Fibromyalgia and Complementary Medicine

Wednesday, September 15, 2010
The word fibromyalgia comes from fibro meaning tendons,  myo for muscles; algie for pain. In other words: pain all over! It affects mainly women in their late 30s and in their 40s. Waking up with generalized pain and feeling run down are usual complaints.

Fibromyalgia is often diagnosed as part of a chronic fatigue problem where the pain component is more important for the patient than the fatigue element.

Fibromyalgia is diagnosed when there is presence of several symptoms including (but not limited to): muscle pain, muscular fatigue, stiffness, chronic pain in the neck and shoulders, restless sleep, headaches, numbness. Usual the diagnosis is given after all other illness that could produce such discomforts have been eliminated.

Practitioners will test to see if at least 11 of the 18 tender sites on the body present with pain: if they do,  fibromyalgia is very likely the problem.


Certain studies point to food sensitivities or allergies as aggravating factors in fibromyalgia. At the heart of the illness, present-day knowledge thinks there are hypersensitive neurons, inflammation and damages cells. It would explain the aggravation of symptoms seen when allergenic foods are consumed, since those foods usually produce an inflammation reaction, exacerbating sensitized neurons.

Treatments and Complementary Approaches

Fibromyalgia can be naturally treated thanks to several approaches aimed at the body, the mind and  at the combination of the two. These various approaches, are applied simultaneously and in different combinations, to yield optimal results for the fibromyalgic person. Light exercise is recommended, as well as massages and healthy & balanced eating which relies on fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and legumes. The  fibromyalgic should avoid fast food (of course!), too much animal products as well as sugar.  It is also wise to check for any food allergies or sensitivities. Often, a nutritional supplement will be suggested.

Rest and proper stress management are crucial. It is imperative to have a balanced lifestyle and eliminate (or greatly reduce) any source of stress. Since rest is essential, proper sleeping habits must be encouraged, with the help of some supplements, if needed.

Acupuncture has showed some good results for some fibromyalgic patients, by stimulating sensitive points.

Various natural and effective supplements can help manage and alleviate fibromyalgic symptoms. A qualified naturopath will want to discuss the possibities with the patient. Finding the proper combination of body-mind approaches that will provide optimal results requires teamwork. Worthwhile teamwork, according to those successfully managing their fibromyalgia with natural approaches. 

Relaxingly yours,


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