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Benefits of Massage Therapy For Fibromyalgia Sufferer

Are the aches and pains of fibromyalgia getting you down? If so, then massage therapy might be just what you need to help put some spring back into your step. Recently, massage therapy has become extremely popular among fibromyalgia patients.

How Does Massage Therapy Work? Massage therapy can really reduce the pain, stiffness, and tender points caused by fibromyalgia syndrome. But how does it manage to do this? Well, no one is 100% sure how massage actually reduces pain, but it may have something to do with the central nervous system. It is theorized that massage therapy actually enhances the production of certain pain blockers, including endorphins, serotonin, and norepinephrine. These hormones work to counteract pain signals conducted by the brain.

In a 1996 study, fibromyalgia sufferers reported a 38% decrease in pain symptoms after receiving just ten, 30 minute massage sessions. They also reported a significant decrease in their sleep difficulties: they began sleeping for longer periods at a time and were disturbed less by sleep disorders.

Massage therapy benefits include:
- increased blood circulation to the muscles, allowing for faster muscle repair
- increased flexibility
- increased range of motion
- decreased stress and depression
- reduced pain
- reduced stiffness
- improved sleep pattern

Types of Massage Therapy you may find beneficial for relieving your fibromyalgia pain:

Swedish Massage is one of the most popular forms of massage used in North America. The Swedish massage technique is designed to increase the amount of oxygen that is delivered to the muscles. This helps to flush out toxins and improve the flexibility and health of your muscles. Swedish massage is characterized by long, gliding movements, which involve stroking the body with the thumbs, fingertips, and palms. It also makes use of kneading and tapping techniques, and uses vibration to benefit the body.

Deep Tissue Massage is a vigorous therapy used to loosen areas of hardened or inflexible muscles and tissues. It targets the deep layers of your muscles and tendons, helping to release tension and chronic muscle pain. Deep, pressurized strokes are usually made along or across the muscles. Because deep tissue massage uses slower and deeper strokes than Swedish massage therapy, you may feel a little pain immediately following your treatment. However, this pain should disappear within a day or so.

Myofascial Release techniques help to relieve stiffness and tightness in your body's fascia, caused by myofascial pain. The fascia is a thin layer of tissue that covers all of your muscles and organs. In fibromyalgia, sometimes the fascia can become extremely short and tense, resulting in pain. Myofascial release therapy uses stretching techniques to relieve this pain. The therapist first locates an area of tightness on your body, Then, gradually stretches this area, holds the stretch, and then allows the fascia to relax. The process is repeated until the fascia is completely relaxed.

 

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