Q. My fibromyalgia causes me chronic pain, which makes it very hard to sleep. If I can get to sleep at all, I’ll wake every hour, go to the bathroom and just maybe drop off to sleep before I have to get up again.
You cannot fathom the impact of your simple suggestion about applying kidney bean pressure to the sleep acupressure point in the wrist. I devised a wristlet by cutting a piece from an Ace bandage to go around my wrist twice. I closed the ends, forming a doubled circle, and in between the layers, sewed a toggle button (a one-inch barrel shaped button with a metal eye in its center for sewing). This slips over my hand easily, and once the button is positioned over the acupressure point, it does not stray.
This simple device puts me to sleep in a few short minutes and I do not wake more than twice during the night. Sleep is so essential to making fibromyalgia a livable condition.
A. People with fibromyalgia frequently have a hard time getting the restful sleep they need. This sets up a vicious cycle of pain and insomnia.
We are pleased that the acupressure approach worked for you. We first learned about this more than a decade ago when a reader told us that he taped a dry kidney bean between the two tendons on the inside of his right wrist. It seems he was using an acupressure point called the “Inner Gate” that is said to promote sleep.
There is more information about using acupressure and other natural approaches to counter insomnia in our Guide to Getting a Good Night’s Sleep. There is also additional information about the link between fibromyalgia and sleep or our radio show about how to manage chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia (#724) with Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum.