Last Friday, May 12th was National Fibromyalgia Awareness Day. First observed in 1992, after study of historical documents, it is thought Florence Nightingale suffered from Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue, therefore, May 12th (Nightingale’s birthday) was set to raise awareness of the condition.
It’s ironic that many who suffer from fibromyalgia symptoms are caregivers, the very people who give so much of themselves for others’ wellbeing. They tend to put their needs and pain relief on the back burner so they are available for the people they care for. If their needs aren’t addressed, then they are left unable to care for others.
Touch…a simple act that many of us take for granted.
But what if lightly brushing up against your sofa caused you pain? What if you shy away from hugging those you love because you couldn’t bear the shooting pain it would cause?
Touch shouldn’t hurt. Yet, an estimated 12 million people suffer from widespread muscle pain and fatigue. It’s something that doesn’t happen overnight. It’s gradual.
I know firsthand about widespread pain because I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia in 2007. Despite being told back then that I’d be in a wheelchair within three years, I was determined to live a very active lifestyle. Ten years later, you know full well that I’m active and definitely not in a wheelchair.
My mission became to learn as much as possible about idiopathic illnesses and create a better approach to treatment.
Fibromyalgia is a sneaky syndrome that may take months, if not years until it is diagnosed. Often, many are told they have several other diseases or syndromes prior to arriving at the fibromyalgia diagnosis. The worst possible words to hear are, “It’s all in your head.” Those five short words break a person’s spirit and hope.
There is hope! As counterintuitive as it may seem, for those who suffer from the widespread pain that fibromyalgia can cause…touch helps! The right touch, that is. Your nerves need to be retrained to accept touch. The correct type of massage will help retrain the muscles and relieve pain. Because I have firsthand experience with fibromyalgia symptoms, I understand what my clients are going through and have a very sensitive approach to pain.
Fibromyalgia is very real and may cause some, or all, of the following:
- widespread pain
- tender points
- incapacitating fatigue
- anxiety, depression
- migraines/chronic headaches
- irritable bowel syndrome, irritable bladder
- hypersensitivity to cold/hot, swelling
- fibro fog (inability to concentrate/focus), difficulty remembering
- numbness, stiffness, decreased energy
- noise, light and odor sensitivity and skin sensitivity
Fibromyalgia affects the muscles and soft tissue, so neuromuscular therapy is extremely beneficial. When you are in pain it’s extremely hard to get regular exercise to pump out unwanted toxins. It’s important to get massages with compression strokes aimed toward the heart. Trigger point therapy also helps remove muscle non-compliance which, in turn, re-educates the nervous system’s mind-body response to a balanced homeostasis.
As with any syndrome or disease, creating a treatment plan is crucial in achieving a better quality of life. Many doctors now are aware of the benefits of neuromuscular therapy as a tool in tackling fibromyalgia, and often include it in a plan.
I’d love to talk to you about a plan for your health. Whether you suffer from fibromyalgia or a sports injury, I want to help find the source and relieve your pain. Pain should not be holding you back from the life you want to live. “Where pain becomes relief” is not just my motto, it is my way of life.