Massage and Fibromyalgia

Massage is a form of therapy designed to improve circulation, promote relaxation, reduce muscle pain and remove lactic acid and other waste products from the muscles. How does it do all these things? Massage works by increasing the circulation of blood, improving the delivery of oxygen and other nutrients to muscle tissues.

People use massage therapy to help a variety of different conditions, such as:

  • • Inflammatory conditions (i.e. arthritis)
  • • Back pain
  • • Migraines
  • • To relieve muscle spasms, strains and sprains
  • • To improve respiratory and circulatory problems
  • • To relieve stress
  • • As part of rehabilitation therapy after surgery, an illness or an injury

Typical length of time of massage is 30 to 90 minutes. Massage should not be painful; if it is, you can simply ask your masseuse to adjust the pressure they are using. You may feel a little discomfort if you have a lot of knots in your muscles. Massage can help to relieve these painful knots. After receiving a massage, you should drink plenty of water. You will likely feel very relaxed and perhaps a little sleepy. Many massage therapists use soothing music and aromatherapy to enhance relaxation during a massage.

Massage and Fibromyalgia

Muscle pain is the main symptom of fibromyalgia, therefore massage therapy can be of great value in treating fibromyalgia pain. Some studies have shown that massage therapy improves sleeping patterns, decreases pain and relieves symptoms of anxiety and depression. A 2002 study showed that fibromyalgia patients had less pain after one month of massage treatments twice a week.

If you suffer from fibromyalgia, massage therapy may be beneficial in decreasing pain levels. At the very least, massage may promote relaxation and stress relief. It is a good idea to check with your physician before embarking on any new treatment regimen, including massage, in case there are any contraindications to massage (i.e. blood clots).

Source: Fibromyalgia Pain and Substance P Decreases and Sleep Improves After Massage Therapy. Journal of Clinical Rheumatology


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Fibromyalgia is a prevalent condition that affects many people in the United States. Approximately 3.7 million Americans have Fibromyalgia. That is 1 in every 73 people.

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