Treating Fibromyalgia Workshop


Fibromyalgia is a relatively uncommon health condition, so there’s no need to worry excessively. Approximately 2 out of every 100 adults suffer from fibromyalgia, with women being more affected than men. In fact, the ratio of women to men with fibromyalgia is 9 to 1.

Moreover, if you are a woman over the age of 50, you are more prone to developing fibromyalgia. Among women aged 70 to 79, about 7.4% experience symptoms of fibromyalgia. These symptoms typically involve widespread pain that affects both sides of the body, persistent fatigue, and difficulties with concentration. Additionally, it is common for individuals with fibromyalgia to experience symptoms such as anxiety, migraines, depression, and irritable bowel syndrome.

To determine if you indeed have fibromyalgia, a visit to the hospital for diagnosis is necessary. In the meantime, this article will outline the acupuncture treatment points recommended by my friend’s doctor for alleviating fibromyalgia pain.

what is fibromyalgi?

The term fibromyalgia can be broken down to (FIBRO) refers to fibrous tissue. (MY) refers to the muscle, and (ALGIA) refers to pain.

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that predominantly affects women, occurring more frequently in them compared to men. It is characterized by widespread muscle pain, accompanied by heightened sensitivity and extreme tenderness in various areas of the body. Additionally, individuals with fibromyalgia often experience disturbances in their sleep patterns.

Fibromyalgia is a complex and often misunderstood disorder that primarily affects the way the brain processes pain signals. Here are some key points to know about fibromyalgia:

  • Pain and Tender Points: The hallmark symptom of fibromyalgia is widespread pain and tenderness throughout the body. These tender points are specific areas on the body that are more sensitive to pressure. However, the diagnosis of fibromyalgia no longer relies solely on tender points, as this approach has evolved over time.
  • Widespread Pain: The pain associated with fibromyalgia is not limited to a single area or joint; it’s widespread and can move around the body. It’s often described as a deep, persistent ache that can vary in intensity.
  • Other Symptoms: In addition to pain, fibromyalgia can cause a range of other symptoms, including fatigue, sleep disturbances (such as insomnia or non-restorative sleep), cognitive difficulties often referred to as “fibro fog,” headaches, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and heightened sensitivity to sensory stimuli like light, noise, and temperature changes.
  • Diagnosis: Diagnosing fibromyalgia can be challenging because there is no definitive test or single cause. Instead, doctors typically rely on a combination of clinical evaluation and ruling out other conditions with similar symptoms. The 2016 criteria established by the American College of Rheumatology include assessing the presence of widespread pain and assessing the severity of symptoms.
  • Causes and Triggers: The exact cause of fibromyalgia is still unknown, but researchers believe it involves a combination of genetic, environmental, and neurobiological factors. Trauma, infections, physical or emotional stress, and certain genetic predispositions have all been suggested as potential triggers.
  • Treatment:Managing fibromyalgia usually involves a multimodal approach. This may include a combination of medications (such as pain relievers, antidepressants, and anticonvulsants), physical therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, exercise, and lifestyle modifications to improve sleep quality and reduce stress.
  • Challenges: One of the challenges people with fibromyalgia face is that it’s an invisible illness; there are no obvious outward signs, which can lead to skepticism from others who may not understand the extent of the person’s symptoms. This lack of visible symptoms can sometimes make it difficult for others to empathize.
  • Quality of Life: Fibromyalgia can significantly impact a person’s quality of life, affecting their ability to work, engage in social activities, and perform daily tasks. Coping with chronic pain and its associated symptoms can lead to feelings of frustration, isolation, and depression.
  • Research and Awareness:  Research into fibromyalgia is ongoing, and as understanding of the condition improves, treatments are also evolving. Organizations and advocacy groups work to raise awareness and provide support for individuals living with fibromyalgia.

If you suspect you have fibromyalgia or are experiencing symptoms similar to those described, it’s important to consult a medical professional for proper evaluation and guidance.

Given that fibromyalgia is primarily characterized by pain, acupuncture has demonstrated its effectiveness in providing relief. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) theory suggests that when there is a stagnation of energy flow (Qi), it leads to a stagnation of blood, resulting in pain. Acupuncture and cupping therapy work by regulating Qi and blood, as well as dispelling cold and eliminating dampness. This approach helps to relieve pain and enhance overall functioning.

Furthermore, a recent study supports the idea that acupuncture can be beneficial for fibromyalgia pain management. It revealed that a significant percentage of fibromyalgia patients (ranging from 66 to 99 percent) complement their medication treatments with adjunct therapies like acupuncture or massage.

Can acupuncture exacerbate the symptoms of fibromyalgia?

Acupuncture does not lead to a worsening of fibromyalgia pain. Several studies indicate that acupuncture is a safe treatment option for fibromyalgia pain. However, there is very limited research supporting acupuncture as a treatment for fibromyalgia pain.

Alternative placebo interventions are utilized to address pain, improve sleep quality, reduce fatigue, and promote overall well-being. Emerging research supports acupuncture as a more effective adjunct to traditional medications and exercise for managing fibromyalgia pain compared to relying solely on medications and exercise.

In addition to its application in fibromyalgia treatment, acupuncture has demonstrated effectiveness in relieving various symptoms associated with fibromyalgia pain. Its therapeutic effects encompass pain reduction, enhancement of sleep patterns, and alleviation of anxiety and depression.

What are the acupressure points for fibromyalgia?

To gain a deeper understanding of the specific acupressure points for fibromyalgia pain, it is important to grasp the principles upheld by Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) regarding the underlying causes of fibromyalgia. According to TCM, fibromyalgia pain stems from stagnation of liver Qi energy, deficiency in Qi and blood, stagnation of Qi and blood, or kidney deficiency. For certain individuals with fibromyalgia pain, one or more of these factors contribute to the onset of their condition.

Furthermore, fibromyalgia pain tends to manifest along the meridians of the large intestine, small intestine, stomach, gallbladder, spleen, bladder, and liver. As a result, acupuncture treatment for fibromyalgia targets specific points along these meridians.

Here are some acupuncture points that are beneficial for relieving fibromyalgia pain:




DU20, also known as Baihui in Chinese or “Hundred Meetings” in English, is an acupuncture point located on the Governing Vessel. Stimulating this point can help alleviate symptoms of fibromyalgia pain. It is situated on the head, approximately 5.0 cun from the midpoint of your hairline. To locate it easily, you can trace a line from your earlobe to the center of your head.

This particular acupuncture point is effective in treating various conditions such as dizziness, insomnia, coma, and aphasia. If you are looking to promote height growth in children, GV-20 is one of the acupuncture points used to stimulate growth.

Gallbladder 20, also known as Fengchi in Chinese or “Wind Pool” in English, is an acupuncture treatment point in the Gallbladder meridian and is effective in alleviating symptoms of fibromyalgia pain. It is located on the sides of the back of the neck. You can easily locate it by tracing your finger from the ear bone to the groove where the neck muscles meet the skull.

Stimulating this Gallbladder meridian point will help relieve cold symptoms, alleviate nasal congestion, and relieve any pain in your neck. Gallbladder 20 is also one of the acupressure points for the eyes if you have strained your eyes too much.

Acupuncture Point: Gallbladder 21

Jianjing or Shoulder Well is another acupuncture point in the Gallbladder meridian that helps with fibromyalgia pain. It is located on the back part of your shoulder. It is the midpoint between the shoulder tip and the midline.

Applying downward pressure to massage this acupuncture point for five seconds will result in less dizziness and relief from neck pain. Additionally, Gallbladder 21 is effective in improving breastfeeding, alleviating headaches, and easing labor difficulties. If you are an office worker, you should also be aware of the benefits of acupuncture point DU 16.

Small Intestine 11

Small Intestine 11 is an acupuncture point in the Small Intestine meridian that serves as one of the pressure points for relieving fibromyalgia pain. In Chinese, it is referred to as Tianzong, which translates to Heavenly Gathering in English. This acupuncture treatment point is located on the back, in the middle of your shoulder, at the level of the fourth thoracic vertebra.

Stimulating this acupuncture point relaxes pain, opens the chest, and enhances breast benefits. For this reason, SI-11 is clinically used to treat arm and shoulder pain, suppress asthma, and is also one of the acupuncture points in reflexology for sweating disorders.

Colon 11

Colon 11 is one of the acupuncture treatment points in the Large Intestine meridian for fibromyalgia pain. It is known as Quchi in Chinese, which translates to “Pool at the Crook” in English. To locate this acupuncture point, bend your arm and the point at the end of the crease formed on the outer part of the bent elbow is LI-11.

In traditional Chinese medicine, Quchi is considered a He-Sea point in the Large Intestine meridian, which means it is highly suitable for clearing heat from the meridian, cooling the blood, and dispelling external heat. Clinically, LI-11 is used to relieve fever, sore throat, menstrual irregularities, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. If you frequently play tennis, you should also consider using acupuncture and the tennis elbow point.

Colon 10

Another acupuncture point in the Large Intestine meridian that should be used for alleviating fibromyalgia pain is LI-10. It is called Shousanli in Chinese and Arm Three Miles in English. You will find this acupuncture point on the outer part of your forearm, at the point where the third finger rests when you bend your elbow at a 90-degree angle and place three fingers below the elbow crease.

LI-10 helps regulate blood and Qi as well as relieve pain, which is why it is one of the acupuncture treatment points for neck pain. It is also effective in treating abdominal pain, paralysis in the upper body parts, and diarrhea. Research shows that combining LI-10 with ST-36, when stimulated together, ensures regular electrical activity of the stomach.

Colon 4


Acupoint  LI-4 or Hegu is another acupuncture point in the Large Intestine meridian for alleviating fibromyalgia pain. You will find LI-4 on the muscle that bulges when you press your thumb and index finger together.

Being classified as a Yuan-source point in the Large Intestine meridian,  LI-4 is effective in treating head and facial disorders. It can easily address issues such as body pain, facial swelling, toothache, and neck pain by stimulating LI-4. It is also useful for detoxification if desired, using acupuncture point 5 Sp.

PC 6


Acupuncture Point: PC-6 Neiguan, also known as Inner Gate or  PC-6, is an acupuncture point for fibromyalgia pain on the wrist. You can find it by directing the palm of your hand upwards and placing three fingers on your arm above the wrist crease. The point between the tendons where the third finger (index finger) rests is PC-6. Once located, massage the point by applying downward pressure for five seconds.

 PC-6 is one of the three Heart pressure points. It is also clinically used to treat chest congestion, chest pain, epilepsy, palpitations, cough, and stroke. According to several research studies, PC-6 relieves nausea and vomiting in pregnant women.

Heart 7

Heart 7,  Shenmen, or Spirit Gate, is a highly important heart acupuncture point. You can find it at the wrist crease, parallel to the base of the little finger.


According to TCM, Shenmen is classified as a Yuan-source point of the Heart meridian. This makes it function as a regulator of heart blood and a calming point for the mind. For this reason, HT- 7 is considered suitable for treating insomnia, heart pain, chest pain, and epilepsy.  HT-7 is also one of the acupuncture treatment points for hot flashes.

San Jiao 3

Zhong Zhu, or Central Islet, is an acupuncture point in the Triple Burner meridian and is effective in managing fibromyalgia pain. You will find this acupuncture point on the backside of your finger joint, in the groove formed by the tendons of your fourth and fifth fingers.

In addition to relieving fibromyalgia pain symptoms, TE-3 is also clinically used to treat headaches, upper back pain, and shoulder pain. It is one of the acupuncture treatment points for trigger finger. According to current research, when stimulating  TE-3 , it activates the anterior, middle, and posterior hypothalamic areas.

Spleen 10

Known as Xuehai in Chinese, it is one of the acupuncture points in the Spleen meridian that helps in treating fibromyalgia pain. To locate  SP-10, bend your knee at a ninety-degree angle and pinpoint the point that is 2.5 cun away from the knee cap on the inner side of your thigh.

Stimulating  SP-10 increases blood circulation in the body. It also cools your blood, regulates the menstrual cycle, and improves your skin condition. For this reason, SP-10 is clinically used to treat eczema, irregular menstruation, uterine bleeding, and acne. SP-10 in conjunction with acupuncture point  LV13 will help resolve many digestive system problems.

Stomach 32:

Stomach 32 is one of the acupuncture points along the stomach meridian that requires knowing if you are suffering from myofascial pain. It is referred to as Futu in Chinese, which translates to “Resting Rabbit” in English. The acupuncture point is located on the outer part of the thigh, 6 cun above the knee cap.

When you stimulate Futu, it helps remove obstructions along the stomach meridian and relieves pain. That’s why this acupuncture point is clinically used to treat paralysis in the lower body, lower back pain, and knee pain.

Stomach 36:

Stomach 36 is another acupuncture point for applying pressure on the stomach channel for people suffering from myofascial pain. The acupuncture point, known as ST36, is located below the knee cap, precisely four fingers below the knee at the border of the leg bone.

In traditional Chinese medicine,  ST36 is classified as the He-Sea point of the stomach channel, meaning it is the appropriate acupuncture point for treating Qi disorders in the channel. Clinically, stimulating ST36 can relieve stomach pain, treat abdominal bloating, and help manage asthma. It is also an acupuncture point used for alleviating allergies.

Spleen 6:

Spleen 6, known as Sanyinjiao in Chinese, can be located by placing four fingers above your ankle, where your little toe rests. The point around your fourth finger (index finger) is SP-6.

Due to the classification of SP-6 as a point where the spleen, kidney, and liver intersect, it strengthens the spleen, stomach, and brings balance to the liver. Therefore, it is effective in treating abdominal bloating, muscle pain, dizziness, and edema. It is also one of the acupuncture points in the legs for fertility.

Spleen 9:

Spleen 9 is another acupuncture point along the spleen channel for treating myofascial pain. It is called Yinlingquan in Chinese, which translates to “Yin Mound Spring” in English. To locate this acupuncture point, dig your thumb into the depression above the edge of your shinbone. This depression is SP-9.

Clinically, SP-9 is one of the acupuncture points for knee pain. It is also effective in treating urinary problems, edema, and abdominal bloating.

Gallbladder 34:

Gallbladder 34 is the third acupuncture point along the gallbladder channel that helps in treating myofascial pain symptoms. It is called Yanglingquan in Chinese and can be found on the lower side of your leg, in the depression preceding the head of the fibula or tibia. It is the meeting point of tendons.

For this reason, GB-34 is essential for strengthening tendons and joints, making it one of the acupuncture points for hip pain. So when you feel weak and experience pain in the lower part of your body or have a desire to vomit, massage  GB-34.

Bladder 40:

Weizhong, also known as Supporting, is the acupuncture point along the bladder meridian that helps with fibromyalgia. You can find this acupuncture point in the middle part of the back of your knee.

Bladder 40

BL-40 is classified as the He-Sea point of the urinary bladder. In traditional Chinese medicine, it is beneficial for treating problems such as lower back pain, abdominal pain, skin rashes, and itching. You can also learn how to open the Divergent Meridian using BL-40 .

Liver 3:

Liver 3, also known as Taichong in Chinese and Great Surge in English, is an acupuncture point along the liver meridian for treating myofascial pain. You can find Liver Liv-3 in the upper part of your foot, two fingers’ width from the intersection of your big toe and the next toe.

When you feel dizzy, experience swelling in your eyes, or have irregular menstrual cycles, Liver Liv-3 is the acupuncture point that should be stimulated. This acupuncture point is also one of the points for treating disorders of the auditory channel, specifically the Eustachian Tube.

According to recent research, when you massage Liver Liv-3 along with some other acupuncture points, it can help manage post-stroke depression.


1) Basic points C7, T1, L2, S2
2) Top head and Bach of the head
3) One session
4) Counseling will help

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