Archive for June, 2010

Hammertoes or mallet toes and connective tissue

June 29, 2010

The second toe on my right foot use to dip down and it is longer than the first toe. I also walked on the outside of my feet. After taking a Trigger Point Therapy class and learning about improper shoe fitting, which squeezes the fascia together, I was able to learn how to release the fascia. Now my toe is straight and when I walk, my foot hits the ground evenly. This has in turn corrected a knee and hip problem I have had for several years. I think alot of people suffer from this condition and educating them about trigger point therapy could save them from a surgery down the road.

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Massage Pathology Dermatology

June 29, 2010

While reviewing this chapter I must admit it is a little stomach turning; but nonetheless, an important chapter to review with regard to skin conditios, learning signs and symptoms of the different skin conditions, how they should be treated in massage or if a massage should even take place. Hygiene and sanitization are an absolute must for the therapist.

Medication and massage

June 29, 2010

A client came in and had taken a strong muscle relaxant for pain in between the spine and scapula. When doing the intake she told me she had taken the medication 4 hours earlier and was also having her menstral cycle. I told her that taking medication does effect what kind of massage you can receive. I have found that people don’t realize the effect massage has on the body other than relaxation. I believe it is important to educate people and not just let the opportunity pass by thinking they may already know. I have had more than one person taking high blood pressure medication with moderately high blood pressure get mad because they cannot have deep tissue massage. Some therapists will give these people a deep massage even though they should not and are risking that client’s health just so the client won’t get mad. When the next therapist comes along not wanting to cause harm, they may get a mad client express their angry opinion.

Chapter 2, Mobsy’s Pathology

June 29, 2010

Review of Mosby’s Pathology for Massage Therapists 2nd edition, by Salvo and Anderson. Within the course of Dr. Johnson.

The school I’m interning at requires 89 hours of intering for a 500 hour certificate/license massage program. One of the most important things I’ve learned is to get the clinet to talk about why they are actually coming in for a massage. Most of clients are in good health and just want 55 minutes of relaxation through massage, so it makes it easier but it’s very important to be a listner during the intake and introduction phase.

Disease Awareness and infection control

June 29, 2010

I volunteered at a local college chair massage event. A woman came in and I did the intake as I always do. She forgot to tell me that she had open sores. One was on the under side of her arm and the other on her neck. I seen the one on her neck before I touched it. The one on her arm was not visible. If I had not evaluated her arm completely I could have touched the blood and contacted a disease, if she had one. I learned it is very important to evaluate all parts of the body and not to just take the clients word on their body’s condition. If I had just grabbed her arm I could have broken the skin and put my own health at risk.

Senior Citizens

June 29, 2010

Review of Mosby’s Pathology for Massage Therapists 2nd edition, by Salvo and Anderson. Within the course of Dr. Johnson.

I am really encouraged by the Chapter 1 Spotlight on Massage that states that movement therapy improves the physical life of senior citizens.  The Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies released an article in January 2002 after doing a study on the matter.  The results were that senior citizens who participated in 50-minute sessions four times within the span of two weeks “. . . improved in their functional motion on the Tinetti scale, and specifically on the gait scale, their leg strength increased, and their leg pain significantly decreased” when compared with the control group.

I have spent time observing the elderly receiving Occupational Therapy.  These patients are in pain and are experiencing a huge decrease in quality of life due to their physical difficulties.  It breaks my heart.  I am glad to see that there are studies being done to help in the ways senior citizens are being treated for their physical ailments.

Varicose Veins

June 2, 2010

Review of Mosby’s Pathology for Massage Therapists 2nd edition, by Salvo and Anderson.

One of the most common medical issues that I have encountered in massage is varicose veins. Although I do have clients fill out an intake form, they usually do not list varicose veins on the form. Although they are normally visual, I am always careful to check and avoid the area if there is a chance they the client has them. According to our text, varicose veins are dilated veins from incompetent valves. The condition can affect superficial or deep veins. Varicose veins are usually located in the legs, but can also be found in esophagus. Blood flow in varicose veins is turbulent and slow, which favors clotting. If varicose veins are present, the area should be avoided if the pressure causes pain or if the client has a history of clot formation. I did not realize that according to our text, less severe varicosities may benefit from massage. The massage should be geared toward reducing edema and venous stasis. The use of alternating gliding strokes toward the heart helps “milk” superficial veins and aids circulation. It was also interesting to read the “spotlight on massage” on page 257 that no research has been conducted linking massage to increasing varicosities.

The Intake Form

June 2, 2010

I have found in my brief experience with giving massage, the more you know about your client, the more effective you massage will be. While I understand the legal necessity of the intake form and the value of general information, I find the interview to be most informative part of the intake process. I found the following intake form, http://www.wardpix.com/wardtouchmassage/forms/WT-Intake.pdf , on line. I like this form when compared to the one that our book has because it delves a bit deeper into client history without being too lengthy. I also like how this form explains to the client what to expect during the massage. I also find it helpful to make notes after each massage as there always seems to be an issue brought up in the massage that the client had forgotten to notate on the intake form.

Massage for Children with Down Syndrome

June 2, 2010

Review of Mosby’s Pathology for Massage Therapists 2nd edition, by Salvo and Anderson.

The Mosby Textbook discusses several genetic diseases in Chapter 1. Down Syndrome is a genetic disease mentioned in the text that affects 1 in 800 children born in the US. Down Syndrome is characterized by cognitive deficits speech problems (Kennedy & Flynn, 2002; Laws & Bishop, 2003), and motor and perceptual developmental problems (John et al., 2004; Kearney & Gentile, 2003). Furthermore, the text mentions a study that examined the effects of massage on 21 children with Down syndrome. According to the study, the children who had massage experienced improvement in fine and gross motor functioning and decreased hypertonicity in their limbs. To expand upon this issue, I read the following article that was mentioned in the text: Early Child Development and Care Vol. 176, Nos 3&4, May 2006, pp. 395-410 The link to the article: http://www.kidsmassage.com.au/downsyndrome%20and%20hypotonic%20children%20improve%20after%20massage.pdf The children in this study were given two 0.5 hour massages per week for two months OR reading sessions (this was the control group). According to this article, on the first and last day of the study, the children’s functioning levels were assessed using the Developmental Programming for Infants and Young Children scale, and muscle tone was assessed using a new preliminary scale. Children in the massage therapy group revealed greater gains in fine and gross motor functioning and less severe limb hypotonicity when compared with the children in the reading/control group. These findings suggest that the addition of massage therapy to an early intervention program may enhance motor functioning and increase muscle tone for children with Down syndrome. This article goes into detail on the specifics of the study. It also details the massage session and the strokes that were used on the children. I found this topic to be very interesting as there does not appear to be significant research done into this topic. I am personally interested in using massage as a volunteer opportunity and am interested, after reading this article, in possibly offering massage to children with Down Syndrome or teaching their parents how to administer the massage to the child to help with the child’s development.

Emotional Release

June 2, 2010

Review of Mosby’s Pathology for Massage Therapists 2nd edition, by Salvo and Anderson.

Page 447 in Chapter 15 discusses the topic of emotional release. I was extremely happy to see this section in our book and interested in the explanation. When I was attending the classroom portion of massage school we would give and receive massage every evening. One evening during our practice I noticed one of the students crying on the table. The other student giving the massage was caught off guard and not prepared to handle the situation. Our teacher quickly stepped in and comforted the upset student. After this episode, our teacher explained to us that emotional release is quite common and you must be prepared to handle the situation in a professional and caring manner. I was so thankful that I experienced this in class rather than with a client for the first time. As the book points out, we are not counselors, but we can support the client emotionally. I found reading our text in this section important and informative.

Foot Massage for People with Cancer

June 2, 2010

Review of Mosby’s Pathology for Massage Therapists 2nd edition, by Salvo and Anderson.

In Chapter 14, the subject of foot massage for cancer patients is lightly introduced. This interested me and I did a little more research into the subject. According to the article, “Easing Cancer Pain and Anxiety; The Value of a Good Foot Rub” by Shirley Vanderbilt: “More recently, researchers have turned to the foot as a receptor for massage aimed at relieving cancer pain and anxiety. In a study published in 2000, foot reflexology was described as a successful nonpharmacologic adjunct in the control of these symptoms. Basing their proposal on the foundation of previous research, a team at East Carolina University, N.C., found that patients with breast and lung cancer experienced a significant decrease in anxiety, and pain relief was expressed in one of three measures in breast cancer subjects.14 An Australian study published within months of the reflexology article also showed foot massage to decrease perception of pain and nausea and increase relaxation in hospitalized cancer patients.15 Both studies emphasized the adaptability of their approach to home and nursing care, noting the techniques could be easily learned by caretakers or self-administered by the patient.16,17 Reflexology Relief Foot massage for good health dates back to ancient Far Eastern, Egyptian and Native American cultures. While the “good old” foot rub is still very much alive today, a more refined and specifically medicinal form has found a place in alternative treatment. Reflexology began its evolution in the early 1900s with William H. Fitzgerald’s development of zone therapy. Fitzgerald noted that pressure applied at various points produced an analgesic effect on corresponding body parts.18 Eunice Ingham refined the technique, identifying sensitive “reflex points” by mapping out parts of the body on specifically defined areas of the foot. Ingham’s approach expanded the treatment beyond its singular use for pain, noting other therapeutic benefits could be achieved as well.19 When the N.C. research team set out to study reflexology for cancer patients, they noted while a variety of nonpharmacologic treatments had been tested in cancer studies, none of those reported had included reflexology. A 1991 study by Ferrell et al showed a decrease in cancer pain, following foot massage and reflexology, had been noted to reduce anxiety in a study on premenstrual symptoms (Oleson and Flocco, 1993).20 Using the Original Ingham Method, the N.C. team developed a “quasi-experimental, pre/post, crossover trial with patients serving as their own control.”21 This approach entailed having one group of patients first serve as control, the other as intervention and then allowing a minimum of 48 hours to lapse before alternating the patients’ assigned groups. The sample group of 23 patients (majority female) with breast or lung cancer were recruited from an inpatient oncology unit. Of the 13 with breast cancer, 10 had metasticized, there were five cases of metasteses in the remaining 10 with lung cancer. Researchers excluded cases involving recent surgery, radiation to the site of pain, those reporting no anxiety and those potentially experiencing acute rather than chronic pain. A medical consultation was required by oncologists prior to treatment of patients with symptoms of deep vein thrombosis. In cases of lower limb circulatory problems, those areas of the foot associated with the diseased body part were avoided during reflexology.22 At the beginning and end of each 30-minute session, relaxation techniques were administered to the foot and ankle area for 10 minutes. Reflexing of areas corresponding to pain and cancer sites accounted for 15 minutes of the session with a five-minute reflexing of the entire foot to ensure coverage of all body areas. Those patients reporting no pain at the time of their intervention session were administered reflexing on points corresponding to the location of their cancer. Researchers noted, “The specific areas reflexed for breast cancer and lung cancer, (i.e., the balls of the feet and on top of the feet over the balls) are identical.”23 Results of the study were based on measurements of anxiety and pain as quantified by a visual analog scale (VAS) and the Short-Form McGill Pain Questionnaire (SF-MPQ). Although all patients experienced pain at times during their hospitalization, it was not always present at the time of measurement. In the breast cancer group, the 11 subjects reporting pain had a significant decrease following reflexology as measured by the SF-MPQ. Because only two lung cancer patients reported pain during measurements, researchers noted “results from this group could not be calculated.” Significant decrease in anxiety was noted for both types of subjects with the greatest decrease in lung cancer patients, the majority of which were male.24 In light of the fact that 61 percent of the subjects reported pain during the study despite pharmacologic management for their symptoms, the success of the reflexology intervention to ease pain and decrease anxiety validates this approach as an effective and viable adjunctive treatment. The study team suggested, “Replication with a larger sample of a single cancer type is necessary to limit the type of pain.” In addition, they recommend comparison studies with other complementary and alternative therapies such as massage, healing touch and relaxation response.25 As noted previously, within the same year of publication of the N.C. study, a team of Australian researchers reported their findings on the use of foot massage as a complementary therapy to relieve pain and nausea in cancer patients. The mixed-gender sample group of 87 patients represented a wide range of cancer types. Although the intervention was limited (two sessions, 10 minutes each, and a third control session), results showed a significant positive effect on perception of pain, nausea and relaxation as measured with a VAS. Based on their findings, the authors recommended implementation of this approach by nurses and family members.26 Whether reflexology or a simple foot massage, these caring interventions have proven to be of great benefit to cancer patients, not only relieving the uncomfortable symptoms of their illness but also meeting a basic need for human touch.”

Maya Abdominal massage

June 2, 2010

According to the Arvigo Massage Center: Maya Abdominal Massage is a non-invasive external massage technique to the abdomen and pelvis that helps to guide to the internal reproductive organs into their proper position, and relieve tension in the diaphragm. The massage improves organ function by releasing physical and emotional congestion, thereby helping to re-establish health in the pelvic region. Maya abdominal massage for the reproductive and digestive systems has been known and practiced for thousands of years, the technique having been passed down through an unbroken chain of midwives, healers and shaman, generation after generation, all over the world from Central America to Africa, Egypt and China. This knowledge has largely been forgotten or suppressed in this century. The technique, as practiced today, was developed by Dr Rosita Arvigo. Rosita moved to Belize from America in 1981 and set up a naprapathic (a branch of chiropractic) clinic with her husband. Two years later, she met and befriended one of the last of the traditional Maya shaman, Don Elijio Panti. After some persuasion, he agreed to take her on as his apprentice and over the next 10 years, imparted to her his wisdom of the healing plants of the rainforest, traditional massage, including the abdominal techniques and spiritual healing. Don Elijio passed away in 1996, aged 103. Since this time Rosita has taken the knowledge she learned from him, and combined it with her Western naprapathic and herbal training to form the Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Massage. Some of the common symptoms, which can be helped by Maya Abdominal Massage and may indicate a displaced uterus, tight diaphragm or twisted pelvis include the following: Painful or irregular periods and ovulation – Dark, thick fluids at the beginning & end of menses – Amenorrhoea/Dismenorrhoea – Headaches/ Dizziness with menses – PMS – Endometriosis/Endometritis – Uterine polyps – Ovarian cysts/Fibroids – Vaginitis – Uterine infections – Hormonal imbalances – Difficult menopause – Painful intercourse – Infertility – Difficult pregnancy & delivery – Premature deliveries – Weak newborn infants – Lower back ache – Tired legs, numb feet/ Sore heals – Varicose veins – Chronic indigestion/Heartburn – Chronic constipation – Gastritis – Frequent or painful urination – Bladder infections


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