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These days people are no longer satisfied with going to the doctor and following a strictly medical regimen to improve their health, regardless of whatever condition they may be battling.Gone are the days when we relied solely on our physician to cure us.

Fibromyalgia patients are no longer satisfied with going to the doctor - they turn to alternative medicine

Today’s patient is more technologically advanced and less inclined to view their doctors as the be-all and end-all of medical care. There are many options available today that can act in a complimentary fashion with medical care, providing more holistic androunded care.

Fibromyalgia is a baffling condition affecting millions of people in the U.S. Its main symptoms are generalized muscular pain and fatigue, but sufferers may experience a whole host of other symptoms such as a headache, gastrointestinal symptoms, paresthesias, depression, anxiety and PTSD, sleep disturbances, restless leg syndrome and others. To date, there is no cure for the condition and people with fibromyalgia are forced to cope with medications that are not always helpful or that have unwanted side effects. As a result, many people with fibromyalgia turn to alternative treatments such as massage, acupuncture, acupressure, chiropractic, meditation and yoga to help them cope with their symptoms. But do they work? Here are some common alternative fibromyalgia treatments that have been shown to be effective for some fibromyalgia patients.

Massage

Massage is used to knead and stroke the muscles of the body, releasing tension and pain and increasing circulation to the muscles. Massage can be used for the purpose of relaxation or to ease muscle tension. Deep tissue massage may be helpful for those who suffer from fibromyalgia as greater pressure is applied that in traditional Swedish massage. Deep tissue massage targets knots and areas of tension deep within the muscles. Shiatsu is a form of massage that focuses on using finger and palm pressure to relieve stiff muscles and stress. Many people find that massage is helpful for relieving pain, although relief may be short-lived. Massage therapists should be licensed. If you are considering massage therapy, it is possible to check out a potential therapist through the licensing body of the state they practice in.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture has been used in China and other Asian cultures for years, and has slowly gained recognition in the western world for its ability to treat certain conditions. There are different kinds of acupuncture, and a practitioner’s style will depend on where they learned the practice of acupuncture. You will want to be sure that the practitioner you choose is licensed to practice and that only disposable needles are used.

During an acupuncture treatment, one or more fine-bored needles are placed in specific areas, through the skin and into underlying tissues. Moving the needles or otherwise manipulating them causes the body to release endorphins, the body’s natural pain killers. According to acupuncture therapists, acupuncture unblocks blocked energy channels, resulting in a renewed sense of well-being and freedom from pain. According to some research studies, acupuncture relieves pain by changing brain chemistry by altering neurotransmitter release; stimulating or decreasing neurotransmitters alters the way an individual perceives pain. Many individuals respond well to acupuncture, claiming that their pain is relieved for days or weeks following an acupuncture treatment.

Acupressure is similar to acupuncture. It uses the same sites as acupuncture but finger pressure is used in place of needles.

Yoga

Yoga can be thought of as a form of both meditation and exercise. Yoga focuses on creating balance in the body by increasing strength and flexibility. In yoga, prescribed poses are used to increase these attributes. Breathing through the poses is taught, and many people find yoga benefits them in both body and mind. There is a lot of gentle stretching involved in yoga. Yoga is an individual pursuit, not a team endeavor. It is a low-impact exercise which anyone can do, regardless of what kind of physical condition they are in. It can be practiced in a group or in the comfort of a person’s own home. Yoga can be very relaxing and can also increase core strength and reduce muscle pain, and yoga can help you sleep better, too.

Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic care is a popular treatment for fibromyalgia and other conditions that cause musculoskeletal pain. Chiropractors use manipulation of the spine and other joints, as well as soft tissues, to realign the spinal column and reduce pain. Chiropractic may be combined with other therapies to achieve maximum benefit, such as the application of heat or cold packs, massage and exercise. Chiropractors must be licensed to practice in the U.S. and many other countries. They are highly educated and knowledgeable concerning anatomy and physiology of the human body, and this training helps them to provide treatment for a variety of ailments, including fibromyalgia. Chiropractic care is often viewed as a complementary medical treatment, but it is gaining popularity as a mainstream medical practice. Many people who suffer from fibromyalgia find relief in chiropractic care.

Meditation

Meditation has been practiced for centuries and yes, many fibromyalgia patients turn to mindfulness meditation to reduce their pain. It can be defined as the practice of using one’s mind to achieve a certain goal, such as relaxation, a sense of well-being or pain relief. Meditation can be practiced alone, as part of a religious ritual, or in a group. There are many different types of meditation and many methods of achieving a meditative state. Meditation has been shown to lower heart rate, blood pressure and other parameters when studied in the laboratory. Meditation may be as simple as learning controlled breathing techniques or as complicated as learning mantras; it can be as simple or as difficult as the practitioner wishes to make it.

Read More: Fibromyalgia Home Remedies

An example of meditation can be found in laboring women who use controlled breathing to decrease their pain during delivery. The Lamaze method of childbirth was founded on using breathing techniques for each stage of labor, combined with other techniques to relieve tension and pain. Learning to meditate takes time and effort but may help to relieve pain, reduce tension and promote sleep for people with fibromyalgia who are willing to learn meditation techniques.

Many fibromyalgia patients, disenchanted with traditional medical care, turn to alternative treatments to relieve pain and other symptoms. Before participating in any alternative treatment, individuals with fibromyalgia should discuss the intended treatment with their physician to ensure there are no contraindications to therapy. In addition, practitioners of alternative treatments should be thoroughly vetted to ensure that they are licensed to practice in their field. Certain treatments, such as chiropractic, may be covered under some insurance plans, so it may be useful to determine if treatment is covered before beginning. Fibromyalgia alternative treatments may be used in conjunction with traditional medical treatment or alone.