Archive for the 'contraindications' Category

Jul 07 2009

Benefits of Bodywork for Epileptic Clients

More than a quarter of those diagnosed with epilepsy cannot control the disorder through medication. Learn to identify this disorder’s symptoms and discover which types of bodywork have been shown to provide the greatest benefit to epileptic clients.

by Nicole Cutler, L.Ac.

Rooted in the central nervous system, epilepsy is a relatively common seizure disorder. Typically diagnosed by a physician after a person has had at least two seizures, epileptic seizures are not caused by a known medical condition like alcohol withdrawal or extremely low blood sugar. Seizures can be genetic, related to a brain injury, or due to an unknown cause.

Affecting how a person feels or acts for a short period of time, a seizure is a sudden surge of electrical activity in the brain’s outer rim, called the cortex. Ranging from mild to totally disabling, there are many possible symptoms of a seizure. While not everyone experiences these, some of the more typical seizure symptoms include:

· Blacking out
· Confusion
· Feeling spacey or dizzy
· Sensation of being out of the body
· Convulsions or twitching
· Feeling of fear
· Loss of motor control
· Difficulty talking
· Eyes rolling up into head
· Incontinence
· Drooling, teeth clenching, or tongue biting
· Memory loss

Seventy percent of those with epilepsy can control their disorder with medications, however the remaining 30 percent are not as lucky. Additionally, the medications for epilepsy can have severe side effects. Although a massage therapist should never advise a client to abandon their prescription, regular bodywork and communication with a client and their doctor could lead to a physician-guided reduction in medication.

Most experts agree that while there is no definitive cause for epilepsy, seizures are provoked by stress. In vulnerable individuals, stress causes brain cells prone to hyper-excitability to fire abnormally. In addition to the logical conclusion of reducing stress through seeking avenues of relaxation, cranial-sacral therapy and aromatherapy have both demonstrated remarkable results for reducing seizure occurrence and severity.

Cranial-Sacral Therapy
The brain, the heaviest of our organs, floats within the sugar, salt and enzyme-rich cerebro-spinal fluid (CSF). This internal sea has its own ebb and flow which is normally between 10 to 14 cycles per minute. According to cranial-sacral therapists, a likely theory explaining epilepsy is the misalignment or compression of the skull bones and congestion within the CSF. Because fluid is a terrific conductor of sensations, any turbulence, erratic movement or asymmetry can reveal blockages within the enclosed cerebral-spinal system.

Many reported case studies claim that the application of cranial-sacral therapy helps clients with epilepsy. The release of stuck skull bones gently flushes the cerebral-spinal system with CSF. This circulation of fluid restores the skull’s internal sea flow and stretches the brain’s membranes just enough to release any restrictions or adhesions contributing to seizure activity.

Aromatherapy
Despite compelling research, conventional medical practitioners have not yet incorporated elements of aromatherapy into epilepsy treatment. In a study conducted at the University of Birmingham in England, Dr. Tim Betts revealed a successful treatment for those with intractable epilepsy. Comprising approximately 20 to 30 percent of all epilepsy cases, intractable epilepsy describes epilepsy that is unresponsive to drug therapy.

Dr. Betts trained 50 epileptic patients into learning self-hypnosis, designed to encourage relaxation at the start of a seizure. At first, the patients showed little, if any, improvement. Then, Dr. Betts arranged half of these patients to have aromatherapy massages with whatever essential oil the patient found to be most pleasant. These patients were then told to take a whiff from a bottle containing the chosen oil whenever they felt a seizure coming on. The patients using self-hypnosis alone continued to show no improvement, whereas all but one of those who had aromatherapy massages became completely seizure-free. Dubbed the “smell-memory technique,” the use of essential oils used in aromatherapy massage became a trigger for a conditioned relaxation response.

When choosing an essential oil for aromatherapy massage, there are some specific oils to avoid. Rosemary, sage, camphor, fennel and hyssop are known to have convulsant effects. Do not experiment with these oils on a person with epilepsy. Jasmine is a good essential oil to begin with, as it is known for its anticonvulsant properties.

For bodyworkers seeing clients with epilepsy, being familiar with the most effective techniques will increase the therapeutic value of your session. While a relaxation-based massage will have benefits of its own, adding techniques from cranial-sacral therapy or using aromatherapy can actually help clients with this potentially debilitating condition.

Recommended Study:
Aromatherapy Essentials
Cranial-Sacral Fundamentals

References:

Upledger, John DO, OMM, Easing Seizures, Massage Today, August 2006.

Williams, David, MD, Rubbing Out Epilepsy, Alternatives, October 1997.

www.acupunctureworks.co.uk, Cranio-sacral Therapy, Roisin Golding, Los Angeles Times Syndicate 2000.

www.epilepsy.com, Epilepsy, epilepsy.com, 2006.

www.epilepsy.org.uk, Complementary Treatments, British Epilepsy Association, June 2006.

www.essentialoils.co.za, Epilepsy and Essential Oils in Aromatherapy, Esoteric Oils CC, 2006.

www.healthy.net, Cranial Osteopathy, Leon Chaitow, ND, DO, MRO, HealthWorldOnline, 2006.

Posted by Editors at 09:35 AM
© 2009 Institute for Integrative HealthCare Studies. This work is reproduced with the permission of the Institute. www.Integrative-Healthcare.org <http://www.integrative-healthcare.org/>

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Jun 15 2009

TCM, Cupping and Massage: Part III

Before massage therapists add cupping to their menu of services, they must have a firm grasp of cupping’s cautions and contraindications. This is the final installment of this important 3-part article.

by Nicole Cutler, L.Ac.

Because cupping gives massage therapists a break from deep tissue work while delivering a powerful therapeutic benefit, it is an ideal supplement to a massage therapy practice. While cupping is a relatively simple practice, there is a lot to learn about this method before mastering it. In addition to the flawless application and manipulation of cups, knowing what conditions it helps most and why cupping works, practicing therapists must know about cupping’s cautions and contraindications.

For background information on cupping, read TCM, Cupping and Massage: Part I and TCM, Cupping and Massage: Part II.

The therapeutic benefits to massage cupping are far-reaching. However, practitioners who include cupping in their repertoire must log in a significant amount of practice before performing it on clients. In order to assure its effectiveness and maintain cupping’s safety, massage therapists must be extra careful to prevent burns, apply the right level of suction and be familiar with all of the associated contraindications.

Fire Cautions
Because it can provide a strong suction without causing tissue damage, the fire twinkling method is the traditionally preferred method of cupping by many practitioners. Nonetheless, when using the fire twinkling method, therapists must be attentive, quick and agile to prevent burning their clients. The following tips help prevent burns or fire hazards:

· Protect – Since the practitioners must place the flame into the cup in close proximity to their clients for quick adherence, the client’s skin, hair, clothing and anything flammable (hair product, oils, linens) must be protected from catching fire. Being alert is crucial to providing such protection.

· Plan – Logistical planning prior to cupping is essential to minimize any fire hazards. Once the flame is withdrawn from the cup, the cup is applied and the flame is blown-out, place the hot, alcohol-soaked cotton ball on a stable, non-flammable surface. Because the flame may not be 100 percent extinguished, practitioners must make sure it cannot re-ignite what it is resting on, or roll off onto something flammable. A wide porcelain bowl on a firm surface (not the massage table) is a good choice.

· Timing – Choosing the amount of time the flame is held inside the cup can be a fine line between too short and too long. If the lit cotton is in the cup for too short a time, it will not create sufficient negative pressure for suction. If the lit cotton is in the cup for too long, the lip of the cup will become very hot and could burn the client. Until mastery over cupping is achieved, practitioners should always err on the flame occupying the cup for a shorter period of time. If insufficient suction occurs, the process can always be repeated.

Suction Cautions and Contraindications
Whether you choose the fire twinkling or suction pump method to apply the cups, the therapist must avoid cupping’s contraindications and be careful with the degree of suction used.

· Bruising – While stationary cupping typically causes more bruising than massage cupping, either technique can leave large, unsightly bruises in the cups’ wake. (To review the difference between these cupping variations, read TCM, Cupping and Massage: Part I.) To prevent surprised and angry recipients, make sure to discuss this possibility with your client prior to using this modality.

· Degree of Suction – Getting strong enough suction is key to cupping’s effectiveness. Although, too strong of a suction could damage the tissue or even create a blister. Cupping’s intensity depends upon the following: the speed the cup is placed on the skin after the flame has been removed, the strength of the flame (certain alcohol burns hotter than others) and the size of the cup. Therefore, practicing the balance between these variables will help the therapist determine a safe cupping routine. Practitioners will find that it is very challenging to obtain suction over irregular angles, thin muscles or on areas with lots of body hair.

· Contraindications – Just like any modality that strongly invigorates the circulation, there are some situations where cupping should be avoided. Cupping should not be done on a client with a fever, convulsions or cramps, over allergic skin conditions, ulcerated sores or large blood vessels. In addition, cupping is contraindicated on the abdomen or lower back of pregnant women or on those with a bleeding disorder.

Cupping is a relatively simple application that, when done correctly, can relieve many types of congestion in the body. Despite its simplicity, there is a great deal to learn about cupping before it can be safely administered. By reducing fire hazards, preventing burns, practicing timing, informing your client about the potential for bruising, refining your degree of suction and memorizing cupping’s contraindications, therapists are better prepared to add this valuable technique to their massage practice.

References:

http://www.massagemag.com/spa/treatment/cupping.php, The Art of Massage Cupping, Anita J. Shannon, LBMT, Retrieved October 1, 2008, Massage Magazine Inc., 2008.

http://www.massagetoday.com/archives/2004/02/04.html, Massage Cupping Therapy for Health Care Professionals, Anita J. Shannon, LMBT, Retrieved October 1, 2008, Massage Today, February 2004.

http://www.naturalnews.com/z020253.html, Ancient Chinese technique of cupping offers pain relief without drugs or surgery, Alexis Black, Retrieved October 9, 2008, Natural News Network, August 2006.

Liangyue, Deng, et al, Chinese Acupuncture and Moxibustion, Foreign Languages Press, Beijing, 3rd printing, 1993, 346-347.

Tierra, Lesley, L.Ac., The Herbs of Life, The Crossing Press, Freedom, CA, 1992, 148-149.

Posted by Editors on November 25, 2008 04:17 PM
© 2009 Institute for Integrative HealthCare Studies. This work is reproduced with the permission of the Institute. www.Integrative-Healthcare.org <http://www.integrative-healthcare.org/>

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Jun 02 2009

Ylang Ylang Essential Oil

Name: Ylang Ylang Essential Oil.

Botanical Name: Cananga odorata.

Common Method of Extraction: Steam Distilled.

Color: Clear with a Yellow Tinge.

Consistency: Medium.

Perfumery Note: Middle/Base.

Strength of Initial Aroma: Medium – Strong.

Aromatic Description: Fresh, floral, sweet, slightly fruity, fragrant yet delicate.

Possible Uses: Anxiety, depression, frigidity, hypertension, palpitations, stress. [Julia Lawless, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (Rockport, MA: Element Books, 1995), 61-67.].

Constituents: Linalol, Farnesol, Geraniol, Geranial, Benzyl Acetate, Geranyl Acetate, Eugenol, Methyl Chavicol, Pinene*Beta-Caryophyllene, Farnasene [Shirley Price, The Aromatherapy Workbook (Hammersmith, London: Thorsons, 1993), 54-5.].

Safety Information: Possible sensitization. [Robert Tisserand, Essential Oil Safety (United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone, 1995), 211.]. Can cause headaches and nausea if used in excess.

All Essential oils or highly concentrated, do not ingests or add directly to the skin. Always ask your trained massage aroma therapist on how to use any essential oils. These oils are used as a guide only.

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May 28 2009

Contraception Poses Blood Clot Risk

Dislodging a blood clot represents one of the most potentially dangerous consequences of massage therapy. Learn how a client’s choice of contraception can affect massage and how to avoid a potentially risky situation.

by Nicole Cutler, L.Ac.

As an increasing number of people seek their services, the profile of massage therapists will continue to grow within the medical community. Delivering therapeutic results while maintaining the safety of each session are the backbone of bodywork’s value within medicine. As such, it is the responsibility of bodyworkers to stay current on factors that may pose an additional risk to the work they perform.

While energizing blood circulation can relieve pain, relax muscles, flush accumulated toxins out of the body and infuse new healthy cells to areas in need, enhancing circulation can also initiate an embolus. According to medicinenet.com, an embolus is: Something that travels through the bloodstream, lodges in a blood vessel and blocks it. Depending upon the location, an occluded blood vessel can have dire repercussions by lodging in:

· the lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism
· the brain, causing a stroke
· the heart, causing a myocardial infarction

Being prepared to recognize what may pose a risk can help massage therapists avert a potentially lethal combination of performing circulatory massage on a client at high risk for an embolus. While there are many health problems that predispose a person to developing a blood clot, there are also seemingly innocuous lifestyle choices fostering the same predisposition.

The Pill
The oral contraceptive pill is the leading method of birth control in the United States. Approximately 12 million American women (19% of those aged 15-44) use the birth control pill. Historically, oral contraceptives have posed a considerable risk of emboli development. This risk is the reason women with other predisposing factors for blood clots, including smoking, hypertension or being over age 40, are encouraged to find other methods of birth control. By using lower doses of the active ingredients, safer oral contraceptive options have become the norm.

New Options
In addition to the birth control pill, two newer contraceptive options are increasing in popularity:

· Transdermal contraceptive patch (the patch) – The contraceptive patch (brand name: Ortho Evra) is placed on your upper arm, buttocks, stomach or chest (but not on the breasts). It releases birth control hormones in a method similar to birth control pills.

· Vaginal ring – The vaginal contraceptive ring (brand name: NuvaRing) uses the same hormones as most birth control pills. This flexible ring is inserted in the vagina, where its ring releases hormones that prevent pregnancy.

Ring and Patch Blood Clot Risk
Because they are relative newcomers to the contraceptive market, assessing the risk of a blood clot for the transdermal patch and vaginal ring hinges on the most recently published research. According to reputable studies published in 2006, the transdermal patch demonstrates a significantly higher risk of blood clots compared to oral contraceptives.

In the July 2006 issue of American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, researchers reported that when comparing a contraceptive vaginal ring with an oral contraceptive, the ring does not pose a higher risk of causing a blood clot. On the other hand, research on the patch revealed a different level of blood clot safety. In September 2006, the US Food and Drug Administration updated the warning label on the Ortho Evra transdermal contraceptive patch, cautioning users about the higher risk of blood clots associated with its use. The study, commissioned by drug manufacturer Johnson and Johnson, revealed that patch users faced twice the risk of clots in the legs and lungs compared to women taking traditional birth-control pills. Dr. Daniel Shames, the acting deputy director of FDA’s Office of Drug Evaluation in the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said, “Blood clots occurring in the legs or lungs are serious and rare events that are a potential risk for all hormonal contraceptive therapies.”

Applicability to Bodyworkers
For massage therapists, the implications for Ortho Evra’s higher blood clot risk lie in determining possible contraindications for a circulatory massage. This information also serves to expand a therapist’s questioning during an intake interview. While simply inquiring about a client’s medications is imperative to rendering a responsible massage, the news about Ortho Evra demonstrates the need to probe beyond medications. While asking whether a client uses any type of hormonal contraception may accurately cover the contraceptive patch, a client may not consider it to be a medication since it’s not taken orally. With the reported increase of risk for developing blood clots in Ortho Evra users, a responsible massage therapist must ask all of the appropriate questions to determine whether their clients are exposed to this risk.

Recommended Study:
Deep Vein Thrombosis
Pharmacology for Massage

References:

www.arhp.org, Choosing a Birth Control Method, Association of Reproductive Health Professionals, 2005.

www.familydoctor.org, Contraceptive Options Update, American Academy of Family Physicians, 2004.

www.hearthealthywomen.org, Oral Contraceptives, Cardiovascular Research Foundation Publications, 2005.

www.medicinenet.com, Definition of emboli, MedicineNet, Inc., 2006.

www.medindia.net, Contraceptive Patch Carries risk of Blood clots, MedIndia, 9/21/06.

www.pdrhealth.com, Oral Contraceptives, Thomson Healthcare, 2006.

www.prnewswire.com, Johnson & Johnson Sued Over Ortho Evra Damage; Texas Woman Says Drug Caused Life-Threatening Blood Clots, Miscarriage, Law Offices of John David Hart, 9/5/2006.

Posted by Editors at 09:28 AM

© 2009 Institute for Integrative HealthCare Studies. This work is reproduced with the permission of the Institute. www.Integrative-Healthcare.org <http://www.integrative-healthcare.org/>

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May 24 2009

Thyme Essential Oil

Name: Thyme Essential Oil.

Botanical Name: Thymus vulgaris.

Common Method of Extraction: Steam Distilled.

Color: Reddish Brown.

Consistency: Medium and Slightly Oily.

Perfumery Note: Middle.

Strength of Initial Aroma: Medium – Strong.

Aromatic Description: Fresh, medicinal, herbaceous.

Possible Uses: Arthritis, colds, cuts, dermatitis, flu, insect bites, laryngitis, lice, muscle aches, oily skin, poor circulation, scabies, sore throat. [Julia Lawless, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (Rockport, MA: Element Books, 1995), 57-67.].

Constituents: a-thujene, a-pinene, camphene, B-pinene, p-cymene, a-terpinene, linalool, borneol, B-caryophyllene, thymol, carvacrol. [J. Soulier, “The Thymus Genus,” Aromatherapy Records, September 1985, 38-49, cited in Salvatore Battaglia, The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy (Australia: The Perfect Potion, 1997), 204.].

Safety Information: Avoid in cases of hypertension. [Julia Lawless, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (Rockport, MA: Element Books, 1995), 228.]. Moderate dermal irritant and strong mucous membrane irritant. [Robert Tisserand, Essential Oil Safety (United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone, 1995), 176.].

All Essential oils or highly concentrated, do not ingests or add directly to the skin. Always ask your trained massage aroma therapist on how to use any essential oils. These oils are used as a guide only.

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May 24 2009

Yarrow Essential Oil

Name: Yarrow Essential Oil.

Botanical Name: Achillea millefolium.

Common Method of Extraction: Steam Distilled.

Color: Dark Blue.

Consistency: Medium.

Perfumery Note: Middle.

Strength of Initial Aroma: Medium – Strong.

Aromatic Description: Sharp, woody, herbaceous.

Possible Uses: Fever, hair care, hemorrhoids, hypertension, indigestion, insomnia, migraine, scars, stretch marks, varicose veins, wounds. [Julia Lawless, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (Rockport, MA: Element Books, 1995), 56-67.].

Constituents: Tricyclene, a-pinene, camphene, B-pinene, sabinene, borneol acetate, 1,8-cineole, y-terpinene, limonene, isoartemisia ketone, borneol, camphor, chamazulene. [B. Lawrence, “Yarrow Oil,” Perfumer & Flavorist, August/September 1984, 37, cited in Salvatore Battaglia, The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy (Australia: The Perfect Potion, 1997), 206].

Safety Information: Neurotoxic (toxic to the nerves). Avoid in pregnancy. Avoid orally in pregnancy, epilepsy, fever (no essential oil should be taken internally without the guidance of a qualified aromatherapy practitioner). [Robert Tisserand, Essential Oil Safety (United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone, 1995), 180.].

All Essential oils or highly concentrated, do not ingests or add directly to the skin. Always ask your trained massage aroma therapist on how to use any essential oils. These oils are used as a guide only.

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May 23 2009

Star Anise Essential Oil

Name: Star Anise Essential Oil.

Botanical Name: Illicium verum.

Common Method of Extraction: Steam Distilled.

Color: Pale Yellow.

Consistency: Thin.

Perfumery Note: Middle.

Strength of Initial Aroma: Strong.

Aromatic Description: Sharp, anise and licorice-like aroma.

Possible Uses: Rheumatism, bronchitis, coughing, colic, indigestion/cramping, colds, flu. [Julia Lawless, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (Rockport, MA: Element Books, 1995), 61-66.].

Constituents: (E)-anethole, foeniculin, methyl vhavicol, limonene, linalool, nerolidol and cinnamyl acetate. [E. Joy Bowles, The Chemistry of Aromatherapeutic Oils (NSW, Australia: Allen & Unwin, 2003), 190.].

Safety Information: Lawless indicates that this oil is not a dermal irritant. Narcotic and slows circulation when used in large doses. [Julia Lawless, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (Rockport, MA: Element Books, 1995), 152.]. Tisserand cautions to avoid star anise in cases of alcoholism, liver disease, paracetamol use, breast-feeding, pregnancy, endometriosis, certain cancers, hyperplasia, damaged skin and with young children. [Robert Tisserand, Essential Oil Safety (United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone, 1995), 171.].

All Essential oils or highly concentrated, do not ingests or add directly to the skin. Always ask your trained massage aroma therapist on how to use any essential oils. These oils are used as a guide only.

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May 19 2009

Massage Therapy for HIV/AIDS

The HIV epidemic requires all types of health care professionals to be educated in the methods of transmission and recommended methods for treatment. Learn what role a massage therapist can play in strengthening clients’ immune systems as well as treating symptoms of the disease.

Nicole Cutler, L.Ac.

Considering the number of individuals living with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), it is essential for massage therapists to understand the prevalence, transmission and support needed for this disease. Various state licensing agencies underscore its importance by requiring continuing education in HIV/AIDS.

Prevalence
According to statistics released in May 2006 by the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 38.6 million people worldwide were living with HIV/AIDS in 2005. As the most publicized infectious disease in the western world, there is substantial fear among alternative healthcare practitioners about being in close contact with an infected individual.

Transmission
Since HIV is only acquired from blood-to-blood contact, safe and hygienic practices eliminate risk from massaging an HIV client. Transmitted through direct blood contact with an infected person; the most common method of transmission is sexual contact. Other modes of transmission include needle sharing, blood transfusions and the birth of a child to an infected mother. HIV is not spread through casual contact.

Support
Since the pathology involving HIV/AIDS advances when the immune system is compromised, any modality boosting immune function inhibits disease progression. Research demonstrates that bodywork is an ideal method for supporting an HIV-infected person’s immune system. Therefore, massage therapists working with this population offer extremely valuable and therapeutic support. When operating within safe and hygienic parameters, a bodyworker’s compassion and care can be the single most important component of a person with HIV’s treatment and recovery plan.

Stigma
The stigma surrounding AIDS can impart many negative effects on the mind and body. Unfortunately, one of the first reactions of friends and family to a diagnosis of HIV is a reluctance to touch the person. People living with this disease are typically viewed by some people as ‘untouchable’ members of society, furthering feelings of isolation and depression. Due to this stigma, the hands-on intimacy of massage therapy provides a great psychological benefit to a client with HIV.

A study published in the International Journal of Neuroscience evaluated HIV-positive adolescents and randomly assigned them to receive massage therapy or progressive muscle relaxation twice per week for 12 weeks. To determine treatment effects, participants were assessed for depression, anxiety and immune changes before and after the treatment period. Adolescents who received massage therapy versus those who experienced relaxation therapy reported feeling less anxious, less depressed and demonstrated enhanced immune function as determined by blood immune markers.

Immunity
Strengthening a person’s immune system gives them an advantage when fighting disease, including HIV/AIDS. A recent study of massage’s impact on HIV-positive children demonstrated this fact. Researchers observed a marked increase in natural killer cells in HIV-positive children receiving massage therapy than those who did not receive massage. Natural killer cells are unique in that they attack only cells infected by a microbe. The children who did not receive massage had a steady decrease of these important immune cells, while those receiving treatment either remained stable or had an increase in natural killer cells.

Why Massage Works for HIV
Massage boosts immune system function by:

• Reducing anxiety and stress
• Increasing white blood cell counts
• Decreasing levels of the stress hormone, cortisol
• Activating natural killer cells

Specific to HIV/AIDS symptoms, massage can also decrease pain by relieving:

• Muscle spasms
• Cramps
• General body tension
• Edema
• Inflammation

Additionally, by increasing blood flow, massage assists in the removal of toxins while increasing oxygen and nutrients to areas with symptoms.

More Massage Goals for HIV
Various massage modalities can be incorporated into a massage therapy HIV program. Specific indication of techniques could unfairly exclude one that is valuable, so consider any technique sharing the following goals:

• Facilitating the removal of excess phlegm to relieve respiratory congestion
• Increasing blood and lymph flow to assist the liver function in toxin removal and to encourage blood cell regeneration
• Preventing or reducing muscular atrophy typical of immobilization/inactivity through improving muscle tone
• Mechanically breaking down adhesions characteristic of post-surgical scar tissue

Tips for Working with HIV Clients
Some general guidelines for massage therapists to follow when working with HIV/AIDS patients include:

1. Being educated about HIV’s etiology and pathology
2. Performing a thorough client history
3. Surveying the client to ascertain there are no cuts, open wounds or bleeding
4. Surveying your hands to ascertain there are no cuts, open wounds or bleeding
5. Keeping your nails short so they don’t accidentally scratch the client
6. Washing your hands thoroughly with warm water and soap before and after massage
7. Rescheduling with an HIV client if you are sick, since their immune system is extra vulnerable to catching your own illness
8. Refraining from direct pressure on any open lesion, inflamed area or on a client with a circulatory system infection. Instead, choose point specific massage and avoid the affected area. Energy work can be used in cases of bacterial infection and fever.
9. Monitoring your client for dizziness, nausea or lightheadedness, as they may be experiencing a large toxin release. In this case, gentler work, shorter sessions and increasing hydration will serve the client.

Understanding that the safe and hygienic practice of massage therapy poses virtually no risk of HIV transmission will encourage the HIV-positive population to take advantage of the beneficial services bodywork offers. In addition to educating yourself on this disease, adhering to the nine tips previously mentioned will enable massage therapists to be a valuable addition to an HIV-positive client’s medical team. Since bodyworkers can positively influence both physical and psychological health, their unique personal touch can easily be the most therapeutic portion of HIV/AIDS treatment.

Recommended Study:
Infectious Disease: HIV/AIDS
Healing Energy and Touch
Swedish Massage
Shiatsu Anma
Lymphatic Drainage Massage

References:

Diego MA, Field, T, et al., HIV adolescents show improved immune function following massage therapy, International Journal of Neuroscience, January 2001.

Gnanakkan, Jacob, The Effects of Therapeutic Massage on HIV and AIDS Patients, Massage Today, September 2005.

Shor-Posner G., et al., Impact of a Massage Therapy Clinical Trial on Immune Status in Young Dominican Children Infected with HIV-1, Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, July/August 2006.

www.avert.org, Global HIV/AIDS Estimates: End of 2005, AVERT.org, May 2006.

www.thebody.com, A Healing Touch: Massage Therapy and HIV/AIDS, thebody.com, 1999.
© 2009 Institute for Integrative HealthCare Studies. This work is reproduced with the permission of the Institute. www.Integrative-Healthcare.org

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May 19 2009

Yuzu Essential Oil

Name: Yuzu Essential Oil.

Botanical Name: Citrus junos.

Common Method of Extraction: Steam Distilled or Solvent Extracted.

Color: Greenish orange.

Consistency: Thin.

Perfumery Note: Top.

Strength of Initial Aroma: Medium.

Aromatic Description: Fresh, delightful citrus aroma that resembles a combination of mandarin and grapefruit. Be selective in who you purchase yuzu essential oil from as some producers have been found to pass a citrus oil blend off as the more costly yuzu essential oil.

Possible Uses: Yuzu is well known for its use in personal fragrances. Limited reliable information exists on the use of Yuzu in other specific applications. Its pleasant aroma makes Yuzu a good candidate for uplifting diffuser blends intended to help with anxiety, depression and nervousness. Children are very likely to enjoy the aroma.

Constituents: Awaiting verification.

Safety Information: Limited reliable information exists. As a citrus oil, Yuzu Essential Oil may be phototoxic. Do not use if the area of application will be exposed to sunlight for 24 hours.

All Essential oils or highly concentrated, do not ingests or add directly to the skin. Always ask your trained massage aroma therapist on how to use any essential oils. These oils are used as a guide only.

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May 15 2009

Spearmint Essential Oil

Name: Spearmint Essential Oil.

Botanical Name: Mentha spicata.

Common Method of Extraction: Steam Distilled.

Color: Clear.

Consistency: Thin.

Perfumery Note: Top.

Strength of Initial Aroma: Medium.

Aromatic Description: Minty, slightly fruity aroma that is less bright than peppermint.

Possible Uses: Asthma, exhaustion, fever, flatulence, headache, nausea, scabies, vertigo. [Julia Lawless, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (Rockport, MA: Element Books, 1995), 59-67.].

Constituents: a-pinene, B-pinene, carvone, 1,8-cineole, linalool, limonene, myrcene, caryophyllene, menthol. [B. Lawrence, “Spearmint Oil,” Perfumer & Flavorist, December/January 1977, 31, cited in Salvatore Battaglia, The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy (Australia: The Perfect Potion, 1997), 200-1.].

Safety Information: Mucous membrane irritant. [Robert Tisserand, Essential Oil Safety (United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone, 1995), 210.].

All Essential oils or highly concentrated, do not ingests or add directly to the skin. Always ask your trained massage aroma therapist on how to use any essential oils. These oils are used as a guide only.

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