Fibromyalgia Syndrome and Massage Therapy

Fibromyalgia Syndrome and Massage Therapy

Fibromyalgia Syndrome affects between 2 and 5 percent of the U.S. population, which is roughly 6 to 15 million people. Most FMS clients are women aged 25 to 50.1 Yet the definition of FMS has a number of variations.2

FMS Symptoms

The range of symptoms for Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS) include widespread pain, fatigue, severely disturbed sleep and, all too often, digestive system distress. However, the causes almost always lie elsewhere, and not in the tissues where the pain is being felt.

My objective in helping FMS clients will include any or all of the following:

*   Easing anxiety and encouraging better sleep patterns

*    Deactivating trigger points

*    Improving general circulatory and lymphatic flow

*    Recognizing and helping improve breathing pattern disorders

*    Improving muscular tone, function and balance.

*    Working with compassion and empathy

When working with Fibromyalgia clients I primarily use gentle Swedish style strokes with massage oil or cream and therapeutic grade plant (Aromatherapy) oils. All symptoms are discussed and addressed to get the most out of each session. I may also combine Foot Reflexology to also address pain issues of the body as well as deepen the relaxation experience. For your first session, you may choose to start with 30 minutes, just to see how your body feels later, as you sleep, and how you feel the next day. If the results are positive you can continue with 30 minutes or if you choose, slowly increase the time. Again, you will observe your body’s reactions and at this point decide what amount of time works for you.

Some info you should know

With FMS clients, when massage and movement therapy were compared with relaxation and movement, there were far more benefits in the group receiving both massage and movement therapy. The greatest benefits were noted in areas of mood and depression, as well as in reduced pain levels.3

Disturbed sleep, a symptom of FMS, causes far more problems than fatigue. One of the functions of sleep during its deepest stages is production of the growth hormone (GH). It is also produced during aerobic exercise. GH performs many vital repair and regeneration tasks. Gentle massage therapy is important, but deep tissue work that would contribute to traumatizing tissues should be avoided, because less GH means less or slower healing of tissues.

1. Wolfe F, et al. “Serotonin Levels, Pain Threshold, and Fibromyalgia Symptoms in the General Population.” Journal of Rheumatology. 1997; 24(Mar): 555-559.

2. AmericanCollege of Rheumatology. “Criteria for the classification of fibromyalgia, arthritis and rheumatism.” 1990; 33:160-172.

3. Field T, Delage J, Hernandez-Reif M. “Movement and massage therapy reduce fibromyalgia pain.” Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, 2002; 7(1):49-52.

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HEALING THE BODY WITH DRY BRUSHING

Dry Brushing is an ancient technique used to aid in the skin’s ability to release and remove toxins from the body. With the use of a natural bristled brush, the body is completely brushed using upward strokes towards the heart. This technique has been practiced historically by many cultures with very healthful benefits including:  *Dry Brushing sheds dead skin cells which will improve skin texture and cell renewal (the body creates new cells everyday) contributing to tighter, softer, smoother and healthier skin.  *The increase in skin circulation encourages your body’s discharge of metabolic wastes, which greatly aids the lymphatic drainage of the entire body. By stimulating the lymph canals, which will drain toxic mucous matter into the colon where it can be released, the entire system is being purified. This enables the lymph to perform its cleaning duties by keeping the blood and other vital tissues detoxified. When the body rids itself of toxins, it is able to run more efficiently in all areas.  *Dry brushing also helps mobilize fat and helps with even distribution of fat deposits. For Cellulite- Cellulite is a toxic material that is accumulated in your body’s fat cells making it difficult to be eliminated. Dry brushing, coupled with an alkaline diet program and a great exercising routine, will break down the unwelcome toxic body deposits and send them out of your body through the elimination channels discussed above.  *Dry brushing helps your skin to absorb nutrients by eliminating clogged pores. Healthy, breathing skin contributes to overall body health. An increase in electromagnetic energy that permits you to feel energized and invigorated is another benefit.   *Dry brushing helps muscle tone by stimulating the nerve endings which causes the individual muscle fibers to activate and move (this is a great technique for invalids who can’t exercise). Nerve ending stimulation also rejuvenates the nervous system.

After stumbling across this info online I decided to try it for 5 months. I started last April and the energizing effects were immediate. I felt a fine buzz throughout my body that I knew wasn’t there before. My face even looked healthier. So this happened within the first few days and I decided to continue with it. I started off with a moderate pressure and after about 2 weeks I was using a lot more pressure. My skin either got used to it, or the new regenerated cells were healthier and perhaps enjoying this process. Just my own observation. I would then shower and apply organic unrefined coconut oil. When the weather got warmer, I would use less oil, but continued this process.

It has now been a full 5 months and I feel good inside and out. My skin looks healthier and younger. Fall and Winter are approaching and it will be interesting to see how my skin looks then. Will follow up on this.

I was so into this process with my body that I decided to try face brushing which I approached with great care. I will speak more about this in the next post. I hope this was helpful and please feel free to reach out if you have questions about this. kerry@kerrymassage.com

Peace,

Kerry