How it manifests and how to treat it

Fibromyalgia within the parameters of modern medicine is considered a syndrome with a series of symptoms of unknown etiology, Chinese Medicine considers fibromyalgia as a condition resulting from the general weakness of the spleen-stomach, liver and heart.

To understand the difference you need to acknowledge that Chinese Medicine views and analyses organs from a very different perspective than Western medicine. The oriental culture interprets the mind and body as a psychophysical unit, and the organs comprise a functional physical-emotional-mental sphere. The anatomical form relates only to physiological functions. Each organ is considered to inform the form and the nature of a person and the areas which these manifest in specific tissues of the body. The interaction between all the functioning organs reveals the most complex personality of the individual and their health.

So, all psychosomatic diseases are diagnosed as the primary energy of the human system, which means that the imbalance affects the entire energy system as a whole. In other words, energy is compromised both in organic (tissues and organs) and emotional manifestations, which demonstrate a crisis in the person’s life.

Degrees of Fibromyalgia

Eastern take

In Holistic Physiotherapist’s Aline Tisato’s many years of experience she explains that the contracted general tone, which is gaged according to the degree of pain on “the 18 tender points of Fibromyalgia”, occurs in two ways:

Due to Liver Chi Stagnation:  Stagnation due to emotional repression leads to the blockage of Chi and blood in the muscles, in addition to also blocking digestion, which in turn hinders the work of the spleen and stomach to produce good quality of blood and Chi. When treating patients that manifest these symptoms, at palpation during evaluation, the overall body tone is tight and “dry”, and the muscles have a ropy quality to them.

By Chronic Spleen Weakness leading to Moisture:  Typically manifested in a feeling of heaviness with muscle pain, abdominal bloating and slow digestion. When in flare ups of patients diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, there is also a Dampness quality felt on palpation of the muscle myofibers.

Western take

If we make a pathophysiological comparison or better, a correlation with modern western medicine, Fibromyalgia constitutes a fascial “grouping” where fascia (thin layer that covers the muscles), produces fascial adhesions or “knots”. This is also aggravated by bad postural habits, repetitive motions and post-traumatic sequels that produce what we call in myofascial dysfunction physiotherapy.

This pathological process produces an inadequate circulation that limits the supply of nutrients to the fundamental substance of the connective tissue (muscles, tendons, etc.). In turn, this condition affects the quality of movement, since this chronic dense tissue becomes “hypomobile” which causes discomfort and pain. The so-called “tender points” of Fibromyalgia are actually a fascial grouping where Chi and blood are trapped.

Best of all worlds

A global approach

The privilege of living in this era is that we can count on the resources of both medicines, knowing of course that each of them has their own way of seeing and treating fibromyalgia.

Modern medicine aims to treat symptoms, or better, eliminate the sensation of them and commonly prescribe antidepressants, pain relief, and moderate physical activity. Although some patients respond well to medications, the improvement in symptoms varies from person to person. Unfortunately, many complain about the side effects of these drugs, such as dizziness, constipation, dry mouth, rash, headache, and increased appetite.

In Chinese Medicine the word disease does not exist, instead, imbalance is the description. So the goal of a treatment plan is to rebalance the spleen and stomach Chi and move the liver Chi. The aim is to harmonise the relationship of the spleen and the liver so that they can carry out their work in the processing and transformation of food into Chi and blood to nourish the muscles in general and the heart.  It is to recover the balance between the internal organs so that the driving force of nutrition is given to all the bodily systems. This is done through nutrition, herbal medicine, self acupressure at key acupuncture points and conscious movements through specific exercises that mobilise the fascia, releasing the adhesions of the sensitive points and reconnecting the body as a whole.

Restoring the body with a holistic treatment approach

With comprehensive daily care and treatment, “patients” diagnosed with Fibromyalgia learn to restore the flow of Chi (vital energy) in the acupuncture meridian systems of the human body. This translates into better organ function, more efficient metabolism, strong blood flow and a clear mind. As the internal spaces, both physical and mental, increase, energies are released which drive the body into a natural state of balance. Keeping joints mobile, tissues malleable, muscles toned and flexible, also keeps body fluids moving, freeing the vascular system and nervous system from constrictions to feel the pleasure of a body without pain.

When you learn to release discomfort little by little, with consistency and gentleness, this care and attention, awakens the body’s innate healing intelligence and sense of personal power that is the natural extension of our state of balance.


“Having received a diagnosis of fibromyalgia at 16, my daughter was given 2 options, a life in pain or drugged up like a zombie.  She tried every treatment to no avail.

She was skeptical that Studio Australia Barcelona would be any different but felt immediate relief after her first treatment and has continued to improve beyond all expectations.

I can’t praise the team highly enough.”

-Deb Land




“Our experience of caring for people with not just Fibromyalgia but also Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and other diseases that affect the immunity and balance of the body has given many the opportunity to live a life where they can understand, manage their pain and symptoms plus feel supported in their day to day lives.”    Mandy Keillor

Specialist Practitioner

Aline Tisato, holistic Physiotherapist, Acupuncturist, Shiatsu teacher, Tai Chi and Chi Gung has been dedicated to the healing arts for more than 28 years. She has graduated and taught courses in Brazil, Greece, England, the United States and Spain. She was a managing therapist and co-founder of Vita Arts in New York. She currently works in Studio Australia Barcelona. Aline Tisato has developed an extraordinary health system called IGung, which is based on the therapeutic principles of physical therapy and movement techniques of Chinese medicine. She has created an evolutionary sequence of simple exercises after her own healing experience and after having cared for thousands of patients with chronic problems.

If you would like to speak further about how we can help you with a treatment plan to care for your body please do not hesitate to contact us.

Article | Aline Tisato | Physiotherapist and Acupuncturist
Edit | Mandy Keillor | Founder Studio Australia Barcelona

To read this post in Spanish please go here.

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