My thoughts on
Fibromyalgia and Massage Therapy.
I am still piecing together information from articles, my previous class, and info from related websites giving information on Fibromyalgia. As with most conditions, there are theories based on scientific studies and people’s experiences.
It seems clear that because of physical trauma/injury or emotional trauma (or sustained trauma of either kind) changes occur in the nervous system, hormonal system and in the chemical/nutritional supply that feeds the function of muscular contraction and release, the release/relaxation part of this process being inhibited – creating stiffness and inflammation.
These reactions can lead to changes in pain sensitivity, hormonal balance, and posture – especially upper back and neck posture, contributing to the forward tilt of the head. Anxiety, sleep disturbance and depression are often involved. Emotional, physical & energetic responses are interwoven, each facet bringing its own sensations into the mix.
I believe, like with any type of balancing or healing we do in our lives, starting with one aspect (physical or emotional, for example) may be the key for one individual. Another person may be able to combine approaches utilizing methods effecting shifts “across the board”.
Some sources promote the use of Swedish Massage for Fibromyalgia and related conditions, while others affirm that a structured and more specific system of massage with a delegated number of session and breaks in between certain numbers of sessions to be most beneficial.
It is said that gentle massage can be soothing and bring the benefits that massage is known for: increase of circulation, relaxation of muscle fibers, movement of lumph fluid, but that attention should be paid to the days when clients have “fibro flare ups” and are more sensitive to touch.
As with the general population, those with Fibromyalgia who are new to Massage Therapy may experience a little more fatigue or pain after the first few sessions, as the body is releasing buildups of chemicals such as calcium, increasing oxygen in the system, and stimulating more proper muscle states.
I will be writing more on this.
A few links: