A. Not only the person with fibromyalgia but anyone can benefit from the massage. If you're a newbie and have not had much bodywork, start slowly. Having someone stroke your "sore" spots may feel a bit "ouchy," but that type of touch therapy may be quite beneficial in the long run. Have your therapist go as slowly as you need. You can build up to deeper applications by spreading out your experience over many appointments. Special note: Whether you're the patient or the caregiver of a chronically ill person, life's stress can increase to unbearable limits and can cause great mind/body/spirit imbalances. By relaxing your mind and body, massage helps to raise your health and vitality closer to a state of wellness. Perhaps, you will feel better than you could possibly imagine. Start gradually, book weekly, bi-weekly or monthly appointments. Consider keeping a record of your progress. Few doctors would advise you not to try massage therapy, but to be safe, it's a good idea

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“The number one thing therapists should do to protect themselves from injury is avoid doing too much work,” says Bykofsky. She also recommends not over-scheduling, working too many hours, or holding too many deep massage sessions a week. Also, take advantage of other “tools” at your disposal, such as different parts of your hands and arms, using them for leverage to take some of the pressure off your thumbs.

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Tapotement is the percussive technique where the therapist uses a cupping or hacking technique. This is a great way to finish a massage – it’s a little stimulating and helps to wake up the body so we can get off the table and on with our day. (Don’t hesitate to request it from your therapist if they do not do it on their own! However, if they have bad rhythm, they may not be as good as a talented bongo player!).

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There are five primary techniques used in the performance of a Swedish massage at home: effleurage, petrissage, friction, vibration, and tapotement. Effleurage and petrissage are the most common techniques utilized by most massage therapists, and the most recognized by those who have ever received a Swedish massage. These are the long flowing or gliding strokes (effleurage) and kneading (petrissage).
Swedish massage was invented by a Swedish fencing instructor named Per Henrik Ling in the 1830s. When he was injured in the elbows, he reportedly cured himself using tapping (percussion) strokes around the affected area. He later developed the technique currently known as Swedish massage. This technique was brought to the United States from Sweden by two brothers, Dr. Charles and Dr. George Taylor in the 1850s. The specific techniques used in Swedish massage involve the application of long gliding strokes, friction, and kneading and tapping movements on the soft tissues of the body. Sometimes passive or active joint movements are also used. 

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After the session, the client may experience tenderness or soreness, and the massage therapist may recommend ice or heat for easing any pain. It can also be helpful to drink water immediately following the session to flush out any toxins and rehydrate the body’s muscles. Even if the client does not experience any soreness after the massage, simple stretches can prevent any potential stiffness. It is generally recommended to avoid any strenuous activity after a massage to give the body time to recuperate.
The prime purpose of sports massage therapy is to help alleviate the stress and tension which builds up in the body’s soft tissues during physical activity. Where minor injuries and lesions occur, due to overexertion and/or overuse, massage can break them down quickly and effectively. Above all, it can help prevent those niggling injuries that so often get in the way of performance and achievement, whether one is an athlete, ardent keep-fitter or a once a week jogger. 

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