Archive for March, 2010

Introduction of Pathology for Massage Therapists

March 31, 2010

Review of Mosby’s Pathology for Massage Therapists, by Salvo and Anderson. Within the course of Dr. Johnson.

During our practice of massage therapy we encounter people with different pathogens. By understanding pathology during massage therapy, we will improve our service to the clients by preventing the spread of the diseases, and protect ourselves of acquiring diseases. By palpating and observing the client skin and muscles a knowledgeable massage therapist can evaluate if some kind of abnormality is developing like a skin infection, swelling, trauma, tumor or anything that could disrupt homeostasis and put in danger the client’s life, a good evaluation by understanding the sings and symptoms we could take the correct decisions. If pathogens or abnormalities are present, the massage therapist should not diagnose but can recommend the client to visit a health care provider for deeper evaluation. In my experience during lymphatic draining massage, I have encountered many swollen nodes, some of them big enough to worry, immediately I informed the client made them palpate the swollen node and recommended them to visit their health care provider.

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Respiratory System

March 29, 2010

Review of Mosby’s Pathology for Massage Therapists, by Salvo and Anderson. Within the course of Dr. Johnson.

The respiratory system’s function, with the help of the cardiovascular system, is to allow gas exchange through all parts of the body. It supplies the body with oxygen and expels carbon dioxide from the body. The elimination of excess carbon dioxide enables the prevention of acid buildup in the blood, which regulates the pH of the blood. A common disease of the respiratory system is asthma. Asthma affects 7% of the population in the United States and a total of 300 million worldwide. Asthma causes 4,000 deaths a year in the United States alone. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asthma). Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease that is caused by airway sensitivity to various stimuli. There are many common triggers of asthmatic attacks, including: pollen, dust mites, molds, aspirin, cold air, and cigarette smoke. Massage for patients with asthma should focus on the primary and secondary muscles of respiration. The text states several useful massage techniques, including deep friction; kneading; ischemic compression; deep, gliding strokes; vibration; and percussion. It is also important to remind patients with asthma to always have their asthma medications available.

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Cardiovascular System

March 29, 2010

Review of Mosby’s Pathology for Massage Therapists, by Salvo and Anderson. Within the course of Dr. Johnson.

Chapter 7 discusses the cardiovascular and lymphatic/immune systems as well as the therapeutic assessment of, related pathology and massage indication for these systems. The text notes that heart disease and cardiovascular disorders are among the most prevalent diseases in industrialized countries. In looking at the reasons for this high prevalence rate, there are several factors indicated. Diet, lifestyle, and genetics all play a role in the rise of heart disease. In industrialized countries, there tend to be a popular culture of diets that are higher in meat and dairy, which can contribute to heart disease and cardiovascular disorders. Industrialized countries, as compared to other countries, also tend to have a more sedentary lifestyle. This may be due to the technological advances easily available to those populations, as well as the nature of the occupations people engage in. In industrialized countries, people are more likely to work in a setting that does not require physical or manual labor, and then return home by car or subway and sit and watch television, or engage in other recreation that is more sedentary. It is therefore important to study the effects that this system has on the body, as well as the pathologies related to it, and how massage therapists may treat patients with various heart or cardiovascular disorders.

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Endocrine Conditions

March 19, 2010

Review of Mosby’s Pathology for Massage Therapists, by Salvo and Anderson. Within the course of Dr. Johnson.

Chapter 6 outlines several endocrine pathologies and the accompanying indications for massage. The final disorder detailed in the chapter is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD is a type of depression that affects some people during winter months. It is thought that overproduction of melanin occurs and is a partial cause of the depression. Treatment may entail doses of exposure to full spectrum bright light. Massage can be performed and may help relieve some of the symptoms. My wife used to work in an office and her supervisor was diagnosed with SAD. She did indeed have a “light box” with full spectrum bright light at her desk and would use this to help, as recommended by her doctor. My wife could not recall if her supervisor had been receiving massage therapy during the winter months.

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Nervous System Conditions

March 19, 2010

Review of Mosby’s Pathology for Massage Therapists, by Salvo and Anderson. Within the course of Dr. Johnson.

In chapter 5, on nervous pathologies, Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) is outlined. GBS is a rapidly progressive peripheral nerve paralysis. My sister’s father in law contracted GBS about 3 years ago. Up until that time, he was a vibrant, healthy man who was very active at work, in the community and had many hobbies. As the text stated, the cause is unknown. There was a thought by his doctors that he somehow contracted this from eating chicken that may not have been fully cooked. Either way, his recovery has been very slow and painful, and they are unsure if he will ever regain the vitality and muscle strength that he had. At first, he was totally paralyzed. Slowly, with much intense therapy and medications for pain management, he began to show improvement. He is now able to walk short distances with leg braces and a walker – which is a huge accomplishment for him! The other terrible side of GBS is the accompanying depression that he faces. I do not know if this is somehow linked to GBS or if it perhaps just due to his life changing so dramatically and the feeling of hopelessness that he faced. This has been very hard not only on him, but also his wife and my sister’s whole family. He still requires full time care, and the pain worsens in the evening. Family events are scheduled carefully so that he can attend. He has made improvements due to multiple therapies, including physical, occupational, aquatic based, as well as massage. He continues to fight to recover!

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Musculoskeletal Conditions

March 19, 2010

Review of Mosby’s Pathology for Massage Therapists, by Salvo and Anderson. Within the course of Dr. Johnson.

This chapter highlights the musculoskeletal system and pathologies of the system. One the disorders described is fibromyalgia. This is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects muscle and related connective tissue. The text also states that pain, joint stiffness and the presence of tender points or trigger points are involved (if 11 of 18 trigger points are painful, then this diagnosis is often made). Until about a year ago, I had no idea what fibromyalgia was. However, within that time, there have been numerous television commercials about this disorder and the medications that are available for treatment. It was therefore most enlightening to read that massage is currently the best treatment for this condition. I am curious as to whether massage therapy is reimbursed at the same rate as a prescription medication would be, since that is the case.

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Dermatological Conditions

March 19, 2010

Review of Mosby’s Pathology for Massage Therapists, by Salvo and Anderson. Within the course of Dr. Johnson.

Chapter 3 outlines many dermatological conditions and whether or not they are contraindicated for massage. After reading this chapter, it became clear to me why it is so important for massage therapists to know about pathology – and this is just the first chapter of many to discuss various disorders or conditions! It was also very informative to learn about the ABCDEF method of mole assessment and how a massage therapist should note any of these changes or irregularities and tell the client about these. One of the roles of the massage therapist is also to educate their client (not only with treatment recommendations for post massage visits, but also for conditions they notice or how moles appear). Referring their client to their health care provider is also extremely important, since some of these moles may be malignant and indicate skin cancer or other disorders that require further medical intervention.

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Client Intake Assessment

March 19, 2010

Review of Mosby’s Pathology for Massage Therapists, by Salvo and Anderson. Within the course of Dr. Johnson.

This chapter outlines the steps of client intake and health assessment. It is important for a message therapist to use both the subjective information from the client, as well as objective assessment data collected during the intake to form a treatment plan. Objective assessment provides much detail about the client and can be gathered via observation or palpation. A skilled message therapist will notice how the client stands, walks, sits, their skin pigmentation and condition, general gait and movement patterns, as well as any deformities or signs of trauma. Once a thorough intake is conducted, the therapist can formulate an accurate and comprehensive treatment plan, with both short and long term goals.

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Cancer

March 18, 2010

Review of Mosby’s Pathology for Massage Therapists, by Salvo and Anderson. Within the course of Dr. Johnson.

Cancer is important for me to be aware of because, living in LA, skin cancer is still rising even though most people are aware of how to prevent it. This is a disturbing fact, because I worked as a lifeguard for several years, and witnessed many people being in the sun for hours on end without applying sun tan lotion. I would hate to be the person who finds evidence of cancer on a client, as I feel this is the doctor’s place to do so, as well as I do not want to be the bearer of anything but good news while in session.

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Reproductive Conditions

March 18, 2010

Review of Mosby’s Pathology for Massage Therapists, by Salvo and Anderson. Within the course of Dr. Johnson.

Chapter 11 was about STD’s and reproductive issues, and I was somewhat confused by the reasoning behind this chapter. I contacted the National Licensing Board with my question, and they told me that while yes, we do not directly massage any of the reproductive organs, it is important to be aware of diseases that can come from there, for our own protection. One of the times I will not massage someone is if a woman is pregnant. I do not have the training to, and I do not intend on learning it, because of my own personal reasons, one being if there is a complication I do not want to be even considered a reason for.

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Urinary System Conditions

March 18, 2010

Review of Mosby’s Pathology for Massage Therapists, by Salvo and Anderson. Within the course of Dr. Johnson.

Chapter 10 had no issues I could relate personally to, but I did find the Dialysis portion of the chapter interesting. I was surprised to find that dialysis could possibly be helped by massage, even if it is only short and gentle. I am not really sure what other kind of massage I would attempt on someone on dialysis however. I am more than willing to help almost anyone (with a few exceptions), especially people waiting on a kidney transplant. I will keep these things in mind if I ever work with people who are affected by this condition, and I hope I will be able to help them.

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Gastrointestinal Conditions

March 18, 2010

Review of Mosby’s Pathology for Massage Therapists, by Salvo and Anderson. Within the course of Dr. Johnson.

I had always believed that massage could be helpful on my friends who were (recovering from) anorexia. I had it in my mind that I could help them relax and feel better, which is true, but I found it interesting that it could help with their self-image and anxiety as well. After some research, I found an anorexia study called "Anorexia Nervosa Symptoms are reduced by Massage Therapy" done by the University of Miami. In the study, 19 women and a control group were given 30 minute massages twice a week for 5 weeks, the ones who had massages had a lower count of eating disorder symptoms, which I found amazing.

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