Alternative Therapies for Fibromyalgia

March 18, 2010 by Terri  
Filed under Fibromyalgia

Alternative Therapies for Fibromyalgia: Myofascial Release and Massage
Contributed by Erica Thompson
There are many alternative therapies for Fibromyalgia and each individual may be affected differently by each therapy.  A therapy that works well for one may not benefit another as much or at all.  It is important to know what is available to you that can help better your quality of life and help you manage your pain.

I have tried several different therapies and there are a few that really helped and one in particular, was a life-saver!  My hope is that you can find a therapy that you can add to your conventional treatment and gain freedom of movement and freedom from the stress and depression that are caused by Fibromyalgia.

Integrative Medicine:  The idea was developed to help medical and other health professionals to expand their practices by and integrating accessible effective Complementary/Alternative Medicine (CAM) protocols for the treatment of their patients. This would bring patients more complete care and give them all the help that is available to improve their overall health. Some of the therapies included are:  Energy Therapies (including CMU Technology), Herbs and Supplements, Nutrition, Lifestyle Strategies, Biochemical Approaches and Structural, Movement and Mind-Body Therapies.

In this article, I will cover two structural, movement and mind-body therapies:  Myofascial Release Therapy & Massage Therapy.

Massage therapy helps with Fibromyalgia because it gently works on the soft tissues (muscles, tendons, fascia and ligaments). Massage increases circulation of blood to tight, sore muscles & increases muscle tone. It is sometimes used in conjunction with ultrasound or with the application of heat and/or cold packs. Massage is also often helpful in removing built-up toxins such as lactic acid, and to help re-educate muscles and joints that have become misaligned.

Massage also helps the movement of lymphatic fluid (removes body wastes, toxins, pathogens), to release muscular tension, maintain proper musculoskeletal structure and function, internal organs, the central nervous system, the immune system, the endocrine system, mind/body integration, and energy flow to promote healing and emotional well-being.

Myofascial Release is a very effective hands-on technique that provides sustained pressure into myofascial knots to eliminate pain and restore motion.  To understand what Myofascial Release is and why it works, you need to know what fascia is. Fascia is a thin tissue that covers all the organs of the body. It is actually one structure that exists from head to foot without disconnection.  Myofascial Release treats taut bands in the muscle by releasing the uneven tightness in injured fascia. I was treated with the John Barnes method of Myofascial Release after a car accident that inflamed my Fibromyalgia symptoms and led to the discovery of myofascial trigger points.  Even if you do not have Chronic Myofascial Pain, you can still benefit greatly from this therapy.

There are many more alternative therapy options out there and I will continue to provide information about them in hopes of giving you and your doctor the ability to make an informed decision about what therapies might work for you.

Erica Thompson is a 40-year-old, Stay-at-Home mom with 3 children and a husband in the military. She was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in 1995, but suffered from it many years prior to diagnosis and later, diagnosed with Chronic Myofascial Pain, IBS, RLS, migraine & more. She has done extensive research and is an expert based on her own experience, her mother’s and her grandmother’s. Her goal is to help chronic pain sufferers.