K-tape and Fibro

Fibromyalgia: Advanced Techniques for the Treatment of Pain

Fibromylagia (FM) is a condition that has proven to be very elusive and challenging to the medical community, clinicians, and more importantly to those who suffer the symptomatic pain and discomfort. I initially started my investigation into Fibromyalgia in August of 2011, however it took me by surprise how many different perspectives, theories, and central belief systems are currently in the Fibromyalgia landscape. Therefore I took a significant amount of extra time to absorb and examine...which also lead to some more evolutions in my initial strategy for interventions in pain management. The subject of this post is to present a blend of current concepts with another innovative concept in an effort to maximize the ability to effectively reduce the constant discomfort and often debilitating pain that can affect quality of daily life and profoundly reduce overall homeostasis. More importantly, this post examines the mounting current research that suggests the fascia / connective tissue system plays a fundamental role in both the ¨problem¨ and the ¨solution¨.

Fibromyalgia disorder is characterized by wide-spread muscle pain and tenderness at specific soft-tissue trigger points. Recent studies in the pain processing mechanism have resulted in some significant advances in the understanding of Fibromyalgia. Although there has not been any definitive evidence of muscle patholgy found in FM, there is growing evidence for dysfunction of the intramuscular connective tissue (or fascia). I have embedded a previously posted article of one of these studies below.

Fascia is richly innervated, and the major cell of the fascia, the fibroblast, has been shown

to secrete pro-inflammatory cytokines, particularly IL-6, in response to strain. Recent biopsy

studies using immuno-histochemical staining techniques have found increased levels of

collagen and inflammatory mediators in the connective tissue surrounding the muscle cells

in Fibromyalgia patients.

There is a significant amount of scientific and physiological details and explanation behind this, however I will save that discussion for another (more comprehensive) post. This brief introduction is to outline the evidence of a connective tissue / inflammatory contribution to pain in FM. Therefore, a more practical and focused presentation of the specific strategy to reduce pain is the next step.

Trans-Fascial Viscoelastic Stimulation

As stated in my previous FM post, massage is a well known and accepted intervention in the treatment of symptomatic pain...therefore any improvements to the delivery, absorption, and effective range of massage is an obvious (and immediate) benefit. One of the most innovative (and effective) evolutions in massage is called Trans-Fascial Viscoelastic Stimulation (TFVES). Also known as Soft Ball Rolling Massage, this technique was developed by Mr. Leonid Blyum for the specific challenges faced by children with Cerebral Palsy and other disorders of movement and posture. Using various stress-transfer mediums, the practitioner is able to access the connective tissue / fascia at all levels including the very deepest visceral / core level.

TFVES is a very comprehensive set of skills, applications, guidelines, and targets that require an extensive process of learning and development...however the overwhelming scientific and clinical evidence shows that is produces extraordinary benefit and contribution to the improvement of connective tissue strength, health, integrity, and homeostasis...therefore reducing fascial dysfunction and the reduction of abnormal pain signalling.

The complement to the TFVES technique is the implementation of specific kinesiotaping applications. My 2 previous posts explain in detail about the mechanical and physiological benefits of therapeutic taping, however it is within a different context. I will introduce some of the same explanation in this post to ensure an adequate link to FM.

Kinesio Taping alleviates pain and facilitates lymphatic drainage by lifting the skin. The taped portion forms convolutions in the skin thus increasing interstitial space. The result is that pressure and irritation are taken off the neural/sensory receptors. Then, slowly, pressure is taken off the lymphatic system allowing it to drain more freely.

Not only does this technique stand alone, but in combination with TFVES, the opportunity to effectively reduce pain is significant. In addition, the scientific evidence shows that TFVES over the long term strengthens the connective tissue system and therefore contributes to long-term reduction of the symptomatic challenges. I highly recommend that you refer to the previous post to get a more in-depth understanding of the physiological benefits.

Edited by Admin

In summary, the adoption and blending of these 2 specific techniques can generate powerful results. More importantly, they are skills that can be acquired and therefore can be implemented in a home-based environment. The One Giant Leap Initiative is designed to provide responsible strategies and systems that can co-exist with most treatment strategies and provide an opportunity for care-seekers to contribute to their own health and well-being.

I have kept this post relatively short, however I will be formulating more comprehensive explanations and descriptions, as well as generating some practical technical demonstrations in the Miscellaneous Toolbox that can be of immediate use. Any and all specific inquiries, comments, and feedback are welcome.

Happy rolling!

Fibromyalgia and the Fascia Effect

Me at 3:31 PM


Last edited by

2 Replies

  • Hi,

    I think that it is really important to pick up on the connective tissue issues. As a nutritional adviser, I would also be looking to support the repair and rebuilding of the connective tissues through hydration, vitamin C, vitamin E and zinc (to mention just a few key nutrients). What I find interesting is that C and E are antioxidants and in fibromyalgia we see a body that is struggling to detoxify...perhaps supporting detoxification will help to prevent the depletion of vitamins C and E and therefore contribute to restoration of tissue.

    With that in mind I come to my perhaps next less popular idea and that is detoxification through coffee enemas. The great alternative cancer Doctor, Gerson insisted that regular coffee enemas were an integral part of his protocol. His patients would take up to 6 enemas per day alongside vegetable juices, the enemas would detoxify the liver (critical in blood cleansing and bile production for digestion and toxin release) and this would provide effective pain management.

    I urge some of you to please look into this, try it and let me know how you get on. I really think that this kind of technique along with a fantastic diet will take you a long way towards a turning point.

    Best wishes.

  • I have read about the procedure checking for thiis inflammation in the nervous system. It is a pretty new procedure so a lot of doctors are still unaware of this and thelatest research. So you may be ahead of the game!

    What areas can be taped by the method you are explaing? Pardon my confusion in this part of your explanation.

    I have had a massage treatment which deals with the fascial structure of the muscle system, this being the fibrous tissue surrounding every muscle and muscle group. You might imagine taking a sweater and pulling some threads. This is what it's like to have the fascia bunched up in an area of the body and muscle system that causes pain there.

    I'm unfamiliar with TFVES but Neuromuscular Therapy which I practiced (when I was still able to do massage) I have found to be very effective in dealing with specific painful spots which correlate to the tender spots. It was developed to deal with trigger points and their referrals, which are felt as pain in other parts of the body or a feeling of the pain spreading out from the trigger point.

    It's a very precise skill dealing with the nervous and fascial system, and requires understanding of anatomy and sensitivity to touch, knowledge of how to sense the exact pressure needed to to find the right depth and palpation necessary to sink into the muscle, tendon or ligament, and the time it takes to do that, as well as analyzing the client response to the work in decreasing pain in the trigger point.

    Sometimes the pain is severe enough that a first treatment cannot reslove it. Paired with stretch and other kinesiologic exercis is eoften helpful in loosening muscle and fascia. It is quite similar to many of the effects you describe, though I am not certain if it is helpful by itself, without specific lymph massage techniques to fascilitate lymphatic drainage.

    Well, I have gone on a long time with my experience of this and I definitely appreciate your information. I'm interested in researching TFVES. It sounds like an advancement of techniques, applying it to FM as well as CP.

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