You may be a Fibromyalgia sufferer or one of your relatives is involved in this painful disease. How much do you know about it? How do you or the relatives cope with the side-effects of Fibromyalgia? Have you ever tried complementary therapies for relief like Fibromyalgia massage or other actions? Do you know the benefits of Fibromyalgia massage?
This is a useful guide for patients and their relatives to get rid of the side-effects of Fibromyalgia. Even if you ‘re a massage therapist or a massage student, you can get essential information about your clients here.
What is Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a syndrome with different symptoms including:
- widespread pain
- difficulty sleeping
- mental problems
Its symptoms are severe and continuous. This is what happens when you have affected Fibromyalgia: this trouble reduces the elasticity of the body and the arterial blood supply will get disturbed. This process causes the tension and the patient will feel chronic pain in the connective and skeletal muscles. Then an endless cycle will start; serotonin will be released and mood swing and depression appear. Sleep disorder, also makes the body restless and not refreshed; so the patient feels more depressed and fatigued physically and mentally.
There is no chemical cure for Fibromyalgia, but this cycle and the pain can be managed. Fibromyalgia affects women more than men and its cause is unknown yet. The best way to treat Fibromyalgia is to let the body repair itself. Some actions like a massage help this repairing process.
90% of the people who suffer from Fibromyalgia often turn to complementary therapies for relief. Massage therapy is one of the complementary therapies which is mostly used by these sick people. It is called Fibromyalgia massage.
What is Fibromyalgia massage
Fibromyalgia massage is a special massage method to relieve the tension and pain affected by Fibromyalgia. In order to reduce the pain, in a Fibromyalgia massage session, the therapist rubs the muscles, joints, ligaments, and tendons. The Fibromyalgia sufferers receive variable pressure; it may be light or deep pressure which depends on what the sufferers need.
A research on 404 patients with FM (Fibromyalgia) show that 5 weeks of massage had positive effects on relieving the symptoms of Fibromyalgia; the pain, anxiety, and depression have been improved. Sleep troubles caused by Fibromyalgia treat by a complex of both physical and mental actions.
Different forms of Fibromyalgia massage
Fibromyalgia massage has different forms which are used to relieve the symptoms. The recent research shows that these forms may be useful in relieving the symptoms.
- Myofascial release in two types, passive (with resistance) and active (relaxing). It’s useful for muscle pain and stiffness. It relaxes the muscle and improves the blood flow.
- Connective tissue massage: this is accompanied by pressure to work on the deeper layers of muscle (connective tissue).
- Shiatsu: aiming to relieve the tension, the pressure in this type of Fibromyalgia massage works on special points.
- Manual lymphatic drainage: it’s a gentle massage which helps the body to drain the lymphatic fluid naturally. It gets the lymph fluid moving by rhythmic motions
- Swedish massage : a relaxing massage to the whole body
- Passive stretching: it focuses on specific muscles to relax the muscles, improve circulation and increase blood flow.
- Sports massage: it helps to treat or prevent the injuries of muscles.
- Massage chairs: it’s a cost-effective massage who needs regular long term massage therapy. Having a massage chair, professional massage therapy will be available at any time of the day without leaving your home. The chairs that fit a Fibromyalgia patient are the Ijoy 2580 massage chair, Zerog 5.0 massage chair, Novo massage chair, HT-7120 massage chair, and Acutouch 9500x massage chair.
In comparison between these forms of Fibromyalgia massage, myofascial release has the best effects to treat the Fibromyalgia. It releases stiffness, depression, anxiety, and fatigue and improves the quality of life. Connective tissue massage is either useful for relieving depression and improving life quality. Manual lymphatic drainage is more successful than connective tissue massage in healing the stiffness and depression plus quality of life.
Some massage professional does not recommend tissue massage because the pressure may suffer the patient. You can consult with a physician or your massage therapist to choose the type of massage.
Techniques for Fibromyalgia massage
The massage that works for suffering Fibromyalgia is a combination of some techniques. Heat, pressure, kneading and stretching. These techniques will loosen up the body, especially the tight parts and have positive effects on the mind.
The benefits of Fibromyalgia massage
Fibromyalgia massage sessions can help you in different ways:
- Being relaxed and having a better sleep. If the original trouble that Fibromyalgia caused is sleep troubles, it’s better to get the massage in the evening to have a good sleep at night. So book the massage sessions for the hours near to night. Sleeping well at night help your body to repair itself more efficaciously.
- Improving and refreshing the muscle: Fibromyalgia massage works on lethargic muscles. It increases circulation and the toxins within the muscles will be cleared out more easily. This action strengthens the patient and gives her vitality.
- Loosing up the tight parts: with massage loosens up the muscles and the mobility for physical actions will be increased.
- Relieving mental problems: massage relaxes both the body and mind. It improves the stress caused by
- Relieving headache: massages increase the blood circulation in the brain and as a result, the physical cause of headache will be disappeared.
- Treating depression and anxiety: Fibromyalgia brings hormonal and appetite fluctuations. Massage restores the hormonal system and so the effects will disappear. Actually, a massage decreases stress hormone and helps to increase the serotonin level.
- Feeling supported with a favorable treatment: most of the people around a Fibromyalgia patient do not take her or his condition seriously. The patient is accustomed to this unpleasant reaction. A good massage therapist respects the patient, treats her with empathy, regards her feelings and would not judge the patient.
At the end of Fibromyalgia massage sessions, the patient feels well- being, relaxed body with better sleep quality and enough mental and physical energy to encounter the challenges throughout the day.
What a Fibromyalgia sufferer should know before a Fibromyalgia massage session
In the end, we recommend you to try Fibromyalgia massage, but before booking a massage session pay attention to these advises:
- It’s better to consult your physician before taking massage therapy.
- Make sure the massage therapist has a license and certifications
- Explain the massage therapist your condition and the symptoms.
- Only you feel the pain and you know its level, so tell the massage therapist to use more or less pressure.
- Tell your massage therapist any sensitivity or allergy to the oils and lotions.
- Be patient! It may take some trial and error to find the appropriate technique for you to relieve the symptoms