Latest numbers show as many as 5 million Americans are suffering with Fibromyalgia, a common syndrome in which a person has long-term, body-wide pain and tenderness in their joints, muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues. This illness has also been linked to fatigue, sleep problems, headaches, depression, and anxiety.
An American Massage Therapist Associationn (AMTA) study found that people who include massage in their fibromyaligia treatment plan, “experienced statistically significant changes:
- in self-perceived health status
- average pain intensity
- pain related disability
- depressed mood
- days in pain
- hours in pain
After 15 months of treatment including massage, “nonprescription and prescription drug use demonstrated significant reductions.”
Regular massage can reduce heart rate, relax muscles, improve range of motion, and stimulate production of the body’s natural painkillers, however, fibromyalgia does cause pain and makes the client’s body extremely sensitive to touch. Constant, honest feedback from the client to the massage therapist is vital to the success of massage for fibromyalgia relief as well as modifications to the massage technique to focus on increased circulation versus deep tissue and trigger point release.
If you are interested in learning how you can support clients with fibromyalgia massage in your massage therapy practice, AMTA is offering an online course:
An Evidence Based Guide to Treatment of Fibromyalgia for Massage Therapists
A diagnosis of Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS) is an elusive one because the symptoms are so varied; other conditions can exhibit similar symptoms, and client histories tend to be long and involved. This condition will call on your empathy and patience as appreciable improvement is incremental. Clients are frequently already stretched to adapt to pain, and adapting even to the gentlest treatment may prove difficult for them.
This course provides information about a variety of assessments, therapies that have enjoyed variable success, and some self-care exercises to aid you in designing appropriate massage therapy programs for clients with FMS.
Learn More & Sign Up for the Fibromyalgia Massage Course >>