At times, we may try certain types of therapy for our fibromyalgia symptoms and realize that they are not working as well as they could be. We need more relief because our symptoms get worse, or we just need to find relief because nothing is really working.
That being said, it’s important to recognize that there are alternatives to traditional therapy that can help relieve our symptoms and increase our quality of life. One of those types of therapy is known as reflexology, and that’s what we’re going to take a small peek at here.
What Does Reflexology Entail?
Reflexology is a type of therapy that is actually related to massage, but it’s not only massage. It basically focuses on the hands and the feet. What happens it that a reflexologist will look at your hands or your feet, and they have a map (either in their head, or they actually have ones on paper as well).
Reflexology basically states that your hands and feet are connected to the rest of your body. If you hit certain pressure points or massage them, you can make an impact on certain internal organs so that can be cleansed of toxins and so that you don’t end up having other problems going on inside.
It does sound a little odd, but basically, the pressure that is placed on those points is the pressure and massage that you would do if you were able to actually touch the organs that are being affected by the illness or the pain that is going on.
Instead of thinking of reflexology as being akin to massage (even though the pressure is applied with the fingers of the reflexologist in a massage-like fashion), you want to actually look at it like it is related to acupuncture and other forms of therapy that focus on pressure points. A session usually lasts a half hour or so; but, you may be a bit sore after you’ve gone through a session, so give yourself some wiggle room in there.
What is the Relationship Between Reflexology and Fibromyalgia?
So, now, of course, you want to know why reflexology would be used for fibromyalgia. There are a few big reasons, actually – let’s take a look here.
As you likely know, irritable bowel syndrome (usually referred to as just IBS) is a syndrome that affects many people with fibro, mainly because everything in their body is already sensitive, so it’s not surprising that the bowels do too. By putting pressure on the specific areas of the foot and/or hand, the bowels get the pressure that they need and the IBS subsides. A person will need continued treatment in order to make sure that it subsides.
Sleep is a huge problem for many people, and it’s because of hormones and because of anxiety and stress. Those are affected by certain areas of the brain which, of course, cannot be massaged either. In reflexology, they will go to a certain area of your foot or hand that coincides with the limbic system, and then you will start to get the relief that you’re looking for.
Trigger points are a huge problem for people who have fibromyalgia. There are just some places that you can’t touch or move, because if you do, you’re going to end up with shooting pain throughout your entire body. These are called “trigger spots” or “trigger points.” They’re usually connected to particular nerves that, like everything else in your body, are overreacting to basically everything that comes into contact with them.
It can be really frustrating. But, but using reflexology, the specialist can actually make it so that those trigger spots loosen up somewhat, which means that they won’t react as poorly when they are touched or hit. This, in turn, will help increase your pain tolerance and it, eventually, make it so that your body reacts less often to those sorts of stimuli that aren’t supposed to be painful in the first place.
And those are just a few of the ways that reflexology could end up making a difference to people who are fighting off fibromyalgia symptoms. Pretty neat, isn’t it? Reflexology is amazing because it’s just so unique – it’s not new, it’s just a really unique concept that has started to get more recognition in recent years. Because it’s been so successful (which we will talk about in the next section), there will likely be a lot more research done in this area, and this “alternative” therapy may eventually become something that’s a bit more mainstream because of how well it appears to work for so many different fibro patients.
Does it Actually Work?
Here’s a surprising answer that we don’t give too often when it comes to alternative therapies – yes! Many times, alternative therapies work for some people and don’t work for others, but in research studies that were performed on people who had fibromyalgia, everyone saw at least a little bit of improvement after they had about a month of regular sessions with a reflexologist.
Some people saw a huge difference, whereas other people just saw a few of their symptoms alleviated. And, as you know, any improvement in the fibromyalgia world can be a huge deal, especially if you’ve been fighting off pain with no control over it at all. It’s a unique approach to a problem that has been going on for years, but if it helps, it’s definitely worth checking out and considering.
There is an answer for you somewhere. Even if you don’t feel like you can cope with the pain and suffering that comes with fibromyalgia at times, it’s important that you check out all of your options.
That way, you can make sure that your bases are covered and that you have a better understanding of everything that is related to your fibromyalgia. Your specialist can help you explore your options more and give you suggestions on what direction to go toward with your treatment.