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Wondering if anyone here has used massage therapy as part of their general self-care toolkit while tapering. 

 

When I was running a lot I went for a trigger point massage every couple of weeks, sometimes just Swedish massage for relaxation.  I felt it really helped the blood circulation in the capillaries of my muscles and the trigger point work definitely helped with pain over time.  I haven't been able to get back to getting a regular massage as I used to know them, with deep pressure, but I found a masseuse here that I'm going to try only I'll specify less pressure.  

 

Even so, I know from experience that, when I haven't been for a long while, I can feel quite ill for 2 - 3 days after the first few treatments.  Not necessarily muscle pain though there's some of that but more of a just feeling sick.  My hypothesis is that this is from toxins being moved out of the muscle tissues and into the blood and lymph.  Anyway I am definitely full of toxic chemicals and I was thinking that maybe the manual manipulation might help spur a bit of neuronal growth and remodeling in the periphery, also.  Just thinking here.

 

I have an appointment this Thursday and I know I'll feel sick through Friday, maybe Saturday.  To get full benefit I'll have to get a massage once every couple of weeks until I stop feeling sick afterward.  That's what previous experience tells me ...

1994  Venlafaxine XR 300mg, 2003 tapered, 2004 off briefly back to 37.5 then 75mg, held, June 2019 up to  150mg, Aug.12 tapered down to 112.5mgs, Oct. 21, 2019 96mg;  Dec. 8, 2019  90mg, Jan. 8 2020 81mg, Feb. 4, 75mg;

2003/2004? Diazepam 10mg/bedtime

2013 Lyrica 300mg to 25mg; April 6, 2020 17mg; April 28, <5mg; May 7, 2020 Lyrica 0 mg!

2013 Tramadol 50mg tablets, 200mg/day divided

2005? Trazodone 50mg bedtime, Feb. 12, 2020 40mg, March 7, 25mg; Oct 1 20mg

2009? Zolpidem 5mg at bedtime. Nov. 9, 2019 Zolpidem 0 mg! 

1990? Omeprazole 20mg in morning.

2010? Levothyroxine 75mcg morning

2011? Liothyronine 5mcg morning

1999? Buspirone 30mg twice a day  August 2019 15mg once a day,  Oct.21, 2019 2.5mg evening  Oct. 25, 2019 Buspirone 0 mg!

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I've been getting and giving massage my whole life and have found it to be an absolutely crucial part of my toolkit. I don't think I ever had the reaction of feeling sick afterwards though.

 

When I'm dealing with WD I avoid deep work. For the first five years or so after I started tapering I avoided deep work completely, including trigger point therapy. You can usually find someone who will do more nurturing and gentle work. (You may want to try a few different therapists, there are a lot of them around nowadays.) In withdrawal and tapering, things that make you feel sick are probably not helpful. I know we have that whole notion of "no pain no gain" but in psych med withdrawal that turns out to be the opposite of the truth. Our systems need consistency, gentleness, low stimulation and nurturing.

 

When you're stronger and less drugged you can take on more challenges.

 

Like anything else, start small and gentle and see how your body reacts and then work up, IMO.

 

All of this, by the way, is just my experience and my own opinion. I don't feel bad being forceful about it though because you definitely strike me as someone who is not going to follow advice that doesn't suit her. (I'm kind of the same way, you can't tell me anything, I'm going to find out for myself. I like to say I learn best by the "2 x 4 upside the  head" method.)

Started on Prozac and Xanax in 1992 for PTSD after an assault. One drug led to more, the usual story. Got sicker and sicker, but believed I needed the drugs for my "underlying disease". Long story...lost everything. Life savings, home, physical and mental health, relationships, friendships, ability to work, everything. Amitryptiline, Prozac, bupropion, buspirone, flurazepam, diazepam, alprazolam, Paxil, citalopram, lamotrigine, gabapentin...probably more I've forgotten. 

Started multidrug taper in Feb 2010.  Doing a very slow microtaper, down to low doses now and feeling SO much better, getting my old personality and my brain back! Able to work full time, have a full social life, and cope with stress better than ever. Not perfect, but much better. After 23 lost years. Big Pharma has a lot to answer for. And "medicine for profit" is just not a great idea.

 

Feb 15 2010:  300 mg Neurontin  200 Lamictal   10 Celexa      0.65 Xanax   and 5 mg Ambien 

Feb 10 2014:   62 Lamictal    1.1 Celexa         0.135 Xanax    1.8 Valium

Feb 10 2015:   50 Lamictal      0.875 Celexa    0.11 Xanax      1.5 Valium

Feb 15 2016:   47.5 Lamictal   0.75 Celexa      0.0875 Xanax    1.42 Valium    

2/12/20             12                       0.045               0.007                   1 

May 2021            7                       0.01                  0.0037                1

Feb 2022            6                      0!!!                     0.00167               0.98                2.5 mg Ambien

 

I'm not a doctor. Any advice I give is just my civilian opinion.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • Moderator

Been getting regular or semi-regular remedial massage for must be ten years or so now.  Not always terribly comfortable, but the process has always paid back later.

 

Very helpful in the whole healing process, including well before WDs.  The first masseur was a bit of a hippy and understood that I was looking to flush out traumas stored as body tension.  This worked well for me and I would follow up some sessions with meditation.  Meditation at other times would also bring up things to be addressed and eventually the real problematic trauma started to emerge, so I found helpful clinical psychologists and we were able to treat that effectively with EMDR.

 

So yes, massage has definitely been a big help for me.  I still get remedial massages but less often now.  Yoga helps a lot too.

 

Cheers

I am not a health professional - your actions are your own.  

Please do not seek tapering support via private message

My taper visualised as a graph   |   My intro thread

Backdrop:  2003 10mg olanzapine | 2004 2-3mg risperidone | end 2014 3wks aripiprazole

2015: olanzapine  10 -> 7½ -> 6⅔ -> 5mg  by crude pill cutter

2018:  Mar 5.00mg -> water titrated taper -> Aug2.5mg tablet and hold

Jan 2019 2.50mg water titration -> Jan 2020 1.214  -> Jan 2021 0.44 -> 2 Oct 0.205 ->3 Oct ZERO🥂

"Ask not what you can do for your country, but what your country did to you"  -- KMFDM

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  • 1 month later...

Hi,

 

I've also been having massage therapy for years now and i find it very helpful.
Just one thing to keep in mind, make sure you are drinking lots of water especially straight after massage (this can help with nausea) and also helps flush any waste that has just been worked out by the therapist, it also helps to reduce soreness.

While tapering it's probably best not to get anything too intense. 

2000 - Aropax, Zoloft and other various ssri's 

2008?? - Lovan 40mg
2016 Nov - Mirtazapine 15mg after failed Lovan fast taper (didn’t know better)

2017 Dec - Started slow taper - 2019 July 0.5mg (crashed)

2019 July - Mirtazapine 15mg reinstated

2019 Aug - Started Vortioxetine 20mg and stopped Lovan 40mg

2019 Nov 3rd - Stopped Vortioxetine and went back up to 40mg Lovan and holding

2020 Sep - Windows and waves.... still holding on 15mg Mirtazapine and 40mg Lovan

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I tried Swedish massage again, asking for what I thought was a modest amount of pressure but apparently I was wrong.  Muscle pain/tightness is one of my primary symptoms, certainly one of the most disabling.  The pressure during the massage feels good, I can feel my muscles 'letting go' and lengthening.  It's a few hours or the next morning when I feel really ill, like having a bad case of the flu with pain and malaise.  I drink a lot of water everyday, between 2 - 3 liters, a habit I picked up living in Arizona and doing a lot of distance running and hiking.  I think I'm drinking enough water after the massage but maybe I'm not.  I could try again and have her lighten up even more but now I'm kind of afraid to give it a try.  

 

I get so frustrated when I misjudge how much exercise I can handle or how much pressure in a massage is too much.  Part of it is that the immediate feedback from my muscles is not accurate now.  Even doing very gentle yoga as I did a few days ago, I was careful to keep any stretching to a level less than what I felt I could do, I stayed with easy asanas, and was generally cautious which isn't my nature, in this area anyway.  I felt good afterwards, physically and mentally, but by evening I knew I was going to pay for it by morning and I did.  I used to know my body well.  Knew how much and when to push it, when to back off, what muscle needed strengthening and which one needed stretching.  All that is gone.  

1994  Venlafaxine XR 300mg, 2003 tapered, 2004 off briefly back to 37.5 then 75mg, held, June 2019 up to  150mg, Aug.12 tapered down to 112.5mgs, Oct. 21, 2019 96mg;  Dec. 8, 2019  90mg, Jan. 8 2020 81mg, Feb. 4, 75mg;

2003/2004? Diazepam 10mg/bedtime

2013 Lyrica 300mg to 25mg; April 6, 2020 17mg; April 28, <5mg; May 7, 2020 Lyrica 0 mg!

2013 Tramadol 50mg tablets, 200mg/day divided

2005? Trazodone 50mg bedtime, Feb. 12, 2020 40mg, March 7, 25mg; Oct 1 20mg

2009? Zolpidem 5mg at bedtime. Nov. 9, 2019 Zolpidem 0 mg! 

1990? Omeprazole 20mg in morning.

2010? Levothyroxine 75mcg morning

2011? Liothyronine 5mcg morning

1999? Buspirone 30mg twice a day  August 2019 15mg once a day,  Oct.21, 2019 2.5mg evening  Oct. 25, 2019 Buspirone 0 mg!

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9 hours ago, drugged said:

I tried Swedish massage again, asking for what I thought was a modest amount of pressure but apparently I was wrong.  Muscle pain/tightness is one of my primary symptoms, certainly one of the most disabling.  The pressure during the massage feels good, I can feel my muscles 'letting go' and lengthening.  It's a few hours or the next morning when I feel really ill, like having a bad case of the flu with pain and malaise.  I drink a lot of water everyday, between 2 - 3 liters, a habit I picked up living in Arizona and doing a lot of distance running and hiking.  I think I'm drinking enough water after the massage but maybe I'm not.  I could try again and have her lighten up even more but now I'm kind of afraid to give it a try.  

 

I get so frustrated when I misjudge how much exercise I can handle or how much pressure in a massage is too much.  Part of it is that the immediate feedback from my muscles is not accurate now.  Even doing very gentle yoga as I did a few days ago, I was careful to keep any stretching to a level less than what I felt I could do, I stayed with easy asanas, and was generally cautious which isn't my nature, in this area anyway.  I felt good afterwards, physically and mentally, but by evening I knew I was going to pay for it by morning and I did.  I used to know my body well.  Knew how much and when to push it, when to back off, what muscle needed strengthening and which one needed stretching.  All that is gone.  

I know what you mean with the sore muscles, i tend to get the same thing when tapering as well as really tense jaw muscles too. It does pass just takes a little bit of time.

2000 - Aropax, Zoloft and other various ssri's 

2008?? - Lovan 40mg
2016 Nov - Mirtazapine 15mg after failed Lovan fast taper (didn’t know better)

2017 Dec - Started slow taper - 2019 July 0.5mg (crashed)

2019 July - Mirtazapine 15mg reinstated

2019 Aug - Started Vortioxetine 20mg and stopped Lovan 40mg

2019 Nov 3rd - Stopped Vortioxetine and went back up to 40mg Lovan and holding

2020 Sep - Windows and waves.... still holding on 15mg Mirtazapine and 40mg Lovan

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  • 2 years later...

I've had a variety of experiences with massage during WD. Very much a mixed bag. During the first two years the experiences were mostly positive. At the time I would occasionally see a body worker for very gentle massage and energy work, and this usually felt pretty supportive. I had already been working with this massage therapist (MT) for a couple of years, and I think that foundation of trust played a big part in what was good. Also, this MT is really gifted and had a good intuitive understanding of the nervous system, was good at gauging what my body needed (better than I could express at the time). What worked best was a gentle approach, focused on soothing and relaxing the muscles. No deep work or kneading or forcing, nothing manipulative. Later on in WD I had some unfortunate experiences with the same MT where our sessions triggered intense symptoms and waves, even trauma flashbacks. That's why I eventually stopped going. 

 

About a year later I experimented with biodynamic craniosacral therapy (CST) treatments. I was lucky enough to meet a few talented practitioners and had good experiences. Very relaxing and helps facilitate deep rest and release. One memorable session sent me into a wave that lasted a day, then the day after I had a short window that was among the best I've ever felt in all my years of WD to date. Who knows how or why it works, it's all very mysterious. If I were to try body work again today I'd go with the biodynamic CST and not regular massage. It's crucial to only use the biodynamic modality, in my opinion, as it's extremely gentle and not manipulative at all. I'm not sure I could handle regular massage right now, too intense, too stimulating/ activating. 

1996-2018 - misc. polypharmacy, incl. SSRIs, SNRIs, neuroleptics, lithium, benzos, stimulants, antihistamines, etc. (approx. 30+ drugs)

2012-2018 - 10mg lexapro/escitalopram (20mg?)    Jan. 2018 - 10mg -> 5mg, then from 5mg -> 2.5mg, then 0mg  -->  July 2018 - 0mg

2017(?)-2020 - vyvanse/lisdexamfetamine 60-70mg    2020-2021 - 70mg down to 0mg  -->  July 2021 - 0mg

March-April 2021 - vortioxetine 5-10mg (approx. 7 weeks total; CT)  -->  April 28th, 2021 - 0mg

supplements: magnesium powder (dissolved in water) as needed throughout the day; 1 tsp fish oil w/ morning meal; 2mg melatonin 

August 1, 2022 - 1 mg melatonin

 

Courage is fear that has said its prayers.  - Karle Wilson Baker

love and justice are not two. without inner change, there can be no outer change; without collective change, no change matters.  - Rev. angel Kyodo williams

Holding multiple truths. Knowing that everyone has their own accurate view of the way things are.  - text on homemade banner at Afiya house

 

I am not a medical professional; this is not medical advice. 

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