When I go back to the beginning of my diagnosis with Chronic Fatigue / Fibromyalgia, I had an older doctor who was game to try both traditional and non-traditional approaches to ease my symptoms…especially pain. To say he was willing to try anything would be a stretch but it wasn’t far from the truth. I guess if I wanted to sit in a pile of chicken entrails, he would have objected but we tried a number of interventions until we found something that let me function again.
My pain was so bad that at one point, I was essentially bedridden. It certainly wasn’t a fun experience but it taught me a great deal about trying different therapies, learning what works and what doesn’t, and then being adaptable with the therapies that I chose.
One of the early therapies that he recommended that I tried was massage. Initially I explored water massage in the form of a spa, but I’ve also used water therapy via massage beds that use water, direct massage from a masseuse, and using a mechanical massage chair. Let’s explore each of these.
The first therapy I used was a spa and I bought the cheapest one I could find because I couldn’t afford anything and if it broke, I could fix it. I lost count in regard to fixing it at 15 repairs but I had to give the spa credit, the hot water therapy along with the massaging jets of water made a great deal of the muscle tension melt away. To this day, I regularly use a spa but fortunately these days I can afford one that I am not always fixing.
Water massage beds have also been beneficial although for me, they haven’t worked as well as either a masseuse, chair, or spa but it can provide some relief. Typically if I am traveling and don’t have another option, the water massage bed is my pick.
I started regularly going to a masseuse when I could start affording to do so but now unless I am traveling, it isn’t an option that I normally consider. The massage chairs have drastically improved and the spa still gives me the best results when I need therapy. Since the quality of the masseuse determines how effective the massage is for your needs, you can get some spotty results and can get expensive if you have multiple sessions a week or month.
The final intervention I’ve tried is massage chairs. As I write this, I have one sitting 3 feet away from me in my office. Although the upfront cost can be stiff, if you use it daily and sometimes multiple times a day, you can get pain relief and the costs ends up being much less than massages you receive from a masseuse in the aggregate.
These days, you can find chairs that have been evaluated and approved by the FDA for relief of many maladies and with these chairs, you get what you pay for. When I first started using chairs over 10 years ago, I bought the cheapest I could find and it did little for me. These days, if you spend a few thousand, you can get a chair that will knock your socks off. Although the machines can still be a bit spotty reliability-wise, if you use it, you get a good long term value from the chairs sold today.
#3 in a series of Personal Pain Management.
For prior articles