Stop the Suffering, Manage The Pain.

Seven million Americans deal with this painful condition. 90% of those people are women. Your whole body aches, you're up all night tossing and turning, you are fatigued and depressed. You find it difficult to concentrate sometimes, with that "foggy" feeling that comes over you. You get migraines, anxiety, tender neck and shoulder muscles, stiffness....and no one can tell you why. Your doctor has given you multiple diagnosis possibilities, and after many diagnostic tests he finally concludes that what you're suffering with is Fibrolyalgia.{FM}

A chronic muscle syndrome, this condition causes widespread pain in the muscles and connective tissues of the body. There is no cure, and few treatment options. Doctors often prescribe painkillers and sleep aids, and that's about all they can do. No one likes to be on medication, and it can make you feel even more groggy than you already do. Now, studies are showing alternative therapies are providing better results for FM patients than anything before. From Yoga to Acupuncture to nutritional supplements, and especially Massage Therapy. The Touch Research Institute conducted a study where FM patients received a 30min. massage once a week for 5 weeks. At the end of those 5 weeks, these patients reported a significant reduction in their overall muscle pain, fatigue, and stress. They were sleeping better, and thinking clearer. They lost that Fibro Fog feeling. "Fibro Fog" is the term used to describe the patients’ feelings of listlessness, unable to focus or concentrate, having a short attention span, short term memory loss, extreme fatigue and just an overall "out of it" feeling. Regular massage proved to keep these symptoms away a little longer with each treatment. Some patients even lowered or eliminated their medication.

FM sufferers need to make lifestyle changes in order to manage their pain. This is a lifelong, chronic condition that can feel debilitating at times if you don’t make healthy living a priority. Along with good nutrition, lots of sleep and mild exercise, massage is one of the best treatment options for FM But, it is important to make sure you’re seeing a therapist who has had advanced education and training in Fibromyalgia Massage. Do not just go to any spa or just any massage therapist. The wrong pressure or technique could have you in bed for the next three days! You need to find a therapist specializing or certified in massage for this specific condition. This is very important.

For some FM patients, any type of touch, even very light, really hurts. For others, they can’t get a deep enough massage! An educated therapist will know how to treat each patient differently, according to their needs. It is not good for FM patients to receive deep tissue massage, unless {and ONLY unless} they have had deep pressure massage before and felt fine the next day. But that is not very common. Deep pressure may feel great to the patient at the time, but the next day they will feel like a train wreck. This will not do them any good. Massage should start off gentle, and working deeper over time according to the patient’s level of tolerance. It should not be an overly painful experience. The main goal is to reduce stress and promote relaxation so that the patient’s muscles can relax as well.

Every Fibromyalgia Massage Treatment should include aromatherapy and heat. Essential oils have many healing benefits, and are great at relieving the symptoms associated with FM. Depending on how the patient is feeling that day determines which aroma to use. For example, Tangerine and Grapefruit are great for clearing "Fibro Fog". Chamomile and Lavender are good for relieving stress, headaches/migraines, depression, and anxiety. Ginger, Rosemary and Peppermint are great for muscle aches and pains. Heat should be applied before, during and after the massage. Incorporating Hot Stones on the back and neck as well as warm, wet towels allows the muscles to relax even more, allowing the therapist to work a little deeper without any added pain or discomfort. The massage should also focus on stretching, particularly the neck, back and legs {where FM patients generally hurt the most} Regular stretching keep these muscles loose, preventing the common trigger points or “knots” associated with FM.

It’s also important that FM patients receive massage at least once a week. Once every 2 weeks is still helpful, but waiting any longer than that will only result in treating the immediate symptoms, and have no long term results. If you only get massage once a month, or wait until you feel like a train wreck to come in, you will only feel better for a day or two. It is essential, necessary, for FM patients who are getting massage to receive them regularly to achieve long term results. This is a chronic, lifelong condition that needs consistent treatment. Over time, massage therapy will significantly reduce all the symptoms of Fibromyalgia, greatly improving the quality of life.

After the massage, it’s suggested to go home and relax. Take a hot bath or shower, use warm neck wraps, and drink lots and lots of water. Water is key to keeping your muscles healthy and flushing out all the toxins that were released during the massage, making for a faster recovery and reducing the soreness you might feel the next day. You can take control of your healing. Along with your physician, nutrition, exercise, hydrotherapy, & relaxation techniques, massage is a great addition to your own personal pain management plan. Find a therapist specializing in Fibromyalgia and make it a priority to take care of yourself. These therapists should have discount programs for FM patients, since it’s necessary for these patients to come in so often, so it really can be affordable. Massage is not just a luxury. It’s preventative health care, stress reduction and pain management. Your body will thank you.

Author's Bio: 

My name is Leia McCumber, owner of Leia's Renu Day Spa in Madison Wisconsin. I also work there full time as a Massage Therapist, which I have been for over 3 years. We provide a wide variety of massage & body treatments at affordable rates. I became certified in Fibromyalgia Massage in 2007. My mother has had FM for 14 years, and when I saw how debilitating this condition could be, I wanted to help her and others like her. I now specialize in working with Fibromyalgia clients, & have discount programs for these patients. It is my passion to take care of people, and help them heal. I love what I do! You can read more about all our services at