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Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 48
   Posted 2/5/2009 8:45 PM (GMT -7)   
I couldn't help but to ask about massage after reading several posts that mention them. I just cannot fathom the thought of getting a massage, especially
when having a flare up. Sometimes I can't handle my shirt touching me I hurt so badly. When I massage my tender points myself they really hurt, but
I know my limits and what works for me - I don't think I could trust or even be comfortable having someone else give me a massage.

So... What are your massage experiences ~ were they something that took time to get used to?
What kind of massage do you prefer? Do you go to a licensed massage therapist?

Inquiring mind wants to know lol

Diagnosed in 1999, SSD 2000, Fibromyalgia, Myofascial Pain Syndrome, Tendonitis, Arhtritis,
Hiatial Hernia, Acid Reflux, GERD, Hypoglycemic, Allergies... and the list goes on. My Doctor says
I am an enigma LOL.

Meds: Wellbutrin XL, Flexeril, Prilosec, Tramadol, Mobic, Zyrtec, Tylenol

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 139
   Posted 2/5/2009 9:13 PM (GMT -7)   
I've only had two professional massages. Dispite the pain, it's wonderful. There have been somethings that hurt me, like massaging my lower back as it hurts my stomach, but if you get through it you will feel so good. Talk to the terapist beforehand about your pain, just let them know you aren't the normal client, that you have special needs.
Fibromyalgia: 2008

Effexor 150 mg, Flexril 5 mg, Gabapentin 600 mg

getting by
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 41937
   Posted 2/5/2009 9:20 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Tina,
I would recommend light massage or sweedish massage.  No deep tissue massage.  It hurts sooooo bad.  Some people are so sensitive to touch that they can't have any.  That could be your case.  But do make sure that they are liscensed and are familiar with fibromyalgia patients. 
My psychologist gives massages and they are nice, she is very gentle.  Also uses some nice massage gel that really feels good.  But I have gone to some who made my fibro much worse, sent me into a flare.  Mainly tell them what you have and that your clothes even hurt you.  But if you could get a light one and tolerate it, I think that you would enjoy it.
Best wishes,
Hugs, Karen
Remember there are parts of your body that you can do yourself.  Your shoulders, arms and legs.  Use warm lotion and try it yourself and see if you can tolerate that.
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies

New Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 2/5/2009 9:25 PM (GMT -7)   
Well for me I have had both great and horrible experiences. Normally for me a good Swedish relaxing massage works really great after I have had about a 30 minute soak in my local massage therapy salons float rooms. This is a long hot bath in mineral waters and aroma therapy with soft music and lighting. Then I go for the massage I am sure you can look around and see if you have something similar in your area. It just is amazing even in mid flare. However Run Don't Walk away from any place that only does shi atsu massage this is deep tissue massage often administered with the persons elbows and forearms. Learn my lesson the hard way in germany when the girl behind the counter couldn't understand what I meant by relaxing massage lol what a mothers day gift that tuned out to be...OOOUUUCCCCHHHH!!!! I almost smacked the masseuse on the spot screaming what the hell are you doing. He had stuck his elbow with all his body weight right in my shoulder blade (ie what I lovingly call my chicken spot cause I look like a flightless bird trying to fly away frantically when someone touches it) . He jumped off and about 4 feet backward in a microsecond lol. Think I scared him as much as he traumatized me. I explained what I had asked for and he luckily was very apologetic for the misunderstanding and refunded my money.
Still_Kickin_30 aka Rebecca

I am a 31 year old Female and US Army Disabled Veteran Proud to have served in Afghanistan during "Operation Enduring Freedom" Awarded the Purple Heart, and Army Commendation Medal, Proud Mother, and Fiancée to a wonderful man.

Fibromyalgia diagnosed at 15yrs old, ADHD, PTSD, Spinal Fusion lower back, Carpel Tunnel, and 1/16th aluminum parts lol.

Post Edited (still_kickin_30) : 2/5/2009 9:29:34 PM (GMT-7)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2003
Total Posts : 5514
   Posted 2/5/2009 9:27 PM (GMT -7)   
Yeah, I can only handle light massages.  Nothing deep at all.  I think I'd cry.
I can do anything through Jesus Christ who strengthens me. I have learned in whatever state I am in,to be content. Phillipians 4:11-13

34 years old. Diagnosed with Lupus in 2000. Fibromyalgia, Anti-phospholipid syndrome(APS)(stroke, 2002), Sjogren's, Raynaud's, Libman Sach's Endocarditis, vasculitis, sacroiliitis, arthritis (neck), anxiety. Prednisone, Imuran, Coumadin, Clobazam, Amitriptyline, Didrocal, Cozaar, Zoloft, Neurontin, calcium, multi-vitamin, vitamin D, Magnesium, vitamin B6, Acidophilus
Moderator for the Lupus and Fibromyalgia forums

stitching star
Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 38
   Posted 2/5/2009 9:42 PM (GMT -7)   
I have had a LOT of massages by a lot of different therapists. I am planning to call the local tech school and see if I can get an appt to have a student give me a massage - to see if I can handle that.

I had one chiropracter in OH who had 4 massage therapists on staff - all certified. when you came in you got to lay on your choice of heat bed or massaging bed for a little while. Then you had a 30 min massage and THEN the doc checked you out and adjusted you. It was AMAZING. One therapist was great for my dh and sent me into a totally horrible flare. I thought he was going to rub the muscles off my bones! One therapist was so gentle it was totally ineffective, and there was one who was amazing for me. (Kinda sound like the Goldilocks of massage, don't I? LOL!!)

I have been to other massage therapists and mostly had good experiences. You want a place that is clean, with a clean cover on the table just for you, a clean cover for your face to be on the donut shaped thingy you put your face in.

I think the most important thing to remember is to TALK to your therapist. Tell them if it is too soft or too hard or just right. Tell them if you want them to work more on one area or less on another area.

If you are very sensitive, be SURE to talk to the therapist about it BEFORE the massage. Often the therapist has come across this if they treat many fibromites.

BTW, if your skin is so sensitive your clothes hurt, lyrica may help. Or neurontin (I think it is gabapentin). My rheumy told me lyrica is the "next generation" of neurontin, all I know is it has really helped with that feeling that my clothes hurt, my feet are on fire, my sheets hurt, etc....

If you haven't tried it, it might be helpful.

I am going to try the local tech school b/c a friend said it was less expensive (and our budget is T.I.G.H.T.) and that if you talk to the person they are very responsive.
SAHM, kids are the light of my life
dh of 17 yrs, my sweetie
ds 16yo, great kid, Sr. in high school
dd 13yo, my reward, homeschooled
ds 8yo, amazing kid, great magician
2 furbabies - Gracie and Capn Morgan, both cats
1 featherbaby - cockatiel - Goldi the Evil
I have always imagined paradise will be some type of library.
     -Jorges Luis Borges

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 1495
   Posted 2/5/2009 11:48 PM (GMT -7)   
My last two massages made me feel worse, rather than better. During a flare, just scratching an itch or rubbing my arms and legs from the cold will cause pain. Then a massage is not helpful. Dh does massage my neck and sometimes that helps. I know a really good massage lady here in my town and I think I will call and make an appt.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 1014
   Posted 2/6/2009 6:03 AM (GMT -7)   

G'morning Tina!

My massage therapist is truly awesome!!  One of her specialties is Fibro.  I started seeing her when I was having PT for a shoulder problem (2005).  (eventually I wound up having surgery on the shoulder).  I don't go if I'm in a major flare.  She spends a lot of time helping me with stretching.  She also uses theraputic heat stones on me... its so wonderful.  After she heats up my chronic pain areas with the stones it helps to loosen them up, so the massage isn't painful at all.  If I'm just coming off a flare she uses light touch massage.  But I can get deep tissue massage when I'm feeling good.  Muscle tightness in my shoulders and neck area can get pretty bad if I'm really stressed out and she just knows what to do and how to touch me.  Bare in mind I've been going to her for almost 4 years.  Of course, she's certified. I wouldn't recommend going to anyone that's not certified.  I can't afford to go as often as I would like, but I try to go about once every 6 weeks. 

Remember, everyone's pain is different.  I have an very high pain threshold.

Fibormyalgia, 4x Lyme Disease Survivor, Depression, Anxiety Disorder, Dyslexia, 2 Lumbar Disk Herniations, Allergies, Bi-lateral Carpal Tunnel. 
Meds = Elavil, Tramadol, Lipitor
"Shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you'll land among the stars" - author unknown

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 6067
   Posted 2/6/2009 8:53 AM (GMT -7)   
Awww Tina you just reminded me that I haven't taken time for a massage in months with everything that has been going on. I have a doc referral to a wellness center attached to the hos we go to. The massage therapist are trained in fibro yet they can be as different as night and day as I have found the hard way. I have had massages that have left me sick and hurting for days cause they were too much and released too many toxins in the body. The girl I like the best doesn't go too deep. My shoulder blades and shoulders are always tight and full of knots but the massage still feels good for some reason when done the right way. You have to drink plenty of water after a massage to flush the toxins out of your body the massage releases.
Now I want a massage. smilewinkgrin
luv and hugs
Forum Moderator Fibromyalgia
Fibro,Sjogrens, Anxiety, Gastroparesis, IBS, Gastritis, Allergies, High Blood Pressure, Low Blood Sodium and Osteoarthritis
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Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 17529
   Posted 2/6/2009 12:00 PM (GMT -7)   

I get a light massage once a month and this has helped me quite a bit.  But, make sure you have a good therapist that knows what they are doing.  That is the key!

Here is a link to a site that will help you find the right massage therapist in your area.  These people are true professionals.  My therapist is in this group and she is fantastic.  Hope this helps!


Forum Moderator/ Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia, Crohn's Disease, Ostomy, Diabetes, Autoimmune Inner Ear Disease, Osteoporosis
God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.    2 Timothy 1:7

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 48
   Posted 2/6/2009 2:06 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank all of you. I do massage what I can get to for myself, but the sound of someone else doing it sounds much better and more relaxing.

OMG Rebecca....owie, how awful to have that happen!! I can only imagine being in that situation...but now I at least know what to look for.

Susie, I am VERY sensitive to medications and Lyrica and neurontin made my neck swell. The Lyrica made me unable to speak - it was scary! Goldilocks of massage...cute :)

I got great information from all of you. Sherrine I found a massage therapist that is right around the corner from me! She had a email
address so I sent her a email asking if she had any experience with people with fibro. We'll see.

Diagnosed in 1999, SSD 2000, Fibromyalgia, Myofascial Pain Syndrome, Tendonitis, Arhtritis,
Hiatial Hernia, Acid Reflux, GERD, Hypoglycemic, Allergies... and the list goes on. My Doctor says
I am an enigma LOL.

Meds: Wellbutrin XL, Flexeril, Prilosec, Tramadol, Mobic, Zyrtec, Tylenol

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 48
   Posted 2/6/2009 2:17 PM (GMT -7)   
Wow... this is the answer I got from the massage therapist regarding her experience with fibro patients:

Hi. Yes, I have several clients suffering from fibromyalgia. Have you had massage before? Are you having a flare-up? What are currently doing for your fibro? Meds? Exercise? If you would like to talk about it, please give my your phone number and a good time to call. You can certainly call my office, however, if I'm with a client you will get my answering machine and I will get back to you as soon as I can. Have a nice day. Denise

I'll have to give her my information and take it from there...yay!!

Diagnosed in 1999, SSD 2000, Fibromyalgia, Myofascial Pain Syndrome, Tendonitis, Arhtritis,
Hiatial Hernia, Acid Reflux, GERD, Hypoglycemic, Allergies... and the list goes on. My Doctor says
I am an enigma LOL.

Meds: Wellbutrin XL, Flexeril, Prilosec, Tramadol, Mobic, Zyrtec, Tylenol

Sera Smiles
Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 671
   Posted 2/7/2009 1:40 AM (GMT -7)   
I know my post is late but I wanted to brag on my new friend who is a certified massage therapist with lots of understanding on FM. I purchased a series of 8 massages from her; 6 were a combo of massage and ortho-bionomy. Check it out- I really liked it. the last 2 were hot stone massages and were very special. She helped me so much! She specifically helped untangle 2 huge knots on either side of my spine, she helped my lower back, and just re-alligned so many places that were wonky for years. I am sleeping better, have overall more flexibility and better posture, and just feel stronger. I hope you find a great therapist and have great success and less pain.
"A butterfly is most vulnerable immediately after its metamorphosis."
Dx FM- 2003
Rx Meds- Ultram, Flexeril, Toprol, Cymbalta, Buspar 
OTC meds- Benadryl, Claritin, Melatonin, Valerian, B Complex, Multi Vitamin

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 456
   Posted 2/7/2009 1:06 PM (GMT -7)   

I'm a former massage therapist, and I've found that massage helps me quite a bit.  Whoever said that you need to communicate with your therapist is absolutely right.  There is a certain amount they can read as they work on you- tension in the muscles, the way you breath or shift.  But they aren't mind readers.  If something hurts you've got to speak up. 

On the other hand, there may be times when what they're doing is uncomfortable.  It's kind of like exercise.  It doesn't feel great at the time, but in the long run you're better off for doing it.  I took a break from receiving massage for a while, and the first one or two back left me aching for a couple of days.  But once those days passed, I felt much better than I had before the massage.  The more regularly you have massage the less that post-massage achiness is a problem.  And you want to drink as much water as possible in the 24 hours after your massage.  That will help a lot, too.  If you've got any knots, your therapist may want to work on those.  Be honest with them about whether or not you can handle that type of work.  If you do decide to let them, tell them if you get near your limit.  Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither was that knot.  It doesn't have to come out in one session either. 

When I was massaging, I would not have wanted to work on a client when the touch of clothes or sheets caused pain.  I don't see how massage could be anything but a negative at that moment.  I was OK with causing some discomfort for the client's eventual benefit, but never pain.  Pain means you're either damaging the tissue you're working on or increasing tension in the rest of the body as the client tries to guard against the pain.  Which undoes all the work you've just done.  "No pain, no gain" is not an appropriate attitude in a massage environment. 

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 675
   Posted 2/7/2009 9:31 PM (GMT -7)   
The only thing I have to add, is that if you are just starting with massage, you may want to schedule a half hour to begin with.  When I first started, an hour session was too long, and I ended up feeling flarish afterward.  I've worked with my therapist for 3 years.  In the beginning there were a couple times when she worked too deep and I ended up with a lot of pain.  At this point she is familiar with my muscles, my symptoms and my tolerance level.  She advises me not to take Advil, etc. before a session, so it isn't masking pain while she's working on me.  Sometimes releasing those trigger points is very uncomfortable, but I do usually feel better afterward.  Drinking lots of water before and after, and taking it easy following a massage are all important to do. 

diagnoses:  mono 1972; postviral CFS 1997; fibro 1998;  UCTD (dx limbo) 2007
meds: Plaquenil 400 mg, occasional low dose xanax for sleep aid, artificial tears w/ ointment at night, Advil/aspirin prn

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