How Massage Can Help Fibromyalgia?
Being a fibromyalgia or ‘fibro’ sufferer can feel miserable. It is important to learn to manage your symptoms as much as possible to try and avoid it impacting on your everyday life. This can be easier said than done. Massage can be one way to help manage your symptoms.
What is Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia is a medical condition characterised by chronic widespread pain and a heightened pain response to pressure. People who suffer from this condition are more often female between the ages of 20 to 50.
The main symptom is pain, which can range from mild to severe. It varies from person to person but some people report shooting or burning pains while others complain of a constant deep ache which doesn’t let up. It’s common for joints to feel tender and the pain to get worse at night although some people feel it all day long. Other symptoms can include tiredness, depression, headaches and memory loss.
Why massage for Fibromyalgia?
Massage can boost circulation in your muscles, reduce your heart rate, relax your muscles, improve the range of motion in your joints and increase the production of the body’s natural painkillers, also known as endorphins. All of these effects are positively great for fibro sufferers.
People who have fibro can be extra sensitive to pressure in some parts of their body therefore good communication with your therapist about using the most comfortable pressure. If you’re worried that it will hurt…don’t be. I will always check in with you about the pressure used and can adjust the session to ensure that you are positioned comfortably.
How can sleep help?
Massage can help to promote better sleep, so it follows that if your fibro leaves you waking up tired, even after what you think was a normal night’s sleep, a massage can help. A decent massage will leave you relaxed and promote deeper sleep – and deep sleep helps fibro symptoms because it’s when you enter the deep sleep phase that your body can repair and restore itself.
Boost your mood
During your massage, your body will begin to relax, due to the effects of your parasympathetic nervous system which also allows us to rest and digest. While we are in a relaxed state mentally, we are more likely to experience less tension in our muscles.
Performing myofascial release techniques to your head and neck can offer a gentle way to encourage chronic muscle tension to relax and decrease headaches. Frequent massages can help reduce the intensity of your headaches which can improve your mood and help you to sleep better.
If you’re concerned about whether a massage is a good idea for you, speak to your doctor first.