resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Essentials of Assessment: The Squat
The squat is a simple, fast and functional tool to evaluate patient symmetry and function. As simple and easy as it is to implement, it can yield considerable amounts of valuable, clinically relevant information.
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
The Power of Eccentric Exercise: Hamstring Injury Prevention and Rehab
For almost 20 years, I've worked with professional athletes who make a living by running really fast. It goes without saying that hamstring injury (HSI) prevention and rehabilitation is a big part of what they expect from a sports chiropractor.
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
Recording and Appropriate Billing of Timed Physical Medicine Services
There is a common misunderstanding about timed therapy services and although you do have some knowledge of timed service documentation, based on your comment on the 8-minute rule, your understanding is correct, but incomplete.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
How to Find and Fix TL Nerve Impingements
The thoracolumbar junction (TLJ) and the peripheral sensory nerves that exit from it are frequent, important and rarely recognized sources of lower back, pelvic and hip pain. Let's outline a clear exam protocol for diagnosing the problem.
Musculoskeletal Disorders Take Center Stage
Looking for the latest on the musculoskeletal pain epidemic and the increasing premium placed on preventive strategies including chiropractic? Check out The Impact of Musculoskeletal Disorders on Americans – Opportunities for Action.
The IME System: A Current Public Health Risk and Solutions That Are Working
I strongly believe in the independent medical examination (IME) system. There are far too many doctors in every profession who are not following E&M protocols and never claim MMI (maximum medical improvement) has occurred for their patients, which has caused financial stress for many private and public carriers.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
Vitamin D Fails to Help Knee OA? The Proper Perspective
The March 8, 2016 issue of JAMA includes a study about vitamin D supplementation for osteoarthritis of the knee. This is a really weird study.
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
Business Lesson #1: Adapt or Else
My wife and I recently enjoyed an excellent meal at a restaurant recommended by some friends. We often have concerns about restaurant recommendations, as many have been disappointing.
September, 2005, Vol. 05, Issue 09
The Effects of Therapeutic Massage on HIV and AIDS Patients
By Jacob Gnanakkan
With the wide prevalence of individuals living with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), it is essential for massage therapists to understand the etiology, pathogenesis and treatment trends of the disease.It is likely that a person living with HIV/AIDS is, or at some point will be, under a massage therapist's care. The importance of understanding HIV/AIDS in massage therapy practice is reiterated by its inclusion in the curriculum for continuing education and maintenance of a license.
Epidemiology: The first AIDS case was reported in the United States 24 years ago. Since then, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports HIV infection leading to AIDS is the fifth leading cause of death in people between the ages of 35-44, and AIDS is the leading cause of death among African-Americans ages 35-44.1 Moreover, data recently presented at the 2005 National HIV Prevention Conference in Atlanta, Ga., reports that more than 1 million Americans currently are infected with HIV.2 Each year, 40,000 new cases are diagnosed in the U.S. alone.3 A person infected with HIV does not always transition to the AIDS phase.
Pathogenesis: The etiological agent of acquired immunodeficiency virus (AIDS) is the human immunodeficiency retrovirus (HIV). The virus primarily targets the CD4+ T-lymphocyte, because of the affinity of the virus to the CD4+ T CELL surface marker. The clinical categories of HIV infection are: Category A, which includes asymptomatic or acute HIV infection; Category B, symptomatic conditions not included in Category C; and Category C, clinical conditions associated with AIDS.4 (For more information on clinical categories, visit www.cdc.gov.)
Current treatments: Since there is no cure for HIV, the current medical treatment is to inhibit replication of the virus and thus prevent it from causing AIDS. The virus is transmitted through direct blood contact with an infected person; the most common method of transmission is through sexual contact. Other modes of transmission include needle sharing, blood transfusions and the birth of a child to an infected mother.
Antiretroviral medications (ART) are used to inhibit the spread of HIV at various sites of activity. The ART medications are used alone or in a combination known as a "cocktail," a highly active retroviral therapy (HAART). General classification of drug therapies includes:
Massage Therapy Research
Some research on the efficacy of massage on HIV/AIDS patients includes the following:
Massage Therapy on HIV/AIDS Patients
Massage therapists play a role in the lives of those infected with HIV and AIDS by complementing the patient's medical team. Massage therapy plays a vital role in helping patients cope with the various symptoms of HIV/AIDS and indirectly boosts the immune system at the same time. The factors that seemed to contribute to immune enhancement were pressure strokes, dosage and period of massage therapy. A single massage dose on a healthy person indicated substantial increases in the NKCA. The effect on the immune system was even more intense when pressure was applied with multiple-dose massages lasting for a longer duration of time. Deep strokes, pressure points and trigger-point massage improved immune function in those living with HIV/AIDS.8 For the treatment to prove beneficial, it is recommended that the therapist use a full-body stress management approach. The technique should include pressure strokes, such as acupressure, trigger-point therapy and deep strokes, which should last approximately one hour and be performed at least once or twice weekly over an extended period of months for immune-enhancing results.
Massage Therapy and Gloves
Using gloves to massage an HIV/AIDS patient is the preference of the caregiver and patient. There is no evidence showing a positive correlation between the transmission of HIV/AIDS and touching or therapeutic massage. In conversations with individuals living with HIV/AIDS, it was unanimously expressed that the use of gloves by a therapist was negative. HIV and AIDS patients routinely are victims of discrimination. Despite years of health education, the disease continues to be misunderstood. Is it paranoia?
Massage therapy is a health profession. As such, therapists will be exposed to various diseases. The motive for wearing gloves should be weighed. Protection is important, but not at the cost of harming the patient, harboring professional paranoia or discriminating against people living with HIV/AIDS. There might be times in which the use of gloves is warranted, but there is no reason for them to be worn customarily in providing therapy to the patient. Remember, there is greater danger that the patient might contract a pathogen from the therapist because of his or her compromised immune system. According to the CDC, "People living with AIDS can get very sick from common germs and infections. Hugging, holding hands, giving massages, and many other types of touching are safe for you, and needed by the person with AIDS. But you have to be careful not to spread germs that can hurt the person you are caring for."9 If you feel you must use gloves because of the presence of blood, it is recommended you inform the patient and get his or her consent prior to therapy. The safest gloves are latex and vinyl.
Below are some general guidelines massage therapists can follow when working with HIV/AIDS patients:
The CDC also recommends: "To take gloves off, peel them down by turning them inside out. This will keep the wet side on the inside, away from your skin and other people. When you take the gloves off, wash your hands with soap and water right away."9
And finally, "If you get blood, semen, vaginal fluid, breast milk or other body fluid that might have blood in it in your eyes, nose or mouth, immediately pour as much water as possible over where you got splashed, then call the doctor, explain what happened, and ask what else you should do."9
Although most massage therapy research regarding HIV/AIDS is preliminary, the results in the studies that have been conducted are encouraging. As future studies reveal the benefits of the NK cells and their role in protecting patients with low CD4+ T-lymphocyte count, massage will become an integral part of the treatment of HIV/AIDS patients. As part of the medical team, massage therapists can greatly enhance the lives of people living with HIV/AIDS in the physical and psychological realms, by providing the personal touch other therapies do not generally provide.
Jacob Gnanakkan is a licensed massage therapist, information technology specialist, health & safety instructor, and piano instructor. He is the founder of Hunger Strike! Inc. (in the U.S.) and Genesis Health Foundation (in Sri Lanka and India), both of which serve the needy. Jacob conducts seminars worldwide on health, nutrition and natural remedies. He has an educational background in religious philosophies, medicine, medical science, health science and sports medicine, and currently is working on his doctorate in health sciences.
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