Moving the Qi for Fibromyalgia Relief

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This is part 3 of the fibromyalgia roundtable recap. You can read parts one and two. Part four is coming soon.

In addition to acupuncture, anything that gets the body’s Qi (energy) moving again is likely to be beneficial for people with fibromyalgia. Massage can help greatly, as long as the client’s specific needs are taken into account. According to Linda Spring of Healing Hands Massage Therapy, deep tissue massage is generally not recommended for people with fibromyalgia. Instead, she uses light touch, along with trigger point and polarity work.

Exercise is something that every person with fibromyalgia should do, for general health and to keep the Qi flowing (of course, consult your doctor first). Many patients with fibromyalgia find it hard to exercise, because of their pain and fatigue. However, I strongly believe that exercise is an important component to improving their quality of life. Even if you can only do 5 minutes of walking in place in your living room, do it every day and gradually increase the time as you are able.

Tai chi is a great, low-impact form of exercise, which has been shown to reduce stress, improve bone density, and relieve arthritis symptoms. Yoga and stretching are also helpful. It is important only to attempt gentle yoga, not power or heated (Bikram) yoga. Many people also find exercise with light weights to be helpful, but again, go slow (try starting with a can of beans).

In Chinese medicine theory, the breath also helps to move the Qi (it is also one of the main ways that your lymphatic system circulates and blood returns to your lungs to be oxygenated). Practicing deep breathing techniques, in association with tai chi and yoga or on its own, can be beneficial in preventing stuck Qi and also bringing new Qi (think: oxygen) into the body. Meditation, which also includes deep breathing, can be good at reducing the stress associated with having a chronic illness, therefore preventing negative emotions from impeding the Qi flow.

The final post in the series will discuss nutrition recommendations for fibromyalgia.

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