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This free massage therapy continuing education course focuses on Fibromyalgia.  You can download the course work in PDF format, study and test today. Once you've passed the open book test you can print out your NCBTMB Approved certificate immediately. We're providing this complete massage therapy CEU free of charge so that you can see just how easy it is to study at home with our material and earn your countinuing education credits. 
Fibromyalgia (FM) is an arthritis-related disorder characterized by muscle and joint pain. It is also a chronic disorder, meaning it is long lasting. FM commonly effects women who are ten times more likely to be diagnosed with fibromyalgia than men. 
Fibromyalgia and Massage Course Outline (1 CEU - FREE!):
  • Chapter One: What is Fibromyalgia?

Fibromyalgia (fy-bro-my-AL-ja), or FM as it is widely known, is an arthritis-related disorder characterized by muscle and joint pain.i While most arthritic diseases involve the joints only, fibromyalgia involves soft tissue such as muscles and nerves. Also unlike most arthritic conditions, fibromyalgia does not cause inflammation or deterioration of the joints.ii Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder, meaning it is long lasting.iii The disorder more commonly affects women, who are ten times more likely to be diagnosed with fibromyalgia than men. Roughly 12 million people in the United States have fibromyalgia, and most of those patients are females between the ages of 25-60.iv

  • Chapter Two: Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

The cause of fibromyalgia is not known.iv There are a number of factors that may cause the condition when combined, or the factors may act on their own. Getting a sure diagnosis can be a long journey because there is no definitive blood test or biological marker used to diagnose fibromyalgia.v Traditionally, physicians have to rule out many additional illnesses because symptoms of fibromyalgia are so similar to other illnesses. Fibromyalgia doesn’t have a cure, so treatment consists of managing symptoms so the patient can have a high quality of life with as little pain as

  • Chapter Three: Fibromyalgia and Massage Therapy

By the time your client gets to a massage therapist, they have usually been through a lot and are exhausted and in pain. They have often times had to wait years for the diagnosis, and doctors spend most of their visits telling them, “There is really nothing else we can do.” They sometimes are not sure how massage can help them get some relief due to the fact that their bodies are sensitive to touch. However, patients that have sought out massage therapy often report that it is more effective at treating their symptoms than most traditional therapies.vii

  • Chapter Two: The Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ)

A great way to assess where your client is and define a treatment plan for them is to have them fill out a Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire. This questionnaire is commonly used in clinical trials and scientific studies involving FM patients, and is a useful way to measure improvement in your client.viii Using this questionnaire before and after a proposed treatment plan can show concretely the level of improvement.


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i WebMD, “What is Fibromyalgia?”


ii Medical News Today, “What is Fibromyalgia? What Causes Fibromyalgia?” April 22, 2009,


iii Ibid


iv National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, “What is Fibromyalgia,”


v The American Fibromyalgia Syndrome Association, Inc., “What is Fibromyalgia,”


vi American College of Rheumatology, “Fibromyalgia,”


vii Fibromyalgia Symptoms, “Massage Therapy,”


viii Steven Goldstein, Integrative Fascial Release, “Fibromyalgia: New Perspectives for the Manual Therapist,”


Continuing education units (CEUs) are provided via electronic download in PDF format. Review the course work at your own pace and then take the included test online. You can print your certificate immediately after passing each test! All coursework is NCBTMB approved (NCBTMB # 451897-12). NOTE: Each state has different requirements. Please be sure to check our state requirements page and contact your state to verify your requirements.