Post COVID-19 VS Fibromyalgia

A few days ago I received a message from a colleague of mine, who is my student, my patient, and my friend.

“I've been talking to some of my fibro survivors. Many have symptoms of the post-viral syndrome and many have a history of neck trauma like whiplash or fractures. Could this be the double whammy? Neck injuries later create a post-viral looking syndrome almost like post-concussion syndrome?”

The Covid-19 post-viral stories seem to be motivating people to look at their own fibro histories and that’s no accident,

Certainly, we are not treating symptoms only and, if we try that, it wouldn’t work. There are many dysfunctions that have different causes that in turn lead to the same dysfunctions, and of course, produce similar symptoms. We cannot view a disorder, dysfunction,  or illness of any organ or system as an individual disorder, dysfunction, or illness. Similarly, we cannot achieve real and sustainable results if we focus our efforts on treating individual disorders, dysfunctions, or illnesses.

I would reiterate. Many times we believe that we are addressing a particular individual disorder, dysfunction, or illnesses, but in reality and by nature, massage therapy is a comprehensive treatment.

Now, if you will read this article, Massage therapy is a beneficial tool in the treatment of Fibromyalgia you will understand, that there are multiple causes for fibromyalgia developments, including and not limited to hormonal changes, physical and /or emotional trauma, exposure to toxins, and accumulation of toxins. All mentioned above causes trigger tension buildup in muscles in the entire body. This buildup of tension disturbs microcirculation, leads to a drop of pH, which in turn leads to activation of the pain analyzing system, resulting in constant muscular pain all over the body.

These pain impulses constantly bombard the central nervous system, causing clinical depression, sleep disorders, and leading to the condition of foggy brain, including disturbances of some brain functions, suppressing the immune system, and triggering autonomic dysfunctions. We are starting our treatment from the level of muscles. The biggest point of this approach is that by addressing muscles and reducing tension in them we increase lymphatic drainage; accelerate venous blood drainage, balancing autonomic activities. By doing this we not only decrease pain sensation but practically contribute to the normalization of organ and system functions.

Let's read about the physiological effect of massage.

“Two factors define the physiological effect of massage on humans:1. The local or mechanical factor is expressed by the mechanical acceleration of venous blood drainage, some degree of lymph drainage acceleration, passive exercise for soft tissues, breaking down deposits of calcium in soft tissue and stimulation of its removal from the body.

2. The main power of massage therapy is in reflexive therapy. By mobilizing skin, connective, and muscular tissue, we deform the mechano-receptors, which in turn release action potentials/impulses. Through neurological pathways, these electrical impulses stimulate motor and vasomotor centers. As a reflex or involuntary reaction of organs and systems to original stimuli, the body responds by expressing positive changes such as muscular relaxation, vasodilation, reduction of blood pressure, reduction of stress hormones production, etc.”

As you can see, the original stimuli by massage is a comprehensive simulation, and not only triggering muscular relaxation, etc. The same techniques and especially kneading techniques, positively affect functions of all organs and systems.

Organs and systems all should work in biological balance. If organs and systems are not working in the regime of biological balance then people forever consume medications, and never sustain good health.

What happened with our body at any post-viral infection, and especially after being affected by brutal Covid-19?

I am working with Post Covid-19 patients. Practically all of them demonstrate autonomic irregularity, and especially suppressed parasympathetic impulse conduction. No doubt that lymphatic drainage/detoxification is an insufficient measure to address this. First of all, it is because of the buildup of muscular tensions, as a reaction to the accumulation of toxins; a typical chain of negative reactions. Therefore, since symptoms are similar, and the bottom line starting a level of muscles, then massage protocol for post-viral rehabilitation shouldn't be much different than fibromyalgia protocol as well. I recommend learning to add freeing acetylcholine techniques to the existing protocol. It accelerates the healing process.

We, as massage therapists, see body and mind as one functional mechanism. Therefore let's add psychological trauma to that paradigm as well. We must remember about the power of the placebo but we cannot count on placebo, without considering nocebo. Therefore, as much as possible, we must guard our client’s perception during the treatment, incorporating human factors and energy work.

You're welcome to read this article Science of Massage Institute THE PLACEBO EFFECT AND ITS ROLE IN MASSAGE THERAPY. PART II

At this very moment I'm emotionally overwhelmed and am thinking on the comprehensive power of massage, hallelujah, it is a blessing and privilege to be a massage therapist.

I believe we can construct an extremely important discussion that possibly can help many of us, to understand even better the real holistic power of massage therapy.

Best wishes.

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