FIBROMYALGIATreatment of Fibromyalgia: Philosophy and Protocol
How do we treat Fibromyalgia?
When treating fibromyalgia at New Body ~ New Mind, our primary goal is working within the boundaries established by an individual patient’s tissue sensitivity. Using such a careful approach allows our patients to gradually expand those boundaries and move beyond their initial limitations.
Our general fibromyalgia treatment protocol is outlined below. Please keep in mind that specific techniques and treatment modalities we will use when working with you will depend on your individual clinical picture.
- We begin with a thorough evaluation. We first analyze the development and behavior of your symptoms and look for triggers that cause exacerbations. We learn what the demands of everyday life are on your body, including your recreational needs. During a manual evaluation, we determine the level of sensitivity of your tissues, the patterns of muscle tightness or weakness, the mobility of the fascia, and the range of motion at your joints. We also evaluate the function of your craniosacral system and observe if different parts of your body respond appropriately to the craniosacral rhythm. Once we collect all this information, we explain our findings to you. We then work together with you to develop specific goals and agree on a course of treatment.
- In the initial stages of fibromyalgia treatment, we typically focus on restoration of optimal structure, aiming to accomplish optimal alignment and freedom of movement of your fascial, muscular, and craniosacral systems. We use a three-pronged approach:
- Passive gentle manipulation of the fascia, muscles, and joints using manual therapy techniques (including myofascial release, craniosacral therapy, gentle soft tissue massage, strain / counter-strain, muscle energy techniques). Fibromyalgia patients exhibit high tissue sensitivity to most stimuli, so we are very careful to match intensity of manual intervention to your individual sensitivity level. We may use therapeutic ultrasound either before or after tissue manipulation
- Active gentle tissue mobilization through slow, low-intensity stretching; gentle strengthening exercises tailored to match your tolerance level (our patients respond very well to more holistic, alternative exercise approaches)
- Relaxation training (deep breathing exercises, guided imagery or hypnosis)
- After your fibromyalgia pain is significantly reduced or resolved, and optimal structure is achieved and maintained, we shift our focus to function. We retrain your body to handle the requirements of daily activities and exercise.
- Throughout this entire process, you’ll learn self-management techniques appropriate for your condition and stage of recovery.