Daily Archives: Saturday, October 27, 2007

Fibromyalgia and Heat Therapy

Living with fibromyalgia and having this tumor in my back has put up some roadblocks with some treatments that I am not able to do myself. Exercise of course is a positive thing for anyone with fibromyalgia. Unfortunately though exercise is out of the question for me. I have been looking into other methods of treatment that may help alleviate my fibromyalgia pain.

Deep heat therapy is one that seems to be the thing that will bring me great relief. There are two types of heat therapy. The first is superficial heat therapy that applies heat to the outside of the body. The second is deep heat therapy which directs heat towards the inside of the body to the tissues and muscles and that is what fibromyalgia patients need the most in order to get the best relief.

Some of these heat therapies can even be used in the home. A person can soak in a hot tub of water. People can soak towels in extra hot water to wrap themselves in. Of course there are also many different types of heat packs that can be purchased over the counter at your local drug stores and are very inexpensive. Hot water bottles can give some instant relief for a small area too.

These are some things I have to do myself here at my home now. I have also researched and have found that relaxation techniques are important for fibromyalgia patients too. People have to learn to really unwind their body. Let the muscles loosen up. Heat of course does this but through the day when those options are not available other options are available to them to help relieve some tension in the body.

Autogenic relaxation. Autogenic means something that comes from within you. In this technique, you use both visual imagery and body awareness to reduce stress. You repeat words or suggestions in your mind to help you relax and reduce muscle tension. You may imagine a peaceful place and then focus on controlled, relaxing breathing, slowing your heart rate, or different physical sensations, such as relaxing each arm or leg one by one.

Progressive muscle relaxation. In this technique, you focus on slowly tensing and then relaxing each muscle group. This helps you focus on the difference between muscle tension and relaxation, and you become more aware of physical sensations. You may choose to start by tensing and relaxing the muscles in your toes and progressively working your way up to your neck and head. Tense your muscles for at least five seconds and then relax for 30 seconds, and repeat.

Visualization. In this technique, you form mental images to take a visual journey to a peaceful, calming place or situation. Try to use as many senses as you can, including smells, sights, sounds and textures. If you imagine relaxing at the ocean, for instance, think about the warmth of the sun, the sound of crashing waves, the feel of the grains of sand and the smell of salt water. You may want to close your eyes, sit in a quiet spot and loosen any tight clothing.

Thanks to the mayo clinic website for that information! It will be useful to many I am sure, including myself.

Thanks for reading and I hope this helps others. I am sure it will help me.

Until next time…