Wednesday, January 25, 2012

another guest writer

This is one about massage and fibromyalgia by Jenna.  I hope you enjoy it!!!

T9:Massage and Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a frustrating illness. A syndrome rather than a disease, fibromyalgia causes muscle pain, twitches and even a sensation of burning in the muscles. In fact, the name fibromyalgia means “fibrous tissue muscle pain.” Up to 5% of the population suffers from fibromyalgia; as many as 6 million people in the United States have this syndrome.

Fibromyalgia causes pain in the ligaments, tendons and muscles of the body and those with this syndrome often say they feel they are aching all over. When muscles are not used, they are more likely to spasm, trapping oxygen, nutrients and waste materials inside the muscle. Your central nervous system – the brain and spinal column – is also involved in fibromyalgia and the syndrome can affect the neurotransmitters and hormones used by the central nervous system. Fibromyalgia is more common in women than men and has even appeared in a few children. It cannot be cured and the syndrome often lasts for years. Trigger points -- tender areas in soft tissue of muscles – are one of the signs of fibromyalgia. These are located in distinct areas of the body and are used to aid in diagnosis of the syndrome.

Massage therapy seems to benefit individuals with many illnesses, from headaches to
mesothelioma cancer to  fibromyalgia. It can help reduce stiffness and pain and promote relaxation. Massage therapy may enhance the production of neurotransmitters and other substances that help to block pain, such as endorphins, serotonin and norepinephrine. The stroking, palpating and kneading of muscles help relieve tension and improve blood flow. Massage can also increase flexibility and range of motion, decrees stress and depression and help you sleep better.

Swedish massage, deep tissue massage and myofascial release are the massage techniques most likely to
benefit people with fibromyalgia. Swedish massage is designed to increase oxygen delivery to the muscles and uses long, gliding movements, kneading, tapping and vibration. Deep tissue massage is a vigorous form of therapy that targets deep muscle layers and can help loosen areas where the muscles have become hardened or inflexible. Your muscles are covered with a thin layer of tissue called fascia that can become tight and cause pain. Myofascial release uses stretching techniques to help loosen the fascia.

1 comment:

  1. I recently found your blog and I'm really enjoying your posts!
    As a doctor who specializes in Fibromyalgia, this post was especially interesting to me :)

    You're right, massage therapy is important for short term relief and I find a lot of my patients also take Epsom salt baths, listen to soothing music, or read during flare-ups or bad days. I'd be interested to learn what you do to help with the pain, so I could share it with my Facebook community or on my site!

    If you're interested, check out my site :)