Evidence for mind, body practice for fibromyalgia

December 26, 2017   |   Evidence in Integrative Healthcare

Although there is insufficient evidence that any natural products can relieve fibromyalgia pain (with the exception of vitamin D supplementation, when deficiencies are present) current randomized clinical trials and systematic reviews are providing encouraging evidence that tai chi, qi gong, yoga, acupuncture, mindfulness and biofeedback may help relieve some fibromyalgia symptoms. The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) advises that both cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) – a therapy focused on understanding how thoughts and behaviors affect pain – and biofeedback, guided visualization, yoga breathing exercises, and non-spiritual meditation that cultivates present moment awareness have been shown to significantly improve symptoms of fibromyalgia. The ACR also recommends integrative medicine such as acupuncture, chiropractic, massage therapy can be useful to manage symptoms as well. Short term use of these therapies offered short term benefits.

It should also be noted that CBT practice, mindfulness, and exercise therapies must be continued for lasting positive effects in patients with chronic pain. Best results are achieved when CBT is combined with exercise, chiropractic, acupuncture, or massage. Providers who treat fibromyalgia or other associated chronic pain patients may want to educate themselves on CBT procedures that may be within scope.