What is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a condition in which people experience widespread pain throughout their body. This achiness presents itself on known points called Tender Points (not to be confused with Tigger Points). The symptoms, including generalized muscle pain, affects 2-6% of the adult population, primarily women. Symptoms can be aggravated by overexertion, lack of exercise, stress, depression, anxiety, lack of sleep, and extremes in temperature. People who suffer from Fibromyalgia are often told to exercise when their energy levels are high, focusing on improving posture, stretching and increasing endurance. They are also encouraged to listen to their body for signs of pain and fatigue and to alter their lifestyle accordingly. Exercises like walking, swimming and yoga are encouraged.
So how does massage help?
There are a few ways in which massage therapy can help manage the pain of Fibromyalgia. When we are stressed or anxious, it is common to hold tension in places like your shoulders, neck and hips. Spending some time on the massage table will create a safe and relaxing space where you can learn to manage the stresses in your life and let go of that tension. Massage therapy is also known to release neurotransmitters such as serotonin (the happy ones) and decrease levels of cortisol (the sad ones). Once we get your body to relax, skilled RMTs are able to find specific areas of tension, or trigger points, that can be released, leading to better circulation, increased mobility and decreased pain. There is evidence found in a Swedish study suggesting that massage therapy can decrease the levels of myoglobin in the blood stream, which is a protein thought to be leaking out of muscle tissue contributing to increased levels of pain. Additional studies show that massage therapy can decrease stiffness and improve sleeping patterns in sufferers, helping you to reach a deeper, more restorative sleeping pattern, one necessary to rebuild and heal tissues.
Where do I go from here?
At Bloom Therapy we treat many clients with Fibromyalgia with great results. If you are interested in trying massage therapy as a treatment, we suggest that you begin with a 30 minute session to see how your body reacts. This syndrome varies widely between individuals and we want to make sure we don't overwork and fatigue your muscles. From there we can work up to a 60 minute treatment reaching towards sessions once a week. Each treatment is individualized and based on how you are feeling that particular day, leaving you in full control. Communication is key in a treatment for Fibromyalgia. Our aim is to improve your quality of life by decreasing pain levels, increasing mobility and decreasing feelings of anxiety and depression. If you are ready for a restorative nights sleep, book and appointment with us today. Still have questions? Feel free to give us a call!