Acupuncture and associated techniques are regularly used for a broad range of pain, neurological and psychological conditions. The broad systemic affects of acupuncture appear to make it a valid treatment for a wide range of complex systematic conditions such fibromyalgia and other related auto-immune/inflammatory based conditions.
To evaluate the effectiveness of acupuncture for fibromyalgia, Iranian researchers from the Shiraz University of Medical Sciences in Shiraz, Iran, conducted a study comparing treatment with fluoxetine (prozac). Researchers recruited 30 patients with fibromyalgia and evenly divided them into an acupuncture treatment group and a western medicine control group (fluoxetine, prozac). Treatment was offered and was analyzed by various pain scales including the visual analogue scale (VAS) and the fibromyalgia impact questionnaire (FIQ), along with physical inspection of the number of tender areas.
Patients received two weeks of acupuncture three times per week at the points listed below. Fluoxetine was adminstered at 20mg for 8 weeks.
At the conclusion of the study, researchers found that the acupuncture group outperformed the western medicine treatment group along with no side effects. This affect was then measured one year later in a follow up where those who received acupuncture treatment were “significantly better than the control group in all measures.”