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Fibromyalgia, Massage therapy could help!

What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder characterized by widespread muscle pain, tenderness, and fatigue. While muscle pain is one of the primary symptoms, recent research suggests fibromyalgia may be a central nervous system disorder involving abnormal pain processing pathways in the brain.

Who Gets Fibromyalgia?

Is much more common in women than men. While the exact causes are unknown, it tends to run in families, suggesting a genetic component. There also appears to be a link between developing fibromyalgia and experiencing emotional, physical, or sexual trauma. However, not everyone with fibromyalgia has a history of trauma.

Symptoms of Fibromyalgia

In addition to widespread muscle pain and fatigue, other common fibromyalgia symptoms include:

  • Tension headaches

  • Cognitive difficulties

  • Irritable bowel syndrome

  • Hypersensitivity to light, sound, smells, etc.

  • Multiple chemical sensitivities

  • Intolerance to heat/cold

Treating Fibromyalgia.

There is no single cure for fibromyalgia, so treatment typically involves a combination of approaches:

  • Medications prescribed by a GP

  • Self-care techniques like stress reduction and improved sleep

  • Complementary therapies like massage, acupuncture, and yoga

The Benefits of Massage for Fibromyalgia.

Research shows massage therapy can provide significant benefits for fibromyalgia sufferers, including:

  • Reduced pain and tenderness

  • Lower anxiety levels

  • Improved sleep quality

  • Increased flexibility and circulation

No one massage technique is best, but lighter pressure and myofascial release tend to work well. Communication during the massage is key to adjusting pressure and techniques as needed. While fibromyalgia is a complex condition, massage can be an effective complementary treatment to help manage symptoms when combined with other therapies. If you suffer from fibromyalgia, consider adding massage to your treatment plan.

The following types of massage therapy are considered beneficial for chronic pain:

1. Swedish Massage: This classic massage involves gentle pressure and

kneading motions, which can help reduce pain, stress, and anxiety.

2. Trigger Point Massage: This type of massage focuses on specific areas of

muscle tightness and can help alleviate chronic pain by releasing tension in

the affected areas.

3. Deep Tissue Massage: By applying firm pressure and slow strokes, deep

tissue massage targets deep muscle layers and can be effective in relieving

chronic pain and muscle tension.

4. Aromatherapy is a popular practice that involves using essential oils derived from plants to promote relaxation, reduce stress, and enhance well-being. The therapeutic properties of essential oils have been studied and recognized for their potential benefits on physical and emotional health.

Aromatherapy works through the inhalation or topical application of essential oils. When inhaled, the aromatic molecules of the essential oils stimulate the olfactory system, which is linked to the brain's limbic system. The limbic system plays a crucial role in emotions, memories, and hormonal responses, which is why certain scents can have a powerful impact on our mood and stress levels.

5. Reflexology is a complementary therapy that involves applying pressure to specific points on the feet, hands, or ears to promote relaxation and improve overall well-being. While scientific research on reflexology is ongoing and more evidence is needed to fully understand its benefits, some potential benefits reported by practitioners and clients include:

Stress reduction: Reflexology may help reduce stress and induce relaxation, which can have positive effects on the body and mind.

These types of massage can help manage chronic pain by reducing muscle tension,

increasing relaxation, improving blood flow, and interrupting the pain cycle, among

other benefits.

It is important to consult a healthcare professional to determine the most suitable

type of massage for individual chronic pain conditions.

Therefore, the benefits of massage therapy for chronic pain are extensive,

encompassing both physical and mental well-being.


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