Imagine waking up every day, your muscles ache and your joints are stiff. You have trouble focusing mentally with no consistent clarity of thought. Sometimes it just hurts to do basic daily tasks. This constant pain and mental fog backed up with headaches then lead to constant fatigue and exhaustion which often leaves you with a feeling of anxiety and great despair about your next day. For approximately 1 million Australians this is their reality, this may even be you. Fibromyalgia can be described as a multi-symptomatic disorder with many sufferers finding themselves having to take a daily regimen of anti-depressants and muscle relaxants to try and achieve a relatively normal daily life.
As a practicing massage therapist, I have seen first hand how supportive bodywork can be in the management and reduction of fibromyalgia symptoms.
According to researchers, fibromyalgia alters how your brain and spinal cord receive painful and nonpainful impulses, amplifying painful sensations. Massage therapy is one of the best treatments available for fibromyalgia patients as it works to support this area by reducing stress hormones, and boosting serotonin levels which aids with musculoskeletal pain relief.
There is this myth that massage needs to be firm and painful for it to be of any benefit. This is false and can scare a lot of people with this condition away from massage as it often hurts just to be touched even gently. I have found that many of my clients with this condition respond well to a very gentle pressure massage as the focus is to support the nervous system and not
the muscles as such. The aim is to treat the body in such a way as to induce a feeling of settlement and deep relaxation. It will be crucial for many FM clients for the therapist to apply the proper amount of pressure, as applying too much pressure can cause a flare-up. Being trained in Oncology and Remedial Massage, I can deliver the same techniques to those experiencing fibromyalgia with a purposeful and gentle touch to aid in the relief of many of these symptoms and support them in achieving a restorative feeling and overall well-being.