Treatment of fibromyalgia at the Maharishi Ayurveda Health Centre in Norway II—a 24-month follow-up pilot study
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- Rasmussen, L.B., Mikkelsen, K., Haugen, M. et al. Clin Rheumatol (2012) 31: 821. doi:10.1007/s10067-011-1907-y
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Treatments offered at the Maharishi Ayurveda Health Centre in Norway are based on Maharishi Vedic Medicine (MVM). MVM is a consciousness-based revival by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the founder of the Transcendental Meditation (TM) program of the ancient Ayurvedic medicine tradition in India. To extend from 6 to 24 months, a pilot study of the effects of the treatment program at the Health Centre on fibromyalgia. Retesting 2 years after a clinical trial. In this intention to treat study, 31 women with a diagnosis of fibromyalgia received an individually tailored program of (1) physiological purification therapy (Maharishi Panchakarma) and (2) Ayurvedic recommendations regarding daily routine and diet including a novel approach to food intolerance. Five subjects chose to learn TM for stress reduction, pain management and personal development. All were recommended Ayurvedic herbal products for follow-up treatment. A modified Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ) that included seven dimensions. Scores at 24 months follow-up were compared with pre-treatment scores. At 24-months follow-up, there were significant reductions (26% to 44%) in six of the seven fibromyalgia dimensions: impairment of working ability, pain, tiredness, morning tiredness, stiffness and anxiety. The 7th, depression, decreased 32% (borderline significant). At 24 months, the four subjects who continued practising TM, had almost no symptoms and significantly lower FIQ change scores (−92% to 97%) than the non-meditators on all outcomes. This pilot study suggests that the treatments and health promotion programs offered at the Maharishi Ayurveda Health Centre in Norway lead to long-term reductions in symptoms of fibromyalgia, which is considered a treatment-resistant condition, and further studies are warranted.