Suzanne Collier has been suffering from the painful condition of fibromyalgia for almost 30 years. She constantly struggles with knots building up throughout her body, but mostly in her upper body and neck area, on a daily basis. But, even as she endures the painful knots and body aches that are common with fibromyalgia, she always seems to have a smile on her face and holds a positive disposition that is contagious among those around her. Her saving grace – weekly massage therapy sessions with Sunday Abamba, massage therapist at Elements Southlake studio.
“Keeping my neck and body from being stiff is very important to me for a lot of reasons,” explains Suzanne. “I’m an avid reader, I spin yarn from fiber and I drive a car, which are daily activities that I couldn’t live without. Sunday not only relieves the pain, but he increases my quality of life with the massages he gives me and the knowledge he has about the way the body works. He’s not afraid to dig and massage the knots out in the right way. You can’t lightly massage my knots out, but you can’t over massage them either without doing more harm than good. Sunday knows the right balance and pressure to give me the relief I need.”
Suzanne lives for Mondays. She’s scheduled every Monday from now until eternity for massage therapy sessions with Sunday. Suzanne refers to her sessions as “Mondays with Sunday,” and looks forward to her deep tissue Swedish massages to unlock the knots in her neck and body that build up from over activity and stress from the week prior and over the weekend.
“I couldn’t believe how great my body felt after my first massage with Sunday,” shares Suzanne. “I knew it was going to be good, but I had no idea it was going to be that great. Mondays with Sunday are the best. The pain relief I experience during a massage session with Sunday gives me fabulous and almost immediate relaxation.”
In addition to weekly or bi-monthly massage therapy sessions to help manage the pain from her fibromyalgia, Suzanne also treats herself with essential oils, goes to the chiropractor every six weeks and engages in water therapy for regular exercise. With fibromyalgia, it can be hard to stay active because there’s a fine line between doing enough and doing too much. But, if you have a regular routine, like Suzanne, that works for you and helps make you feel better, then it may be worth giving hands-on treatments, natural remedies and regular exercise a try, says Suzanne.
“I’m a firm believer in hands-on therapy instead of drug therapy for my fibromyalgia,” explains Suzanne. “The best thing you can do for yourself, besides massage therapy, is making sure you’re getting some type of regular exercise. I think that all of my remedies and treatments are essential to helping me manage my pain and ultimately improving my lifestyle.”
“With no proven cure for fibromyalgia, Suzanne and others who suffer from this painful condition can only seek ways to better manage their pain. Taking pain medications and getting regular massages are two of the top pain management choices for people with fibromyalgia,” Sunday says. When Sunday works on clients like Suzanne, who suffer from tight muscles knots where connective tissues join pressure points throughout the body, he focuses on the contractibility of the muscles, the resilience of cartilage and the flexibility of the tendon during his massage therapy sessions. By having a deep understanding of the muscular system and how it works to cause or relieve pain, Sunday is able to help his clients manage their pain and sustain pain relief for longer periods of time.
“The abilities of these three structures have to be maintained at all times for you to have a healthy, less painful and less stressed life,” explains Sunday. “If the muscle can’t contract or if it contracts more than normal, there’s going to be pain. And, your cartilage basically needs to have the ability to bounce back to its original stage after compression, like when we move our joint, or there’s going to be problems. If not, then you’re going to experience pain as well. These are the things I look for to address my clients’ pain and actually provide relief.”
Suzanne has found that if she doesn’t continue to get massage on a regular basis, the knots will come back with a vengeance and she’ll experience elevated levels of pain that will affect her daily lifestyle. She plans to continue regular massage therapy sessions at her Elements studio so that she will be able to not only manage her pain, but be able to maintain her activity levels and current lifestyle. She appreciates the proximity of the Elements Southlake studio to her home, the Elements member benefits and, of course, the best massages she has ever received from her favorite therapist, Sunday.