Although recognition of Fibromyalgia being a legitimate chronic pain disease is getting better, it is still hard to find a health practitioner who truly "gets it" and knows how to help.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain syndrome. It is not just ONE thing, it is a variety of things - scleroderma, arthritis, fatigue, etc.
That is why it is hard to diagnose, it mirrors so many other diseases.
The cause of the condition is still unknown. Treatment for the condition is still anyone's guess, as some things seem to help a little for some but not others.
An estimated 6 million Americans have Fibro, with women 7 times more likely than men to develop it. Most patients tend to be in their 20s and 30s when first diagnosed.
It appears that people with Fibro have more Substance P in their bodies - the neurotransmitter that sends pain information into the central nervous system. When you have so much Substance P, you have alot of pain signals being sent to the brain, so you just ALWAYS seem to hurt.
As a result of the abnormal sensory processing found in those with Fibro, the list of associated syndromes include: chronic fatigue, restless leg, irritable bowel syndrome, irritable bladder, cognitive dysfunction, cold intolerance, dizziness, and more.
Researchers have been able to pinpoint Fibro as a disease of the central nervous system, in which the pain-processing system between the brain and spinal cord is somehow off-kilter.
If Fibro patients are in so much pain, massage doesn't sound like a great treatment option... I mean, wouldn't that hurt? But studies have been done that show massage greatly reduces the symptoms of Fibro, mainly the widespread muscle pain and brain fog.
With regular massages, the muscle fibers are reminded to lengthen, relieving muscle tension and allowing the patient to function. Fibro clients report less overall pain, feeling more energized and focused.
In my own practice, I've specialized in Fibro massage since 2008. I have seen phenomenal results with my clients. Through regular, weekly and/or bi-weekly massages, I have been able to keep clients out of wheelchairs, keep them off strong pain meds, get them back to work and even back to exercise!
Not only do relaxed muscles result in a reduction of pain, stress and anxiety, but massage has also been shown to stimulate the production of endorphins, the body's natural painkillers.
If you suffer with Fibromyalgia, I highly recommend you try massage. But you MUST find a therapist who has taken continuing education in this condition and really specializes in working with this type of syndrome... otherwise, you could end up in MORE pain.
It is crucial to do you research here. When I work with clients, I use careful pressure, a very specific style of stroke, hot towels, hot stones, aromatherapy, etc. Incorporating all these things together really make the massage so much more therapeutic and beneficial.
A trained massage therapist can feel the fascia releasing under her hands and therefore go with the flow without trying to "force" the muscles to release. By moving the fascia (the connective tissues of the body) layer by layer, slow and easy, it can be released at an even pace which results in less pain for the client DURING the massage as well as after.
Myofascial release is another type of massage that works well for Fibro clients, as well as craniosacral therapy. Try a few different styles to see which works best for you.
Deep tissue work is NOT recommended for Fibro clients. Although it may feel good to the client at the time, it will only result in more pain later.
I have seen the best results with my Fibro clients when they come once a week, or once every other week. Once a month just doesn't seem to be enough. Fibro muscles need to be constantly reminded to relax. If you only come in once a month it can be like starting from scratch each time.
If you would like to give massage a try and you suffer from chronic pain or diagnosed Fibromyalgia, give me a call at 832-588-1060 and we can talk about how massage can change your life! I have watched so many of my clients get their lives back, and you can too!
There is hope, I can help ease the suffering and manage your pain so that you can get back to living again!
Your Massage Therapist,