By Patricia A. Williams
A DIFFERENT, FORMULATED APPROACH TO FIBROMYALGIA
As a massage therapist who specializes in this field, I believe that those who suffer from this do have some options. According to a Massage and Bodywork Magazine February/March 2004 issue article by Ross Turchaninov and Boris Prilutsky, “Patients caught in this web sooner or later may find their lives ruined. Fibromyalgia is a chronic musculoskeletal condition expressed in widespread pain over the entire body…It is estimated that 7 million Americans are afflicted with fibromyalgia – their pain and fatigue in some cases being so severe that the individual spends entire days in bed.”*
An article in the Marshfield, Wisconsin News-Herald newspaper dated March 4, 2005 addresses how “Doctors can only offer limited relief for sufferers of fibromyalgia.”* This article lists support groups in that area for these sufferers.
In fibromyalgia, according to the aforementioned article in Massage and Bodywork, “there is an evolving theory that attempts to explain…the events responsible for the development of fibromyalgia. This theory…states that…neurotransmitters” (chemical substances that transmit nerve impulses,**) “are changed as a result of an unknown trigger.” This causes “accumulation of pathological hypertonus” (increased rigidity and tension of the muscles**). This contraction uses up “ATP (adenosine triphosphate), a major energy source for contraction….However, when the muscle needs to relax, ATP is in short supply, as most of it has been used in the contraction….some of the muscle fibers remain in a contracted state.” As tension builds it “causes a decrease in elasticity and….affects microcirculation.” This causes “activation of pain receptors….” and “the patient starts to feel pain.” In this massage therapist’s humble opinion, the muscles run out of energy to relax and so stay tense. This is, of course, an oversimplified explanation.
I believe there are several ways to bring relief for this potentially disabling condition. Fibromyalgia sufferers should get written diagnosis from their doctor before seeking any alternative methods. The note should specify the diagnosis, perhaps the duration of the diagnosis, and any contraindications, along with permission to be treated.
Massage by Pat Williams
When I was a recently graduated massage therapist, this disorder spoke to my heart and so I followed the protocol published in the aforementioned magazine with a test client. We managed to complete more than half of the whole protocol before my client moved away. I saw gradual improvement in my client’s condition by lessening in her symptoms, and less of a feeling of “being run over by a truck.” She would experience relief while on the massage table and afterwards. Some symptoms disappeared altogether, and some persisted to a lesser degree. Part of the therapist’s role is to be a caring, nonjudgmental presence. With her this had the effect of relieving her worries about it being “all in her head” because she could get feedback on what was physically changed from week to week and see the difference in the way she was feeling.
Part of the massage protocol includes exercise and clients doing an exercise they can tolerate regularly and increasing as the protocol specifies. This puts them on the road to self-management. I have even devised a self-massage handout for the clients to follow. I have my own practice and can be reached at 847-922-0278 or [email protected]
Aromatherapy by Vicki Rae Thorne
Aromatherapy is the use of scent to heal mind, body and spirit. It uses essential oils, the volatile oils from the rind, flower, leaf, bark, root, or resin of aromatic plants. Vicki's personal journey helped her develop products to assist with the relief of pain and fatigue associated with fibromyalgia. She also offers classes on fibromyalgia and other health topics. Vicki Rae Thorne is a Certified Aromatherapist and Herbalist who can be reached at 847-551-1806, [email protected] or P.O. Box 427, Dundee, IL 60118.
Aguasal, Inc. owned by Teresita de la Torre and Frank Rodriguez
Epsom salt help the muscles relax. The proper name is magnesium sulfate. Quoted from www.epsomsaltcouncil.org, “Magnesium is the second-most abundant element in human cells…The National Academy of Sciences, however, reports that most Americans are magnesium deficient, helping to account for stress-related illnesses, chronic fatigue and a host of other ailments. But all of the subjects in a recent study experienced increased magnesium levels from soaking in a bath enriched with magnesium sulfate crystals, commonly known as Epsom Salt. While increasing your magnesium levels, Epsom Salt also delivers sulfates, which are extremely difficult to get through food but which readily absorb through the skin.”* Anyone interested in more information about Epsom salt can go to the web site address mentioned above. The Epsom Salt Council is not a medical organization and therefore does not give medical advice. If you have a medical question please consult your physician.
Date: Apr 11, 2005 3:03 PM
I was diagnosed with FMS (Fibromyalgia Syndrome) about 10 years ago.
… I was having a lot of pain in some really unusual places on my body…
I was sent to a rheumatologist immediately where other medical issues were ruled out. I have tried several different therapies to find some relief from the pain associated with FMS. I found more relief from the pain and exhaustion in one hour of floating than
any of the other therapies I've tried. I got the best sleep I have
gotten in YEARS after floating.
I highly recommend floating for anyone with FMS.
From: Mike & Bobbi newby
Date: Apr 12, 2005 12:33 AM
I suffer from a disease that is rare for a man. Fybromyalgia is
normally found in women. Then I was introduced to the floatation center, Aguasal and after a one hour session I felt totally tension free.
…I took another session about 4 days later and felt so at ease I went to sleep. …I will continue to use Aguasal.
Check out their web site at www.floatforhealth.com, call them at 847-483-9883, or email them at [email protected] Another site to check for more information on Epsom salt is www.epsomsaltcouncil.org.
Area Support Groups
http://www.fibrohugs.com/ on line support group
[email protected] NW Suburban Fibromyalgia Support Grp, Diane Spizzirri, 847- 895-9596
NW Suburban Fibro Group, Fibromyalgia, Jill Reuschel, 847-398-1389, Arlington Heights
McHenry County Support Group, call Diane Baker-Lockwood at 815-337-0467, she is the facilitator for both Centegra Northern Illinois Medical Center and Centegra Memorial Woodstock