There is a plethora of alternative therapies for Fibromyalgia. Each FM patient is unique in so many ways. We all vary in our degrees of pain, where we hurt most, what medications work, what therapies work, what over-lapping conditions we might have…the list goes on forever! It is important to know what is available to us and educate ourselves in order to better our quality of life and help manage our pain.
The idea of Integrative Medicine was developed to help medical and other health professionals to expand their practices by and integrating accessible, effective Complementary/Alternative Medicine (CAM) protocols for the treatment of their patients. This would bring patients more complete care and give them all the help that is available to improve their overall health. I will be focusing on Chiropractic Therapy and Craniosacral Therapy in this article.
The word “chiropractic” combines the Greek words cheir (hand) and praxis (action) and means “done by hand.” Chiropractic treatment for Fibromyalgia fuses the aspects of the body, mind and spirit. A Chiropractor deals particularly with the muscular, nervous, and skeletal systems (muscles, joints, bones & connective tissues), focusing in the region of the spine. To know if chiropractic therapy will work for you it is a good idea to get regular treatments for at least a 6-8 weeks before determining if it provides relief of your FM symptoms.
Chiropractors have found that interference with Neuromusculoskeletal Systems impairs normal bodily functions, lowering its resistance to chronic pain and diseases such as Fibromyalgia. Chiropractic care works to remove misalignments in the vertebrae, release pinched nerves to allow the body to heal naturally.
Spinal manipulation is done through a variety of techniques. The chiropractor may use his or her fingers or hands to apply pressure to and move the vertebrae slightly beyond their normal range of motion. Treatment may also involve gentle twisting of the head, shoulders, and hips. Heat, ice, corsets, ultrasound, biofeedback, strength and conditioning exercises, and relaxation therapy may be used in addition to spinal manipulation.
My mother now sees a chiropractor who uses a gentle method of adjustments along with natural supplements to relieve her Fibromyalgia symptoms and loves it! She relies on this doctor’s method to help manage her pain and, as a result, she is much more active and her range of motion has dramatically improved.
Craniosacral Therapy was developed by osteopathic physician, John E. Upledger, following extensive scientific studies at Michigan State University, where he served as a clinical researcher and Professor of Bio mechanics.
CST compliments the body’s natural healing processes, and is being used more and more as a preventive health measure because of it’s ability to strengthen resistance to disease, and is effective in the treatment of many conditions associated with pain and dysfunction, including: migraine headaches, chronic neck and back pain, motor-coordination impairments, central nervous system disorders, orthopedic problems, traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries, scoliosis, infantile disorders, learning disabilities, chronic fatigue, emotional difficulties, stress and tension-related problems, neurovascular or immune disorders, Fibromyalgia and other connective-tissue disorders, autism, colic, temporomandibular joint syndrome (TMJ), post-traumatic stress disorder, and post-surgical dysfunction.
Patients can perform one type of craniosacral therapy at home using a “still point inducer”. The inducer is placed on the back of the head at the line of the ear, and the patient rests on it for five to 20 minutes.
There are many other alternatives out there. I will continue to write about them all because I want to give Fibromyalgia sufferers the shortcuts to the information I didn’t have when I was first diagnosed. I constantly watch for new information and treatment options so that we can make informed choices and better our lives!