How massage can help fibromyalgia
Being a fibromyalgia or ‘fibro’ sufferer can feel miserable. There is no cure, so all you can do is learn to manage your symptoms as much as possible to try and avoid it impacting on your everyday life. This can be easier said than done.
What is fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a condition which affects around five million Americans, according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, more females more than males, and usually between the ages of 20 and 50.
The main symptom is pain, which can range from mild to severe. It varies from person to person but some people report shooting or burning pains while others complain of a constant deep ache which doesn’t let up. It’s common for joints to feel tender and the pain to get worse at night although some people feel it all day long. Other symptoms can include tiredness, depression, headaches and memory loss.
There is some good news for people who have been diagnosed with fibro. Massage can be a pleasurable and effective way to relieve some of the symptoms of fibro and help you to manage it better. This is because massage boosts circulation in your muscles, reduces heart rate, relaxes your muscles, improves the range of motion in your joints and increases production of the body’s natural painkillers. All of these effects are positively great for fibro sufferers.
People who have fibro can be extra sensitive to pressure in some parts of their body. Massage therapists have been trained to look out for this and of course we will consult you before your session to ask you about any particular areas that might be a problem for you. If you’re worried that it will hurt...don’t be.
Professional therapists know that people with fibro can be sensitive and will make sure that you know you can tell them at any time if your massage feels in any way uncomfortable. If you’re concerned about whether a massage is a good idea for you, speak to your doctor first.
Get a good night’s sleep.
Massage can help to promote better sleep, so it follows that if your fibro leaves you waking up tired, even after what you think was a normal night’s sleep, a massage can help. A decent massage will leave you relaxed and promote deeper sleep – and deep sleep helps fibro symptoms because it’s when you enter the deep sleep phase that your body can repair and restore itself.
Boosting your mood
Massage boosts the feel good hormones and endorphins that can help to banish the low mood and depression that can go hand in hand with fibromyalgia. Getting a regular supply of feel good hormones is a great way to manage the symptoms that can sometimes really get you down.
Banishing the pain of headaches
Improving blood flow to your brain with regular massage can help to reduce the pain from a fibro headache.
Just having one massage session can leave you feeling better for a while, but as with most therapies, the benefits increase with the regularity of your sessions. Book in for regular massage therapy and you could start to feel much better in-between your sessions as well as during and after.