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Clinical Rheumatology

, Volume 31, Issue 5, pp 821–827 | Cite as

Treatment of fibromyalgia at the Maharishi Ayurveda Health Centre in Norway II—a 24-month follow-up pilot study

  • Lars Bjørn Rasmussen
  • Knut Mikkelsen
  • Margaretha Haugen
  • Are H. Pripp
  • Jeremy Z. Fields
  • Øystein T. Førre
Original Article

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Alternative treatment Ayurveda Complementary treatment Fibromyalgia Transcendental Meditation 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The study was financially supported by EXTRA funds from The Norwegian Foundation for Health and Rehabilitation. We thank Helge Marthinussen, Maharishi Ayurveda Health Centre, Mesnali for assistance in the collection of data.

Conflicts of interests

The first author is the administrative and medical director of the Maharishi Ayurveda Health Centre, Mesnali, Norway. Jeremy Z. Fields is Adjunct Research Professor at Maharishi University of Management, Fairfield, Iowa, USA. The rest of the authors declare no conflict of interest.

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Copyright information

© Clinical Rheumatology 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lars Bjørn Rasmussen
    • 1
  • Knut Mikkelsen
    • 2
  • Margaretha Haugen
    • 3
  • Are H. Pripp
    • 4
  • Jeremy Z. Fields
    • 5
  • Øystein T. Førre
    • 6
  1. 1.Maharishi Ayurveda Health CentreMesnaliNorway
  2. 2.Head of DepartmentLillehammer Hospital for Rheumatic DiseasesLillehammerNorway
  3. 3.The Norwegian Institute of Public HealthOsloNorway
  4. 4.Biostatistics Unit, Research Services DepartmentUniversity Hospital of OsloOsloNorway
  5. 5.Adjunct Research ProfessorMaharishi University of ManagementFairfieldUSA
  6. 6.Department of rheumatologyUniversity Hospital of OsloOsloNorway

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