resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
The Way We Are Designed: A Conversation with Gil Hedley, PhD
I was first introduced to the work of Gil Hedley by Tom DiFerdinando. He gifted me Gil's DVD series.
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
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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