My acupuncturist had a family emergency last month which meant he was off for about three weeks. During that time I had some fairly considerable trigeminal neuralgia flareups and, in a pain induced panic, decided I must see someone … just not someone with needles.
I looked around online for massage therapists near me and stumbled across this one particular one that had good reviews and wasn’t overly expensive. I got an appointment for the next day and went in, hoping some massage would ease the fire in my face.
It didn’t. Oh boy did it not. What it did do, however, was loosen some knots that haven’t been released in decades, knots my shiatsu massager just would never be able to reach.
Now I’m not talking about your normal relaxation massage where you go in and they kneed you for an hour. No, I’m talking about the massage where the therapist actively finds the painful spots and then digs her thumbs into them for an hour. It’s painful. I make some truly spectacular noises and groans of “oh god” while she’s doing this. It’s amazing.
I left feeling battered and bruised and nauseated, like I always do with any body work that releases tension, but after a few days I felt revivified! I went back the next week.
This time she discovered even more knots. See, now that she’d begun relaxing the superficial layer, she was able to find the deep knots, the ones that cause problems. The ones that haven’t seen the light of day (or rather, felt the “tender” touch of a massage therapist) for decades, nay, eons! Well after this session I felt so light headed and dizzy I couldn’t quite function for the rest of the day, or the next three days after that. She’d knocked something loose in my back that had really done my head in.
I’ve just revisited her today and I am definitely noticing an improvement in how my body feels, despite the pain from coming off Tegretol (another blog post in and of itself!). I’m also noticing an improvement in how my body moves, which is really rewarding.
My theory is this: I have a lot of knots. I have a lot of muscle tension. I have a lot of muscle fuckery. This will all be amplified by fibromyalgia, causing me both excessive pain, and excessive stiffness. If I can work out these knots, release this tension, and improve my muscle health through deep tissue massage and gentle exercise, this will reduce the level of pain I will experience from fibromyalgia, because there is less muscle pathology.
So far I think it’s working? It’s a bit hard to tell, what with exams, the stress of losing a friend, and coming off Tegretol. To be honest I’m just throwing everything I can think of at my fibromyalgia and trigeminal neuralgia and hoping something sticks, so identifying exactly what is having exactly how much of a positive impact is going to be a bit tricky. Here’s hoping the deep tissue massage sticks!
Either way, it’s making me feel better, and that’s the most important thing right now.