Fibromyalgia is a complex condition with often very disparate symptoms from person to person. In some ways the condition is uniquely each persons - not a textbook condition by any means. In general, acupuncture and the underlying Chinese Medicine diagnostic framework is arguably much better at treating complex multivariate conditions vs. western medicine which is more linearly based (although there are certainly conditions where that linear approach works very well).
In this study, researchers from the rheumatology clinic at Santa Casa de Misericórdia in Ponta Grossa, Puerto Rico explored the effectiveness of acupuncture for fibromyalgia pain symptoms.
Using a randomized, double-blind approach with a sham control, researchers recruited 36 patients with fibromyalgia. 21 patients were given appropriately selected acupuncture based on their tcm diagnosis and 15 were given sham acupuncture.
To assess effectiveness the VAS (visual analogue scale) was used both before and after acupuncture and then compared among group. They found that the acupuncture group was essentially between 4 and 7 times more likely to experience reductions in pain symptoms than the control, sham acupuncture, group.
The researchers concluded that, "although small, the statistical power of the sample for these results was very relevant (94.8%)" and "Acupuncture has proven effective in the immediate pain reduction in patients with fibromyalgia".
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