Fibromyalgia or fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a long-term condition characterized by chronic widespread pain and a heightened and painful response to pressure (allodynia). Other common symptoms include increased sensitivity to pain (hyperalgesia), fatigue, muscle stiffness and poor sleep quality. Fibromyalgia is seven times more common in women than in men and about 1 in 25 people will develop it in the course of their life, typically between the ages of 30 and 50. The exact causes of fibromyalgia are still unknown, but are believed to involve a combination of psychological, genetic, neurobiological and environmental factors. There is currently no cure for fibromyalgia, but there are several treatments that can help relieve its symptoms and make the condition easier to cope with.
Over the past few years, a growing number of people affected by fibromyalgia have turned to acupressure in order to relieve its symptoms in a totally natural manner—no painkillers, antidepressants or other obscure medicines to ingest. Acupressure (not to be confused with acupuncture) is an ancient healing technique based on the application of physical pressure on specific points on the body. Such pressure boosts blood circulation and encourages the body to release endorphins and oxytocin, thereby relieving pain and muscle tension and facilitating sleep.
Likewise, magnet therapy (aka magnetic therapy) has been employed for centuries to relieve pain through the healing power of magnets. When placed on the skin (as close to the source of pain as possible), magnets not only improve peripheral blood circulation, but also reduce inflammation—which can be extremely helpful in alleviating many of the symptoms of fibromyalgia. Moreover, inflammation damages individual cells by altering their ionic balance: the chemical balance of the cell changes and cellular degeneration occurs. Magnets, however, can help restore cellular balance by pulling the disrupted ions back into alignment, re-polarizing cells at mitochondrial level and encouraging fibroblasts to produce new collagen.
Today, it is possible to enjoy the benefits of both acupressure and magnet therapy through a single device: the "magnetic acupressure mat". Such mat is characterized by the "spiky" plastic discs and the cylindrical bio-magnets covering one of its sides. However, although many different mats are now available on the market, not all of them are equally effective. In order to choose only the best ones, it is essential to pay attention to a number of factors. First of all, the said plastic discs. These are commonly known as "flowers" or "florets" and feature a series of tips whose shape should be pyramidal. Also, the number of tips per floret should range between 30 and 36. A lower number may make acupressure too uncomfortable (and nearly unbearable to fibromyalgia sufferers), whereas a higher number may render it too "bland" and, consequently, ineffective. It is also important to check out the mat's padding. The best acupressure mats, in fact, are those filled with vegetable fibres (coir, spelt chaff, etc.) as they are breathable, do not lose their shape over time, do not attract mites, and, more importantly, ensure a more uniform and balanced acupressure. Moreover, unlike foam rubber and other by-products of crude oil, vegetable fibres are completely natural and environment-friendly. Finally, the magnets should be negatively-charged and positioned on the mat according to the principles of Stable Field Naturopathic Magnet Therapy. By following these simple tips, you will be able to choose the best acupressure mat and relieve many of the symptoms of fibromyalgia in a rapid and effective fashion.