Kay McDonnell  - Massage , Advanced  Reflexology & Laser Therapist
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KayMcDonnell(Listowel Therapy Centre)

Fibromyalgia amd Massage Kerry

What Causes Fibromyalgia?

Recent medical research indicates that many cases of fibromyalgia may be caused by an underactive thyroid gland, a condition which is frequently missed by routine medical tests because doctors will usually ignore a "borderline" case. I recommend that everyone with fibromyalgia be evaluated for underactive thyroid, and if found, be treated for that condition first.
What Fibromyalgia Feels Like
People with fibromyalgia often describe their symptoms as a flu-like infection that doesn’t go away. It leaves you exhausted and unable to think or find the right words (symptoms of fibro fog). With fibromyalgia, you have trouble sleeping and wake up stiff and achy. Your symptoms can be debilitating and you probably feel as though you have to push yourself to get anything done
Most Common Fibromyalgia Symptoms
Fatigue – Exhaustion can be one of the most incapacitating fibromyalgia symptoms. You may feel as though your arms and legs are weighted down by concrete blocks and your body may be so drained of energy that every task requires great effort.
Brain Fog – Trouble concentrating, retaining new information, and word-finding are common fibromyalgia symptoms that seriously interfere with daily functioning. You may be easily distracted and this symptom appears to correspond to the severity of pain (as though the brain is consumed by the pain, limiting your ability to perform cognitive tasks).
Muscle Knots, Cramping, Weakness – No matter how much you try to relax your muscles, they may feel tense. Many contain rope-like knots called myofascial trigger points, making you more susceptible to muscle cramping and weakness. The pain of fibromyalgia may also be a source of muscle weakness.
Headaches/Migraines – Recurrent tension headaches or migraines are present in 50 to 70% of fibromyalgia patients.Headache symptoms are usually rated as severe, occur at least two times per week, and often have a migraine component. This head pain is partly due to trigger points in the shoulder, neck, and head muscles.
Itchy/Burning Skin – Your skin may look normal or it may have itchy red bumps similar to hives. Burning pain, similar to a bad sunburn, is also common in fibromyalgia patients.
Signs of an impending flare-up include:
The right type of massage or energy technique can produce the relaxation and therapeutic results needed during a flare-up. Either during the onset or active phase of a flare-up, cranial-sacral or myofascial release may be the most effective therapies to restore musculoskeletal balance. Energy techniques can always be safely included in a massage to dissolve blockages, induce relaxation and harmonize the body.
Fibromyalgia is most common among women aged 20 to 50 years. Pain is the main symptom. It may be mild to severe and may feel like a deep ache, or a shooting, burning pain. Sufferers tend to wake up with body aches and stiffness. For some, pain improves during the day and gets worse at night. Some patients have pain all day.
Pain may get worse with activity, cold or damp weather, anxiety, and stress. Fatigue, depressed mood, and sleep problems are seen in many patients with fibromyalgia. Many say that they cannot get to sleep or stay asleep and they feel tired when they wake up. Other symptoms may include irritable bowel syndrome, memory and concentration problems, numbness and tingling in hands and feet, palpitations, reduced ability to exercise and tension or migraine headaches.
From my experience; 

Another problem that fibromyalgia sufferers experience is a stiffening of the fascia, the connective tissues immediately beneath the skin, which there is actually a special massage technique to assist with (myofascial release). I do myofascial release, and it is a gentle, relaxing technique, one that is so helpful.   
A good massage therapist will know that treating fibromyalgia requires discussion with that individual patient to see what their complaints are, first, and second, a gentle and firm pressure, not deep massage, which can actually increase the pain of fibromyalgia..
Always drink a lot of water prior to and after receiving a massage, as the water will help flush the toxins that the massage pushes from your muscles, and plan to rest for a while after your massage (generally recommended to be at least the duration of your massage), followed by gentle yoga stretches to maintain your flexibility


REFLEXOLOGY can have many medicinal values for numerous illnesses and conditions. With its chronic symptoms, overall pain factor, and relentless fatigue, fibromyalgia is one condition that can greatly benefit from reflexology. Here are a few benefits to using reflexology to treat Fibromyalgia.

There are foods you can eat that will help fibromyalgia, and foods you can eat that will aggravate the condition. Foods that are high in fats, such as fried foods, "junk foods," most processed foods including refined carbohydrates (sugar and flour products), and many meats and dairy products, have a tendency to increase pain; while foods that are high in vitamins and antioxidants, like fruits and vegetables, have the opposite effect. Plant enzymes also help reduce pain and inflammation.
Most people need to eat far more fruits and vegetables and fewer high-fat foods and refined carbohydrates (bakery goods made with refined "enriched" flour and products containing sugar.) It will also be a great help if you will get into the habit of choosing healthier snacks. Instead of the usual cookies or chips, choose raw carrots or celery instead; or have an apple instead of the dessert before bedtime.
Food additives and chemicals should be avoided. 
Eliminate caffeine, tobacco and alcohol. Herbal teas that contain no caffeine are fine. As much as possible avoid sugar, refined and processed foods. Instead of coffee, caffeine teas, and carbonated beverages, drink eight to ten glasses of purified water (with the chlorine removed) every day flavored with a little liquid Chlorophyll for its pleasing taste and alkalizing effect. Consumption of red meat and dairy products should be reduced or eliminated. Eat chicken or turkey (without the skin) and fish instead. Your diet should consist mostly of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and raw (not roasted or salted) nuts.

I am an experienced Massage /Advanced Reflexologist. Contact 068 23574. Email; kay@kaymcdonnell.com

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