Fibromyalgia and Massage

Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues. Researchers believe that fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way your brain processes pain signals.

Symptoms sometimes begin after a physical trauma, surgery, infection or significant psychological stress. In other cases, symptoms gradually accumulate over time with no single triggering event.

Women are more likely to develop fibromyalgia than are men. Many people who have fibromyalgia also have tension headaches, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety and depression.

While there is no cure for fibromyalgia, a variety of medications can help control symptoms. Exercise, relaxation and stress-reduction measures (massage) also may help.

It is such an unknown disorder- meaning that there is just so much that is not known about it. It presents differently in so many people that it is hard to distinguish a lot of the time. Some people have had a hard time in being diagnosed as they used to have to meet a certain criteria in the areas of pain in the body before they can “meet the requirement of” being a successful fibromyalgia sufferer. Now they have a blood test among other things to help Doctors properly diagnose and treat the condition.

This pain is only the start to the endless cycle of issues which affect the central nervous system’s release of serotonin, and from there it can increase the likelihood of depression and/or mood swings. It also affects the ability to achieve quality rest, which prevents the body from being able to repair itself and can further increase depression and exhaust the body, mind, and spirit.

One of the ways to help manage this condition is with massage. The best kind of massage is one that is lighter in pressure so it helps to calm the body instead of illicit even more pain. As the body is already suffering enough pain.   Massage therapy decreases stress hormones and increases serotonin, therefore improving a person’s overall sense of well-being. It also helps to relax the body in order to achieve quality sleep, when the body can repair itself and start fresh for the following day.

The types of massage that tend to work best for those suffering from Fibromyalgia are techniques that combine kneading, light pressure, stretching, and heat. These types of massages will loosen up the parts of the body that have been made tight, and increase mobility. Massage also increases circulation and helps the body to clear out toxins within the muscles. It is recommended that those with Fibromyalgia consult their physician prior to any massage therapy, and only receive massages with gentle pressure since their muscles can be sensitive. Recommended forms of massage for Fibromyalgia include Swedish Massage, Passive Stretching, and Sports Massage. Deep Tissue Massage is not recommended for those suffering from Fibromyalgia due to its pressure intensity.

Lymphatic drainage is another type of massage that is also beneficial in the management of Fibromyalgia. As the lymphatic system is just underneath the skin and only requires a gentle touch to perform. It provides much comfort a relief for sufferers.

Though lymph vessels are found all throughout the body, most of them (about 70% of them) are located just below the skin. With lymph drainage techniques, lymph vessels are gently massaged to mobilise lymphatic fluid. It helps regulate the immune system, clear blockages, eliminate metabolic waste and toxins from the body, as well as reduce excess fluid. Therefore, because the technique is so gentle, it’s well tolerated by Fibromyalgia patients, who are often experiencing many trigger points throughout the body. By understanding the anatomy and function of this delicate system, your massage therapist specialist can assist your boy in clearing sluggish tissues of waste and swelling as well as providing relief.