Can Alternative Medicinal Techniques Treat Fibromyalgia
3.7 million people suffer from fibromyalgia in the United States. 25 percent of people suffering from this health issue are work disabled. It is more common in women than in men. Its symptoms include fatigue, muscle pain, sleeplessness, anxiety and irritable bowel syndrome. Many people are now trying alternative treatment techniques to get relief from fibromyalgia. They either cannot afford the costly and conventional medicinal techniques or are frustrated with the side-effects of modern medicines. The Congress has now formed the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to guide the general public properly on alternative medicines. This article tries to understand how effective herbs and other complementary medicinal practices are in treating fibromyalgia.
Herbs: The herb St. John’s Wort is effective in treating depression naturally. Depression is commonly associated with fibromyalgia. The effectiveness of this herb in treating fibromyalgia is debatable. It is because there is no specific clinical evidence to support the effectiveness of this herb against fibromyalgia.
5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan) Supplements: It is a powerful chemical with which the hormone serotonin is made up of. Hormones are naturally present chemical substances which assist the organs of our body to function properly. Serotonin hormone plays a vital role in regulating our mood and sleep. Imbalance in this hormone can cause sleeplessness and depression. These are a couple of common symptoms associated with fibromyalgia. According to a study published in the Alternative Medicine Review, taking 5-HTP supplements can reduce pain and increase deep sleep in patients.
Magnetic Therapy: Researchers from the University of Virginia carried out a test on 94 people suffering from fibromyalgia. They divided the patients into four groups. Volunteers from group one were made to sleep on specially designed magnetic therapy mattresses, which covered the whole body. The magnetic mattresses of the second group volunteers covered only specific parts of the body with magnetic energy. The other two groups were given either pseudo magnetic therapy treatment or no treatment. At the end of the study, there was great relief from pain in the volunteers of first two groups. No such relief was found in the volunteers from the other two groups. Their results were published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.