Fibromyalgia Massage


A Two Pronged Approach

Fibromyalgia massage therapy provides a very important treatment element that can help individuals in many different ways. It not only helps alleviate muscle pain and stiffness, but can promote restful sleep and substantially reduce high blood pressure and anxiety episodes.

Many massage therapists use a two pronged treatment approach consisting of a manual tender point or myofascial release combined with relaxation breathing techniques. This approach is referred to as integrated or eclectic massage therapy, which can be truly effective in reducing fibromyalgia symptoms if done correctly.

The hands on aspect of integrated fibromyalgia massage helps loosen large knots or nodules located in all different areas of the body. These lumps are brought on by spasm, contraction and according to some experts toxins or calcium phosphate retention. This retention is thought by many to be one of the leading causes of fibromyalgia symptoms.

You may know these areas very well because they can be extremely sore to the touch. Unfortunately, these areas can also produce referred pain to other areas of the body when pressed because of the elaborate interconnected nerve endings they're connected to. This makes it extremely difficult for therapists to pinpoint the exact location of where the pain is coming from.

fibromyalgia massage, woman being massaged

This breakdown of muscle tissue is done by many therapists called indirect and direct myofascial release. "Myo" means (muscle) and "fascia" is the web like tissue that surrounds and protects most parts of the body including the organs and muscles.

Indirect myofascial release is done by gently stretching or rocking the muscles which provides rich oxygenated blood and heat to these specific locations. This allows these lumps or tender points to soften and become more pliable. Then therapists provide a more direct myofascial release by using their hands, elbows, and other tools to help completely break down these structures. This ultimately increases joint flexibility and range of motion.

The breathing and relaxation part of an integrated fibromyalgia massage treatment usually consists of deep slow breaths derived by expanding the diaphragm while inhaling. This allows more air to enter the lungs and enables you to exhale at a slow and steady pace. This slow methodical breathing rhythm is crucial when it comes to reducing stress, blood pressure and anxiety episodes.

You can do this by focusing on expanding your stomach instead of your chest when taking a breath. You'll notice that as you inhale you're able to capture a larger volume of air. Performing 20 to 30 of these slow inhale and exhale exercises while being massaged is one of the most therapeutic treatments I've ever encountered. Continuing these breathing techniques aside from your massage visits can also help many individuals keep high blood pressure and anxiety under control.

A Trained Professional

There are many different fibromyalgia massage techniques that have evolved over the years, but if you're able to obtain treatment from a therapist that has treated fibromyalgia patients before, they usually have a fairly good idea of what questions to ask and what type of approach to take.

This is especially true when it comes to therapists that are familiar with the body mapping techniques of the guaifenesin protocol. Even though many of these therapists are very good at locating these lumps or tender points, some are not. Make sure to point out extremely sensitive areas before allowing them to work on you. They'll be able to gradually increase the pressure and movement of muscles once they become more loose and flexible.

To make sure you find a qualified and licensed massage therapist you can go to the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork directory and find a specialist near you.

This two tiered fibromyalgia massage approach combined with some key medications, supplements, and perhaps a moderate exercise

routine can deliver impressive results when it comes to an effective fibromyalgia treatment option. They've changed my life forever.

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