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.

Massage Therapy Training: What to Expect

March 9, 2010 by Terri  
Filed under Massage Therapy, alternative therapies

Those interested in working in natural health care services will find that massage therapy training is a great way to help in healing. In addition, massage therapy training programs introduce candidates to productively working in health and wellness clubs, chiropractic clinics, cruise ships, spas and salons, hospitals and other health-related facilities.

While no two massage therapy training courses are identical, typical instruction entails basic studies in anatomy, physiology, pathology and kinesiology – where it goes from there is entirely dependent upon the healing arts school in which one enrolls. For example, if you would like a foundational course in bodywork, then common techniques taught in most massage therapy training programs encompass Swedish massage, sports massage and deep tissue massage. However, if you would like to take more advanced massage therapy training, then a large number of alternative health schools may provide in-depth, practical training a wider assortment of massage modalities.

Some of these massage therapy training programs include fascinating techniques that are steadily gaining in popularity. For instance, reflexology is a unique massage therapy that involves the hands, feet and ears. Other fine examples of stand-alone massage therapy training programs may include practical instruction in Tuina (Chinese medical massage), Shiatsu (a form of acupressure), meridian therapy, Rolfing, Alexander Technique, Feldenkrais, trigger point therapy, Indian head massage, among others.

Typically, most massage therapy training programs start at 300 hours and go above 1,000 training hours. Depending on the specific healing arts school or vocational college, students can elect to participate in an associate of applied science degree in massage therapy course as well.

In general, students engaged in one of several massage therapy training programs will learn that the majority of States regulate the practice; therefore, future massage therapists must complete some level of education and instruction in order to pass national certification exams and/or State examinations. Also, it is important for prospective students to carefully review potential massage therapy training programs to determine if the course has been accredited, types of massage modalities offered, course curriculum and whether classes meet all standards and requirements in order to become practicing massage therapists.

Because massage therapy is ever-growing in popularity, more and more individuals are turning to this non-invasive, relaxing method of health maintenance. So for students, who are seeking a promising, personally and professionally rewarding career, a massage therapy training course may be the route to take. Today, students who have successfully completed all educational requirements and certification through a massage therapy training program can anticipate earnings averaging about $31/hour.

Overall, massage therapy training programs are excellent for those who desire to provide natural healthcare services to patients and clients, alike. As a worthwhile means of employment, the field of massage therapy is expected to increase faster than average* over the next several years. (*Citation: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.)

If you (or someone you know) are interested in finding massage therapy training, let career training within fast-growing industries like massage therapy, cosmetology, acupuncture, oriental medicine, Reiki, and others get you started! Explore career school programs near you.Massage Therapy Training: What to Expect

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Resource Box: CarolAnn Bailey-Lloyd - Freelance Writer and Web Consultant for HolisticJunction.com, in association with CollegeSurfing.com - Educational Resources for Massage Therapy Training, Massage Programs, and other Natural Health Schools.