There are many reasons why an individual might search out a Massage Therapist. These reasons can include recovery from an injury or surgery – especially affecting a joint or extremity, muscle tightness that is limiting the body’s functionality and causing pain and stiffness. Others are prompted to find relief from anxiety, general stress and fatigue, or to seek maximum tone and flexibility for their bodies.
Those of us that specialize in the energetic and emotional component with clients know that as the body releases its built up tension, the emotions and the energy begin to flow and more of a balance is reached. Emotions are held in the body and can create constriction if not allowed to flow through (the process of feeling the emotion and then letting it flow out). We practitioners experience this when we ourselves are clients as we delve into our process of healing and balancing through breathing and letting go as we are worked upon, allowing not only the excess energy of being caregivers, but also that of our own personal physical and emotional tendencies. If we feel overwhelmed by our daily activities, we might begin to hold our shoulders up or closer to our bodies. As we relax those shoulders during a massage session, we can briefly release the need to protect ourselves that way – and learn new ways. Each time we do this we are creating a new pattern within ourselves and how we hold our bodies.
Massage is a great way to allow healing on all levels, if needed. Or if you simply want some time for yourself.
I offer a safe place for clients to relax and feel nurtured. I enjoy being of service in that way.
My thoughts this morning on
Massage Therapy and conditions like Fibromyalgia.
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:
Frankincense– anti inflammatory and soothing to the skin. Used for scars, skin irritation & dry skin. Calming to the nervous system.
Jasmine– helps ease inflammation, is used on sensitive and dry, irritated skin. Eases stress, depression, anxiety.
Juniper– used for arthritis and gout, since it helps expel uric acid from the body (not to be used in cases of kidney disease). Helps calm muscle spasms and also helps calm the nervous system.
Lavender– soothing to the skin and is used for burns, sunburn & inflammation. Calming to the nervous system and has anti microbial and antiseptic properties.
Peppermint– stimulating, eases headache and migraines, helps breathing & clears sinuses, eases digestiion and muscle pain.
Rosemary– stimulates surface circulation & is used for muscle tension and joints. Has antiseptic and anti fungal properties.
Spearmint– similar to peppermint, but is less powerful (and has a sweeter scent). Is used for headache, muscle pain and digestion.
Myrrh– used for eczema, athletes foot, cracked, dry skin. Has anti fungal, anti microbial, astringent, and antiseptic properties.
From “Massage Today”
“Discussing current treatment protocols for the varied symptoms, Lynne K. Matallana, president of the NFA has said, “The NFA suggests that individuals who suffer with the symptoms of fibromyalgia implement a self-management program which incorporates both Western and complementary approaches to health care.”
After doing massage for a few clients with Fibromyalgia, I have just begun research on how my services can benefit those experiencing the symptoms of this syndrome, and how I might learn to better serve clients with similar issues. As I do further research, I will keep you posted on some of the things I learn and how I’m applying them. I do know that Massage, Reflexology and Energy Work are listed in some articles as having good effects. Monica, HeartSong Bodywork:
“Swedish Massage techniques are gentle, but deep enough to be effective in reducing the pain associated with FMS. Massage researcher Richard Van Why (1994) reports that Swedish vibration techniques, either administered by hand or by mechanical means, powerfully relieve pain and cause release of long-held tension in the muscles of those with FMS.”
( So avoiding deeper presser is something to keep in mind.)
“Reflexology is another suitable massage technique to address both acute and chronic conditions associated with FMS. Reflex areas on the feet and hands correspond with all of the areas and organs of the body. Gentle enough to use for all ages and conditions, this approach encourages the body to naturally restore its own healthy balance. ”
( Reflexology pressure can be softened whenever necessary; many clients find that the soles of the feet take more pressure than the rest of the body, although points on the tops of the feet generally require a softer touch. )
“Flare-upsFibromyalgia recuperation does not progress linearly. Even a comprehensive pain management program will intermittently experience setbacks, otherwise known as flare-ups. The symptoms of a flare-up indicate oxygen insufficiency in the muscles and brain. Since massage increases tissue oxygenation, flare-ups present an ideal time to receive massage.Bodyworkers must proceed carefully and slowly with FMS clients, especially when flare-ups are involved. During a flare-up, symptoms intensify and new symptoms can develop. For some clients, massage involving vigorous strokes or deep pressure can cause rebound tenderness, exacerbating pain. Prior to, and during flare-ups, certain areas may be too tender for deep work, and can result in further tensing of the involved muscles. Respected fibromyalgia researcher, Devin J. Starlanyl, MD, recommends avoiding deep tissue massage or neuromuscular therapy during these times.Signs of an impending flare-up include:
• Fasciculations – small twitches caused by groups of muscles that fire randomly. The jerks or spasms indicate that muscles or nerves are irritated. Before a flare-up, these twitches may worsen.• Muscle strength can become unreliable. Those affected have a tendency to drop things more frequently and lose coordination.• Circulation may be impaired due to constricted blood vessels. One hand or foot may feel colder than the other.• Memory and thinking may become impaired.• Depression may worsen.”
Scheduling a Prenatal Massage allows the expectant mother to relax and create a space for comfort and pampering for herself. The Massage Therapist gives gentle bodywork to relax muscles, increase circulation, improve lymph flow and give an overall sense of calm and well being to the client.
A Prenatal Massage can give the client a renewed feeling of physical strength by improving muscle function and the movement of fluids. It is a lovely way for the expectant mother to allow herself some time for nurturing and being taken care of, so that she can then be more effective and at ease in her life.
Putting an hour aside for a Prenatal Massage is a gift for yourself or for someone you love.
Massage Therapy can offset the rigors of training for marathons or races, and allow competitors to perform without the pain and stress of over-worked muscles.
Alleviating excess stress and providing muscles nutrition by the increase of circulation, Massage Therapy can greatly improve one’s exercise experience.
The removal of waste products is also a benefit, as Massage Therapy stimulates not only blood and lymph circulation but helps the urinary system and the skin eliminate toxins.
Drinking extra water prior to – and after – a massage session greatly contributes to this process.
Foot Reflexology is a concentrated massage on the “reflex points” of the feet. Stimulating these points with pressure/massage sends energy flow throughout the body.
Call today! HeartSong Bodywork 816-686-7555
HeartSong bodywork invites you to experience services that help alleviate stress and rebalance your energies. HeartSong Bodywork is a place to relax, unwind and rejuvenate with Massage Therapy, Reflexology, Essential Oil Treatments.
Monica Miller is a licensed Massage Therapist practicing in Missouri, specializing in Reflexology. She enjoys learning about the sutler energy systems of the body, and has certification in Attunement and Reiki techniques.[note color=”#CDCDCD”] Sessions are by appointment only, and can be set by calling Monica Miller 816-686-7555 [/note]