Thursday, 19 February 2009

Massage and Pathology

Massage and Pathology
Photo by melodi2.
I have always had a keen interest in how the body works. When I was younger, I was a member of St Johns Ambulance Brigade. Even as an Assistant Scout leader, I regularly attended First Aid courses. Unfortunately, I have let the training slip in recent years but it is something I would like to take up again. You never know when it might come in handy!

Before training to be a Holistic Therapist, I worked as an auxiliary nurse on a Respiratory and Palliative Care ward at Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham. Working at the hospital fuelled my interest in the human body and I enjoyed learning about different conditions, symptoms, treatments, medication and the like. After leaving work at the hospital, I returned to college to study towards a Diploma in Anatomy & Physiology. And this was where my path to all things holistic started.

As a Holistic Therapist, I come in to contact with clients on a daily basis that have a wide variety of ailments - some minor and some more severe. Quite a number of these clients take prescription medication and/or supplements for their ailments. I feel it is important for me to know as much as I can about different ailments, their symptoms, how they affect my client (both physically and emotionally), and how they are treated, as it helps me to understand my client fully; allows me to tailor my treatments to their specific needs; and enables me to advise on ways in which they can help alleviate the symptoms if possible.

So to continue on my knowledge quest, I recently purchased a book called Massage Therapist's Guide to Pathology by Ruth Werner. It was quite an expensive book but it was well worth the money. With 740 pages and a resource CD-ROM, there is heaps for me to read and learn about the body.

So what is Pathology? According to Dictionary.com, Pathology is the science or the study of the origin, nature, and course of diseases.

The book provides detailed information on more than 200 different diseases. By becoming familiar with the signs and symptoms of theses diseases, it will enable me to recognise conditions for which massage is appropriate; where massage must be used with caution or modifications; for which massage is contra-indicated generally or locally; and for which massage is inappropriate. Please note, this does not mean that I can or will diagnose a condition – it just means that I can offer and/or advise on the correct holistic and/or conventional treatment for that condition. It also helps me to know when to refer a client on to another professional, for example a chiropractor, a doctor, or a counsellor.

So far I have only flicked through the book but it looks great. Lots of detailed, colour photographs of skin conditions and it mentions which holistic treatments are suitable for each ailment and whether any modifications are required.

I hope to write about some of the ailments and how massage and other holistic therapies can help here on this blog. I’m very interested in learning about Osteoporosis as I have recently taken on several clients with this disease. Although it will not help strengthen or bring back the density of the bones, massage can help to relax the muscles around the bones and bring some pain relief to the client.

1 comment:

  1. I always do feel in safe hands with you... now I know why...