Ongoing research into Fibromyalgia and the role of massage in helping people manage their signs and symptoms.

Fibromyalgia (FM) impacts more than 3 million Americans each year. This chronic problem causes widespread muscle pain and increased sensitivity to stimulation, which usually results in pain and trouble resting, among other signs. Therapies are varied, but some of the current research suggests that massage therapy can effectively relieve some discomfort.

However, FM is a complex issue, so working with clients who have FM is no different from working with clients with other chronic or pre-existing conditions: you need to understand better how the problem affects the client and when massage can be helpful. Read on to learn more about what the recent study says about FM and how massage therapy can assist people in better managing some of the signs and symptoms.

What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia is a condition defined by extensive muscle pain. Other common signs and symptoms associated with FM include fatigue, migraine, tension, cognitive problems, and gastrointestinal upset.

Interestingly, more and more FM research is beginning to explain that the problem is indeed a central nerve problem, even though muscle pain is one of its main signs and symptoms. In particular, the data point to the concept that FM is a problem of major systemic pain processing pathways rather than a significant autoimmune problem of external tissue, as previously thought. There were research studies that showed the association between stress factors and also FM. For example, MRI scans have shown that in people with fibromyalgia, exposure to painless stimuli activates brain areas that are normally only activated by painful stimuli.

Accordingly, involvement of the central nervous system may explain why people with FM are often hypersensitive to all types of stimulation, not just mechanical pressure or touch. A person with perpetual fibromyalgia is simply not sensitive to touch and cannot be subjected to mechanical pressure. They are sensitive to light and sound, [may have] numerous food allergies, numerous chemical reactions, and are very intolerant of cold and heat.

Massage Therapy as well as Fibromyalgia.

Of all the alternative therapies offered, a growing amount of research shows that massage therapy provides real benefits for people tackling a variety of health issues, including fibromyalgia. A 2011 study found that massage therapy caused a reduction in sensitivity to pain in sensitive factors in individuals with fibromyalgia, reducing anxiety and improving the quality of rest. Another 2014 study that methodically evaluated nine other studies on massage therapy as well as FM found that massage therapy had immediate positive results in terms of increased pain, anxiety, and clinical depression in people with FM.

According to the same studies, massage therapy is especially effective when applied to soft and connective tissues, as it increases muscle elasticity and regulates local blood and lymph circulation.

There is no single specific method that is more effective for FM than others, although myofascial relaxation has been found to be beneficial to some extent. For novice massage therapists who want to deal with FM clients, we certainly advise you to fill your practice with as many methods as possible. One approach cannot be used for all when dealing with FM clients.

Using the right degree of pressure will be a must for many clients, so it’s essential to communicate clearly with the client both before and during the session and make adjustments as necessary. Keep in mind that deep pressure is likely to be excessive for these clients. If they’re too sensitive, you probably need to be gentle with them, babysit that client, and be more delicate. This concept is true for all elements of the massage session. Talk to them in a low voice. A person will like the twilight of the room with pleasant, relaxing music.

Adaptability is also an essential active ingredient to success when dealing with individuals with FM. The most important thing we might want to experience in a new massage therapist collaborating with an FM client is being individual, taking your time, and being observant during the actual session. Be caring. We all know what it’s like to treat physical ailments that we can’t get on our own. Trying to control the signs so you can live a fulfilling life is challenging but not impossible if you’re willing to help on your own. It is so essential to practice what you teach. If I don’t take care of my education, how can I take care of my clients that I love so much?

Following up on a client after a massage therapy session is also a great suggestion, and this often means sticking to the regimen after a few days. You may need to change your massage technique after the first session. This is why we call our clients after the massage. If the results are not what we expected, we assure them that there are many other methods we could use next time. Again, you must be aware that FM clients are likely to have different needs. What works for some people may not work for others, so listen and agree to change your massage therapy session when appropriate.

While FM is a complex issue, research shows that there are a number of ways massage therapy can help clients feel much better. From better relaxation to reduced stress and anxiety, massage therapy is showing a real contribution to helping people better manage the signs and symptoms of FM.

Although some sample sizes are small, studies show that in relation to fibromyalgia disorder, massage can:

  • lower pain
  • enhance health condition
  • boost the high quality of life
  • decrease anxiety
  • reduce clinical depression
  • rise sleep hours
  • increase the high quality of sleep
  • improve high quality of rest over time
  • minimize tender factors
  • decline urinary CRF-LI (a biochemical pen of stress-related symptoms)
  • decrease use anesthetics
  • decrease cortisol levels
  • lower stiffness
  • decrease tiredness
  • work well in an integrative treatment strategy

The secret is obtaining the appropriate type of massage to help reduce both the physical and mental consequences of Fibromyalgia. The kinds that have been found to work best for people with fibromyalgia include kneading, stress, rubbing, stretching, and applying heat to stimulate circulation as well as to cleanse the body of accumulated impurities in the muscles.

Have a look at these types of massage therapy for your fibromyalgia treatment:

Trigger point therapy. Fibromyalgia can be treated with a number of massage techniques. However, we like trigger point therapy the most. Triggers are painful areas located in the bundles of muscle fibers, and people with fibromyalgia usually have even more of them than people without this problem. Trigger point therapy involves turning off trigger points with finger tension. Suppose you have the ability to identify these troublesome factors, as well as use the necessary stress. In that case, you can often get excellent results in terms of fibromyalgia pain and pain monitoring.


So the concern is, is the helpful massage or not? If this client comes back next week for an extra massage and also says, “Oh, I really feel great after the first massage.” “Great, let’s do it again.” If it’s a person’s expectation – to get some temporary relief – and so are they, what’s the difference? They are still getting relief.

The next suggestion is to see your massage therapist often. Depending on the severity of the signs and symptoms of fibromyalgia, we usually advise them to visit us twice a week for four weeks to reduce the routine. After that, the frequency can gradually decrease to once a week and then to once a month, and this is practical if you can take care of yourself between sessions.

We also recommend that you communicate honestly with your massage therapist. Healing is a process. Talking to your doctor and sharing all of your signs of fibromyalgia can help the specialist develop a safe and secure treatment for you.