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Pathology for Massage Therapists


Gall Stones (cholelithiasis and cholecystitis)
Definition: crystallized cholesterol combined with bile in the gall bladder may cause inflammation of gall bladder
Causes: high fat diet, improper digestion, toxic liver, hormonal changes as in pregnancy or birth control pills or estrogen replacement therapy.
Signs/Symptoms: often no symptoms until it moves to block the bile passageway; then nausea, vomiting, pain in the upper right abdominal quadrant to right shoulder may occur
Indications: Castor oil packs to relieve pain
Contraindications: Refer to appropriate health care practitioner for immediate detoxification and diet modification.  Surgery may be necessary in extreme cases.
Links- Natural Medicine Online

Definition: inflammation of the stomach
Causes: may be caused by irritant such as alcohol, aspirin, sensitivity to food, stress (excess stomach acid)
Signs/Symptoms: pain, belching, nausea
Indications: Massage for stress reduction
Contraindications: Refer to appropriate health care practitioner for treatment and to rule out more serious problems

Gastrointestinal Reflux Disorder
Definition: heart burn due to malfunctioning esophageal spincter muscle that closes the esophagus and prevents stomach acid from surging upward
Causes: hormonal changes such as increased estrogens, hiatal hernia, excessive acidity due to improper diet, stress, vertebral subluxation, improper or inadequate digestion
Signs/Symptoms: burning sensation in the stomach or chest
Indications: Massage for stress reduction, Visceral manipulation.
Contraindications: May have to be sitting up or with head higher than stomach to relieve symptoms.  Refer to appropriate health care provider for nutritional, diet and lifestyle changes.

Genital Herpes
Definition: sexually transmitted disease
Causes: virus; outbreaks may be stress induced or related to intake of certain foods such as almonds, barley, grains, chicken, chocolate, popcorn, corn, dairy products, meat, nuts, peanuts.
Signs/Symptoms: may have no symptoms; painful, fluid filled blisters that are highly infectious, painful urination
Indications: Massage for stress reduction
Contraindications: follow strict hygiene care, highly contagious:  avoid working points around sacrum as it may trigger an eruption

Definition: sexually transmitted disease
Causes: bacteria
Signs/Symptoms: may have no symptoms; painful urination and cloudy discharge
Indications: Massage for stress reduction
Contraindications: Follow strict hygiene care, highly contagious:  Refer to Physician

Definition: type of arthritis that affects the joint of the big toe, foot , ankle, fingers
Causes: too much uric acid in the blood, tissues caused by lack of digestive enzyme called uricase that oxidizes uric acid. Also may be related to intake of consumption of alcohol, meat and lack of water.
Signs/Symptoms: redness, swelling, extremely sensitive and painful joints; usually the big toe or foot but may be other joints too.  Definitive diagnosis is to test fluid in joint.
Indications: Massage for detoxification
Contraindications: May not be able to touch inflamed area; work above.  Refer for nutritional, dietary and lifestyle changes.

Graves Disease -see Hyperthyroidism

Guillain- Barre
Definition: inflammation of peripheral nerves
Causes: viral, flu shots, autoimmune disease, infections, surgery, Hodgkin's Lymphoma.
Signs/Symptoms: rapid onset of weakness, paralysis, tingling in hands and feet
Indications: Massage for stress reduction; Sensation may be limited.
Contraindications: Refer to appropriate health care provider.
Links-  Guillain-Barre Syndrome Foundation
Guillain-Barre Association of New South Wales

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