Nervous System Pathologies

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Review of Mosby’s Pathology for Massage Therapists, by Salvo and Anderson.

Therapies such as massage, physical and occupational directly affect the nervous system.  I have chosen 2 areas of interest due to the multitude of nervous pathologies presented.

Not only is knowledge of the nervous system highly important for understanding why various massage techniques can be helpful or harmful, but it is also crucial understand the impact of prescription medications on a client in order to keep him or her safe. For example, Table 5.1 gives a brief overview of medications that are typically prescribed for mood disorders, and the possible side effects that could impact treatment. A client on a particular medication may have a decreased response to stimuli. Because massage therapists use the client’s response to various pressures and movements, he or she may be injured due to the therapist inadvertently applying excessive pressure.

Another piece of Chapter 5 that was of particular interest to me was the small portion devoted to Cerebral Palsy. Working in special education, I find that many times individuals automatically assume that the individual has impaired mental functioning, although with this disorder, intelligence may or may not be affected. Although the client may appear to be severely disabled, he or she should not be treated as though they have a cognitive disability or impaired mental functioning. If the client is unable to speak, it is important to speak and interact with the client as you would any other client, and make every effort to communicate effectively so that the individual feels comfortable and can let the therapist know of pressure points, etc. Some individuals may also use a communication device or have the assistance of a caregiver or interpreter- both of which should be taken advantage of in terms of maximizing communication with the client.

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