qi gong for fibromyalgia: a study

Before you say, “but I don’t have fibro, I have RSD,” read this anyway.  There’s a chance that if you’re in the midst of a gnarly pain cycle, you might have some fibro pain in there.  And qi gong just might be the thing to relieve it.

“Many subjects reported reductions in other FMS symptoms, and two reported they were completely symptom-free. Results from the 3-month follow-up indicated some slight rebound from the post-treatment measures, but still much better than those observed at baseline.”

How often do you read the words “completely symptom-free?”

This study is based on external qi gong.  That’s when a practitioner applies qi gong energy to you rather than you meditating and cultivating energy internally by yourself.  Think of it like getting acupuncture needles from an acupuncturist but there’s no needles.  In this particular study, the practitioner administered “acupressure, qi emission, qi balancing, and magnetic cupping on each individual.”  Below is a link to the study.  These results (listed below) are impressive.


Design:  Ten patients with FMS completed five to seven sessions of EQT over 3 weeks with pre- and posttreatment assessment and a 3-month follow-up. Each treatment lasted approximately 40 minutes.

Outcome Measures: Tender point count (TPC) and Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ) were the primary measures. McGill Pain Questionnaire (MPQ), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), anxiety, and self-efficacy were the secondary outcomes.

The results:

mean tender point count (TPC): reduced from 136.6 to 59.5

mean McGill Pain Questionnaire (MPQ): decreased from 27.0 to 7.2;

mean Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ): reduced from 70.1 to 37.3

mean Beck Depression Inventory (BDI): decreased from 24.3 to 8.3



Do you have fibromyalgia?

If you have RSD, there is a good chance you have fibro too.  I have it every now and then but, thankfully, not all the time. They test you by palpating certain points on your body to see if they are tender. I think if you have 12 out of 18 tender points you are considered to have fibromyalgia. Maybe it’s 11. I don’t remember.

I could tell the other day when i had a massage during my manicure that she was hitting tender points on my arms and it hurt. I had acupuncture yesterday and asked him to do moving cupping (with the oil) on my upper arms and back. It made a world of difference! It was painful during but my muscles are much less tight and a lot less painful to the touch.

Happy Friday!! Hope you are feeling well.

Do you have joint pain? Are you inflamed? Do you have muscle spasms?

Ask your acupuncturist about cupping. This was a game changer for me in 2009.  To this day, it relieves my joint pain, muscle spasms and cools my inflammation better than anything else and within minutes.

“Cupping is used to relieve back and neck pains, stiff muscles, anxiety, fatigue, migraines, rheumatism, and even cellulite. For weight loss and cellulite treatments, oil is first applied to the skin, and then the cups are moved up and down the surrounding area.”

I find that the oil/moving cupping can be easier on the skin if you are extra sensitive that particular day.  Initially cupping was VERY painful for me but it helped to desensitize me over time.



Week 3

Week 3 of my little experiment and i am seeing some improvement. Dr. Lee even grabbed both lower legs today after cupping and said “you realize that was a lot of pressure. you could never handle that before. You always flinched.” 

The little things…  🙂


Week Two: The Experiment

Well, my head is killing me but (bummer that i can’t really concentrate on TV – see post below. I am nuts) I am hopeful we are onto something. When I told Dr Lee my plan last week he looked at me and said he’d been waiting for me to ask for that, like i was Luke to his Yoda. It was a funny moment. Was asking him the way to know I was ready? And more seriously, does this mean i’m a Jedi?

So on the last two Mondays i have gone for Swedish massage (mainly for the benefit to my lower legs) but very light touch so as to not overstimulate the nerves. The first Monday night things were rough and by Tuesday morning just about every muscle was in spasm. On Tuesday afternoon I went and asked for moving cupping on my lower legs to attempt to desensitize them. I’ve been able to desensitize my feet much better than my lower legs. This just gets very painful.

After some screams that i imagine were akin to those you hear in a  North Korean prison, the electric feelings dissipated a bit and, of course, the muscles stopped their spasm. Yesterday I went for the Swedish massage and last night i was ok. This morning things were a bit off and my headache has been awful today (this was not helped by a run-in with an “eccentric?” neighbor).

I had moving cupping again today and i was even able to withstand some cups sitting there on their own for a bit and not screaming. Hoping next week will be even better.  I have egged on my own headache by exciting my nerves so I only have myself to blame for that one!


Day of full body massage: awesome

Night of full body massage: ut oh.

Next day after fully body massage: Sh*t.

I can’t WAIT to see Dr Lee today for some moving cupping to stop these spasms! Tried epsom bath last night and even added cucumber to the water for the extra magnesium. No dice.

Dr. Lee held out on me until recently with this where he puts some oil on my skin and lightly moves the glass bulb for cupping along my skin. Best feeling ever and knocks out the crazy spasms in minutes.

Not going to cancel my next massage because i want to see if i can desensitize the nerves this way. Massage then cupping if the spasms hit.