August 2014

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Health Capsule

Mind and Body Therapy for Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a long-lasting disorder marked by widespread pain, tenderness, fatigue, and other symptoms that can interfere with daily life. An estimated 5 million American adults have the condition. It most often affects women, although men and children also can have the disorder. Unfortunately, despite ongoing research, its causes remain unknown.

Fibromyalgia can be difficult to diagnose and treat. Individualized therapy may include conventional medications as well as mind and body approaches, such as exercise, strength training, massage, and acupuncture. But what does the science say about mind and body practices for fibromyalgia? To help you learn more, NIH developed an easy-to-read list—6 Things To Know About Mind and Body Practices for Fibromyalgia—that outlines the current evidence.

The research is still preliminary, but encouraging results suggest that tai chi, qi gong, yoga, massage therapy, acupuncture, and balneotherapy (hydrotherapy) may help relieve some fibromyalgia symptoms.

Be sure to speak with your health care provider before starting to use any mind and body practice.