Wednesday, January 4, 2017
Benefits of massage therapy for fibromyalgia
Benefits of massage therapy for fibromyalgia
By: Rebekah Zellers
What is fibromyalgia? - It is a musculoskeletal condition; muscles and the soft tissue are affected. More than 12 million Americans have fibromyalgia. Causes widespread pain or aching in the joints and muscles, chronic fatigue, multiple tender points, morning stiffness, nonrestorative sleep, inability to concentrate, numbness and tingling in feet and hands, chronic headaches, and hypersensitivity to heat and cold. The muscles can twitch, burn, or even cause sharp stabbing pain. Your muscles seem to feel as if they are over worked or pulled but with out doing any physical activity at all. The symptoms lead to depression and even social isolation. It is the most common of the musculoskeletal conditions after osteoarthritis. Yet still one of the most misdiagnosed and misunderstood. Contributing factors include; neurochemical imbalance, central nervous system hypersensitivity, disrupted sleep patterns, and dysfunction of myofascial repair mechanisms. Women are ten times more likely to get the disease than men.
Western medicine treatments and medications – There is no cure for this complex condition. There also is no “one” medication for fibromyalgia. We can only treat the symptoms. Instead a combination of medication, exercises- aerobic and strengthening muscles, and behavioral techniques are used for treatment plans. The FDA approves of 3 medications for fibromyalgia; Lyrica, Cymbalta, and Savella. Lyrica helps with pain associated with fibromyalgia, while Cymbalta and Savella are a part of drugs known as serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs).
Benefits of massage therapy-Research from massage therapist and their clients from the University of Miami school of Medicine, Touch of Research institute, conducted studies and have found that massage therapy does help relieve the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Benefits include; increased serotonin levels, decreased circulating hormones, decreased levels of substance P, decreased tender points, improved sleep patterns and an overall sense of well being.
Techniques and contraindications for massage therapy- While the patient will already feel as if there muscles are over worked; deep tissue massage is to be avoided when first starting treatments with fibromyalgia patients. Begin by using long soothing strokes, mild rocking with a combination of trigger points, and cross-fiber techniques. When muscles are warm deeper friction strokes over knots are used to breakdown fibers and release toxins. This helps reduce creation of the pain fibers. Client should come to see therapist in the beginning every 1-2 weeks for the first 10 sessions, after the first 10 session light work outs are to be started, followed by monthly maintenance visits. Suggested not to leave a patient on there stomach for more than 12 minutes at a time. Sideline positioning on neck and upper back is recommended and no chair massages. Any form of massage that will cause therapeutic inflammation, including intense exercise and stretching programs is to be avoided as well.
Traditional Chinese Medicine for fibromyalgia- TCM looks at fibromyalgia as a Bi-syndrome. Which looks at the disorder from the obstruction of the meridians, sluggish of qi and poor blood circulation.
TCM uses a threefold strategy to treat fibromyalgia; resolve syndrome and expel wind, cold, and damp, treat any underlying factors contributing to syndrome, provide symptomatic relief by stopping the pain.
A combination of acupuncture, herbal medicine, and Qi-gong are used in an effective treatment plan.
Acupuncture and moxibustion is used to control the pain using 3 different kinds of points; local points in the area of tenderness and pain are needled, specific acupuncture points associated with Bi-syndrome are needled, and any underlying factors contributing to the Bi are treated.
Herbal medicines use herbs to address the 3 levels of treatment. These individualized herbal prescriptions will stop pain but also expel the pathogenic factors responsible for BI. Herbs that affect any predisposing factors may be used as well.
Qi-gong treatments help correct imbalances in the body by offering gentle physical movements and stretching. Thus helping reduce pain, moving blockages in channels and maintaining movement. Mindful Qi-gong massage relieves pain and increases the flow of Qi.