Understanding Fibromyalgia -Part 1

To understand fibromyalgia you have to understand blood...

To understand fibromyalgia you have to understand blood...

As a doctor, there are a few diseases that are able to create the titter of the 'David Icke effect': simply mentioning them creates a laugh. Fibromylagia is one such disease.

Doctors may laugh but really this disease just exposes their inadequacies, because they simply don't understand it. This is one reason why it is getting more common.

Chinese medicine has a different take on fibromyalgia, and it's profound yet simple understanding can help give sufferers the tools to get better.

In this series of articles I will explain how the body malfunctions in fibromyalgia, what organs are involved and some simple changes you can make to help you cure yourself.

Blood and Qi

In Chinese medicine pain in the body is simply seen as either a failure of Qi or Blood to move smoothly. Qi is the energy that keeps all the trillions of cells in your body in line;  you can see Qi at work in a frog embryo here.

Qi helps push the blood around, moving the red cells (and the white) so all the tissues are kept nourished and soft.

Blood is incredibly flexible stuff; red cells are able to squeeze into spaces half their diameter. This flexibility is incredibly important because, just like our bodies, if we can't flex we get stiff and stuck. 

           Sickle cell anaemia is an example of Blood not moving smoothly.

           Sickle cell anaemia is an example of Blood not moving smoothly.

When scientists look at red cells of patients with fibromylagia they find that many of them are deformed. This deformation means that they too will get stuck, they won't flow smoothly, and this will cause pain.

When we see fibromyalgia in this light it becomes, just as the Chinese have taught, a problem of blood microcirculation. Chinese medicine has always seen this type of pain as caused by 'Blood' not moving smoothly (because the individual cells are misshapen) and becoming 'stagnant'.

This kind of disease process is known to Western medicine too, in the form of sickle cell anaemia.

Sickle cell anaemia causes severe incapacitating 'crisis' where the disease often requires heavy doses of morphine to keep the pain under control. Just like fibromylagia it has relapses and is made worse when ill, and it's pain is often under-appreciated and diagnosed by doctors. Fibromylagia is like a mild version of sickle cell anaemia.

Sickle cell is genetic and difficult to treat but thankfully for those with fibromylagia it is a lot easier to treat. Treating this disease requires giving the body the tools to make healthy Blood. To understand how we need to look further into where Blood comes from and the role of the Spleen.

 Next week:

 Understanding Fibromylagia -Part 2.

The role of the Spleen and Blood

If you suffer from fibromyalgia and would like to discuss with Dr Dan Keown about how Chinese medicine can help please contact here