Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine Treatment for Fibromyalgia:

TCM categorizes fibromyalgia as a blockage in the flow of Qi (energy) and blood throughout the pathways in the body. Pain in TCM indicates the presence of a blockage, and conditions like fibromyalgia are classified as Painful Bi Syndromes. The immediate causes of Bi syndromes is environmental: pathogenic influences of wind, cold, and dampness penetrate the body's defenses and lodge in the muscles, tendons, and joints, creating obstruction and causing pain, stiffness, and other symptoms. Usually the Qi (energy) is strong enough to resist the invasion by these environmental pathogens but there are several factors that can predispose a person to Bi syndrome. Stress, general weakness, lack of adequate sleep or proper nutrition, overwork, genetic predisposition to weakness, or insufficient exercise are all possible factors. Acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine aims to treat the specific symptoms that are unique to each individual depending on their constitution, emotional state, intensity and location of their pain, digestive health, sleeping patterns and an array of other signs and symptoms. Therefore, each person will receive a unique, customized treatment with different acupuncture points, different herbs and different lifestyle. Acupuncture and Chinese medicine provide relief of symptoms by balancing yin and yang, and adjusting the circulation of qi and the blood. Local measures such as heat, therapeutic massage, cupping and moxibustion in specific regions also help to reduce the pain. A regular plan, with long-term, consistent integrative treatment is necessary in patients with fibromyalgia.

edmonton acupuncture pain management

General Causes and Patterns for Fibromyalgia:

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine for fibromyalgia. Pain is caused by the stagnation of energy or fluids. When flow is restrained or interrupted, pain occurs, alerting us to the problem. However, one person may exhibit more than one pattern. The patterns areLiver Qi Stagnation/Constraint: According to Traditional Chinese medicine, the liver is responsible for the smooth flow of Qi (energy) throughout the body and smoothing our emotions.When the liver function becomes constrained, there is a tendency for the liver to become "heated". Not only does the liver function become impaired, but the liver overacts on other systems. It can affect the Heart function causing insomnia and the Spleen function and Large Intestine functions causing digestive difficulties. With Liver Qi stagnation and constraints there is typically an emotional imbalance causing frustration.

Liver Qi Stagnation/Constraint. Symptoms include

  • Anxiety
  • Emotional instability
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches and/or migraines
  • Neck and Shoulder pain
  • Irritable bowel syndrome

Blood Deficiency

usually caused by Spleen Qi deficiency. When Blood becomes deficient, the Heart and Liver are especially affected. Main symptoms of heart blood deficiency:

  • Sallow or a pale complection
  • Poor memory
  • Insomnia
  • Dream disturbed sleep and waking up tired
  • Dissiness
  • Muscle weakness and numbness
  • Blurred vision
  • Pale lips

Qi Deficient

Indicates that there is not enough Qi to perform a required function in the body. Each organ can have a deficiency and the signs and symptoms will vary with each. The Lungs and the Spleen are easily and often affected in Qi Deficiency because of their important role in Qi production, but any organ can be affected.

  • Lung Lung Qi Deficiency - Symptom include cough, shortness of breath, and Sweating
  • Spleen Qi Deficiency - Symptoms include poor appetite, Loose Stools, chronic fatigue, weakness of the limbs, Pale and swollen tongue, prolonged headache, and dizziness
  • Heart Qi deficiency - Symptoms include palpitations, a thin-wiry or thin-weak pulse, exhaustion, insomnia, night sweats, and shortness of Breath
  • Kidney Qi Deficiency - Symptoms include frequent urination, lower back pain, poor memory, dizziness, vertigo, and tinnitus

Qi Stagnation and Blood stasis

Emotional stress or trauma is the most common origin of this pattern or by invasion of pathogenic cold and stagnation of Qi and blood. Qi can promote blood circulation and blood can carry Qi. Since Qi and blood circulate continuously inside the body. Symptoms include:

  • Aches and pains in the whole body
  • Headaches
  • Depression or restlessness
  • Distending pain or migratory pain
  • Purple coloured tongue
  • Distending pain of breast before or after menstruation
  • Purple coloured menstruation with blood clot, or amenorrhea

Kidney Deficiency

In acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine, the Kidney is the internal organ which is responsible for reproduction, growth, and aging. When Kidney energy is insufficient to support normal growth and development, or becomes depleted by lifestyle factors, many health problems can result, including infertility. Kidney Deficiency is the most common diagnosis in infertility.

Kidney yin deficiency

  • Irregular period, scanty and light coloured flow
  • Nocturnal emission, or dry vagina in females, and premature ejaculation in males
  • Dizziness, vertigo, Ringing in the ears, hearing loss, Forgetfulness, sleep disturbance
  • Chronic low back soreness or weakness
  • Anxiety
  • Night sweating, Heat flushes in the afternoon or evening
  • Dry throat (worse at night), thirst, constipation, dark and scanty urine
  • Tongue is red and dry with little or no coat and may also have cracks
  • Pulse is thready and rapid

Kidney Qi deficiency

  • Frequent urination
  • Possible lower back pain
  • Poor memory
  • Dizziness, Vertigo, Tinnitus
  • Pale tongue proper
  • Deep, weak possibly tight pulse

Kidney deficiency leading to excessive water

  • General edema with greater severity in the lower extremities
  • Abdominal distention, scanty urine
  • Short breathing, cough and asthma with sputum gurgling in the throat
  • Palpitations, asthma aggravated by exertion
  • Chilliness and cold extremities
  • Flabby tongue body with white coating
  • Deep thready pulse


Imagine a sticky substance like phlegm adhering to every cell in your body. Most of us think of phlegm as something that is restricted to the respiratory system, however, given the right conditions phlegm can turn up throughout the body. In the case of FMS it is often lodged in the muscle tissue causing stagnation and pain. This is one of the factors that make FMS so difficult to treat. Western medicine has no way of recognizing or clearing dampness from the tissues.