Drum roll please…we have some exciting news and we’re sharing it with you first! Massage Envy Spa has formed a relationship with the Arthritis Foundation to help raise funds and awareness for the organization. In addition to serving as a national sponsor of the Arthritis Walk, our centers across the country will be joining together for a one-day fundraising event on World Arthritis Day, October 12, 2011. More details to come on this soon, we promise.
We couldn’t be more excited to work with the Arthritis Foundation to educate the public and provide resources and information about the benefits of therapeutic massage in helping alleviate the pain associated with arthritis.
One member of our Massage Envy family, C.G. Funk, has been battling fibromyalgia since 1996. She sat down with us to discuss this serious disease and how it has affected her life.
By: C.G. Funk, Licensed Massage Therapist and Vice President of Industry Relations and Product Development for Massage Envy Spa
I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 1996, a central nervous system chronic pain illness that impairs the joints and soft tissues of the body and causes widespread pain.
In addition to pain and fatigue, symptoms include sleep disturbances, restless legs and leg cramps, impaired memory and concentration, nervousness, depression, disorientation, headaches, and cold intolerance.
At the time of my diagnosis, I had been a licensed and practicing massage therapist for four years and massage instructor for three years. Through the experience of giving and receiving massage and teaching its benefits to hundreds of students, I knew how receiving massage therapy on a regular basis could alleviate pain, improve my sleep and assist me in continuing to live an active and healthy life, despite having this chronic condition.
A little background on the disease – The American College of Rheumatology estimates that fibromyalgia affects 3 to 6 million Americans about 2 percent of the U.S. population who are predominantly women. Severity of symptoms can range from mild aches and general tiredness to intense pain that adversely affects movement, rest and daily functioning. There isn’t a cure for fibromyalgia, and although some medications help manage the pain and sleep disturbances, this condition can drastically alter ones work and home life beyond repair.
From my experience, I have found that massage has greatly impacted my well-being and the management of this condition. In the beginning, I learned I had to change how I approached life. Always being a very athletic person, I found I had to tone down any aggressive exercise and physical hobbies. This was a very difficult and sad process for me which further exacerbated my fibromyalgia symptoms. What got me through this was receiving massage therapy. It calmed my pain and decreased my insomnia which resulted in a more emotionally balanced perspective. I began to see that even though I couldn’t live and move the way I was accustomed to, that fact was, I could still live and move – a gift many of us take for granted.
I have learned through the years how to take care of myself to ease the pain outbreaks and residual symptoms that accompany those outbreaks. My rheumatologist tells me that I am the healthiest fibromyalgia sufferer she has seen in her practice. I attribute it to receiving massage on a regular basis for the past 15 years. I can’t imagine what my life would be like if I didn’t have the knowledge about massage and wasn’t a regular client. I can tell you I wouldn’t be skiing, hiking, kayaking, doing yoga, working in the yard, walking my dog, laughing and enjoying life. I would be living in pain, depressed and sleepless with a poor outlook on the future. I can’t run a marathon, but I can walk up a beautiful mountain and watch the sunset. I attribute my level of wellness today to receiving massage sessions on a regular basis for the past 11 years. Massage has truly changed and saved my life.