Category Archives: massage

Fibromyalgia, Alternative Therapies and the Bio-Psycho-Social

“People still insist on things like holistic healing and things that have no real basis in evidence because they want it to be true-it’s as simple as that”, Stephen Fry

If there is any alternate healing therapy that I have not tried over many years I don’t know what it can be. Chinese herbs, homeopathy, JinShin, acupuncture,  Reiki, osteopathy, therapeutic touch, reflexology to name a few, most of them have not helped; they are not evidence based therapies. They cost me a great deal of money. They kept the practitioners in business. But, of them all osteopathy as a manual therapy was helpful as I thrive on the magic of touch, especially when the therapist is a skilled practitioner. I am also fond of  gentle massage therapy, JinShin, chiropractic adjustments, and especially physiotherapy. Having a therapist who spends an hour with you, working on painful areas of your body can be extremely therapeutic.  Of them all it is physiotherapy (physical therapy as it is called in the US) which has provided me with the most relief . I trust this practice the most as it is evidence based, a research profession situated in a university, sanctioned by grant giving foundations to further their research agenda. I have however heard from many who do not like to be touched and manual therapy is not for them. When I am touched by a therapist who has experienced hands it relaxes my nervous system. For those who do not like being touched by others, I recommend massaging yourself lightly as a soothing gesture. It does not cure but it provides relief and trains the brain to pause and work with paying attention to the moment rather than catastrophic-futuristic thinking which we are all prone to do.

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Fibromyalgia and the Healing Touch

“Touch seems to be as essential as sunlight”, Diane Ackerman massage-002

People who suffer from chronic pain have generally found that physical touch is a valuable source of relief which can alleviate (or at least reduce) pain and enhance well being. Those of us who have fibromyalgia and are able to afford any of the various techniques of body work such as remedial massage, and jin shin jyutsu have found short term release of pain. Some even think that therapeutic touch is helpful, and although I fail to see how not directly touching the body can be helpful, many do find just that! I suspect it is from a placebo effect. I am not an advocate of that technique as I do not believe that ‘energy’ is moved around as those practicing TT do advocate. Instead I believe that direct touch can help with releasing tight muscles and bring about relaxation of the nervous system. I have usually benefited from the effects of these therapies.

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