Fibromyalgia can be particularly challenging to live with and treat because it may not simply manifest as only nerve pain. Instead, it can actually have a pretty large variety of symptoms. Interestingly, the number of women suffering from fibromyalgia is greater than the number of men who suffer from it. People with fibromyalgia may have the following symptoms:
Pain areas: in the muscles, abdomen, back, or neck
Pain types: can be chronic, diffuse, sharp, or severe
Pain circumstances: can occur at night
Gastrointestinal: constipation, nausea, or passing excessive amounts of gas
Whole body: fatigue, feeling tired, or malaise
Muscular: muscle tenderness, delayed onset muscle soreness, or muscle spasms
Sensory: pins and needles, sensitivity to cold, or sensitivity to pain
Mood: anxiety, mood swings, or nervousness
Sleep: difficulty falling asleep or sleep disturbances
Cognitive: forgetfulness or lack of concentration
Hand: sensation of coldness or tingling
Also common: depression, flare, headache, irritability, joint stiffness, painful menstruation, or tingling feet.
Massage can be helpful with symptoms and the treatment of fibromyalgia, but of course when someone has fibromyalgia going out somewhere to see a massage therapist can be challenging. It is also possible that seeing a massage therapist on a regular basis can get rather costly. This is where reflexology can be particularly useful because one can use reflexology on themselves rather than having to go see a massage therapist. Not everyone is comfortable with getting massage, some people can be rather particular about whom they're comfortable with touching them, and of course not everyone with fibromyalgia is going to be comfortable with going to a massage therapist. These are other reasons reflexology could be a very useful and helpful resource to someone with fibromyalgia. There are studies that show that reflexology can in fact be helpful with fibromyalgia symptoms. Here is a link to one such study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/27763930/is. This is a wonderful method to consider if one wants a low-risk method of treatment for fibromyalgia that could be very complementary to conventional medical treatments one might already be using.
- Contributed by Megan