Mayo Clinic finds that acupuncture significantly improves fibromyalgia symptoms.

Fibromyalgia is a syndrome of chronic pain. It causes widespread pain and tenderness in the muscles and soft tissue (including tender points) as well as sleep problems, fatigue, and other symptoms.

Acupuncture Study

The Mayo Clinic study included 50 fibromyalgia patients whose symptoms hadn't improved with other treatments.
Half of the patients got six acupuncture sessions over two or three weeks. The other patients got the same schedule of fake acupuncture treatments. Those who got true acupuncture had notably bigger improvements in fibromyalgia symptoms than those who got fake acupuncture, write the researchers.

Results were based on questionnaires completed before the study, immediately after treatment, and one and seven months later. The largest benefit was seen one month after the treatments ended, the researchers note.

Less Fatigue, Anxiety

In a Mayo Clinic news release, Martin says, "This study shows there is something real about acupuncture and its effects on fibromyalgia.
"We expected the acupuncture to improve the pain. We didn't really expect the largest benefit to be in fatigue or anxiety."
Participants were moderately debilitated by fibromyalgia, according to the news release. "Many have given up work, a lot of recreational activities, and made adjustments in their lives," says Martin. "They have had a significant psychological burden as a result of the loss of these activities; it's become part of their identities."