Archive for April, 2009

Massage and Obesity

April 29, 2009

Obese persons can find it very uncomfortable the first time they come for full-body massage or the first time they meet with a new therapist. They are usually quite embarrassed about being exposed, about being touched, and some are even afraid a massage table might break when they get on the table or if they move at all. I try to be very sensitive to their discomfort, and one way to counteract that fear is by explaining all the procedures ahead of time, specifying which parts of the body will be touched. I always emphasize the draping that will be provided, and that only the part being massaged is every uncovered. Also, I use a full size sheet rather than a twin size sheet for a “normal” size person so that we have more to work with. If I know ahead of time that the client is obese, I allow extra time in the consultation for bonding, and for them just to generally feel relaxed and confident in my presence. I ask about their particular symptoms, and if it is difficult to be in any particular position, if it is difficult to roll over, to lay supine or prone for any length of time. For some obese people, it is difficult or impossible to lay with any comfort on their stomachs, so many times, we adapt with side-posture massage. I also prepare with extra pillows for support between the knees when laying side-posture. Frequently, they have aches and chronic pain simply from having to carry their bodies around. Range of motion for arms and legs and gentle stretching can be very life-giving to these persons, who are frequently not used to exercise. The benefits for massage for an obese person are numerous. Massage stimulates blood and lymph circulation and the elimination of toxins that are carried in the fat cells, helps relax muscle spasm and relieves pressure on the joints. Massage can even help obese persons have a better self-image and be less self-conscious of their bodies.

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Effects of Massage on Asthma

April 29, 2009

Our text tells us that asthma is a chronic, inflammatory disorder caused by airway sensitivity to various stimuli that can lead to airway obstruction. Massage, especially full-body massage, can help asthma sufferers by reducing their stress levels and loosen tight muscles. I have had numerous clients over the years who have benefited from massage. While massage does not cure this chronic disease, it has a direct effect on the well-being of the client. Many have chronic postural problems as well, associated with pain of the thoracic spine and intercostal neuralgia, which are greatly helped by relaxation massage.

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Deep-Tissue Massage Shown to Reduce Blood Pressure and Heart Rate

April 27, 2009

According to a recent study at the Health Sciences Center at Louisiana State University, deep-tissue massage was found to have a beneficial effect on reducing blood pressure and heart rate. In this study, 263 volunteers agreed to receive deep-tissue massage and be examined for its effect on diastolic, systolic and mean arterial blood pressure and heart rate. All participants had significant pain prior to the study and experienced moderate or severe overall pain. Prior to the massages, baseline diastolic systolic and mean arterial blood pressure and heart rate were measured by an automatic blood-pressure cuff. Each participant then received a deep-tissue massage for between 45 and 60 minutes long. Following the massage sessions, blood pressure and heart rates were measured again and compared with the baseline measures. The results from the study that ran from November 2004 and March 2006 came back that following the deep-tissue massage, average systolic pressure was reduced an average of 10.4 millimeters or mercury, diastolic pressure was reduced 5.3 millimeters of mercury and a the mean arterial pressure was reduced 7/0 millimeters of mercury. Heart-rate data showed an average heart-rate reduction of 10.8 beats per minute. Source: Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 2008 Mar;14(2):125-8. “The effect of deep-tissue massage therapy on blood pressure and heart rate.” Kaye AD, Kaye AJ, Swinford J, Baluch A, Bawcom BA, Lambert TJ, Hoover JM. Department of Anesthesiology, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA. AIM: In the present study, we describe the effects of deep tissue massage on systolic, diastolic, and mean arterial blood pressure. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The study involved 263 volunteers (12% males and 88% females), with an average age of 48.5. Overall muscle spasm/muscle strain was described as either moderate or severe for each patient. Baseline blood pressure and heart rate were measured via an automatic blood pressure cuff. Twenty-one (21) different soothing CDs played in the background as the deep tissue massage was performed over the course of the study. The massages were between 45 and 60 minutes in duration. The data were analyzed using analysis of variance with post-hoc Scheffe’s F-test. RESULTS: Results of the present study demonstrated an average systolic pressure reduction of 10.4 mm Hg (p<0.06), a diastolic pressure reduction of 5.3 mm Hg (p<0.04), a mean arterial pressure reduction of 7.0 mm Hg (p<0.47), and an average heart rate reduction of 10.8 beats per minute (p<0.0003), respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Additional scientific research in this area is warranted.

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Peritonitis

April 24, 2009

An acute inflammation of the peritoneum, bacteria is produced or irritating substances that gain access to the abdominal cavity, these substances gain access by either a ruptured organ, a penetrating wound, perforation of the gastrointestinal or urogenital tract or a ruptured appendix. Massage considerations: usually the person is debilitated and should not be massaged. Although massage may be performed in the hospital to relieve stress and pain , but only after clearance. Massage should be curtailed to avoid any areas the client may be experiencing pain.

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Crohn’s disease

April 23, 2009

A type of chronic inflammatory bowel disease. It affects the colon and/or ileum. Early detection is severe abdominal pain diarrhea, fever, nausea, blood in the stools, and loss of appetite. Inflammation thickens the intestinal walls, giving it a cobblestone appearance. Cause unknown. Massage considerations: level of pain varies day to day therapists need to communicate with the client about how they feel before each treatment. Make sure client is comfortable side-lying position may need to be used. Abdomen should be avoided because the pressure of the massage could cause pain.

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Obesity

April 23, 2009

Condition of abnormal increase in subbcutaneous fat, mostly in visceral regions of the body. Classified when 30% or more body fat, Normal bldy fat is men is 18 5 and in women 25% Massage consideration: approach the client with an attitude that is compassionate,caring and nonjudgmental. Lighter pressure in areas that contain large amounts of adipose tissue, to prevent the possibility of tissue damaged. the back, neck, shoulders, hips and sometimes legs need to be of focus to larger clients.

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Does your Massage Pathology course fulfill licensing and certification requirements? (comment)

April 22, 2009

The tuition and procedure to enroll can be found in the link on the lower right-hand section of this page. The link contains the word “Course.”

Original Post:
April 10, 2009
What is the tuition and procedure to enroll in your Massage Pathology course?

Original Post:
April 9, 2009
Our course is 45 Contact Hours (3 Semester Credits). We provide a completed “Verification of Education Form” and/or notarized copy of your certification of completion and/or an official school transcript. Click on the link “Online and Instructor-Led Massage Pathology Course” on the right side of this page. The link is under the sub-heading “Online Massage Pathology Course.”

Original Post:
April 2, 2009
Does your Massage Pathology course fulfill the requirements of the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB) to take the National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCETMB) and the National Certification Examination for Therapeutic Massage (NCETM)?

Does your Massage Pathology course fulfill the requirements of the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards to take the Massage & Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx)?

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Taking Care with a Diabetic Client

April 22, 2009

As a massage therapist, I work with clients who are not perfectly healthy. What I try to do is to maximize the benefits of bodywork, while minimizing risks. This may mean that I have to adapt techniques to accommodate for the fragility of a client with a compromised circulatory system, such as one of my clients who is diabetic. She has diabetes mellitus, but a fairly mild case that is controlled with only one oral medication. We have to make sure that she has eaten some protein before she gets on the massage table for her hour-long massage, or her blood sugar will dip, causing her to feel faint. When she first started coming for massage because of her very high-stress job, we talked about her activities of daily living. She hardly ever gets regular exercise, which of course would likely contribute to her overall health as well as help prevent further worsening of her condition with diabetes. She doesn’t have to take heart medication, and she doesn’t huff and puff when she climbs stairs. I use much lighter massage on her than on most of my clients, so that her blood sugar is not disrupted, and I only use light strokes like effleurage for her massage.

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Jaundice

April 20, 2009

Indications: a yellow discoloration of the skin, mucous membranes, and sclerae of the eyes, It is caused by greater than normal amounts of bilirubin in the blood. It is often a symptom of other disorders, such as liver diseases, as well as GI obstruction and anemia. Nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain may also be symptoms. Massage considerations: massage is contraindicated because the liver is not functioning properly and the increased blood flow from massage can overtax a already debilatated liver.

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Asthma

April 20, 2009

Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disorder caused by airway sensitivity to various stimuli which can lead to airway obstruction . Some of the triggers for onset are pollen, dust mites, molds, some foods, emotional upset, aspirin , exercise, cold air, and cigarette smoke. If conditions worsen it could be fatal. Massage considerations: Make sure there is no allergens or triggers within the massage office. If client uses a inhaler make sure it is present if needed . A full body relaxing massage is recommended . Focus should be on the primary and secondary muscles of respiration. Techniques such as deep friction, kneading, ischemic compression, and deep gliding strokes.

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Phlebitis

April 20, 2009

Indications: Phlebitis is an inflammation of the veins, commonly accompanied by a thrombus. It commonly occurs after infection, surgery, pregnancy, or childbirth, or prolonged sitting, standing or immobilization. The area of infection is hypersensitive to pressure and swollen it can be hot or cold to the touch. It usually affects the extremities. Massage Considerations: Local massage is contraindicated because of hypersensitivity to touch and might dislodge a clot. Massage can also increase the inflammation.

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Massage and its Benefit on the Nervous System

April 17, 2009

In the US, we live our lives so much in the fast lane, pedal to the medal, and overwork our sympathetic nervous systems. Our bodies feel like we are almost always in fight-or-flight, hurrying to meet deadlines. One of the great problems with living our lives in that way is that our bodies do not heal in sympathetic mode. We only heal in the parasympathetic mode of our nervous systems. And massage is a very nice adjunct to helping us get back into our bodies, move back into the parasympathetic mode so that we can relax, restore, re-create, and heal.

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