Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Massage

10 June 2010

Do you suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome? Have you thought about massage treatments to help manage your symptoms and improve your feeling of well-being? What Is CFS?
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a condition characterised by persistent, chronic fatigue which is not resolved by resting, accompanied by cognitive difficulties for a period of at least 6 months. There is generally no other explanation for the fatigue and onset is often (but not always) preceded by a viral infection. Symptoms

  • Exhaustion and weakness especially after regular activities that have previously been completed easily, or after long periods of rest
  • Neurological problems such as memory loss and incoherent/disrupted thought processes or confusion
  • Interrupted sleep patterns
  • Muscle aches and/or joint pain
  • Increased recurrence of fever, swollen lymph glands, sore throat and upper respiratory tract infections
  • Gastrointestinal & urinary tract infections
  • Persistent severe headaches
  • Shortness of breath on exercise (even if not strenuous), and longer recovery times after physical activity
  • Increased sensitivity to light, odours, sounds, foods chemicals and some medications.
  • Psychological and emotional symptoms such as depressions, anxiety and mood swings are also prevalent.

Massage Treatment for CFS Massage treatments for one suffering from CFS aim to work not only on physical symptoms, but also on the emotional effects. Stress and anxiety levels can be reduced, as can feelings of depression and length and/or quality of sleep can be increased. Physically, muscle aches and pains can be treated, with the added benefits of reducing subsequent symptoms such as headaches. Massage treatments for sufferers of CFS can include:

Diaphragmatic breathing exercises to enhance a state of relaxation and to assist in efficient breathing techniques
Gentle assisted stretching and mobilisation to increase/maintain good range of motion in joints effected by muscle tension
Soothing Swedish Massage techniques to relax the muscles and decrease pain levels
Deeper massage techniques can be used to reduce tenderness caused by ‘knots’ and painful muscle contraction
Hydrotherapy (either heat or cold) may be used to relax and warm the muscles, or cool areas of acute tenderness.
Manual Lymphatic Drainage massage can help boost the immune system, helping the body recover more quickly from infections and speed up removal of toxins.