Pain is a 4 Letter Word!

By Laura Gordon

Woman with Neck Ache

It causes a great deal of pain.  Let’s see if you can figure out what condition it is.  Perhaps you have it? If not, see how quickly you can guess.

This pain  comes and goes and sometimes has flu like symptoms.

It also includes tension headaches, stiffness, fatigue, depression or anxiety. Got any idea what it is yet?

It causes digestive problems and sleep disorders? Any guesses?

It has a name, though doctors can’t take an x-ray or MRI of it to point it out. As a matter of fact, for years it was considered a psychosomatic disorder and not a physical condition at all. Any guesses?

Here’s your last chance: 3 to 4 percent of the population have it and women are the ones most commonly affected by it. Do you know what “it” is?

If you guessed Fibromyalgia (FM) you’d be correct.

Since there are so many different symptoms, it stands to reason there will be many different methods of treatment for the massage therapist to offer. We will be looking at one in this article and two more in my next blog.

Lymphatic Drainage Therapy:

Lymphatic Drainage is the most gentle of the FM treatments.  Clients receiving this treatment after a dedicated schedule of 5 sessions a week for 3 weeks showed notable success in improved health and reduced pain with no negative side effects.

If you are not familiar with the Lymphatic Drainage techniques, my best advise is for you to keep your clients warm.  Consider using a heating pad on your table and/or placing extra blankets on the top sheet.

Once your client is comfortable, give him or her a soothing, gentle, and relaxing massage without doing any major deep tissue work.  They’ll need petrissage but may not be able to take this technique initially.  Gradually incorporate it early in the series of sessions you have with the client. Remember to use VERY gentle petrissage on their whole body.  The more you work on them the deeper they will be able to let you massage.

Studies have documented that clients suffering from Fibromyalgia who received regular massage therapy treatments, whether Lymphatic Drainage or Relaxing Swedish Massage, experienced better sleep, reduced sensitivity to pain, increased mobility, flexibility, improved moods, and enhanced immune and nerve function.

Tell us your thoughts on how you would handle the needs of a client who has Fibromyalgia.



11 thoughts on “Pain is a 4 Letter Word!”

  1. Nice share! It is one of the scientifically proven approaches to relieve pain and stress. The therapy brings various benefits such as increased flow of lymphatic fluids, improved blood circulation, Reduced muscle stress as well as improves joint health.

  2. This is a good thing to use out in the field one day. Because there will be some people with this problem and this is something we can do to help.

  3. I currently work with 2 people everyday that have Fibro, so I have been well versed in Fibro, some days they can take all the pressure that I can give and some days I can barely touch them. It is unknown to me until the beginning of the day what that day may be like for them. I am sure from their perspective it has to be very frustrating. I know that the most important thing for them is to stay warm and for them to communicate with me constantly.

  4. I currently go to school and work with two people that have FM. I didn’t even know what it was until I met them. I am very glad I did meet them, though, because I have learned a lot from them, and I will be able to help my future clients who have it now.

  5. From just looking at the photos and not reading the blog, I was thinking “Hey those are fibromyalgia spots”. Then I saw the heading “lymphatic draninage” I’m actually excited to try this technique and am looking forward to improvements considering that I actually have fibromyalgia.

  6. My grandmother has FM and has never received a massage. If she would let me give her a massage, I would make sure she was warm and very comfortable because of her pain level and give her a very light massage. I would also suggest that she have future sessions. With this article, I’m hoping I can start convincing her to receive massage as a treatment. Thanks!

  7. I actually have FM. As Crystal mentioned, the variance in pressure is very annoying. Some days I can tolerate deep tissue and other days a nerve stroke hurts. I have 14/18 FM points. The biggest consideration that a lot of FM clients will need is communication. Ask. Each day is different. I notice that when I am in a a flare up that I get cold really easily. Sometimes it takes 6 blankets to make me feel warmer. On days that I am feeling fine, I get hot easily.

  8. I would follow the suggested time frame with my client and schedule them for massages for 5 sessions a week for 3 weeks. I would make sure that the client was warm and very comfortable and make sure to ask questions as to whether or not they were comfortable. I would want to make sure that they were not in more pain as I was given the massage. I would do the lymphatic treatment to work on their pain for relief.

  9. Nice information. Yes guessed it. I always say I hate the F word! But the lymphatic drainage classes I took were helpful enough that recently my own son had a huge back up in a lymph gland on neck. He came to me after I gently worked on it pushing it toward the “trash can” He said “That knot has gone down” Wow, it really works. try it