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Ayurvedic Approach + TM Reduces Fibromyalgia Symptoms

26 Apr

Researchers from Maharishi Ayurveda Health Centre in Lillehammer, Norway, performed a pilot study on 31 women with fibromyalgia, to see whether Ayurvedic treatment improved their condition.

Subjects each received an individually designed Maharishi Vedic physiological purification therapy, personal advice on daily routines and diet (including food intolerance), based on Ayurvedic principles. In addition, four agreed to instruction in TM (Transcendental Meditation) for help with stress, pain management and personal development. Ayurvedic herbal food products were provided for home treatment.

Outcomes were tested with a modified Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire, which included a visual analogue scale for each of these seven outcomes: working ability, generalized pain, tiredness, stiffness, tiredness on arising, anxiety and depression. Pre-treatment scores were compared with scores at six-month follow-up for levels of statistical significance.

Twenty-eight subjects (90%) completed the follow-up. The symptom scores were reduced by 25% - 46% by the study's endpoint: working ability (p<0.002), pain (p<0.001), tiredness (p<0.001), morning tiredness (p<0.001), stiffness (p<0.005), anxiety (p<0.136), and depression (p<0.001).

A group of five top responders, including all four participants who started to practice TM, had almost no symptoms by the endpoint. Compared to the non-meditating control group the TM-subgroup showed statistically significant improvements for all outcome measures except depression.

The investigators conclude that fibromyalgia patients undergoing this treatment showed significant improvements six months post treatment. Because fibromyalgia is considered a treatment-resistant condition, these encouraging results warrant further research.

Citation:  Rasmussen LB, Mikkelsen K, Haugen M, Pripp AH, Førre ØT. Treatment of fibromyalgia at the Maharishi Ayurveda Health Centre in Norway. A six-month follow-up study. Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology. 2009 Sep-Oct;27 (5 Suppl 56): pages S46-50. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award