length in order to aid stretch and rehabilitation such as sports injuries. Here the needle is placed into the affected muscle until it is felt to relax under the needle and then removed. Trigger point needling is often much quicker and therefore does not require the 20-30-minute treatment time.

Acupressure uses the Physiotherapist’s hands over Acupuncture or trigger points in order to relieve muscle tightness or to stimulate QI flow and balance the body. It is a healing art that uses the fingers of the Physiotherapist on the key Acupuncture points. The amount of pressure used varies according to the condition and requires trained sensitive hands. It is often used with sensitive patients, patients with a needle phobia, children or frail patients.

I do personally believe that Acupuncture and Acupressure can help heal and therefore relieve some pain but what I do not seem to have been able to achieve with this treatment is momentum.

Should it be used weekly, fortnightly, less or more? Is it something you could use to treat yourself? With alternative therapies being preferred by many sufferers for pain relief it’s a case of working out the correct balance of treatments that you need. Unfortunately, my local NHS Pain Clinic no longer offers this form of pain relief which then also means funding it yourself which for some people I am sure is out of the question due to the cost.

 

NEVER NEVER GIVE UP – MANTRAS TO HELP YOU FEEL BETTER…

One of my closest friends gave me this lovely tile with the words ‘Never, never give up’ to help me on my hardest days. I have it where I can see it every day to inspire and motivate me when I’m down.

Four simple words is all it takes to work for me but I have to admit I use mantras from inspirational people. I would repeat and repeat the saying when I go to bed. Like some people count sheep to go to sleep you can always repeat your mantra over and over again as you drift off to sleep.

According to Wikipedia a mantra is a sacred utterance, a numinous sound, a syllable, word or phonemes, or group of words in Sanskrit believed by practitioners to have psychological and spiritual powers. Mantra meditation helps to induce an altered state of consciousness. A mantra may or may not have a syntactic structure or literal meaning. Wikipedia

You can find a number of videos on mantras for pain on YouTube to keep repeating to yourself and you can also buy this book, Healing Mantras on the subject, which you can also listen to. Healing Mantras by Thomas Ashley-Ferrand which has four star reviews and one review saying, I love this book – it provides a really interesting insight into the power of sound and its significance to different religions and ethnic groups. The mantras are fun & satisfying to learn and come with background information, explaining the meaning and origin of each. He also gives examples of how they have been used by himself or others & the perceived results. Overall it’s a very positive pursuit & gives any reader another tool with which to influence their own life.

Health.com say as little as 30 seconds of using a mantra can dampen unpleasant sensations, says Ellen Slawsby, PhD, director of Pain Services at the Benson Henry Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Slawsby recommends a picking neutral or positive word or phrase rather than a sound. 

“That’s using something inborn, an internal mechanisms to elicit your own endorphins or endogenous morphine,” she says.

Simple words and phrases have the power to interrupt negativity and invite change in life. Discover how mantras can affect your well-being. Sonima explains how They have been around for at least 3,000 years, but mantras are having a mainstream moment. We meditate on them. We find them in pop songs that encourage us to “Let It Go” and get “Happy.” We tape them to our fridges and computers, pin them to our Pinterest boards, InstaQuote them on Instagram. On her website she has nine empowering mantras to shift your mindset.

Putting healing words into our thoughts is a personal thing but if we find any benefit from this type of meditation then it certainly has to be worth trying.

‘What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do’ – Timothy Ferriss

HOW TO USE ACUPRESSURE POINTS FOR SHOULDER PAIN AND FIBROMYALGIA…

For anyone suffering from fibromyalgia, knowing where to apply self-acupressure may help ease some of the symptoms associated with the disorder. I am suffering greatly at the moment with fatigue and nonrestorative sleep due to fibromyalgia and bulging disc problems in my neck and lower back.

I seem to fall asleep fine but then I am awake for hours before I settle again especially during a cold spell. Last night I decided to start trying acupressure which is something I have done in the past but it’s not easy to get to certain points by yourself.

I got my phone out and looked up the best pressure points to work on my shoulders which I hoped would have a knock on effect on my neck pain.

To help ease shoulder pain they say you should press your thumbs or middle fingers on to the top of your shoulders where the outer collarbones join the shoulders. Press the thumbs or middle fingers to these points and massage for at least a minute several times.

According to Healthline Acupuncture has been extensively studied as a treatment for neck pain. While there is some evidence that acupuncture works for neck pain, acupressure is not universally accepted as a neck pain treatment. Researchers wonder, for example, if the needles from acupuncture stimulate chemicals in your body that provide pain relief. If that is indeed the case, stimulating pressure points with massage instead of needles wouldn’t provide the same pain relief. 

But that’s not to say that acupressure should be ruled out as a holistic neck pain treatment. Stimulating pressure points may relieve neck pain and soothe aching muscles. According to several reviews of the scientific literature, the answer is that we just don’t know.

I think it did help me to settle down but whether that was just because I was so tired I am not sure but I’ve been having such a hard time with it at the moment that I will try anything. I’ve sat and researched it today and I have just ordered a book from Amazon called Treat Yourself with Acupressure: An easy way to relieve pain, tension, anxiety and stress, by Adriana Apollonia Germain (Author)

It says it’s a easy to understand and highly visual book with step by step guidelines for effective self treatment.

Acupressure and Acupuncture both use same points on Surface of Human Body for healing the problems. But Acupuncture is applied through Needle and Acupressure is applied through Pressure of Hand (Especially by Thumb and Fingers). Acupressure gives pressure to such points that results in Releasing Muscular Aches, Enhance Blood Circulation and gives relaxation to the Human Body.

The theory and practice of acupuncture originated in China. It was first mentioned and recorded in documents dating a few hundred years before the Common Era. Earlier instead of needles sharpened stones and long sharp bones were used around 6000 BCE for acupuncture treatment.

Acupressure is generally said that in a Chinese Medicine Method, but it was firstly discovered in India which latterly disappeared. Acupressure nowadays has many methods as Reflexology, Meridian and Sujok Therapy. Reflexology is an American invention, Meridian is Chinese invention while Sujok is discovered by Korea.

Acufinder explain that aside from these points, it is important to recognize that psychological stresses can play a significant role in the presentation of fibromyalgia. Employing self-acupressure can help one regain emotional well-being and better control the onset of symptoms. For best self-acupressure results, apply gentle yet firm pressure from your middle-finger as you make tiny circular motions. This may be done as little as once a day or as much as once every hour.

Here are some locations on the body where self-acupressure can help to alleviate symptoms of fibromyalgia:

  • Yintang – located between the eyes, at the level of the eyebrows. This point is renowned for its ability to soothe anxiety and promote a general relaxation of the body. Stimulation of this point may help with obsessive and unproductive thoughts.
  • Ear Shen Men – located on the upper portion of the ear in the triangular fossa, nearly a perfect fit to gently place a fingertip and press. The name of this point speaks for itself, stimulation here brings the potential for great relief from any kind of physical and/or emotional pain, metaphorically allowing the patient to enter ‘heaven.’
  • Ren 17 – located in the center of chest at the level of the fourth intercostal space, at the same level as the nipples. This is a great point to help relieve the sensation of rising anxiety and help the body physically relax as well.
  • Pericardium 6 – located on the lower, inner side of arm, four finger widths from the wrist crease and between the two tendons in the middle of the arm. Gentle pressing can help promote a sense of well-being and relief from nausea.
  • Stomach 36 – located about four finger widths down from the outer eye of the knee, then over about the width of the middle finger, from the shin bone. This invaluable point is known for its ability to promote general wellness by stimulating the immune system, stopping pain anywhere in the body and calming the shen. According to the theory of acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, “calming the shen” refers to the stabilization of negative mental and emotional states.

AURICULAR THERAPY AS A TREATMENT FOR PAIN…

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Auricular therapy as a treatment for pain is a method of healing by stimulating different acupressure points on the surface of the outer ear. These areas are pricked with small, sterile, disposable needles in order to help many complaints.

In auricular acupuncture, the ear is seen as a micro system of the body. Auricular therapists believe that there are over 200 points on the ear that are connected to a particular organ, tissue or part of the body. So, if something is out of sync, its corresponding point on the ear may be sensitive or tender to touch and pressure, or a mark, spot or lump can be visible. Stimulation of the ear is then carried out by means of acupuncture needles, minute electric currents or a laser beam.

An auricular acupuncture session involves placing 5 or 6 small, sterile, disposable needles in each ear. The needles are placed in acupoints corresponding to the area to be treated, so they may place a needle in the neck point if you were suffering from pain in that area. It is claimed that the therapy can be helpful for various chronic conditions including rheumatism and arthritis.

The actual practice of manipulating needles in the ear to cure diseases is not a new therapy, but a very ancient one. It has been used for many hundreds of years in some Eastern and Mediterranean countries and in China and is also now becoming popular in the UK.

An interesting post on the Back, Neck Pain Centre website has some FAQ from interested customers and two questions I thought said it all – Does Auriculotherapy hurt?
For most, the procedure is painless. You may feel a tiny sensation in the ear where the point is being treated. This is usually for a second or two and then the sensation goes away. If it feels slightly uncomfortable we can decrease the intensity to where you do not feel it. Most of the time this isn’t necessary as the treatment is tolerable.

What conditions does Auriculotherapy help? – Auriculotherapy is good for acute painful problems alleviating pain almost immediately or within 24 to 48 hours. Auriculotherapy is good for chronic degenerative conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia and other chronic painful conditions. Other conditions include diseases and dysfunctions of the gastrointestinal, respiratory, urinary and cardiovascular systems. Auriculotherapy is very effective for treating addictions. In fact, Auriculotherapy has a seventy five to eighty percent success rate treating patients for smoking or nicotine addiction. There are currently more than 150 indications for the application of Auriculotherapy. Just ask Dr. Peck if Auriculotherapy is right for you.

A good book on the therapy is The Beginner’s Guide to Auricular Therapy: Application of Ear Seeds, by P.Sze There is also a great YouTube Video on the therapy.