Sufferers of fibromyalgia know what it means to live with chronic pain. One of many ‘invisible’ illnesses, fibromyalgia is fairly new as a diagnosis, and was first recognized by the medical community in 1987. But even with no ‘visible’ symptoms, fibromyalgia patients often face an uphill battle lined with pain.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic rheumatic condition that causes pain and fatigue throughout the soft tissue in the body. It’s a fairly common condition, with over five million people affected, and there are many variations in the illness from one patient to the next. Women make up the majority of sufferers, with between 80%-90% cases striking female patients.
The pain of fibromyalgia is not only persistent, it is also widespread, affecting soft tissue as opposed to joints (like arthritis). There is no known cause of the disease, but some risk factors, such as autoimmune issues or genetics can play a role in your odds of developing fibromyalgia. In addition to pain, fibromyalgia patients also experience extreme fatigue, difficulty sleeping, temperature sensitivity, and digestive issues—a combination of symptoms that can cause a great deal of mental as well as physical stress.
How can cupping help?
Cupping can be beneficial for sufferers of fibromyalgia because cupping specifically addresses many of the symptoms it causes. Let’s take a look at some of the most prevailing symptoms of fibromyalgia and discuss how cupping therapy can help alleviate them.
Soft tissue pain – As we know, cupping is ideal for targeting pain and soreness throughout the body because of its ability to provide deep tissue penetration. When you cup over an area of pain, you are essentially achieving two things: negative pressure over the area (suction) and a rush of fresh blood. The pressure, like the pressure of a massage, has a soothing effect and helps bring discomfort levels down or relieve them completely. While that’s happening, fresh blood floods the tissue to bring nutrients, rid the area of toxins, and promote healing. Both static and massaging cupping are effective, depending on the area of pain you’re looking to treat. Additionally, cupping helps the muscles and tissue become more flexible, which means less pain with movement. A cupping system designed to pinpoint trigger spots, such as the Ionic Energy Cupping Therapy Set is great for concentrated focus on areas of pain.
Fatigue –While many people think of massage as a relaxation technique, working your muscles and tissues can also have an energizing effect. Cupping for as few as five minutes in a warm shower every morning can provide you with more supple muscles and renewed energy to tackle the day. Chronic pain is a terrible drain on the body, so minimizing the pain with massage cupping can do wonders for boosting both your mood and your overall health.
Anxiety/depression – Who wouldn’t be anxious living with chronic pain? Like arthritis, fibromyalgia can have a marked effect on sufferers, draining their desire to participate in activities they enjoy, or even making them too anxious about pain to leave the house. Taking a few moments to calm your mind can work wonders, and cupping is a great way to focus on a specific area and relax. Facial cupping can be extremely beneficial for this purpose (as well as easing the pain of a tense jaw—another fibromyalgia symptom). When you free your mind from focusing on pain, you allow your body to relax. Briefly cupping on your face, forehead, and neck can provide you with an escape from anxiety and depression.
Digestion issues –You may not think of cupping as the first line of defense against tummy trouble, but the truth is, cupping over the abdomen can be extremely effective when it comes to issues with the stomach and colon. Static cupping can provide deep penetration through the abdominal muscles and help clear areas of blockage and give you healthier bowels.
If you are suffering from pain from fibromyalgia, the first step should always be to work on a treatment plan with your physician. The second should be self-care and finding natural remedies that can help alleviate your discomfort. Cupping is a completely safe option that can only benefit your symptoms. Not only is it effective, at-home cupping only requires a few minutes per day, which makes it simple to work into your schedule. Check out the at-home cupping options available and consider how they can help make life with fibromyalgia a lot easier.