Alternative Treatments for Fibromyalgia

Acupuncture, Massage, and Meditation to Ease Fibromyalgia Symptoms

There are multiple alternative treatments for fibromyalgia that can help ease your pain and other fibromyalgia symptoms. From acupuncture to massage to meditation, alternative treatments can provide you with a little extra pain relief.

The treatments below are part of the complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) family of treatments, which is the broad name applied to treatments that aren't part of mainstream medicine.

Complementary treatments are used in conjunction with mainstream treatments, such as physical therapy and medications. Alternative treatments are used instead of mainstream treatments.

In-depth Articles on Other Fibromyalgia Treatments

Acupuncture for Fibromyalgia
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese practice: It revolves around the belief that everyone has an energy force called Chi (or Qi). If your Chi is blocked, it can create pain and/or illness. To help prevent this, acupuncturists insert tiny needles to free up Chi channels (called meridians) in your body. These needles stay in your body for about 20 to 40 minutes.

Acupuncture may also trigger the release of endorphins—feel-good hormones produced by your brain. These hormones are your body's natural painkillers, and they can help decrease your perception of pain.

Biofeedback for Fibromyalgia
Biofeedback uses a machine that calculates how your body reacts to stress by measuring specific stress markers, such as muscle tension, body temperature, and your heart rate.

With biofeedback, you'll learn how to control your body's reaction to stress, which can ultimately help relieve your pain and other fibromyalgia symptoms.

Massage for Fibromyalgia
There are hundreds of massage techniques available to treat fibromyalgia—from Swedish massage to deep tissue massage. Massage can relieve the chronic pain associated with fibromyalgia and increase your range of motion. During a typical massage session, a certified massage therapist manipulates your muscle tissues, which can help relieve your pain. You can work with a massage therapist to determine the type of massage that's right for you.

Regular massage is typically considered a safe and highly effective way to ease fibromyalgia-related chronic pain, but massage isn't right for everyone, including people with arthritis, osteoporosis, and skin infections. That's why it's best to talk to your doctor about whether massage is an option for you.

Meditation for Fibromyalgia
Practicing meditation creates a feeling of peace and deep relaxation, which can ultimately decrease your fibromyalgia-related pain. With meditation, you discover ways to control how your body responds to stressful situations.

Repeating a positive phrase to yourself or imagining a place that brings you peace, such as the beach, are some examples of meditation techniques.

Boost your mood and reduce your pain by setting aside a few minutes every day to relax and meditate.

Although these alternative treatments for fibromyalgia can help you manage chronic pain and other symptoms, you should have a conversation with your doctor to determine a fibromyalgia treatment plan for you. It's possible that you'll need to find the right mix of treatments to get maximum relief from chronic pain and other fibromyalgia symptoms.

Updated on: 11/18/15