Complementary and alternative treatments
Research has suggested that traditional Eastern practices such as tai chi, qigong and yoga can relieve fibromyalgia symptoms. There is no proof that other complementary or alternative treatments help.
People who have fibromyalgia often try out a lot of different things to relieve their pain and cope better in everyday life. Some pin their hopes on complementary and alternative approaches, and turn to naturopaths or other alternative practitioners – especially if they have the feeling that doctors can't help them or don’t take them seriously. Complementary and alternative practitioners usually take more time for their patients. But people generally have to pay for these treatments themselves.
Some people don’t believe in complementary and alternative medicine. One reason for this is that, for most of these treatments, there is no scientific explanation for how they would work. Whether or not a treatment works can still be tested in good-quality studies, though, even without knowing why they work. It's important to do good-quality studies because fibromyalgia symptoms come and go. This means that, if symptoms improve after using a certain treatment, that might just be a coincidence. In other words, the symptoms might have improved on their own anyway – especially because people tend to start treatments when their symptoms are particularly bad.