May 6, 2009

Fibromyalgia Massage

Posted in physiotherapy at 1:48 am by Edwin

Fibromyalgia massage was designed to help people cope with the pains of fibromyalgia, which is a chronic syndrome that causes terrible fatigue and enormous pain. The word “fibromyalgia” means tissue and muscle pain. The main symptom of the condition is great pain that affects the muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the body. People who suffer from the symptoms often feel like their whole body is aching.

Massage therapy is one of the best treatments for the pains of Fibromyalgia. It has become quite popular amongst patients as massage helps to ease the pain, reduce muscles stiffness and promote relaxation. During fibromyalgia massage therapy, the muscles and body tissues are rubbed and manipulated to reduce pain, ease stress and tension and increase flexibility of the tissues. The therapist uses their hands in a variety of different techniques to perform the massage. The strokes used can include kneading, rubbing, stroking and palpating the muscles. Sometimes special massage tools may be used in the therapy to target specific muscle areas. Also, hot therapies may be combined with the treatment. Any technique that involves heat or hot compression is a form of heat therapy. The heat helps to soothe and relax the muscles, making movement easier and free of pain.

People are unsure exactly how massage therapy works to reduce the pain of fibromyalgia, but one thing they agree on is that it does in fact work. It has been suggested that the reduction of pain is related to the central nervous system. It’s theorized that during massage therapy, the central nervous system is stimulated, which in turn promotes the production of pain blocking hormones such as serotonin, endorphins and norepinephrine. These are naturally occurring hormones found in the body that when released, block the pain signals from reaching the brain and stops the pain. This could be one reason why massage therapy brings such immense relief.

Massage therapy is one of the most beneficial treatments for fibromyalgia patients. The many benefits include decreased pain and stiffness, reduced stress and depression, increased flexibility and range of movements, increased circulation to the muscles, and improved sleep. Typical massage sessions last about 30 minutes and patients of fibromyalgia usually start to feel relief after just ten treatments. Depending on the therapist, different types of massage may be used to treat the symptoms. Two of the most used treatments are Swedish massage and the deep tissue massage.

Swedish massage is designed to increase oxygen flow to the muscles. This helps to improve the health of the muscles as well as their flexibility, and to help eliminate toxins. The therapist uses long, gliding motions along the muscles but sometimes combines this with vibration and kneading techniques which all benefit the body.

Deep tissue massage is a more vigorous approach that works the body tissues and muscles deeper to loosen them and reduce tension and pain. It usually involves deep, firm, stroking movements that delivers quite a bit of pressure to the deep tissues of the body. Patients may feel a wee bit of pain after the first couple treatments, but the pain will subside and the long-term benefits will be great.

If you’re a patient experiencing fibromyalgia pain then massage therapy is definitely worth looking into. It’s important however to find a trained massage therapist who specializes in treating the symptoms of fibromyalgia. They will have the most knowledge in treating the symptoms. Once you find the right therapist the results of fibromyalgia massage will be wonderful.



  1. Fibromyalgia is an ailment that a lot of people in my social circles poke fun at because they say it’s the “pathetic” way to get out of work and/or any sort of activity. I find this as a real and painful ailment to have. I have been going to a massage therapist (in New York near my job) for nearly 2 years now on a weekly basis to deal with this on top of a bit of scoliosis. Let me tell you, it does help along with Deep-tissue in targeted areas. Thanks for posting this…much appreciated.

  2. Edwin said,

    thank you for posting your comment

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