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Posted by: Victoria Thompson, 18 Jan 2011 9:22PM
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client with fibromyalgia

a regular client I have with fibromyalgia is struggling with her condition and current drugs have stopped working effectively. She is in a lot of pain and unable to sleep at night. Does anyone have any pearls of wisdom, know of any new treatments or have specialist knowledge of particular techniques which would help ? Many thanks !


Amanda Clegg
18 Jan 2011 11:00PM

I don;t know that massage will help: a friend of mine as F mainly in his neck and shoulders, and we found that massage actually aggravated it. He's a bit of a conventional treatment person and has continued with the steroids though in far smaller doses than prescribed and after quite a few years has got it pretty much under control. My instinct as a sceptic about our medical system and a believer in complementary method woudl be to recommend your client investigates diet HUGELY, though I don't know anything about F. specifically. I will keep my eyes/ears open for you. For instance, we are having huge success with colon cancer in a relative whom the medics have dismissed as too advanced for any treatment, using a vegan/gluten and sugar free diet, plus quite a lot of supplements including reducing body acidity, and this relative is also finding the side effect that her osteo arthritis pain is pretty much gone (it was a big problem before, and she is 83). So, body toxicity accounts for a lot. Good luck.
Janice Hamilton
19 Jan 2011 12:10PM

I am replying as someone who had both Fibromyalgia and CFS - Massage definitely does help and I found that some deep work was good provided it was combined with calming soothing strokes. However, the way I battled my way back to good health was by changing my whole life - STRESS the number 1 enemy with these conditions - avoid it like the plague and find coping mechanisms - I went to hypnotherapy/positive thinking workshops - I committed to learning Reiki and Massage - most importantly, I listened to what my body was telling me - if you're too tired to do something don't do it, rest, even if it is for 10 minutes - don't set yourself targets - I tried this and it depressed the life out of me when I constantly failed to reach them - accept that what you used to do is in the past and concentrate on what you can do now. Routine was very important, find out what you can do and stick to it, don't be tempted to overdo anything by even 5 minutes. Even though I slept badly, I went to bed at the same time no matter what. I gave up caffeine, alcohol, meat, because I found that my body had difficulty processing these things and drained what little energy I had. Four years ago I gave up wheat and dairy and what a difference that has made to my energy and quality of life. None of this was easy and I did it over a 10 year period and I know when you read this it might sound extreme, but I didn't have a partner/husband so I was the one paying the bills and keeping a roof over my head and I really wanted and was determined to get better. I now say that I am free of these conditions and being pain free is just incredible; if I do have the occasional symptoms I look immediately at what I've been doing to see why the symptoms have come back - there is always a reason, you just have to look for it. I hope this helps.
Amanda Clegg
19 Jan 2011 2:08PM

Janice, what an amazing journey -you are a credit to us all, really walking the talk!
Victoria Thompson
9 Feb 2011 3:08PM

Thank you all for your responses - my client has been given some different drugs (I can't remember the name off the top of my head) which she is trying out before calling me again (to see how she responds). I will ask her about diet and stress and offer the comment about wheat, dairy etc. I have a lot of sympathy for the poor lady and others who suffer from this dreadful condition, she is at her wits end with the pain. I do hope that the new drugs and the amazing results Janet has had with diet and relaxation will benefit her too. Many thanks
Nicki Lee
10 Mar 2011 10:29AM

Hi Victoria, I've regularly treated several people with fibromyalgia for a number of years and they have found massage helps them immensely. (Well, of course, or they wouldn't have kept coming!) So I would say it clearly can help, but as ever it depends upon the person. The treatment has to vary each time depending upon their condition on the day, and if they are suffering with fatigue it should be gentle and short. However you can still address some trigger points within the treatment which will help with some of the deeper muscle pain. General effleurage light pettissage and ctm work helps with the myofascial pain especially in the arms and legs. This may also help with the sleep disorders and depression which can accompany the syndrome. Best of luck to you and your client.
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