Skeptical at First, Acupuncture Soothed My Fibromyalgia Symptoms

Skeptical at First, Acupuncture Soothed My Fibromyalgia Symptoms

20 comments

  1. Denise Bault says:

    Most research I’ve read says that unfortunately, acupuncture isn’t effective for fibromyalgia. I’m happy it seemed to work for you…for however long you were able to afford it. AND ISN’T THAT THE CRUX OF THE MATTER???? We fibromyalgia sufferers have got to start banding together and writing our legislators to get certain therapies – like massage therapy, acupuncture, etc. – COVERED! If we don’t start shouting from the rooftops that these therapies can help and should be covered under our medical plans, then we will continue to either deplete what little of savings we still have or go without therapy that is proven to be beneficial. Robin, perhaps you could start drafting a letter for us to paste and copy to send to our representatives? That would be a quick and easy way to let them know EXACTLY how we feel! Just a thought…

  2. Janet strahan says:

    Denise, the more therapies that insurance companies are required to cover the more expensive it becomes until it becomes unaffordable. Something to be aware of.

  3. StevefromMA says:

    Glad it worked for you, my one expensive trial was unpleasant and did not work. I guess I expected my acupuncturist be more like Mr. Rogers rather than like a neurologist. After skimming my extensive history she had requested I fill out beforehand, all she said was ” you’re not taking magnesium” in a critical manner. (Never worked for me). A half hour of many needles while on my back and then another half flipped over on my stomach, left under a sunlamp each time, caused nasty congestion, as I had mentioned it would. I left poorer, congested, and with no pain relief. Maybe there are better practitioners or I need to change my expectations.

    • Carrie Anton says:

      Steve, I’m sorry you had a bad experience. Not all practitioners are the same. I feel very fortunate I had an excellent Doctor who was very kind and considerate. He didn’t use a heat lamp with me but apparently it is pretty common to use one. Something about the minerals from the lamp infuse into the body.

      Like I found when I was trying out massage therapists, it is hit or miss finding the right one. I tried out 4 massage therapists before I found the perfect person. Best of luck to you!

  4. Denise Bault says:

    Janet, perhaps I failed to mention I had my own insurance company and was a health insurance agent for over 15 years. I am quite aware that when new state mandates are passed or new modalities of therapy are required to be covered, insurance companies have yet another excuse to raise premiums. SO WHAT? They raised rates when they were required to cover mammograms and pap smears. SO WHAT? They raised rates when Obamacare was finally enacted, after doing back to back to back to back 25% rate increases the four years before it FINALLY went into effect…so they could offset the “losses” they saw coming down the pike. (By the way, anyone bother to look at the compensation packages for the CEO’s of these companies?) Before Obamacare, I had to tell potential clients that had fibromyalgia that they couldn’t get coverage! Thank God those days are gone…or are they?! MY POINT IS: INSTEAD OF COMPLAINING ON A WEBSITE, WE BECOME BETTER, STRONGER, MORE VOCAL ADVOCATES FOR OUR OWN HEALTH CARE REGARDING WHAT WORKS. Because no one knows better than we, the patient. If there are truly 5-12 million people in the U.S. who have fibromyalgia, don’t you think a petition to our “leaders” might have an effect? If you can post here, can’t you can also fill out a petition and send it off electronically? I just filled one out regarding medicinal marijuana in Florida. It passed as of Jan 1st, yet the state is still arguing about how it is to be dispensed, to whom, how long the waiting periods need to be, who can be a caregiver, etc. I certainly let my thoughts be known! And it was done electronically, from my computer, to the people who make the decisions, from the comfort of my own home. So, how ’bout it fellow fibromyalgia sufferers? What are you going to do?

    • Carrie Anton says:

      I worked for 2 major health insurers and what got them to add new benefits or treatments to their plans were the big employers asking for these options. If you have coverage through your employer, talk to the person in charge of the health insurance plan. A lot of employers don’t buy plans that offer these benefits because of the cost. Employees need to request that these benefits are added to their plan. Ask your employer for integrated medicine benefits and natural treatment options.

  5. Sarah L. says:

    There are affordable acupuncture options available! Community acupuncturists charge on a sliding scale so you CAN afford treatment. There are over 150 community acupuncture clinics in the U.S. that charge on a sliding scale of either $15 – $35 or $20 – $40 per treatment, and let you choose how much you want to pay, without asking for income verification. POCA (the People’s Organization of Community Acupuncture) has an online listing of community acupuncture clinics in the U.S. and across the world. Acupuncture doesn’t cure fibromyalgia, but it can help ease the pain, in addition to all of the stress-relief, relaxation, and sense of peace that acupuncture brings. It’s worth a try!

    • Carrie Anton says:

      Thank you for the information Sarah! Very important to know! I recently discovered that my husband’s employer offers free acupuncture, physical therapy and chiropractic care. The only rub is you have to go to their wellness clinic that is 50 miles away from where I live. But I can’t argue with free so I’m going all in. It pays to check with your employer to see what programs they offer. Even though your insurance may not cover certain treatments, your employer may offer discounts or other incentives with certain providers. There are affordable options out there, you just have to know where to look.

      • Tanya says:

        Carrie, I too tried acupuncture for my Fibromyalgia. I had a completely satisfying experience. It help relieve my pains in specifics areas, like my shoulder and hand, etc. I was amazed!! I can not continue due to the cost. I am saddened that I found something that actually helped my pain that was not in a medication form.

        • Carrie Anton says:

          Hi Tanya, I’m so sorry you had to stop your treatments. Did you check into POCA per Sarah L.’s comment above? May be worth a try. I hope you are able to find a provider that is more cost effective for you.

  6. patricia fraser says:

    MedicARE DOES NOT COVER ACUPUNCTURE, WE ARE TALKING $100 PER TREATMENT. IT WORKS IF YOU CAN AFFORD IT BUT YOU HAVE TO GO 12 TIMES AT LEAST.
    WE SHOULD HAVE THE SAME INSURANCE WASHINGTON HAS.

  7. Christine Hughes says:

    I have been having Acupuncture for Fibromyalgia for over 18 months, first weekly sessions and now fortnightly. I find it certainly does help with the pain. I’m in the UK and pay £35.00 a session lasting 1 hour. I also have weekly Reflexology sessions, I’ve been having these for over 2 years at a cost of £25.00 a session. I don’t know where I’d be without Reflexology and Acupuncture, they are the only things that keep me going. Well worth every penny.

  8. HJ says:

    I had my first acupuncture treatment a week and a half ago. It was for neck and lower back pain (I have cervical spondylosis, a torn lumbar disk, SI joint dysfunction and degenerative disc disease). I was skeptical and thought that either I’d feel the same after treatment, or maybe I’d feel better.

    The doctor asked me if I was going back to work afterwards. She frowned. She said she’d advise me to rest, or at least pace myself.

    Some of the needles simply “pinched” as they went in. Others caused burning and a brief sharp pain. I had 23 needles. I laid for 16 minutes (not sure why the odd number) but I do think that’s what she said.

    The doctor who did the treatment is a doctor of physical medicine and rehabilitation (physiatrist). She also practices Western medicine.

    On the bus ride to work, I started feeling nauseated. When I got to work, I started drinking water to clear my system. My body HURT, and pretty badly, too. I have a high pain tolerance. My lower back and my SI Joint area gave me sharp pains and aches. My upper back and shoulders were SORE. I felt very tired and generally felt “beat up.”
    Over two more days, the pain and sense of general unwellness ebbed away. I did have an increase of energy by about the fourth day, but after the modest energy peak, that was it. The fifth day, I was pretty much back to where I was pre-treatment.

    I messaged the doctor, who said that she may have used too many needles, that I might be “vulnerable.” (I think she means “sensitive.”)
    She wants to try again with fewer needles. Personally, I’m more inclined to ask her to do more trigger point injections (shallow injections into the muscle of a lidocaine/numbing medication). These were beneficial for my muscle spasms, but my previous doctor only did them on my upper back and shoulder areas.

    I’d like to discuss possible lower back and SI Joint treatments that are alternatives to acupuncture.

    I wanted to share this — my reaction apparently isn’t typical, but I was utterly unprepared. I’ve heard wonderful things about acupuncture from others, and still remained skeptical yet curious. I am glad I tried it, but reluctant to agree to additional treatment.

  9. Jennie Garland says:

    I regularly go to Acupuncture here in Queanbeyan, New South Wales, Australia and I have a FANTASTIC Acupuncturist- she certainly helps me, however like massage therapists it really comes down to the practitioner – when she was on maternity leave her replacement acupuncturist gave me no relief at all, so please don’t give up – try and find an intuitive practitioner!

  10. Denise Bault says:

    Great advice! Especially for those working for large employers. Unfortunately, I am not one of them…along with about 20 or so million other folks in the U.S. who will lose their benefits if Trump or the Republicans have their way… I find it ironic that not one person has commented on STARTING A MOVEMENT. And I’m not talking about those of us with constipation!

  11. Paula Bruno says:

    I am in Austin, TX so my contribution here might not be the most useful, but…have you tried tui na? It is Chinese bodywork therapy and I, myself, have had great results with my patients using acupuncture (in student clinic) and then tui na in my office (I’m already a certified practitioner for the bodywork). Another really useful therapy is tai chi, which approaches the issue from yet another perspective.

    Here is a blog post I wrote on the subject:

    https://twoheartswellness.com/2016/06/19/fibromyalgia-relief-and-ancient-chinese-medicine-tai-chi-acupuncture-and-tui-na/

    For those who struggle to pay for acupuncture/TCM, here are a couple tips:

    1. If there is an acupuncture school in your area then there is a student clinic. You can get great care at student clinics and it’s cheap. Next step of course is community clinic or sliding-scale.

    2. Some places, especially if it’s a new practitioner, might offer packages. It’s a little more up front but it’s cheaper.

    If you don’t love your practitioner, find someone else. Some people use a lot of needles. Others use few. It really depends. Personally, I am conservative with the needles on the first visit or two until I see how the person reacts. I also feel that there needs to be more than one way to approach (as you can see in my article). Diet changes, lifestyle, all of that…but patients are best served when they feel like they and the practitioner are a team and that there is respect and good communication.

    I will all of you the very best of luck!

    • Carrie Anton says:

      Paula, Thank you so much for all the info! I’ve never heard of tui na but I’m going to look into it. I have heard of tai chi but never tried it yet even though I’ve heard wonderful things about the benefits. I also plan to check out your blog. I prefer to use natural methods for pain relief and I love to learn about different treatments. You provided a wealth of information that I feel is very beneficial to chronic pain sufferers. Thank you again!

    • Carrie Anton says:

      I’m sorry to hear you had to stop due to the expense as I did. Please see Paula Bruno’s comment on this thread. You may be able to find a school near by that will be more affordable for you. I recently found out that I have access to free acupuncture at the wellness center run by my husband’s employer. I have yet to utilize it but I will soon! Best of luck to you!

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