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Can Acupuncture treat Fibromyalgia?

Acupuncture has been shown to relieve the symptoms of Fibromyalgia. These symptoms include numbness and tingling, headaches, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, abdominal bloating and constipation and depression.

Fibromyalgia is a widespread non inflammatory painful condition affecting certain muscles and their attachments. It has a lot in common with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and the same patient may be diagnosed as having either or both, depending on the practitioner. (1)


The patient will rarely present with the muscle pains alone and there are usually other accompanying systemic symptoms.

Symptoms often present are:

  • Numbness and tingling
  • Headaches.
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Abdominal bloating and constipation
  • Depression

In Traditional Chinese Medicine Fibromyalgia is seen mainly as a stagnation of Qi in the body, and can often be accompanied by a deficiency in Blood (Xue).

Much research has been done into Fibromyalgia. In one study patients with Fibromyalgia were treated with six sessions of acupuncture. The group had experienced significant symptomatic improvement compared to a group given simulated acupuncture sessions. “This study shows there is something real about acupuncture and its effects on fibromyalgia,” says David Martin, M.D., Ph.D., Mayo Clinic anesthesiologist and the study’s lead investigator. More information on this research is available here.

A typical treatment would include regulating the Qi of the body and nourishing the blood. Depending on your practitioner you may receive a combination of either needling, herbs, and exercises.

Advanced Practitioner Information:

The following information is suitable for students and practitioners of Acupuncure/TCM and contains content which requires advanced knowledge in this field.

Acupuncture & Traditional Chinese Medicine Treatment for Fibromyalgia


(1) Legge, David (2003) Close to the Bone

Related research archive articles:

1.)  Traditional Chinese Medicine for treatment of fibromyalgia: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials.

2.)  Fibromyalgia treatment review.

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