By Laura Gordon
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.