Discover the benefits of massage for fibromyalgia relief. Massage therapy can help manage symptoms and bring comfort to those with fibromyalgia.

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What is  Fibromyalgia?

A neuromuscular therapist that understands Fibro-my-algia

Fibromyalgia is a group of signs and symptoms (FMS) that involve chronic pain in muscles, tendons, ligaments, and soft tissues.

Researchers suggest that FMS is related to sleep disorders, endocrine and neurotransmitter imbalances, and one's emotional state. Sleep studies of FMS patients reveal that they seldom or never enter the deepest level of sleep: stage IV sleep. In this stage, adults secrete growth hormone, which stimulates the production of new cells and collagen for healing and recovery. Not getting enough sleep reduces serotonin levels. Serotonin helps to modulate pain sensation. Without adequate secretion of this important neurotransmitter, everything hurts more. Thus, a particular vicious cycle develops. A person is under stress and is experiencing chronic pain, which further limits the ability to sleep and so on.

The origin of the debilitating pain experienced by FMS patients is mysterious. Current studies suggest that the pain is not generated in the muscles as the name implies. Instead, FMS patients' cerebrospinal fluid examinations reveal high levels of two specialized neurotransmitters: substance P and nerve growth factor. These substances are believed to initiate nerve activity, cause vasodilation, and increase pain sensation. If so, we could reclassify this as a central nervous system disorder. Either way, massage is indicated for FMS and can help reduce patients' pain.

Massage Therapy and Fibromyalgia

I have found in my practice that FMS patients have tender points. Starting with the occiput, the upper, and lower traps. They also are tender in the lower back, to the gluteal, and into the greater trochanter.

My approach to the work as a neuromuscular therapist is slow compressions at the insertion of the focused muscle and cross fibers in the muscle belly. Stretching of the muscle from the insertion to the attachment is done with my understanding that the patient’s tissues are drowning in irritating chemicals and lack the neurotransmitters that block pain transmission. Clients are hypersensitive to touch. Feedback from clients is that they feel much “lighter,” as if a weight has been lifted off of the muscles. I direct clients to continue to drink h20 (water) to flush out toxins.

Frequently Asked Questions about Fibromyalgia Massage

What are the typical symptoms of Fibromyalgia?
According to the Centers for Disease Control, some of the typical symptoms of Fibromyalgia are: Body Pain and stiffness  Sleep issues Fatigue and tiredness Depression and anxiety Challenges with thinking, memory, and concentration Headaches It is important to note that this is not an exhaustive list.  It is strongly advised that you consult your doctor to determine if you have this condition and determine a comprehensive treatment plan.
Can massage therapy help with Fibromyalgia?
Yes, massage therapy has shown the potential to provide relief for individuals with fibromyalgia. It helps alleviate the symptoms of the condition by targeting specific pressure points and muscle groups. It promotes relaxation, improves sleep quality, and reduces anxiety and depression commonly associated with this condition. The gentle manipulation of soft tissues stimulates blood circulation, which can help decrease muscle tension and improve overall mobility. Additionally, massages release endorphins, the body's natural painkillers, providing temporary pain relief. However, it is important to note that while this type of therapy may offer benefits, it is not a cure for fibromyalgia. It should be part of a comprehensive treatment plan that may include medication, exercise, and lifestyle modifications. It is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional or a licensed massage therapist who has experience in treating fibromyalgia to determine the most suitable approach for managing this condition.
Is myofascial release massage good for Fibromyalgia?
Myofascial release massage can provide relief for individuals with Fibromyalgia. This type of massage focuses on releasing tension and tightness in the fascia, the connective tissue that surrounds muscles and organs. It is believed that people with Fibromyalgia may have increased tension in their fascia, leading to pain and discomfort. Myofascial release massage helps to break up adhesions and knots in the fascia, improving blood flow and reducing pain. This technique also promotes relaxation and can help reduce stress levels, which can benefit those with fibromyalgia. Additionally, myofascial release massage can improve range of motion, muscle function, and overall mobility. It is important to note that everyone's experience with Fibromyalgia is unique, and while some individuals may find myofascial release massage helpful, others may not experience the same benefits. It is best to consult with a healthcare professional to determine if this type of massage therapy is right for you.
Is trigger point massage good for Fibromyalgia?
Trigger point massage can be effective for Fibromyalgia patients. It can help alleviate pain and tension in specific areas of the body where trigger points are present. However, it is important to note that Fibromyalgia is a complex condition with widespread pain and sensitivity, and trigger point massage may not be a standalone solution. It should be used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan that includes other therapies, such as medication, exercise, and stress management techniques. It is always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new treatment for Fibromyalgia.
How often should patients with Fibromyalgia get a massage?
I recommend getting a Fibromyalgia massage once a week if you're experiencing chronic pain. As you begin to notice improvements, we can gradually transition to bi-monthly sessions and eventually monthly ones. It is an honor to provide this therapeutic care and support to enhance the well-being of every client I have the privilege of serving.

About The Author

Denise Leslie is a powerhouse mother, entrepreneur, and advocate for pain-free living. With a passion for healing and promoting health and wellness, As a dedicated therapist, Denise is committed to empowering others on their journey to optimal well-being. She understands the importance of community support and never stops serving those around her.