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Many patients with chronic conditions find that their life improves with
General Medical - Massage Information
Selected Web links....
WebMD - The Miracle of Massage Therapy
Touch Research Institute - Description of TRI
- TRI Peer Reviewed Studies
National Institutes of Health - MedLinePlus: Listing of Massage Therapy Articles
-PubMed: Listing of Massage Therapy Articles
Merck Manual - Treatment of Pain and Inflammation
Hartford (CT) Hospital - Integrative Medicine / Why Choose Massage?
University of Maryland - Complementary Medicine / Massage
Other Sources - Scirus Scientific Search: Listing of Massage Therapy Articles
Medicine Hands: Massage Therapy for People With Cancer , Gayle MacDonald, MS, LMT, Findhorn Press, 1999, 147 pages (Griefnet.org) Many professional bodyworkers have been taught that cancer is a contraindication, but Gayle MacDonald affirms "Skilled touch is beneficial at nearly every stage of the cancer experience, during hospitalization, the pre- and post-op period, in the out-patient clinic, during chemotherapy or radiation, recovery at home, remission or cure, and in the end stages of life. Not only are physical needs addressed, but emotional, social and spiritual ones as well." To support her thesis, Ms. MacDonald quotes a body of research which is impressive though still in its early stages. To this, she adds her own and colleagues' experience in hospitals where massage has the support of the oncologists and nursing staff and is practiced alongside standard medical procedures. The lay reader will be impressed by the range of bodywork modalities which are available for the cancer patient. MacDonald does not attempt to 'teach' these techniques, which are the sphere of the trained professional, but summarizes their methods, benefits and appropriateness for different stages of the disease. 'Massage' ranges from non-touch 'energy' therapies, indicated for the patient whose condition renders even light touch painful or potentially dangerous, to deep touch modalities which can be used in the final stages of recovery. [http://www.griefnet.org/library/reviews/m/medhandsR.html]
A Physician's Guide to Therapeutic Massage, John Yates, Ph.D., Curties-Overzet Publishers, 3rd Edition, 2004, 136 pages (Curties-Overzet) As consumers increasingly choose to blend their use of medical and complementary modalities, practitioners in all health fields are challenged to understand each other's approaches to patient care. The physician who can not provide knowledgeable advice about concurrent use of practices like massage therapy risks being out of touch with the benefits they can provide as well as the health considerations for different patient populations. Massage therapists need an evidence-based understanding of their work and a shared language in order to engage a meaningful dialogues with medical doctors with whom they share patients. A Physician's Guide to Therapeutic Massage integrates what is known about massage therapy effects and indications and summarizes this information in an accessible format for quick reference.
Touch Therapy, Tiffany Field and Leon Chaitow, Churchill Livingstone; 1st edition, 2000, 255 pages (Churchill Livingstone) Univ. of Miami, FL. Examines the research base of touch or massage therapy and describes the practical application of these results in practice. Addresses the areas of stress reduction, pain reduction, growth and development, immune function, and auto-immune disorders. For massage therapists, chiropractors, osteopaths, and physical therapists.
Touch, Tiffany Field, MIT Press - Bradford Books, 2003, 193 pages (MIT Press) Touch is critical for children's growth, development, and health, as well as for adults' physical and mental well-being. Yet American society, claims Field, is dangerously touch-deprived. Field, a leading authority on touch and touch therapy, begins this accessible book with an overview of the sociology and anthropology of touching and the basic psychophysical properties of touch. She then reports recent research results on the value of touch therapies, such as massage therapy, for various conditions, including asthma, cancer, autism, and eating disorders.
Benefits of Massage for Patients with Chronic Conditions
Reduces stress and encourages relaxation. Improves sleep. Stimulates bowel activity.
Promotes blood and lymph circulation. Improves immune system function.
Reduces or eliminates medications for anxiety, nausea and pain. Reduces fatigue.
Increases alertness and mental clarity. Provides pleasant touch experience.
Relaxation response progressively deepens in successive sessions.
Benefits Related to Surgery and Hospital Stays
Speeds recovery from anesthesia. Reduces need for pain medication.
Promotes faster wound healing. Increases elasticity of scarred areas.
Breaks up adhesions related to scarring. Decreases edema and lymphedema.
Improves range of motion and mobility. Helps prevent bedsores.
Provides a pleasant distraction. Provides relief from isolation.
Relieves muscle soreness due to prolonged bed rest. Shortens hospital stay.
Reduces fatigue, nausea, diarrhea and loss of appetite resulting from treatment.
Promotes well nourished, healthy skin. Relaxes tight muscles and improves joint mobility.
Alleviates many headaches and muscular back pains. Relieves tired and sore muscles.
Speeds recovery from strenous physical exertion. Deactivates of tender or trigger points.
Increases pliability of connective tissues.
Decreases anxiety and depression. Increases feelings of wellbeing.
Offers meaningful social interaction. Provides time in a safe relationship with a good listener.
Helps with body acceptance. Empowers patient participation in the healing process.
Helps rebuild hope.
Partial Listing of Chronic Conditions Helped
As reported by physicians, researchers, massage therapists, patients and caregivers.
This list is an ongoing work in progress. Check back later for additional information.
Please forward links that you have found particularly helpful to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
|Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Myofascial Pain Syndrome (MPS)
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
Massage and The Stresses of Chronic
A Final Thought
In addition to the physical benefits, massage helps patients deal with emotional issues that are a part of their illness process. Many patients are unable to work or are limited in their activities, often leading to depression, fear, anger, stress, boredom, envy, grief, loneliness and lowered self esteem. Massage is a one on one therapy - the patient is the focus of the treatment. The sole purpose of the treatment is to make the patient feel better, to reconnect him with himself. The benefits of this caring, supportive, non-threatening touch include relief of apprehension and anxiety and creation of a sense of overall well-being. Massage helps patients increase their activity levels and become more productive, thereby boosting self esteem and self confidence. Finally, massage reduces the physical symptoms of stress, including muscle tension and headache, putting the patient at ease. (Adapted from Fonkalsrud and Hameluck2)
Copyright © 2004-2006
Bruce A. Hopkins