In the United States alone, an estimated 10 million people suffer the life-altering effects of fibromyalgia, a chronic, inflammatory disease. Because this illness is lifelong, many feel trapped in an unending cycle of painful symptoms and limitations. Widespread body pain, stiffness, sleep disturbances, and depression are several of the most common symptoms. These symptoms worsen during “flare-ups,” periods of physical or mental stress. Although there is no permanent cure for fibromyalgia, positive lifestyle changes and holistic treatments offer genuine relief for many symptoms. Massage therapy, in particular, has gained notable popularity in recent years and many patients and health care leaders recommend therapies such as Swedish Massage and Hot-Stone Massage for reducing the severity and number of fibromyalgia “flares.”
Swedish Massage is one of the most common massage therapies worldwide. This treatment offers full-body relaxation by relaxing all the major muscle groups and improving circulation. By restoring healthy blood flow throughout the body’s tissues, the body gains the ability to “detox” from harmful substances and enjoy the increase of “feel-good” endorphins released during the massage session.
Fibromyalgia patients commonly report wide-spread pain and stiffness, particularly at “trigger points,” specific regions where the discomfort is much worse. Swedish Massage allows the massage therapist to gently relax these tense areas and reduce the pain severity. The increased blood flow also improves range-of-motion and flexibility, reducing chronic stiffness in the joints and muscles.
This massage therapy uses a unique mixture of massage techniques and heated stones. The warm stones gently relax the muscles and soothe painful nerves. As the body relaxes, the warm temperature increases blood flow throughout the body, stimulating healing and reducing inflammation. Combined with deep massage, Hot-Stone therapy is the perfect treatment for fibromyalgia patients suffering from chronic pain and over-active nerves. The relaxing heat also triggers greater endorphin release, allowing mental rejuvenation and relaxation. This peaceful,”lulling” effect is extremely helpful for those struggling with poor sleep quality and chronic insomnia.
Because Hot-Stone therapy triggers greater muscle relaxation, the massage therapy itself is often more effective at reaching deeper “knots” and tense muscles, allowing a deeper and more meaningful massage experience. For patients not completely satisfied with more basic massage therapies, consider investing in Hot-Stone therapy for greater relief.
Massage Therapy Benefits:
A study conducted by the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami found that fibromyalgia patients benefited from massage therapy both mentally as well as physically. In addition to less pain and sensitivity, patients also enjoyed improved mental health and sleep quality. Over a period of 5 weeks, participants in this study gained a radically improved quality of life.
Fibromyalgia patients experienced greater relief by implementing massage therapy into their regular weekly schedules. Although patients often experience relief very quickly following the first few sessions, successfully managing long-term fibromyalgia “flare-ups” often requires a set massage schedule to fully enjoy the most relief. Based on your individual needs and health, begin considering how often you should plan your sessions. Consult your doctor as well as a trained massage therapist for specific questions and health considerations before starting massage therapy.
- Decreased pain and stiffness
- Greater relaxation and reduced feelings of stress
- Improved cardiovascular circulation
- Greater muscle health and flexibility
- Improved cognitive function and mental clarity
- Reduced depression, anxiety, and other emotional struggles
- Reduced inflammation and pain markers
- Improved sleep quality
Fibromyalgia symptoms vary from person to person. Although not everyone experiences this disease the same way, everyone can benefit from massage therapy. Speak with a trusted massage therapist and voice your specific needs and fibromyalgia issues. This allows them to uniquely tailor your massage sessions to treat all your health needs and symptoms.