Archive for August, 2010

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

August 19, 2010

A member of my extended family was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder. At first, she thought she may have had postpartum depression, but that was ruled out because she did not start to experience the symptoms until 8 months after her child was born. Out of the blue, she started to worry constantly. Her worries were obsessive and about things that most people would not dwell on. She would worry about things like if she would die, what would happen to her daughter. She also blamed herself for her daughter’s epilepsy, which she herself has. Some of her other symptoms was a racing heart, shaking, crying for hours, difficulty breathing, and in general, being very unhappy. Her physician put her on antianxiety and antidepressant medication. After a good month or so, the mediations had seemed to help. If she had come to me for a massage while she was experiencing the symptoms of GAD, I would try to be very nurturing and focus the massage on areas of her neck, back and shoulders and make sure she was warm at all times. I would also avoid any aggressive techniques because this could increase anxiety.

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Massage considerations for patients undergoing chemotherapy

August 19, 2010

Patients who are undergoing chemotherapy endure several side effects which a massage therapist should be aware of and make modifications to the treatment plan. One side effect is infection. If the client, massage therapist, or someone from the household of the therapist has an infection, the massage should be postponed. Anemia is another side effect of chemotherapy. If the client is anemic, treatment time should be no longer than 30 minutes, pressure should be light and you may have to adjust the position of the body depending on the symptoms. A common side effect of chemotherapy is nausea. If the client is nauseated, use a semi reclined position and light pressure. Avoid scents such as aromatherapy oils since this can further nauseate a client. As always, continue constant dialogue with the client regarding how they are feeling, if any new side effects have appeared, and adjust the treatment plan accordingly.

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Renal Failure

August 19, 2010

Renal failure occurs when the kidneys are unable to perform their normal functions. The two main types of renal failure are acute and chronic. Acute renal failure occurs suddenly and there is an acute reduction in renal function. Because of the abruptness, people who experience acute renal failure are quickly hospitalized and treated. Chronic renal failure occurs slowly over time, and is typically not discovered until the kidney function is 25% less than normal, at which the condition is usually irreversible. There are several terms to understand when discussing renal failure. The term renal failure means significant loss of renal functioning. The term renal insufficiency means renal function is less than 25% of normal. The term end stage renal disease means that only 10% or less of renal function remains. The term azotemia means the kidneys cannot remove urea from the blood so it removes it from the sweat glands. The last term when describing renal failure is uremia which means azotemia is occurring and there are elevated blood urea and creatinine levels. If a client is in acute renal failure, the massage is postponed until the condition is resolved. If a client is in chronic renal failure, massage is contraindicated.

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Types and Massage Considerations for Viral Hepatitis

August 19, 2010

There are five different types of viral hepatitis. All types of viral hepatitis damage liver cells. Hepatitis A, also known as infectious hepatitis, is transmitted via the oral-fecal route. Hepatitis B, also known as serum hepatitis, is contracted through sexual contact or through blood contact like sharing needles or contaminated instruments used in tattooing. Hepatitis C is also transmitted through blood contact. Hepatitis D, also known as delta hepatitis, is contracted through sexual contact or through contaminated instruments like needles or passed from mother to child during birth. The last type of hepatitis is Hepatitis D which is passed along through the oral/fecal route, typically from contaminated waters from natural disasters. Viruses that cause hepatitis cannot be eliminated; however, there are medicines that can slow viral replications and medications that can help to manage the symptoms. Massage considerations depend on the patients symptoms. If the patient has a fever or jaundice, massage is contraindicated. If the patient has clearance to receive a massage, avoid the abdomen, do not use deep pressure, and reduce treatment time to 30 minutes to avoid the client from becoming fatigued.

Types, Causes and Massage Considerations for Pneumonitis

August 19, 2010

Pneumonitis is more commonly known as Pneumonia and can follow the common cold or influenza. The three basic causes on pneumonia are bacteria, viruses and fungi. The pneumonia that is caused by bacteria is streptococcus pneumonia, haemophilus influenza, staphylococcus aureus, mycobacterium tuberculosis, legionella pneumophila, and streptococcus pyogenes. The types of pneumonia that are caused by viruses are influenza virus, respiratory syncytial virus and adenovirus. The kinds of pneumonia that are caused by fungi are aspergillus fumigates, candida albicans, pneumocystis carinii and histoplasma capsulatum. The different types of pneumonia are named after their anatomical location, what caused them, how it was attained, or for its acuteness. Massage is contraindicated for a patient with pneumonia until the patient makes a complete recovery. In a few cases, a physician may approve postural drainage while the patient is recovering.

Functions and Massage Considerations of the Lymphatic System

August 19, 2010

The lymphatic system protects against disease. It has three major functions. The first function is to remove excess interstitial fluid. The second function is to carry dietary lipids and lipid-soluble vitamins from the digestive tract to the blood. The third function is to transport immune infections out of the body. There are two types of immunity: natural immunity and acquired immunity. Natural immunity is about nonspecific responses to invading pathogens. Examples of this include the skin, fever, digestive enzymes and inflammation. It is the first line of protection. If the immune infection gets past the natural immunity, the acquired immunity comes into action. The two types of acquired immunity are humoral immunity which involves the B cells, and cellular immunity which involves the T cells. The T cells kill the pathogen, the B cell leave antibodies to inactivate the pathogens. Massage considerations differ depending on which condition of the lymphatic system a patient has. If the patient has lymphedema or edema, you should avoid vigorous massage and aggressive techniques and elevate swollen areas above the heart. Clearing strokes should be applied centripetally. Massage for a patient with lymphangitis is postponed until medical clearance is given. Massage considerations for a patient with lymphadenopathy or lymphadenitis is to postpone if lymph nodes are enlarged or enlarged lymph nodes are locally contraindication.

Restrictions for Massage During Pregnancy

August 17, 2010

Pregnancy can make a woman’s body feel pretty uncomfortable, sometimes even painful from the extra weight and swelling. Massage is typically safe during pregnancy, but there are a few conditions where a massage during pregnancy is not recommended. Massage will be postponed if a woman is experiencing signs of a miscarriage or if the pregnancy is considered high risk. Signs of a miscarriage can involve pain in the lower back, abdomen and pelvic area and/or cramping and/or vaginal bleeding. Conditions of a high risk pregnancy include but are not limited to: hypertension, history of three or more miscarriages, history of preterm labor or delivery, maternal age of under 15 or over thirty-five, and when prenatal tests indicate fetal abnormalities.

The Different Types of Shock

August 12, 2010

Shock occurs when oxygen and nutrients fail to meet the needs of the body. There are five different types of shock. Cardiogenic shock is caused by heart failure. Common heart failures include heart infections, valve disorders and heart attacks. Hypovolemic shock has to do with loss of fluids, such as a hemorrhage and acute vomiting and diarrhea. Anaphylactic shock is seen is allergic reactions such as getting stung by a bee. Septic shock results from too many bacterial toxins. Neurogenic shock is probably what most people relate to when they hear someone is in shock. It can be caused intense pain, an extreme emotional event like a traumatic accident, or in some cases a spinal cord injury.

Interventions for Diabetics

August 12, 2010

As a massage therapist, it is likely you will encounter a client with diabetes. It is important to know the different signs and symptoms of hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia, as well as the interventions for both. A few signs that people that are hyperglycemic encounter are dry mouth and are very thirsty, urinate a lot, have a metallic or fruity taste/smell in their mouth, blurry vision and dilated pupils. If the client experiences these symptoms, it is helpful to have them drink a beverage: water is best or a sugar-free drink. If a client is experiencing hypoglycemia, they may experience being hungry, start to shake, have tingling in their fingers or mouth, their skin may be clammy and sweaty and they have slurred speech. If a diabetic client experiences these symptoms, it is helpful to provide them with a beverage that contains sugar, like juice or regular soda. When the client feels better, offer a snack. If these interventions do not seem to be helpful, call 911.

Identifying Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease

August 12, 2010

It is important to be aware of the stages of Alzheimer’s disease because depending on what stage the client is in will greatly influence the type and length of time the massage is given. The first stage is unrecognizable, there is no impairment. The second stage there is some memory loss and forgetfulness. The third stage is still mild, in addition to the previous signs; there is also an inability to focus and a difficult time planning. The fourth stage involves a difficult time doing tasks and an inability to do numeric tasks. The fifth stage a person has trouble remembering present facts, like the month or day, and they may have some incontinence. The sixth stage is more severe, a person does not know facts about themselves, such as their name and personal history, and there is also a decline in physical abilities such as using the restroom. A person in this stage needs assistance is daily living. The last stage is very severe, a person may not be able to speak anymore and is completely unable to care for themselves, they would need 24/7 care.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

August 12, 2010

My mother has just been diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. She has complained of pain in her knees and hands for a long time, but it was always something she adapted to. One morning, she woke up with her hands swollen to the point where she could not grasp anything, was exhausted all day, and her knees hurt so much she could not walk. The doctor put her on a steroid for the pain and swelling, and after the diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis was confirmed by blood tests and a specialist, she was placed on a medication she has to take for the rest of her life. Massage is not recommended during the time of flare-ups, but during remissions, it can be given with proper considerations. These considerations include proper positioning, avoiding areas that hurt, and some light stretching.

Shingles

August 11, 2010

I wanted to gain a better understanding of shingles since every female relative on my mother’s side of the family has had shingles, including my mother. Shingles is a viral infection that is the reactivation of the dormant chicken pox. Its first symptom is typically typically tingling or numbness of the skin. It is then followed by a skin rash that appears on one side of the body, unilateral, in a band-like appearance. It sometimes occurs on the face, and rarely on both sides of the body. Few people with shingles experience postherpetic neuralgia which is localized pain thought to be caused by nerved damage from the shingles. After shingles is treated and the patient is cleared by a physician, a massage therapist should be considerate of hypersensitive areas and adjust accordingly.


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