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How does relaxation therapy work to treat fibromyalgia?

Relaxation therapy may help to reduce pain and fatigue associated with fibromyalgia. There are many different forms of relaxation therapy. Some examples include meditation, guided imagery, progressive muscle relaxation, and self-hypnosis. A common goal of these techniques is to ease emotional stress, which can worsen fibromyalgia symptoms. Relaxation therapy brings on a feeling of calmness, which has other benefits, such as lower blood pressure.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Fibromyalgia can be very stressful and can lead to anxiety and depression. Learning how to relax can relieve some of that stress. In progressive muscle relaxation (PRM), you systematically tighten and then relax various muscle groups. That reduces muscle tension and helps you stop tensing muscles without knowing it, which can increase your pain. The main caveat for people with fibromyalgia is not to tense your muscles too tightly during PRM, as this can cause pain.

Another relaxation technique, called autogenic training, involves repeating a phrase such as "my arms are heavy and warm" while visualizing heaviness and warmth in your arms. This evokes a relaxed state. Autogenic training is also helpful for people with fibromyalgia who tend to feel cold or are sensitive to cold temperatures.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.