Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition associated with widespread chronic pain, fatigue, memory problems, and mood changes. It is more typically diagnosed in women than men. It is not life threatening but is a chronic, painful problem.
Massage therapy can be a beneficial treatment for fibromyalgia. Massage techniques encourage circulation in the muscles, increasing the flow of nutrients and flushing toxins. Massage can increase the range of motion in the muscles and joints effected by fibromyalgia while also activating the release of the body’s natural painkillers. Massage can also reduce heart rate and blood pressure while relieving stress. Fibromyalgia symptoms become much more painful when the body is under stress so staying stress-free is extra important for fibromyalgia patients.
Massage therapy can also help fibromyalgia sufferers sleep better. Chronic pain is associated with poor sleep and fibromyalgia patients commonly struggle with insomnia. They may also wake up feeling exhausted, even if they have received plenty of sleep. A therapeutic massage helps you sleep better, falling into a deeper, restorative sleep. Deep sleep is also when the body’s restorative processes take place, so good sleep is necessary for healing and cell recovery.
Since fibromyalgia is associated with chronic pain, patients may be apprehensive to try massage, which may involve pressure on the painful areas of their body. With clearance from your health care provider, massage therapy should be a safe treatment. Additionally, it is important to communicate with your therapist while receiving treatment your comfort level.
There are several types of massage that may benefit fibromyalgia patients. Swedish massage is designed specifically to increase oxygen flow to the muscles. This helps improve the health of the muscles as well as their flexibility and flushes toxins out of the body. Your massage therapist will use long, gliding motions along the muscles, along with kneading techniques to benefit the body.
Deep tissue massage is a more entailed massage that works the body tissues and muscles deeper to loosen t hem and reduce tension and pain. Deep tissue massage involves firm, deep, stroking movements that delivers quite a bit of pressure. You may feel a little pain from this type of massage but the pain typically subsides after several treatments. A hot stone massage could be combined with deep tissue massage techniques if you feel very sensitive to the pressure of deep tissue massage. Hot stones are placed on the back and help warm up the muscles before massage for a relaxing therapeutic treatment.
Before your massage session begins, talk to your therapist about your condition and the areas of your body you feel the most pain. You can come up with a plan together for a great massage session that will deliver big results!