Massage for Fibromyalgia

Unraveling Fibromyalgia: Navigating Through Pain towards Improved Well-being

What is Massage 20th Jul, 2023

Fibromyalgia stands out among a wide range of medical disorders as a difficult and frequently misdiagnosed ailment. Widespread musculoskeletal pain is a prominent feature of this chronic disorder, which is also frequently accompanied by other signs and symptoms like exhaustion, sleep problems, cognitive problems, and mood changes.

Man massage stiff neck strained muscles to ease back ache joint discomfort

This condition affects how the brain and spinal cord handle pain signals, leading them to be amplified and distressing. Fibromyalgia is difficult to diagnose and manage because of how misleading it may be. It’s a bit of a medical riddle since its symptoms can be mistaken for those of other disorders and there is no conclusive test to prove its existence. Nevertheless, while being elusive, it is believed to impact between 2 and 4% of the population, making it a serious health problem that has to be addressed.

The wide-ranging fibromyalgia symptoms can significantly affect a person’s everyday life, frequently resulting in emotional tension and even melancholy. Living with fibromyalgia may be tough since it can cause a variety of symptoms, such as chronic pain, extreme exhaustion, and “fibro fog,” which is a term used to describe cognitive issues.

Exploring the Best Types of Massage for Fibromyalgia

Massage treatment involves manipulating soft tissues such as muscles, tendons, and ligaments in order to promote relaxation and relieve stress. Individuals suffering from fibromyalgia may benefit from the following styles of massage:

massaging male patient with damaged Fibromyalgia blade muscle. Treatment for sports injuries.

Swedish Massage

A gentle form of massage that employs long strokes, kneading, and circular movements on the topmost layers of muscles. It’s ideal for reducing muscle tension and fostering relaxation.

Myofascial Release

Targets the connective tissue (fascia) encompassing the muscles, and has been found to significantly improve pain, quality of sleep, and quality of life right after treatment.

Trigger Point Therapy

A technique involving the application of pressure on specific points on the body believed to be pain sources.


A Japanese massage type that involves applying pressure on specific body points to relieve tension and foster relaxation.

Thai Massage

Incorporates acupressure, stretching, and compression techniques to promote relaxation, enhance flexibility, and mitigate anxiety.

Connective Tissue Massage

This type of massage concentrates on manipulating the fascia surrounding muscles and bones and is often employed as part of manual therapy.

Effectiveness of Massage Therapy for Fibromyalgia

According to research, massage has several advantages for fibromyalgia-related issues such as pain relief, anxiety, despair, and sleep difficulties. These benefits probably result from a combination of physical and mental causes.

Physically, massage can be beneficial by relaxing muscular tension and boosting blood flow, which reduces pain and enhances bodily function. In addition, massage’s calming and stress-relieving benefits can improve mental health by easing anxiety and depressive symptoms and enhancing sleep.

Benefits of Massage for Fibromyalgia

The focus shifts to the profoundly healing technique of massage therapy as we venture into the world of complementary treatments for treating fibromyalgia. Numerous advantages of this time-tested method can be very helpful for people coping with the difficulties of fibromyalgia.

Let’s examine these advantages in further detail:

Unraveling the Knots of Pain

Massage treatment is a potent pain-relieving method. It can relieve muscular tension and trigger point sensitivity, two key causes of pain in fibromyalgia, by manipulating soft tissues.

a young man suffering from Fibromyalgia the lower and upper back discomfort

Massage pressure improves blood circulation to the muscles, decreasing inflammation and improving recovery. As a result, patients frequently report a dramatic reduction in their suffering after a massage session.

A Pathway to Sound Sleep

Sleep deprivation is a typical problem among sufferers. Massage treatment might help you sleep better by boosting relaxation and lowering anxiety.

During a massage, the body releases serotonin, a vital neurotransmitter that governs sleep. This comfortable sleep, in turn, assists in bodily repair and restoration, boosting the massage’s therapeutic effects.

Stress and Anxiety

With fibromyalgia, life may be stressful, resulting in anxiety and even melancholy. Massage treatment can help with these emotional issues. Massage, through reducing tension and anxiety, can give a relaxing respite from the daily stresses of living with chronic pain.

Massage’s touch and rhythm can increase the creation of endorphins, or “feel-good” chemicals that generate a sensation of relaxation and well-being.

Extending Movement Boundaries

Massage can help fibromyalgia sufferers improve their range of motion. Massage can help patients move more freely and comfortably by lowering muscular tension, breaking up adhesions, and enhancing flexibility. This enhanced mobility can lead to an increased capacity to participate in physical activities, which benefits overall health and wellness.

Mood Enhancement and Emotional Well-Being

Finally, massage treatment may significantly improve mood. The physical relief from a massage, along with the release of endorphins, can result in a significant boost in mood.

Following a massage treatment, patients frequently report feeling happier, more relaxed, and more cheerful. This emotional boost has the potential to be a powerful cure for mood fluctuations and despair that are frequently linked with fibromyalgia.

Finally, massage treatment provides a unique combination of physical and mental advantages. While it is not a cure-all for fibromyalgia, it does give an effective supplemental strategy for managing this complicated illness.


What Massage Is Best for Neck Pain

Understanding the Mechanisms of Fibromyalgia Massage Therapy

It is not simple to navigate the world of fibromyalgia. As a complicated illness with widespread pain and suffering, successful care frequently necessitates a multidisciplinary strategy. Massage therapy appears as a key role among the many treatment techniques.

It’s not just about the soothing hands and the soothing environment—there’s a complex science at work behind the scenes. So, how exactly can massage therapy help people with fibromyalgia? Let’s get into the details.

woman receives a pleasant back massage.

Muscle Relaxation for Tension Control

The release of muscular tension and trigger points is one of the primary ways massage therapy works for fibromyalgia. These are zones of hyper-irritability in the muscle that can cause excruciating pain.

Massage uses moderate, rhythmic pressure to physically break down these knots, providing much-needed relief from stiffness and discomfort. This muscular relaxation improves flexibility, mobility, and general physical function, paving the path for a higher quality of life.

The Neurochemical Effects of Touch

Massage treatment has a significant influence on the biochemistry of the body in addition to its physical advantages. The body is said to release endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers, during a massage. These substances work on the neurological system to diminish pain perception and hence provide a natural analgesic effect. This can result in considerable decreases in discomfort for fibromyalgia patients.

Furthermore, massage treatment has been linked to higher levels of serotonin and dopamine. These neurotransmitters are commonly referred to as “happy hormones” owing to their function in mood, sleep, and hunger regulation. Their post-massage elevation can help with mood control, sleep quality, and overall well-being—all of which are important for people dealing with the emotional toll of fibromyalgia.

The Mind-Body Relationship

It’s important to note that these physical and physiological changes don’t happen in isolation; they work together to drive the advantages of massage treatment. Muscle relaxation can contribute to mental relaxation, which can lead to a more happy mood state.

Similarly, endorphin and serotonin production not only decreases pain but also promotes better sleep, which is necessary for the body’s healing and recovery processes.

Massage treatment for fibromyalgia, in essence, functions as a bridge between the mind and the body, producing a harmonic balance that can considerably alleviate symptoms and improve quality of life.

Its success is based not only on the therapist’s skill but also on the nuanced biochemical reactions it elicits, providing a light of hope for people navigating the tumultuous seas.

6 Amazing Benefits of Massage for Patients with Fibromyalgia

Massage treatment has changed from being seen as a luxurious luxury to a dependable ally in the fight against fibromyalgia. It is frequently necessary to use an integrated therapy strategy for this complex ailment, which is marked by widespread pain, exhaustion, and cognitive impairments.

Here, we highlight six extraordinary advantages of massage treatment for those suffering from fibromyalgia, demonstrating the healing potential of touch.

1. Serotonin Levels Have Increased

Serotonin, the body’s natural mood stabilizer, is important in molding our sensations of happiness and well-being. Massage treatment, interestingly, has been discovered to promote the creation of this ‘feel-good’ neurotransmitter. In turn, this increase in serotonin levels can assist in mood regulation, combating the depressed symptoms typically linked with fibromyalgia.

2. Stress Hormones Have Dropped

Massage therapy’s profound relaxation can considerably cut cortisol levels, the body’s major stress hormone. Stress can cause or increase fibromyalgia symptoms, therefore lowering cortisol is very useful. Massage treatment can help manage the frequently overwhelming tension associated with fibromyalgia by establishing a relaxing environment and encouraging profound relaxation.

3. Substance P levels have been reduced.

Substance P is a neuropeptide implicated in pain transmission, and its levels in fibromyalgia sufferers are known to be higher. Massage treatment has been demonstrated to lower substance P levels, which may help to reduce pain intensity.

4. Improved Sleep

Sleep difficulties are a typical complaint among fibromyalgia patients. Massage therapy’s relaxing impact, along with the previously noted rise in serotonin levels, can promote greater sleep quality and duration. Sleep is essential because it helps the body to repair and regenerate, improving overall health and well-being.

5. Pain Relief at Tender Points

It’s well-known for generating pain in specific locations called sensitive points. Massage treatment can relieve pain at these locations by delivering tailored pressure and strokes, offering instant relief. Soft tissue manipulation enhances blood flow to these regions, which aids in the reduction of inflammation and the promotion of healing.

6. Enhancement of Overall Well-Being

One of the most significant advantages of massage treatment is its potential to improve general well-being. This improvement is not only physical; it also includes mental and emotional well-being. A trained therapist’s relaxing touch can give a sense of serenity and closeness, counteracting feelings of isolation that frequently accompany chronic pain disorders.

Touch has an important part in human interactions because it promotes connection, communication, and understanding. Adapting to the soothing, uplifting touch given by massage treatment can be a game changer for fibromyalgia patients. It acts as a subtle reminder that their bodies, despite the agony, are capable of enjoying comfort and relaxation.


Massage Therapy for Chronic Pain Management


Best massage for fibromyalgia

Gentle massages like Swedish or myofascial release.

Should someone with fibromyalgia get a massage?

Yes, but it’s essential to choose a therapist familiar with fibromyalgia.

What is a fibromyalgia massage?

A massage tailored to alleviate fibromyalgia symptoms, often gentle and focusing on pain relief and relaxation.

Does massage help with fibromyalgia flare-up?

It can help, but the individual’s response varies. Gentle massage may alleviate some symptoms.

How can I relax my fibromyalgia?

Stress-reduction techniques like meditation, deep breathing, and gentle exercise can help relax fibromyalgia muscles and symptoms.

The Bottom Line

It can be difficult to navigate the complications of fibromyalgia. However, including treatments such as massage can open up new avenues for treating and alleviating the symptoms of this illness. Massage treatment is more than just a basic relaxation method; it is a complex strategy to fight the many effects of fibromyalgia.

Massage treatment provides a concrete approach to enhanced physical well-being by increasing serotonin levels, decreasing stress hormones and substance P, improving sleep, and reducing pain in delicate areas. However, the advantages go beyond the physical. Massage also gives psychological and emotional relief, addressing the mental toll of chronic pain that is frequently disregarded. The improved overall sense of well-being can make a big impact in the lives of fibromyalgia sufferers on a daily basis.

The significance of touch—the cornerstone of massage—cannot be overstated. Touch has the ability to heal and comfort as a key component of human connection and communication. Massage, in the context of fibromyalgia, allows sufferers to reconnect with their bodies in a pleasant, pain-free way.


[1] What You Need to Know About Massage Therapy for Fibromyalgia  retrieved from Published on May 26, 2023, Access July 9, 2023

[2]  Benefits of massage for fibromyalgia patients retrieved from Published on July 12, 2017, Access July 9, 2023

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