I'm in a rather unique situation in that I have a rheumatologist who also practices Chinese medicine right alongside the Western variety. At the same visit in which she diagnosed me with fibromyalgia, she also told me I had blocked chi at the heart.
I didn't know much about either diagnosis, so I researched them both. If you poke around this site, you'll see what I've learned about fibromyalgia. I thought it was high time I told you what I've learned about my diagnosis from the other hemisphere.
"Blocked chi at the heart" actually makes a lot of sense. Chi is energy, and it moves through the body like a river. My worst pain is in my chest, ribcage and abdomen - where this energy would essentially back up if it couldn't move any higher.
While Western medicine doesn't offer us much, Traditional Chinese Medicine (frequently called TCM), has a bit more to offer. I get acupuncture and a custom blend of Chinese herbs, both from my rheumatologist, and (at least for me - everyone is different) they've made a world of difference. I still have pain, fatigue, fibrofog, etc., but a lot less than I used to. My worst day now is about on par with my best day a year ago.
On my own, I've used guided meditation to get my chi flowing more freely, and I've also dabbled in feng shui. I don't know how much this has helped, but both practices can relieve stress, and at the very least they've made me feel like I was doing something positive for myself. I put them firmly in the "it certainly can't hurt" category.
Certainly, not everyone can find a doctor who's trained in both forms of medicine, but if you're at all interested in alternative treatments, you may want to see if you can find someone credible to give you a diagnosis from a different point of view. For help finding a practitioner, read this article from About.com's Alternative Medicine Guide Cathy Wong: How to Find a Complementary/Alternative Practitioner.
Have you considered alternative medicine? Have you had an experience with alternative treatments? How did it work? Share your experiences here or in About.com's Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome forum.
- Suggested Reading:
- Acupuncture for Treating Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Massage, Rolfing, Reiki & Other Bodywork for Treating Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Yoga & Tai Chi for Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Vitamins & Supplements for Treating Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome