- With Mayo Clinic internist
Brent A. Bauer, M.D.read biographyclose window
Brent A. Bauer, M.D.Brent A. Bauer, M.D.
Brent Bauer, M.D., is board certified in internal medicine. He is a consultant in the Department of Internal Medicine and director of the Department of Internal Medicine's Complementary and Integrative Medicine Program at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Dr. Bauer, a native of Madison, Wis., is also a professor of medicine at Mayo Medical School and a graduate of Mayo Medical School.
He serves on the editorial board of the Mayo Clinic Health Letter and is medical editor for EmbodyHealth Newsletter. He has been on staff at Mayo Clinic since 1992, first practicing at Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz., before joining Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn., in 1996.
Dr. Bauer's principal research focus is the scientific evaluation of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies that patients and consumers are using with increasing frequency. He has authored several book chapters and papers on this topic, and is the medical editor of the "Mayo Clinic Book of Alternative Medicine." Dr. Bauer also spearheaded collaboration between Mayo Clinic and Gaiam in the creation of a series of 10 DVDs (Mayo Clinic Wellness Solutions). These DVDs address common health problems (for example, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure) with integrative medicine approaches that empower people to take charge of their health. His work is at the forefront of the emerging field of integrative medicine which combines the best of conventional medicine with the best of evidence-based complementary therapies.
Dr. Bauer has served on the NIH-NCCAM study section and is currently collaborating on over 20 studies being conducted at Mayo Clinic evaluating CAM therapies ranging from acupuncture to valerian. He is also a member of Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society; the American Federation for Medical Research; the North Central Cancer Treatment Group and other professional organizations.
- Is fibromyalgia hereditary?
- Fibromyalgia: Can acupuncture relieve symptoms?
Treatments and drugs (3)
- Milnacipran (Savella) for fibromyalgia: What makes it different?
- Fibromyalgia treatment: Is Neurontin effective?
- TENS therapy: An option for fibromyalgia treatment?
Alternative medicine (2)
- Cupping therapy: Can it relieve fibromyalgia pain?
- What is hot yoga?
Cupping therapy: Can it relieve fibromyalgia pain?
Is there any evidence that cupping therapy relieves fibromyalgia pain?
from Brent A. Bauer, M.D.
Some studies indicate that cupping, when combined with acupuncture, may reduce fibromyalgia symptoms more effectively than conventional medications such as amitriptyline. Cupping therapy is typically practiced by traditional Chinese medicine practitioners. The theory behind cupping is that it moves or stimulates your body's natural energy — also called qi.
Cupping therapy involves heating the air inside a glass cup, which removes some of the air from the cup. The cup is then quickly placed on the skin, and the resulting vacuum pulls the skin part of the way into the cup. The cup may be left in place for several minutes and then removed, leaving behind a bright red, circular welt. In wet cupping, the skin is pricked with a needle before the cup is placed.
Studies of cupping typically measure the procedure's effectiveness by comparing it to that of other forms of treatment. However, high-quality research studies usually also include a group of people who receive a placebo — a sugar pill or a fake version of the procedure being studied. Because a sham version of cupping hasn't been devised, this level of quality is not yet available for cupping studies. So while some of the available studies do suggest a possible role for cupping in treating fibromyalgia, the definitive answer as to what its role actually is will have to wait for larger and more rigorous studies to be completed.Next question
What is hot yoga?
- Cao H, et al. Traditional Chinese medicine for treatment of fibromyalgia: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2010;16:397.
- Tham LM, et al. Cupping: From a biomechanical perspective. Journal of Biomechanics. 2006;39:2183.
- Traditional Chinese medicine: An introduction. National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. http://nccam.nih.gov/health/whatiscam/D428.pdf. Accessed March 16, 2011.
- Michalsen A, et al. Effects of traditional cupping therapy in patients with carpal tunnel syndrome: A randomized controlled trial. The Journal of Pain. 2009;10:601.
- Ernst E. Editorial: Testing traditional cupping therapy. The Journal of Pain. 2009;10:555.
- Bauer BA (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 17, 2011.