Archive for July, 2010

Mental Disorders

July 30, 2010

Mental disorders, especially Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, and Bipolar Disorder, are pretty common disorders that I may come across in my patients. The way these disorders cause people to feel could affect the way the patients view therapy, so I would want to plan a session to make it comfortable for them. Generalized Anxiety Disorder, for example, can have symptoms that cause people to feel very uncomfortable. Symptoms can range from heart palpitations, nausea, to sensations of choking. People suffering from Major Depressive Disorder feel intense feelings of sadness and hopelessness, fatigued, and sometimes suicidal. Bipolar disorder can cause people to be in a manic stage, where they are uninhibited and extremely energetic, or in the depressive stage, in which they are very withdrawn. The most important aspect when dealing with patients with mental disorders will be to make them feel comfortable and that they are in a place where they will not be judged.

Brain Cancer

July 30, 2010

I have shadowed therapists a few times, and on one of the occasions, the patient was a two year old boy who had just had a cancerous brain tumor removed. He was having some sensory difficulties, so the therapist and I worked with him. This was actually a fairly difficult process, but we did get him to do it. It was interesting to watch how this little boy who had just had such major surgery and was recovering from cancer worked. It was amazing though to see how the therapist worked with him and helped him overcome some of the sensory barriers.

Pregnancy

July 30, 2010

I may come into contact with some women who are pregnant as a Therapist. I should be aware of what positions are safe and most comfortable for them, since they are often experiencing lower back pain due to the extra weight. I should also be aware of the complications and things that can go wrong. For example, in Placenta Abruption, the placenta detaches from the uterine wall prematurely, which causes hemorrhaging in the mother and reduces the baby’s oxygen supply, which is very dangerous. Also dangerous, is Ectopic Pregnancy, in which a woman does not know she is pregnant because the fertilized ovum is outside of the uterine cavity. This situation in particular can be very dangerous because the first symptom is sometimes shock.

Urinary Pathologies

July 30, 2010

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

Urinary infections and disorders, like the last chapter, will more be about the side effects accompanying them. Edemas are a common side effect for many of the urinary diseases, such as Nephritic syndrome and Glomerulonephritis. These areas of the body need to remain elevated and pressure should be avoided. Frequent urination is also a common side effect of diseases such as Pyelonephritis and Polycistic Kidney Disease. This side effect, like with Celiac Disease mentioned in my last discussion, could cause the patient to need frequent bathroom breaks and make for an overall shorter session. Kidney Failure is also something I should be aware of, because patients with Chronic Renal Failure can often feel weak and fatigued and can sometimes experiences seizures.

Gastrointestinal Side Effects

July 30, 2010

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

The gastro intestinal disorders described in the book and power point have side effects that could affect the way therapy is conducted and that I should be aware of. For example, people who are obese may tend to get tired more easily, and tend to have tense back, neck, shoulder and leg muscles from carrying all the extra weight. Areas with excess fat are also more susceptible to bruising. These are all factors I would take into account when planning a patients’ therapy. Celiac Disease also has some gastrointestinal side effects that could affect how the therapy session was planned out. This disease causes frequent diarrhea, so the patient may have to stop for bathroom breaks.

Positioning and Contagious Disease

July 30, 2010

It is important to know, in any therapeutic profession, that clients cannot be seen when they have upper respiratory infections such as the Common Cold, Sinusitis, and Influenza because they are very contagious. Concerning other infectious respiratory diseases, I was not aware that there are two stages of Tuberculosis, and that for primary TB, a person is not typically contagious after four weeks of treatment. Positioning is also an important factor to enable easier breathing for patients with Pneumoconiosis, Cystic Fibrosis, Bronchiectasis. Also, with Cystic Fibrosis, any pressure on the abdomen should be avoided because of the digestive problems that these patients endure. Positioning is a big part of therapy, and these aspects of the diseases need to be taken into account.

Allergies and Therapy

July 30, 2010

Knowing my patients’ allergies will be a very important aspect of therapy. There are many situations in which allergies could affect the way therapy is conducted. There may be a time during therapy when I where latex gloves, but a patient could be allergic to latex. Some people are also deathly allergic to bees, in which case we would not be able to allow exposure to bees. It is also important that I know what to do if one of my patients starts experiencing anaphylaxis, either from something in session or something they ate or came in contact with beforehand. I actually have experience and training with anaphylaxis and injecting EpiPens, because I have an extreme allergy to shellfish.

Cardiovascular Pathologies and Occupational Therapy

July 28, 2010

Not many cardiovascular diseases require massage and occupational therapy as a part of treatment, but it is very important for me to know what to do in such cases of heart attacks, shock, and cardiac arrest. These could happen at any time to any one of my patients, and I should know what is happening to their bodies and how to handle the situation. There are some side effects of cardiovascular diseases that some of my patients could also be experiencing that I should be aware of; such as those that accompany Hemophilia. Hemophilia impairs clotting, making patients much more susceptible to bruising. I would have to make sure I was extra gentle when touching them. Their fragileness could also potentially affect therapy.

Weak Bones and Diabetes Mellitus

July 28, 2010

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

Many of the endocrine diseases such as gigantism, dwarfism, and hyperpituitarism will cause patients to have weak bones. Like it was discussed in the text and power point, hormone therapy is the most common treatment for many of these diseases. But occupational and massage therapy could decrease discomfort and maximize potential range of movement for those struggling with their fine motor skills due to the pain from their weak bones. I should also be aware of patients with diabetes and those who are hyper and hypoglycemic, as the side effects of these diseases could affect how therapy is conducted. For instance, for patients with Diabetes Type I, I will need to be careful to avoid any recent insulin injection sites, because putting too much pressure on them could increase insulin absorption and possibly lead to a hypoglycemic episode.

Spinal Cord Injuries and Autism in Occupational Therapy

July 27, 2010

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

Spinal cord injuries such as quadriplegia, paraplegia, and tetraplegia will be especially prevalent in my field. The book even mentions that occupational therapy and rehabilitation will be necessary to maximize the patients’ independence and self-confidence with their injury. Having an interest in pediatric occupational therapy, I will need an extensive knowledge base of Autism Spectrum Disorder and Pervasive Developmental Disorder. These are more commonly being diagnosed in children and early intervention with these disorders is very important. As an occupational therapist, I will need to know how to work with these children to build their strengths with touching different things (sensory integration) and their fine motor skills. I have shadowed at an autism school before, and the work that the occupational therapists do with the children is quite remarkable.

Respiratory Pathologies

July 26, 2010

People with respiratory issues require special considerations when massage therapy is involved. For example, take a patient who suffers from pneumonia. While the client is suffering from pneumonia, it is important that he or she is allowed to recover before beginning or resuming massage therapy. For some patients, it is not uncommon for their doctor to recommend massage therapy for patients once the pneumonia has cleared up but still exhibit some lingering symptoms. For some patients who are still in the process of trying to recover completely from the pneumonia, their doctor might recommend postural drainage therapy after the patient has recovered from the pneumonia but has not yet completely “dried up” so to speak. This is done in order to drain any remaining moisture in the lungs and respiratory system and decrease the chance for a reoccurrence of the pneumonia before the patient has completely recovered. Overall, when one has a respiratory issue, it is imperative for the client to check with the physician before beginning any kind of massage therapy.

Lymphatic and Immune Pathologies

July 26, 2010

Allergy considerations are crucial when conducting therapy with a client. From seasonal allergies to contact allergies, therapists must take into consideration if anything in the massage therapy session that will cause an allergic reaction. During the intake process, the patient is responsible for disclosing any known allergies he or she has. From this point, it is the responsibility of the therapist to consider all allergies when planning therapy sessions. If a person has seasonal allergies or hay fever, the therapist needs to be aware of such allergies and medications being used to treat these allergies but generally does not have to make any other special provisions when planning for therapy. If, however, someone has contact allergies, the therapist must ensure that he or she has made the therapy environment as allergen free as possibly to avoid making the client leave therapy in worse shape than when he or she came in. Among common contact allergies massage therapists must consider are:
• Latex allergies
• Formaldehyde allergies (formaldehyde can be found in cleaning products, laundry detergents,
and blended fabrics, among other things)
• Scents associated with the therapy and therapy surroundings that could trigger an allergic reaction

If the therapist makes provisions ahead of time in order to accommodate a patient who has allergies, there is no reason that the therapy session won’t be a success.


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