Notes on Chapter 9


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

This chapter was about gastrointestinal pathologies. The chapter starts but introducing the parts and importance of the gastrointestinal system. Massage can affect this system directly and indirectly. For instance, abdominal massage helps the digestive system directly. It helps stimulate the intestines so that substances can move forward. In addition, it has been found that digestion occurs more efficiently in a relaxed person than in someone who is stressed out. The digestive system performs six basic functions: ingestion, secretion (water, enzymes etc), mixing and propulsion (peristalsis), digestion, absorption, and defecation. The digestive process actually begins in the mouth. Teeth mechanically break town the food while the saliva, which is a digestive enzyme, is the first step in chemical digestion. The book details the entire process of digestion on pages 253-255. Similarly to other chapters, this one introduces questions the therapist might ask to evaluate a client’s digestive system in the pre-massage interview. If the client has abdominal pain, blood in stools, difficulty swallowing, masses in the abdomen, nausea, vomiting, oral lesions, rebound tenderness, or significant fatigue the therapist is advised to refer the client to his/her health provider. The types of gastrointestinal pathologies are outlines on pages 256-273. Some of the pathologies include cirrhosis of the liver, diverticulitis, GERD, Hepatitis and ulcers. Massage in these pathologies differed from pathology to pathology. Massage was contraindicated in some but encouraged in others. I found figure 9-31 very interesting. It detailed the breakdown of hemoglobin. The pictures of the various organs affected by these pathologies were also very helpful and interesting.

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