You will encounter many different forms of massage depending where around the world you travel. However in this modern age, you can probably find all significant forms of massage within a close proximity.
Fibromyalgia, It Is Much More Serious Than You Think It is
There is a current chronic condition called fibromyalgia, otherwise known as FM, that ails roughly 3 million Americans every year. This condition gives you widespread pain as well as increased sensitivity that leads not only to pain but to major discomfort and difficulty in sleeping as well. There are numerous types of treatment available but it has recently been confirmed that massage therapy has been proven to offer some relief to this awful condition.
However, fibromyalgia is quite a complex condition and massage therapists need to have an above average know how and experience in order to properly understand how the condition affects the client and furthermore, to understand when their treatment is working or in some cases, when it is not.
To put it in layman’s terms, fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by chronic and widespread muscle pain and tenderness. Patients with fibromyalgia also typically experience headaches, fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome as well as have cognitive difficulties. Relatively recently, it has been discovered that this condition is actually a central nervous system disorder, regardless of the fact that muscle pain is one of its symptoms. It is also further believed that fibromyalgia is a disorder in the central nervous system pain processing pathways as opposed to in the primary autoimmune disorder of the peripheral tissue, which is what they used to think it was.
This explains why patients with fibromyalgia are highly sensitive to all forms of stimuli. Patients have shown sensitivity to light, sound, have multiple forms of allergies, chemical sensitivities, plus are unable to deal with too much heat or cold.
Who Are The Typical Candidates That Suffer From Fibromyalgia?
In short, women. But really, the answer is far more complicated than by simply saying that it occurs in women. It has been observed that there are typically two experiences that seem to lead to fibromyalgia, these are genetics and personal trauma. In terms of genetics, it is rather black and white and straightforward, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
In terms of obtaining fibromyalgia from personal trauma though, there is a lot more that goes into that. There are links between post traumatic stress disorder and fibromyalgia although it would be inaccurate to say that one causes the other, period. A study was done in 2001 wherein they observed that passed emotional, physical, and/or sexual trauma was associated with one getting fibromyalgia. The study further revealed that the trauma causes the limbic system to go into hyperdrive which further makes the nervous system overly sensitive.
Treatment Plans That Patients Can Experiment With
Unfortunately there is no single method in which fibromyalgia can be treated. Those who suffer from FM have no choice but to explore numerous possibilities in order to figure out which method best suits their needs. More often than not, patients will be prescribed a pill of some kind that had been prescribed to them so massage therapists should conduct very thorough briefings or intakes with their patients prior to any massages are given to further understand how your massage therapy session will affect your client with regards to the medication they are taking.
Besides massages as therapy for fibromyalgia, patients can also try other approaches such as acupuncture and yoga. These, combined with working with a massage therapist, can really help a patient out and with any luck, this team approach will have your patient sleeping better in no time.
The True Benefits of Massaging Someone With Fibromyalgia
The year was 2011 when massage therapists were proven to be responsible for causing pain and sensitivity reduction in patients who were suffering from fibromyalgia. Not only were their tender points hurting less but their anxiety levels had gone down while their quality of sleep went up. Merely 3 years later, in 2014, a study was done that proved that proper massage therapy done by a qualified and experienced masseuse offered their patients instant benefits from the pain as well as improvements with their anxiety and depression. The same study showed that massage therapy has been particularly helpful for patients of fibromyalgia by administering it to soft and connected tissues as it helps improve muscle flexibility as well as modulating blood and lymph circulation.
If you are a massage therapist and are interested in treating patients with fibromyalgia, it is highly recommended that you learn as many techniques as you can while remembering that with FM, there is no single right or wrong way to massage the patient. Each patient will have certain different needs and you, as his or her therapist will need to adjust to them. For some, the importance will be found in the amount of pressure, for others, it may be in specific areas by the joints. Keep in mind that deep pressure is not recommended or needed by patients with fibromyalgia, it is the light touch that they find relief. Always bear in mind that if they are hypersensitive, then you will really need to touch them really lightly in all the aspects of your time together. This includes speaking to them in a light voice, dimming the lights in your room and perhaps even playing soft music.
Flexibility and The Need to Follow Up with Your Patients
Considering the complex scenarios that may come as a result of treating a patient with fibromyalgia, it is important for any massage therapist to consider that each patient may have different needs. You must be patient and observant. Try to read their body language and find what touches in which places offer them relief or hurts them more. It might also help to remember that these patients are suffering from chronic pain, do not sleep well, suffer from anxiety or depression, so it may be best to treat them gently as well.
Another helpful tip when working with patients who have FM is to connect with them after your therapy sessions. You can give it a few days before phoning them but do make that call to get feedback on your session and to hear from them how the therapy has affected them in the days since. You may learn that the session gave them a sense of relief while it was going on but that they were back where they started once they stepped out of your room. This will give you an opportunity to reassure them that there are other techniques that you can try in the next session that may offer them a more long term relief.
It Is Not The End Of The World
We know that fibromyalgia is a complex disorder that is very difficult for a patient to deal with and that there is no single way to treat a patient. This makes it such a daunting disorder and may be intimidating for anyone to understand. But research can reassure us that massage therapy with various techniques have proven to help clients find relief. Patients with FM are now sleeping better, have less stress, and are living more normal lives.
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.