Massage for Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia, a chronic musculoskeletal condition, affects nearly five million Americans and significantly more women are likely to suffer from the disease than men. The main symptom is experiencing pain throughout muscles, tendons, ligaments and other soft tissues, as well as tension headaches,
fatigue, stiffness and sleep disorders. Still, the exact cause of fibromyalgia remains unknown. The pain of fibromyalgia is only a start to the endless cycle of issues that can affect a person’s central nervous system’s release of serotonin. Because of problems with regulating serotonin, patients have an increased likelihood of depression and/or mood swings. Suffering from fibromyalgia also affects the ability to achieve quality rest, which prevents the body from being able to repair itself and can further increase a patient’s depression and exhaust the body, mind and spirit.
One of the best treatments for fibromyalgia is massage therapy. Massage ther
apy helps with pain relief, decreases stress hormones, and increases serotonin level. With these benefits, it improves the overall sense of well-being. Sensitivity to touch varies greatly for fibromyalgia patients. Some prefer deep work, while others are sensitive to the lightest pressure. It's important that you establish good communications with your massage therapist so you can explain what feels comfortable to you and what doesn't.
When you're in an acute flare-up, limit your bodywork to more gentle techniques. When you're feeling better, deeper work intended to eliminate trigger points or work on posture may be more appropriate. Partner with your therapist to find the best approach to managing and improving your fibromyalgia.