Dermatologic Pathologies

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Massage therapists provide a valuable service that most clients enjoy. After having received several therapy sessions the client usually is excited and encouraged but the progress he or she is making because the therapy is helping his or her circulation while often times reducing stress as well. It should come as no surprise then that the client might not always be forthright about his or her medical conditions once treatment has occurred for a period of time. The most common occurrence of this is often seen when one develops a skin rash or other symptom of a more serious condition. Many people, especially younger, school aged clients often think they know their bodies well enough to know when they have a harmless bump or bruise or when it is something worse. It is the job of the therapist to ask questions when he or she sees unusual areas on the client that the client has not disclosed prior to or at the beginning of the massage therapy session. Let’s say we have a 16 year old client who is receiving massage therapy to help treat the symptoms and side effects of ADHD. This client is otherwise in good health but comes in for a session with an outbreak on his back. Thinking this is just another rash of pimples that he has been beginning to get lately, he dismisses it and goes to his regularly scheduled massage therapy appointment, not bothering to mention the recent rash to his massage therapist. Once the therapist finds the outbreak, she quickly sees the rash and asks him about it. He states that although his back has been itching lately, it is due to the pimples he is getting on his back. The therapist takes another look and realizes that this is not an outbreak of acne but rather the beginning of a varicella (chickenpox) outbreak. Because the therapist has been diligent enough to take the time to talk to the client about his recent condition, she is able to hold treatment until the client is well enough to continue and has also helped prevent the spread of the infection from the patient to another via the therapist, massage surfaces, and tools used in the massage therapy process.

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