I know what you’re thinking. “I have fibro, I can’t stand to be touched! I’m NOT getting a massage.” Actually massage from a skilled massage therapist can be very beneficial to those with fibromyalgia and plenty of other health issues. Massage is often seen as a luxury or just a way to relax, but for those of us with fibro, it can be an important treatment tool in our toolbox.
My sister is a gifted massage therapist and I know a few others that practice. When I first found out I had fibro my sister offered to help (I KNOW!). The first things she noticed was that even though I was fully relaxed, my muscles, all of them, were tight. She couldn’t believe it! Regular massage can reduce that muscle tightness. In fact here is a list of the benefits of regular massage according to fibromyalgia-symptoms.org
- increased blood circulation to the muscles
- faster muscle repair
- increased flexibility
- increased range of motion
- decreased stress and depression
- reduced pain
- reduced stiffness
- improved sleep patterns
According to their survey, given to fibro sufferers, massage therapy was the best rated fibromyalgia treatment by far.
The MOST IMPORTANT thing is that you choose a massage therapist that is highly knowledgeable of fibromyalgia and willing to listen to you and adjust as you need. Interview a few and try out someone that seems like a good fit.
Each body is different, my needs in a massage may be different than yours. My big issue is muscle tightness, yours might be painful muscle knots. Knowing different massage techniques will help you understand what your therapist can do for you.
Some of the most popular massages include Swedish massage and deep tissue massage. Other types include myofascial release, hot stone massage, shiatsu, and reflexology. The first three are the most popular treatments for fibromyalgia.
You can learn more about Swedish Massage here - http://www.swedishmassage.com/
Info on Deep Tissue Massage here - http://deeptissuemassage.net/
And information on Myofascial Release here – http://www.spine-health.com/treatment/physical-therapy/myofascial-release-therapy
There are also techniques that you can do yourself! Have you heard of foam rolling? I’ll be exploring that in another post soon!
Ask around to friends/family/Dr.’s and give massage a try! You will most likely be happy with the results in the long term.
My sister always tells me the most important thing I need to do before a massage is to drink water! Your body needs to be well hydrated to handle it and keep you headache free.