Massage & Bodywork

MARCH | APRIL 2015

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46 m a s s a g e & b o d y w o r k m a r c h / a p r i l 2 0 1 5 SOMATIC RESEARCH education Massage Therapy Eases Fibromyalgia Anxiety, Depression, and Pain are Reduced By Jerrilyn Cambron Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by anxiety, depression, sleep disturbances, fatigue, and memory issues. According to the Mayo Clinic, fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way the brain processes pain signals. 1 Approximately 2–5 percent of the population is affected by fibromyalgia, leading to reduced activities in daily living and work capability. 2 Fibromyalgia can be difficult to diagnose and treat. Pain and fatigue are often misdiagnosed as other conditions, such as chronic fatigue syndrome, hypothyroidism, and malingering. In some individuals, the diagnosis is not made for years due to overlapping symptoms. Once diagnosed, patients typically see several health-care providers in order to determine the best treatment for their condition. Traditionally, those with fibromyalgia try various medications, undergo physical therapy, and attend pain clinics. Because of the lack of success with conventional treatment, approximately 90 percent of those with fibromyalgia seek relief through at least one form of complementary and alternative treatment such as acupuncture, chiropractic, herbal supplements, and massage therapy. 3 LIMITATIONS Yan-hui Li and a team of researchers recently published an article titled "Massage Therapy for Fibromyalgia: A Systematic Review and Meta- Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials." 3 The authors searched 10 English and Chinese

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