Fibromyalgia is a chronic and painful condition that can affect every area of your life. If you suffer from fibromyalgia, you probably ache all over and have trouble sleeping at night. You may experience severe fatigue, increasing as the day progresses. And you may be anxious, perhaps even depressed about feeling the way you do. Gentle, consistent massage therapy can help you in managing this difficult and painful condition. Fibromyalgia literally translates as fiber or fibrous ("fibro"), muscle ("myo"), and pain ("algia"). Pain and fatigue probably top your list of unrelenting complaints. This alone, especially over a period of time, can make you anxious or depressed, aggravating your sensitivity to pain. Add to this a host of other symptoms such as headaches, insomnia and trouble concentrating, and it's no wonder your situation may seem more than you can bear. A vicious cycle of pain may be aggravated by lack of sleep, stress, long periods of sitting or standing, or other physical and emotional factors. You can experience a welcome "pain break" when massage stimulates the release of endorphins, your body's natural pain killers, which can alleviate depression and insomnia as well. In addition massage increases circulation, which cleanses tissues of uncomfortable fluid buildup and irritating by-products of inflammation. As increased oxygen and nutrition flow to contracted muscles, your muscles can relax, headaches may be eased, and the severity and frequency of flare-ups may be reduced. Massage calms the nervous system, allowing anxiety to fade, relaxing muscle tension, and slowing and deepening the breath. Stress levels decrease, freeing energy for vital functions such as digestion--needed for maximun healing nutrition thoughout your body--and repair of damaged tissue. Knowing there is something your can do to alleviate symptoms, even temporarily, can also reduce stress by giving you some control over your condition. Many people report a deeper and more restorative sleep after a massage. Since poor sleep is common in fibromyalgia and contributes to fatigue and muscle tenderness, improving sleep may be vital for you. Feeling relaxed and rested, your sensitivity to pain may be lessened, leaving you with increased energy to regain function and good health. Your massage therapist understands that you may be feeling very alone. They will listen to you and take your symptoms seriously. Massage offers the most basic emotional support--skillful, caring and healing touch. Fatigue and pain may make you feel like curling up and staying put. However, consistent and moderate exercise, including stretching, is essential to improvement and can result in decreased pain, increased energy and better sleep. Massage can support you by making it easier and less painful to stretch and exercise appropriately. Many fibromyalgia sufferers have habitually shallow breathing patterns that can aggravate pain and tension, especially in the neck, chest and shoulders. Your massage therapist can help release tight muscles that restrict your breathing and work with you to establish good habits. This retraining along with techniques such as yoga breathing can be powerful tool not only to relieve stress and pain, but to increase energy. Your needs may change from one session to the next depending on how you feel that day, so tell your massage therapist what feels good and what does not. For example, you can choose what parts of your body to work, and whether to have any specific area worked. It's possible you will want to direct the focus of a massage to one area, such as your neck and shoulders, and enjoy relaxation extending thoughout your body. Try to give accurate feedback about pressure or tenderness, as well as fatigue or discomfort after a session. Be sure to convey information about symptoms and changes in your health, and be prepared to list your medications since they can affect your response to massage.
The Zen Den
22 Pine St. Suite 105
Bristol, CT. 06010
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