Fibromyalgia – Massage and Aromatherapy

The Web site for the National Fibromyalgia Association, www.fmaware.org, states, “Fibromyalgia (FM) is an increasingly recognized chronic pain illness which is characterized by widespread musculoskeletal aches, pain and stiffness, soft tissue tenderness, general fatigue and sleep disturbances. The most common sites of pain include the neck, back, shoulders, pelvic girdle and hands, but any body part can be involved. Fibromyalgia patients experience a range of symptoms of varying intensities that wax and wane over time. FM is characterized by the presence of multiple tender points and a constellation of symptoms.”

How is the diagnosis made? The Web site continues: “Currently there are no laboratory tests available for diagnosing fibromyalgia. Doctors must rely on patient histories, self-reported symptoms, a physical examination and an accurate manual tender point examination. This exam is based on the standardized ACR criteria. Proper implementation of the exam determines the presence of multiple tender points at characteristic locations.”

Lynne K. Matallana, president of the NFA has said, “The NFA suggests that individuals who suffer with the symptoms of fibromyalgia implement a self-management program which incorporates both Western and complementary approaches to health care. Some people with FM are very sensitive to medicines and prefer to use more natural health care options. Dealing with the constant pain and fatigue of fibromyalgia can be quite stressful, and finding ways to help relieve stress can also help to reduce the overall symptoms of this chronic illness. Since fibromyalgia involves an increase in neurological sensitivity, both physically and emotionally, practices that are calming can bring a sense of relief. To accomplish these goals, we suggest aromatherapy alone or in combination with massage and other relaxation techniques. The use of fragrant herbs or oils can help promote sleep, calm the mind, decrease muscle pain, increase circulation, relieve headaches and promote a general sense of well-being.”

We have seen first hand how well massage therapy and aromatherapy has helped our clients with fibromyalgia.

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11 Ways To Reduce Stress and To Learn How To Relax

Learning how to relax is probably one of the biggest steps you can take toward improving your quality of life and happiness.  By incorporating some of these forms of relaxation into your daily life you can transform your world.

1)  Massage Therapy – Releases toxins and tension from your muscles and your mind.  Increases serotonin and dopamine which helps improve your overall mood.

2)  Deep Breathing Exercises – Close your eyes, take a deep cleansing breath, hold it, then slowly release it.  Repeat until you feel more relaxed.

3)  Exercise – Regular exercise is a great way to relieve tension, increase energy and improve your mood; find an activity you enjoy and do it often.

4)  Solitude – Go somewhere quiet to read a favorite book or listen to soft music.  Quiet time is a must.

5)  Aromatherapy – Light some fragrant candles, use some oils and let the wonderful aroma melt away all your anxiety.

6)  Enough Sleep and Rest – Your body must recharge and discharge tensions.

7)  Express Your Feelings – Unexpressed emotions are like the seeds of stress, pain and illness.

8)  Eliminate Self-Pity – You may get sympathy for awhile, but soon you will get avoided.

9)  Alter Behaviors and Attitudes – When ideas or view are not serving you well, change them – learn to see the Positive in people and in situations – learn to respond to situations not react; compromise.

10)  Relaxation Techniques – Meditation, yoga, tai chi – your goal is inner peace.

11)  Love More – Learn to use things and to love people, instead of the other way around.