What is Fibromyalgia?

According to the Mayo Clinic Article titled Fibromyagia, October 2021

“Fibromyalgia as a disorder is characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues. Researchers believe that fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way your brain and spinal cord process painful and nonpainful signals Symptoms often begin after an event, such as physical trauma, surgery, infection or significant psychological stress. In other cases, symptoms gradually accumulate over time with no single triggering event.” “Women are more likely to develop fibromyalgia than are men. Many people who have fibromyalgia also have tension headaches, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety and depression¹”

According to research done in 2013 involving 404 patients, Massage Therapy with a duration of more than 5 weeks had beneficial immediate effects on improving pain, anxiety, depression and sleep disturbances in patients with FM. This is by a complex interplay of both physical and mental modes of action².

“After 35 years treating people with fibromyalgia I can report with all confidence that for most people suffering from this chronic pain condition benefit from massage therapy to one degree or another. Because Fibromyalgia has so many complex symptoms it is important that the massage therapist develop a treatment approach the unique to each individual. Massage therapy with all of its multiple techniques and approaches basically affects the body in two distinct ways. One is by mechanically reducing and or/removing restrictions like scar tissue, manually stretching muscle fibres, skin and fascia and secondly massage is affecting the nervous system increasing neurotransmitter production of the hormones dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin and endorphins. These “feel good” hormones create a reduction in the stress hormone cortisol and a relaxation response.” – Denise Armstrong RMT


  • Fatigue
  • Widespread Pain
  • Cognitive Issues
  • Irritable Bowel Symptoms
  • Migraines
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Joint Pain

When a person is in localized pain regardless of the cause the following happens:


  1. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 26 Oct. 2021
  2. Yan-hui Li, Feng-yun Wang, Chun-Qing Feng, Xia-feng Yang, and Yi-hula Sun, 2014, Feb 20; Massage Therapy for Fibromyalgia: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials
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