Watsu Massage Can Ease Fibromyalgia Pain, Anxiety and Sleep quality

A study Presented at the 5th World Congress on Sleep Medicine, October 2013, Valencia, Spain

By J. Resende Silveira Leite, D. Almeida Galdino Alves, D. Alves Silva, L. Fernandes Do Prado, G. Fernandes Do Prado, L. Bizari Coin De Carvalho, Brazil

Fibromyalgia is a rheumatic syndrome characterized by diffuse and chronic pain at specific points, called tender points.

Watsu ® massage offers the relaxing and rejuvenating benefits of water, known for its truly therapeutic and restorative properties for Fibromyalgia. Watsu massage (an aquatic therapy techniques) which combines passive stretching with the centralization of breathing, can promote deep relaxation for the patient, causing physical and emotional relief.
This study aimed to verify the effectiveness of Watsu ® massage on pain, anxiety and sleep quality in patients with Fibromyalgia.

Twelve patients diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, aged 30–60 years, completed 15 sessions (3 times per week) of Watsu ® massage therapy.

Patients evaluated before and after treatment by:

  1. Visual Analogue Pain Scale (VAS) ranging from zero (little pain) to 10 (maximum pain).
  2. Beck Anxiety Inventory ranging from zero (no anxiety) to 63 (severe anxiety).
  3. Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index ranging from zero (high sleep quality) to X (low sleep quality).

It was concluded that Watsu method was effective in improving symptoms in patients with fibromyalgia related to pain, anxiety and sleep quality.

  • Pain symptom decreases from 6.04 before treatment to 1.12  after treatment (p = 0.00001)
  • Anxiety reduced from 32.5 before treatment to 13.6 after treatment (p = 0.0024)
  • Sleep quality improved from 12.67 before treatment to 5.58 after treatment (p = 0.00004).

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References: © 2013 Published by Elsevier Inc., Sleep Medicine, Volume 14, Supplement 1, December 2013, Pages e180–e181