Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that can affect every area of your life. Along with widespread pain, a number of other symptoms can limit your activities and challenge your ability to cope. But you can feel better. In addition to medical attention, consistent massage therapy acts on multiple levels to help manage this difficult condition. Profoundly relaxing, massage can reduce pain, improve quality of life, and provide emotional support through caring touch.
What Is Fibromyalgia? Fibromyalgia literally translates as fibrous (fibro), muscle (myo), pain (algia). There is no single identified cause, although physical trauma such as auto accidents or surgery can be a major trigger for its onset. Others may include infections, stress, sleep disturbances, or severe emotional trauma, even from years past.
Most people with fibromyalgia experience pain at multiple sites throughout the body, although it may start in one region such as the back, neck, or shoulders and spread over time. If you have fibromyalgia, you know it doesn't stop there. More than likely, you experience a host of other symptoms such as severe fatigue, headaches, and trouble concentrating. And you may be anxious, perhaps even distressed about feeling the way you do.
Massage to Lighten Your Load Your system is overtaxed. You may be overwhelmed trying to cope while leading a normal life, and you may not know how to begin feeling better. The good news is that lightening your load any where will free up physical and emotional resources your body needs to heal. Massage can help.
Massage, A Gentle Approach Massage should be enjoyable. If touch is painful to you, I will work gently and slowly, depending on your body's unique response.
Be aware that any treatment, even massage, is another input for your overtaxed system. Even if you feel you need deep pressure, short and gentle sessions may be best, especially in the beginning. It could take several sessions to begin feeling the benefits, but with regular massage many with fibromyalgia report substantial relief, both physical and emotional.
Meeting Your Individual Needs Your needs may change from one session to the next. Be prepared to convey information about your symptoms, changes in health, and medications at each visit. It is also important to tell your primary health practitioner you are receiving massage.
Always tell me what feels good and what does not. If you prefer, it's possible to focus on just one area, such as your neck and shoulders, and enjoy relaxation extending throughout your body. Try to give accurate feedback about pressure or tenderness, as well as fatigue or discomfort after a session. In addition to massage, you can support your healing by drinking plenty of water, eating well, getting adequate rest, and listening to your body's warning signals when you need to slow down. You may benefit from a support group, or stress reduction counseling. You might also try meditation, yoga, or acupuncture to reduce stress and increase energy.
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