The chronic condition known as fibromyalgia affects tens of thousands of South Africans.
According to saga.org, the medical profession, and also the medical aid industry, do not take this condition seriously.
In fact, doctors are fond of telling patients who suffer endless body pain as a result of this condition that they are “imagining it” and that they should “get over it and get lots of sleep and exercise”.
The medical view of the condition hasn’t changed despite the fact that thousands of South Africans experience endless pain and sensitivity all over their bodies, and doctors and specialists alike are happy to deduce that these people have “dreamt” up this illness.
Like many other chronic pain conditions currently, there is no cure for fibromyalgia. Certain pharmaceuticals can help to relieve the symptoms but patients continually report mixed results. The side effects caused by fibromyalgia medication are often just as bad as the pain caused by the condition itself.
What is Fibromyalgia?
Mayoclinic.org defines Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues. Researchers believe that fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way your brain processes pain signals.
Symptoms sometimes begin after a physical trauma, surgery, infection or significant psychological stress. In other cases, symptoms gradually accumulate over time with no single triggering event.
Women are more likely to develop fibromyalgia than are men. Many people who have fibromyalgia also have tension headaches, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety and depression.
Symptoms of fibromyalgia include:
- Widespread pain.
- Cognitive difficulties.
Fibromyalgia often co-exists with other painful conditions, such as:
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Migraine and other types of headaches
- Interstitial cystitis or painful bladder syndrome
- Temporomandibular joint disorders
How can a weighted blanket help?
An Increase in Serotonin
Researchers believe that by boosting serotonin, fibromyalgia sufferers may experience a reduction in these symptoms. Weighted therapy can help increase the levels of Serotonin and Melatonin overnight. The soothing effect of a weighted blanket can create a more comfortable environment for falling asleep by imitating the feeling of being swaddled tightly in bed. The “relaxed state” results from serotonin production, which is necessary to release melatonin – the sleep hormone.
Researchers also found that deep touch pressure significantly decreases cortisol levels. After applying deep pressure, cortisol levels dropped by 31%.
A Reduction in Anxiety & Fatigue
PrettySpecial weighted blankets use Deep Touch Pressure, which trigger the release of neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin, which are the two major feel-good hormones for your brain. Both these beneficial compounds can combat stress, depression, and anxiety. This means it’ll be faster to fall asleep, reduce anxiety, go into a deeper sleep, and move less throughout the night.
Help Manage Pain
Understandably, pain takes a tremendous toll on fibromyalgia patients. Prescription medication can cause long-term negative health problems and so many sufferers prefer alternative ways to relieve their pain. This is where a weighted blanket may help. By applying Deep Touch Pressure to the body to increase the release of serotonin, this in turn relaxes the nervous system and then causes a chain reaction in the body that releases an overall sense of calm and peace. Benefits include reduced pain, better sleep, improved focus, lower anxiety levels, and improved social interaction.
An Improvement in Mood
As said previously, the release of dopamine and serotonin not only relaxes the nervous system, but also gives you an emotional pick-me-up after a quick snuggle session, imitating a nice, warm HUG. By the way, both hugs and heavy blankets also trigger the release of oxytocin, a hormone that slows down your heart rate, reduces blood pressure, and promotes feelings of relaxation, improving your mood overall.
If you think a PrettySpecial weighted blanket can help you and would like to try one, please feel free to contact us here or simply drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org