Gastrointestinal System


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

As discussed in Chapter 9, understanding the differences among body types is important for massage therapy. Keeping a nonjudgmental attitude is a main component. While people have thoughts and opinions why someone might be overweight, it is important for a therapist to know how to appropriately and professionally massage a larger client. It is possible that the client’s obesity could be attributed to a disorder or disease, making the pre-massage assessment very important. It is also mentioned in chapter 9 the importance of knowing the difference between adipose tissue and muscle tissue in a client who is overweight. If the therapist is not careful, the result could be severe or painful bruising.

The gastrointestinal system can be directly and indirectly impacted by massage therapy. As an individual with Crohn’s Disease, I know firsthand that massage therapy can be effective in reducing stress levels, but abdominal massage could be extremely painful or even dangerous. This is true for other conditions such as gastritis, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, etc. A particular position may be more comfortable, and there may be days when the client is in severe pain versus no pain at all. Discussing the condition with the client is important in order to provide effective treatment.

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