Can Massage Help Fibromylagia?

{For several years, Bill hosted "Massage Moment", a radio spot nestled within Lionville Natural Pharmacy owner Ben Briggs' Saturday morning radio show, Health Focus on WCOJ. These 3-to-4-minute gems covered topics ranging from stress to common bio-mechanical injuries, to answering questions such as 'should I get massage before or after chiropractic?'

Listen to the audio here, aired originally in 2006.}

Q: Can massage help fibromyalgia?

A: Yes! In fact, I have several clients who have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, and all have been helped with massage.

First of all, it's important to understand that fibromyalgia is not a disease, but a 'condition'. More specifically, it's a 'syndrome' which means there are several causes, all working simultaneously. Poor diet, emotional stress, and lack of exercise are the key culprits.

Fibromyalgia sufferers usually experience chronic fatigue, along with 'tender points' along the sides of the legs, the thighs and in the arms. There are no real conventional treatments. In fact, it's only just recently been acknowledged by doctors as a real and legitimate diagnosis.

My take on the subject is this: Due to our sedentary lifestyle, our musculoskeletal system is not being used as it ought to be. Soft tissue not only goes into atrophy, but it's not clearing the toxins out of the body the way they were meant to.

Meanwhile, due to our poor diet, we continue to load up on foods with all sorts of toxins in them. Preservatives, artificial coloring, artificial sweeteners, and so on, continue to build up in our systems, little by little, until reaching critical mass.

And while all that is going on, add in the crazy 'run-here-run-there-no-time-for-ourselves' lifestyle, and you've got all the right ingredients for a body that is physically undernourished and emotionally overworked. Eventually, the body reacts and says, "No more! I quit!" But life won't let us, and so we plow forward, and things get worse.

So, how do you break the cycle?

My approach is this: isolate and eliminate the root causes, wherever they are found, and slowly bring the body 'back on line", so to speak.

First: Stop poisoning your body! Eat organic fruits and vegetables as much as possible. This will give your body something to work with during the restoration process, and it will work less to try to break down unnatural pollutants.

Second: Exercise! Get out and walk, Don't be afraid of the weather, it's good for you. Your body needs to feel the heat and the cold, the wind and the sunshine ... even the rain! If you have a sedentary job, you need to use your muscles. Weight training with a skilled trainer who can pay attention to your form while working out in an absolute plus!

Finally: Get regular full body massages from a therapist experienced with fibromyalgia symptoms. Thai massage techniques are particularly useful.

Initially, there will be some soreness, especially in the areas of the tender points. But after a while, you'll notice the sore areas becoming less and less! I've had several clients whose tender points disappeared completely.

As the body is cared for, it will begin to drop its guard. As this happens, the fibromyalgia cycle is broken, and the road to recovery lies just ahead.

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, call me.

There's no need to continue suffering needlessly. With a few lifestyle changes, and a regular routine of therapeutic massage, you can have your life back!

{ For an appointment, please call 484.798.8029, or email: }