Researchers at the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Department of Ataturk University conclude that acupuncture improves two biochemical markers and clinical outcomes for patients with fibromyalgia. Objective measures show that acupuncture increases serum serotonin levels while simultaneously reducing Substance P levels. For subjectives, the researchers document lasting subjective improvements including less pain, fatigue, and anxiety.
The study measures levels of these two biochemical markers along with several clinical parameters, both before and after treatment with acupuncture. A total of 75 female participants were recruited for the study. Exclusion criteria included usage of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, tricyclic antidepressants, and other antidepressant drugs within the past 15 days.
The patients were randomised into three groups; acupuncture, sham acupuncture, and simulated acupuncture.
This study suggests that acupuncture is an effective treatment for patients with fibromyalgia, with the ability to improve a wide variety of symptoms, increase serum serotonin levels, and reduce serum Substance P levels. Genuine acupuncture treatment is superior to sham or simulated acupuncture, with improvements in symptoms lasting for several months after completion of all treatments.