What is Fibromyalgia?
Fibromyalgia is a chronic musculoskeletal condition that affects nearly 5 million Americans, and causes pain throughout the entire body. It affects a significantly higher percentage of women versus men, and causes tension headaches, fatigue, stiffness, and sleep disorders. The cause of Fibromyalgia is still unknown, a fact which only increases the anxiety for those who live with it and hope to find some relief.
Fibromyalgia causes tension that is felt in the skeletal muscles and the connective muscle tissue of the body, where it decreases elasticity and affects the arterial blood supply. This activates the pain receptors and results in chronic pain that may not be “caused” by anything apparent, which makes it difficult to treat the root cause.
This pain is only a start to the endless cycle of issues which affect the central nervous system’s release of serotonin, and from there it can increase the likelihood of depression and/or mood swings. It also affects the ability to achieve quality rest, which prevents the body from being able to repair itself and can further increase depression and exhaust the body, mind, and spirit.
There has yet to be found a direct cure for Fibromyalgia, however it is important to optimize the body so that it can fight related symptoms including depression, exhaustion, and memory problems. The best way to do that is to allow the body to repair itself during quality REM cycle sleep.
How Massage Can Help
Massage therapy decreases stress hormones and increases serotonin, therefore improving one’s overall sense of well-being. It also helps to relax the body in order to achieve quality sleep, when the body can repair itself and start fresh for the following day. Once the body has reached homeostasis after a night of quality rest, it will have both the mental and physical energy to address challenges throughout the next day.
The types of massage that tend to work best for those suffering from Fibromyalgia are techniques that combine kneading, pressure, stretching, and heat. These types of massages will loosen up the parts of the body that have been made tight, and increase mobility in order to take on physical tasks. Massage also increases circulation and helps the body to clear out toxins within the muscles. It is recommended that those with Fibromyalgia consult their physician prior to any massage therapy, and only receive massages with gentle pressure since their muscles can be sensitive. Recommended forms of massage for Fibromyalgia include Swedish Massage, Passive Stretching, and Sports Massage. Deep Tissue Massage is not recommended for those suffering from Fibromyalgia due to its pressure intensity.
Massage chairs make an excellent option for those suffering from Fibromyalgia as they are the most cost-effective massage method for people who require regular, long-term massage therapy. They also make a great choice because of the convenience and availability for the user to take advantage of a professional-grade massage at any time of day, for as long as they like, and without having to leave the comfort of their home.
Some chairs that make an ideal fit for someone with Fibromyalgia include the Novo massage chair, AcuTouch 9500x massage chair, ZeroG 5.0 massage chair, HT-7120 massage chair, and the iJoy 2580 massage chair.