resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Give Yourself the Digital Advantage
When you see this article in the print version of this issue and swear you read it already, don't be alarmed: you probably did. That's because by that time, the May issue will have been available online in digital format for three weeks.
An Integrated Approach to Chronic Pain
Findings from a unique Medicaid pilot project in Rhode Island involving high-use Medicaid recipients from two health plans were recently presented to the state's Department of Health, demonstrating stellar outcomes with regard to medication use, ER visits, health care costs and patient satisfaction.
Is It Time to Rethink Mental Illness? (Pt. 1)
Invariably, patients will ask their chiropractor about depression or various mental illnesses. Some practitioners will reflexively offer a cervical adjustment, suggest St. John's wort or contemplate a referral to a specialist.
A Major Role in Back Pain: The Multifidus
Back pain affects roughly 80 percent of the population at one time or another and is one of the leading causes of doctor visits.
Why I Quit Doing House Calls
My father was a chiropractor who did house calls, so when I became a DC, I figured doing house calls was part of the job. My March article recalled my experience as a small boy, accompanying my dad while he went to patients' homes to treat them.
Universal Design: Principles & Practice
In many respects, universal design serves as the core of ergonomics. It's also a good tool to use when designing a return-to-work program for injured and/or ill patients. Let's take a closer look at universal design and why it should matter to you and your patients.
News in Brief
ACA Adopts New Governance Model; ACA 2017 Awards; CCA Helps Calif. DCs "Share the Love"; $1 Million to Help Advance the Profession; D'Youville Raises the Bar on Anatomy Education; ErRatum.
Eczema & Acupuncture: A Sound Solution (Part 1)
Eczema affects approximately 3.5 percent of the global population and is one of the most common skin complaints seen by dermatologists.
Taking the Chiropractic Message to the Press
"There is no better place on earth to have a news event," the National Press Club boasts, and it's easy to understand why: Every year, the 108-year-old Washington, D.C.-based organization hosts countless press conferences on the hottest topics impacting America and often the world.
The Visual Error Scoring System: A Concussion Tool
Postural stability and oculomotor function are the most easily recognized physical indicators of neurologic motor dysfunction associated with concussions.
An Unexpected Diagnosis: The Result of Lacking Communication
A couple years ago I had a case that showed me the importance of open communication between health practitioners. We need to show up with less fear, and let go of our judgments so we can do better for the patient.
Bill With Confidence: Learn What to Collect
Q: I am trying to understand what I may collect from my patient when there is insurance. Do I have to accept the amount allowed by the plan or may I collect up to my billed amount? Please note, I am not a member of any insurance plan.
New Relationships, Old Trauma: AOM & Other Healing Strategies
Being in love is one the most beautiful and enjoyable experiences. Most of us are willing to pay almost any price to have that experience, and still often find it elusive or fleeting. Navigating the ups and downs of loving relationships are often challenging — even for the most psychologically balanced among us.
Creating Good Business Buzz
What do patients really think about working with you? Rarely do you hear the whole truth. Those who improve may be candid in their gratitude.
Women's Hormones: A Western & Eastern Perspective
Sometimes it may seem that you require a degree in medicine to understand hormones and how they function.
Is the New Medicare Reporting Exemption Right for You?
What you've heard is not a rumor – there will be exemptions for providers of Medicare patients, with no penalties assessed for offices that do not do Quality Payment Program (EHR, PQRS, MACRA and MIPS) reporting.
Raditation & Your Smartphone: Is it Worth the Risk?
If radial arteries could talk (and in my experience they can to some extent), they would say, "Step away from the smartphone." At least that is the message I am receiving loud and clear as I feel the pulses of many patients.
Balancing Spring Challenges
As the winter months come to a close and warmer spring weather appears, patients may begin to present with new challenging pattern presentations.
A Daily Strategy for Heavy-Metal Detox
In modern society, we are constantly exposed to heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury. These heavy metals have no essential biochemical roles in our body, and conversely, can cause us a great deal of harm if they build up to toxic levels.
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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