Q & Ahhh
Massage Envy experts answer your questions
Q: How does massage affect fibromyalgia?
A: Fibromyalgia is a disorder that creates chronic
pain in muscles, tendons and ligaments. In addition, those
suffering with this condition also experience severe fatigue and
disrupted sleep patterns. Fibromyalgia affects about 3 percent of
the U.S. population and women account for about 80 percent of those
The origin of fibromyalgia is unknown. Recent studies suggest
that the pain doesn't start in the muscles but rather is created
from high levels of certain neurotransmitters found in the fluid
that flows throughout the brain and spinal column.
Fibromyalgia sufferers usually present with "tender points"
throughout the body, but the majority of these points cluster
around the neck, shoulders and low back. Massage is very effective
for clients with this disorder. Research has shown that receiving
regular therapeutic massage reduces pain, anxiety and depression
and encourages relaxation, which can help restore normal sleep
patterns. For those experiencing symptoms of fibromyalgia, it would
be wise to see a doctor for a complete diagnosis-usually one who
specializes in rheumatology. Doctors familiar with fibromyalgia do
recommend therapeutic massage as part of a overall wellness plan to
help combat the symptoms of this chronic illness.
-C.G. Funk, Licensed Massage Therapist and Vice President of
Industry Relations and Product Development for Massage Envy
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