Fibromyalgia – benefits of float therapy, massage and infrared sauna

Fibromyalgia is a common and complex pain disorder that causes widespread pain and tenderness to touch. It may occur body wide or migrate over the body.  Along with other symptoms, pain and tenderness improve and decline over time.  Fibromyalgia (FM) affects people physically, mentally and socially.  Approximately 10 million Americans (2-4%) have FM with a ratio of about 8 to 2, women over men.  It occurs in people of all ages, including children. The literal translation of the word fibromyalgia is pain in the muscles, ligaments and tendons. But FM is much more than pain and presents with many other symptoms that vary from person to person.

Here at Mot’us we offer multiple modalities that promote relaxation and recovery. As well as specific treatments and services that help reduce acute and chronic pain, increase feelings of wellbeing and help improve quality of life. For people suffering with Fibromyalgia we offer a variety of treatments and techniques that can be used individually or in combination to help relieve symptoms.

Float therapy helps reduce pain by offloading your body in a sensory controlled environment. The 1200lb Epsom salts enable your body to be in a zero-gravity situation which helps your joints to decompress and your muscles to relax. The sensation of zero stimuli can help you to focus inward, eliminate distractions and calm the mind and body.

The Fibromyalgia Floatation Project (FFP) believes that spending an hour in a float tank will help sufferers reduce pain significantly.

Some of the potential benefits for fibromyalgia and other chronic pain sufferers include:

  • Eliminates stress, or improves ability to handle stress better, by lowering cortisol
  • Promotes deep rest, eliminating fatigue
  • Aids in combating insomnia
  • Improves focus and concentration
  • Increases dopamine production, the “feel good” hormone produced by the brain
  • Reduces pain by relaxation and hormone production

When external stimuli are eliminated, the fight-or-flight response is deactivated. This response is the cornerstone of the stress response, and many chronic pain sufferers are constantly in this state of stress as their body reacts to pain. Chronic stress increases pain intensity. Eliminating or coping with stress better can help decrease sensitivity to pain.


Thomas H. Fine, associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry of the Medical College of Ohio, and Roderick A Borrie, Ph.D., clinical psychologist at South Oaks Hospital, Amityville, New York, conducted research with people who had suffered from chronic pain for longer than six months. They utilized float therapy from one to 16 sessions and it was reported that there was an overall reduction in pain that averaged 31.3%, with the highest level of relief in the upper back at 63.6%, and the lowest in the legs at 15.3%. This seems to be a “clear demonstration” that float tanks help with chronic pain.

A small-scale 2012 study also showed the profound benefits of float tanks. 81 volunteers with fibromyalgia were given three free float sessions in exchange for feedback on a questionnaire.  Across the board, participants reported an immediate drop in pain and an increase in well-being. They also indicated a drop in pain over the course of the three sessions, so that their pain levels when they entered the tank were lower than they had been when they entered in the previous sessions.

Floating can be incredible for short and long term pain relief as well as stimulating an improved feeling of wellbeing.
Massage Therapy:
People with chronic pain often turn to Massage Therapto help naturally improve their quality of life. The reason behind this is due to the natural release of serotonin that can be an immediate response of the body to the power of touch. Serotonin is the body’s natural anti-pain chemical. Another aggravating factor in pain syndromes is a lack of deep restorative sleep, which again has been shown to be an huge benefit of massage therapy.

Fibromyalgia and arthritis are two chronic pain syndromes that can be positively impacted by massage therapy. In a study of massage therapy for knee osteoarthritis, a group receiving massage therapy for the pain showed significant improvement in pain, stiffness and physical function. They increased their range of motion and reduced the time it took them to walk 50 feet.

In another study, conducted by the Touch Research Institute, people with arthritis in their wrist and hand reported less pain and greater grip strength after massage therapy. They also had lower anxiety and depressed mood scores.

For people looking to naturally manage their chronic pain, massage therapy can improve quality of life by impacting mood as well as manage the pain and other benefits. When you live with chronic pain, having a toolbox of strategies you turn to for pain relief is important.

Massage can be a powerful tool for relaxing both mind and body.
Infrared Sauna:
Our Sunlighten Infrared Sauna Treatments allow you to lay down in comfort while the heat penetrates your joints, muscles and tissues, increasing circulation and speeding oxygen flow. By reducing soreness on nerve endings, the infrared heat reduces muscle spasms and helps the body to heal itself naturally.

A recent Japanese study published in the journal, Internal Medicine, showed that chronic pain patients experienced a significant reduction in pain levels (nearly 70%) after the first session of infrared sauna therapy. Pain scores also decreased significantly and remained low throughout the observation period. Researchers concluded that infrared heat therapy is effective for chronic pain treatment.

Here are just some of the conditions in which infrared sauna therapy has been successfully used for pain relief:

Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD)
Those who suffer from PAD can experience severe leg pain caused by reduced blood flow and oxygen to the lower legs, which can get worse with walking. But Japanese researchers found that infrared sauna sessions of just 15 minutes a day significantly lowered pain, and patients were able to walk twice as far without pain.

Rheumatoid Arthritis and Ankylosing Spondylitis
Those who suffer from autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis often struggle with pain management that comes with hefty side effects. But with sauna therapy, pain relief can be found without negative outcomes. A study has shown that while in the sauna, all patients with these conditions felt significantly better, and at the end of the study, those with rheumatoid arthritis showed improvements in pain and fatigue while not in the sauna.

Fibromyalgia causes pain throughout the entire body, with particular areas of sensitivity. Studies have shown that not only does infrared sauna use help with natural pain relief during treatment, but even months after ending sauna treatment the pain was still significantly lower.

Emotional Pain
Physical pain is often given much more credit in our society than pain caused by emotion. But medical doctors have begun to understand the real physiological impact of psychological issues. Infrared sauna therapy works for the pain that can’t be seen, too. In the same study of chronic pain patients, researchers also found that patients had a statistically lower anger level compared to those not in the sauna group.

Take control of your pain and emotions with the natural healing of infrared saunas.

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