The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of connective tissue massage in the treatment of individuals with fibromyalgia. The results of this random study of 48 individuals diagnosed with fibromyalgia (23 in the treatment group and 25 in the reference group) show that a series of 15 treatments with connective tissue massage conveys a pain relieving effect of 37%, reduces depression and the use of analgesics, and positively effects quality of life. The treatment effects appeared gradually during the 10-week treatment period. Three months after the treatment period about 30% of the pain relieving effect was gone, and 6 months after the treatment period pain was back to about 90% of the basic value. As long as there is a lack of effective medical treatment for individuals with fibromyalgia, they ought to be offered treatments with connective tissue massage. However, further studies are needed in the mechanisms behind the treatment effects. Copyright 1999 European Federation of Chapters of the International Association for the Study of Pain.