Reflexology for Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS) affects approximately 2-4% of the population, predominantly women, according to the American College of Rheumatology. This makes it the second most common musculoskeletal system ailment with osteoarthritis taking first place. To this day fibromyalgia is an often misunderstood and even unrecognized disorder that causes widespread muscle pain and tenderness which tends to come and go and move about the body. This common and chronic condition typically is associated with fatigue and sleep disturbances. While there has not yet been found a cure for fibromyalgia, reflexology and other complementary therapies have proven to be effective for addressing a variety of fibromyalgia symptoms. Clients with fibromyalgia who receive regular reflexology sessions report improvement in pain reduction, tension headache, fatigue, sleep disorder and more. A private study, conducted by Linda Chollar of the Pain Free Path Wellness Center, included a 30 minute foot reflexology protocol given to 16 female clients, age 40 to 59, with a physician diagnosis of fibromyalgia. Consistently, pain levels reduced at each 5 minute interval recorded by a medical student. At the conclusion of each foot reflexology protocol, client graphs indicated a reduction from their beginning pain levels to a pain level of zero.
Since 2003, I have been working with clients suffering from fibromyalgia with good results. In my practice, I am using the integrated approach of foot, hand and ear reflexology, which helps to address fibromyalgia symptoms on three different micro systems of the body, also called reflex maps, for better results of the wide variety of symptoms. The ears are a remarkable tool in pain reduction and tension release in the musculoskeletal system, especially the neck and lower back. In addition to the ‘body map,’ we find certain pain control points and other ‘masterpoints’ on the ears to help with fatigue, sleep disorder, temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), and headaches. Other fibromyalgia symptoms, like irritable bowel syndrome, gastroesophageal reflux and irritable bladder can be best addressed on the feet while other symptoms, like migraines, show more reliable results with working on the hands.
This is what Ms. Morrison of La Verne, receiving reflexology sessions on a regular basis since August 2003 reports: “I was desperate for lasting pain relief from fibromyalgia when I saw an ad for reflexology in the local La Verne paper. Physical therapy gave immediate, but not lasting relief. I had used reflexology in the past; however, it was not the integrated technique of manipulating the ears, hands, and feet. I was later diagnosed with and still have lupus, which, like fibromyalgia, comes with extreme fatigue. Reflexology can give relief to specific areas. I often express neck pain, lower back pain, or the left kidney area. In addition to the reflexology, Ms. Sabounchian introduced me to Atlas Spinal Care (NUCCA), which in addition to my regular Reflexology appointments, compliments each other, and I am finally pain free for long periods of time. I am always totally relaxed during and after my reflexology sessions”.
While reflexology and other complementary therapies can make a great difference in dealing with fibromyalgia, we must also remember the importance of self-care. Limiting our physical and emotional stress as much as possible, getting enough sleep, getting regular exercise and maintaining a healthy lifestyle are all critical in the management of FMS.
For more information please contact Stefanie at 909-896-3610 or email her at Reflex2Relax@yahoo.com.
Linda Chollar, Fibromyalgia Study, www.painfreepath.com
American College of Rheumatology, Practice Management, Fibromyalgia