How Tai Chi Can Ease The Symptoms Of Fibromyalgia

Little is known about fibromyalgia particularly its exact underlying causes which make it pretty difficult to treat. One vital component of virtually all forms of chronic pain plans of treatment is exercise and fibromyalgia is no exception.

Exercise, for fibromyalgia sufferers, may seem dangerous or impossible. The body uses pain as a warning sign to stop what a person is doing; it only seems natural to take it easy if movement causes you pain. However, the opposite is true with chronic pain, taking it easy when you’re experiencing chronic pain is counterproductive. Exercise may actually decrease the fatigue and pain that goes with fibromyalgia because exercise releases painkilling chemicals called endorphins in the body and builds your endurance.

With aching joints and muscles, going for a run or lifting weights may not be the most ideal choices for you. Happily, there is a wide range of exercises that can greatly benefit people suffering from fibromyalgia without exhausting their energy.

Qi Gong

Qi gong is an ancient Chinese slow movement healing practice that puts a lot of emphasis on meditation and less emphasis on defensive movements. Research involving a hundred participants all with fibromyalgia was conducted. The patients were evaluated regarding the impacts of a three and a half day qi gong exercises followed by two months of home practice for three to five hours a week. Researchers who did the study compared results for both delayed for six months intervention and immediate intervention. For months delayed intervention group was treated with standard care and awaited treatment, the immediate intervention group experienced positive outcomes over the delayed group which spoke well to the efficacy of qi gong over standard care. The immediate care group tallied a mean difference of 18.46 points on the FIQ; the average score of the delay group dropped by 17.98 points once it was administered qi gong therapy. The primary result of pain decreased for both groups, by an average of less than two points, a slightly substantial outcome. The research saw that the best outcomes were registered by participants who performed five or more hours of qigong a week; only slightly good results were seen to those who practiced for three hours or less.

Tai Chi

A meditative and slow moving form of martial art, Tai chi was first developed in the 13th century. In a randomized control trial done at the Tufts University School of Medicine, researchers compared the effects of two 1-hour sessions of tai chi each week on fibromyalgia patients to the other fibromyalgia patients who were treated with stretching exercises and wellness education. The most obvious result pertained to scores on the FIQ (Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire) that ranged from one to one hundred with one hundred being the most severe or the worst. The patients in the tai chi group got a 62.9 baseline mean score and. after the 12-week intervention period.  The tai chi group got a 35.1 score compared to a 58.6 and 68 in the control group. Twelve weeks after the end of the research, the good results were still maintained.

Those two studies reveal that tai chi generates more good results for less time invested. Although this is true, one must also keep in mind that the researches only studied small study populations and there was not much research done to boost their outcomes. Those studies suggest that both motion therapies tend to tend to lead to good results on patients with fibromyalgia. Further research should be done to find out whether one is superior over the other and to finally prove the efficacy of qigong.

Gentle and slow movement therapy is perhaps the most effective way for fibromyalgia patients to perform their exercise. Qi gong and Tai chi are also endowed extra benefits that include relaxation therapy, which is a valuable therapy for treating chronic pain conditions that have high correlations with depression and anxiety. Hope you consider pursuing these safe and natural movement/motion therapies.

Emily Farish Acupuncture is an acupuncture clinic in Spokane, WA providing Chinese medicine treatments for many health conditions.

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