Posted by: lsadler | June 29, 2010

The effects of Massage Therapy on Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is a debilitating condition caused by an autoimmune reaction in the body. There is much debate as to the cause of Fibromyalgia, but based on what I’ve read, it is a condition caused by the sympathetic nervous system being on continuously. That is probably an oversimplification, but basically, the idea is that a traumatic event or even illness can cause the fight or flight response to activate. With Fibromyalgia, the response doesn’t know when to turn off and you get an overflow of adrenalin and other hormones flooding the system. This leads to muscle ache and fatigue among many other symptoms. I want to address the muscle ache and fatigue, since massage therapy can be very helpful to those who suffer from those effects of Fibromyalgia. Whenever you have a pain response in your soft tissue, ie. muscles, you can develop Trigger Points. Trigger Points must be manipulated in order to be released, the body won’t let go of them on its own. So, first and foremost, as a Massage Therapist, I work to release my clients’ Trigger Points. The other issue is fatigue. Massage therapy actually helps to put the body in a relaxed state, activating the parasympathetic nervous system. With Fibromyalgia, this is very helpful, since the body is always in the opposite state, the fight or flight mode. By activating the parasympathetic nervous system, this gives someone with Fibromyalgia an opportunity to reduce symptoms, sleep better and reduce the fatigue related to their condition. I have recently written an article on Fibromyalgia, you can read it on my website.


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