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Pathology for Massage Therapists

Macular Degeneration
Definition: degeneration of the macula (part of retina that is for fine vision); progressive visual loss
Causes: free radical damage, atherosclerosis, hypertension, hereditary, environmental toxins
Signs/Symptoms: loss of vision; slowly or suddenly, does not affect color or peripheral vision.
Indications: Massage for detoxification, stress reduction
Contraindications: Refer to appropriate health care practitioner for treatment; detoxification, lifestyle and diet changes needed; bilberry extract.

Meniere's Disease
Definition: inner ear disturbance
Causes: cervical misalignment, hormonal changes or imbalances, poor circulation, TMJ, allergies, carbohydrate metabolism problem
Signs/Symptoms: dizziness, hearing loss, loss of balance, nausea, vomiting, ringing in the ear
Indications: With referral from physician, after ruling out brain dysfunction or tumors; realign C1, craniosacral work, TMJ realignment, stress reduction
Contraindications: Refer to appropriate health care practitioner.

Definition: infection of the meninges that lies between the brain and the skull
Causes: viral, bacterial
Signs/Symptoms: high fever, sore throat, red or purple skin, stiff neck, headache, delirium, changes in temperament and extreme sleepiness
Indications: N/A
Contraindications: Highly contagious! Refer to Physician

Menopause Related Problems
Definition: "Change of Life" for women in which ovulation stops and menstruation ceases indicating the end of fertility.
Causes: hormonal changes, production of estrogen and progesterone decreases significantly; problems caused by improper diet, inactive lifestyles throughout life and hereditary
Signs/Symptoms: hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, fatigue, dizziness, headaches, anxiety, depression, bladder problems, heart palpitations, insomnia
Indications: Massage for stress reduction, detoxification, self awareness, relaxation of tension
Contraindications:  Refer to appropriate health care practitioner.  Most symptoms can be reduced or eliminated without hormone supplementation if lifestyles are adjusted in the early 30's. Hormone supplements need further research.

Definition: vascular headache
Causes: excessive dilation or constriction of the brain's blood vessels; hormonal changes, stress, improper diet, food allergies, constipation, liver malfunction, emotional stress, bright lights, low blood sugar, dental problems, TMJ, changes in weather, triggerpoints in neck, shoulders and back
Signs/Symptoms: throbbing pain, vision disturbances, nausea, vommiting, tingling and numbness in the limbs, weakness, may want to be in a dark room
Indications: Massage for stress reduction and detoxification; release triggerpoints in neck, shoulders and upper back, craniosacral, postural alignment, ice/heat; if caught early enough before becoming full attack, migraine may be eliminated or reduced.
Contraindications: If in acute stage, client may not want to be touched. May need dark room for treatment.

Definition: pigmented, fleshy growth of skin
Signs/Symptoms: watch for changes in color, size
Indications: Massage ok
Contraindications: Refer to Physician when changes occur

Definition: infectious viral disease
Causes: virus; Epstein Barr related virus
Signs/Symptoms: fever, fatigue, body aches, sore throat, swollen lymph nodes in neck, bumpy red rash, can damage liver
Indications: N/A
Contraindications: Highly contagious; Refer to Physician

Multiple Sclerosis
Definition: progressive degenerative disease of the central nervous system; "multiple scarring"
Causes: autoimmune, stress, malnutrition, chemical poisonings, mercury poisoning
Signs/Symptoms: dizziness, mood changes, eye problems, numbness and tingling in hands and feet, muscular stiffness, fatigue, weakness, breathing difficulties; myelin sheaths that cover nerves are destroyed; periods of remission, urinary problems such as incontinence and frequency of urination
Indications: Massage for stress reduction and detoxification, maintain mobility, reduce pain.
Contraindications: No heat treatments. May be on high doses of steroid drugs. Refer to appropriate health care practitioner for treatment. Holistic Dentist to remove mercury fillings. Bee Venom Therapy.
Links - Alternative Therapies
         MS and food - also by Chet Day
         National Multiple Sclerosis Society

Muscular Dystrophy
Definition: a group of muscle disorders
Causes: hereditary
Signs/Symptoms: atrophy of muscles; no nerve involvement
Indications: Massage to reduce tension, stress reduction
Contraindications: Refer to appropriate health care practitioner.
Link - Muscular Dystrophy Association

Myasthenia Gravis
Definition: weakness of the skeletal muscles
Causes: autoimmune disorder;  abnormality in the neuromuscular junction that prevents the muscle from contracting
Signs/Symptoms: affects the muscles of the face and neck most often, may have trouble with eyes, swallowing, chewing and talking
Indications: Massage for stress reduction
Contraindications: May be on steroids or immune suppressants. Refer to appropriate health care practitioner. Have thyroid checked.

Myofascial Pain Syndrome (myofibrositis)
Definition: pain and or autonomic phenomena referred from active trigger points with associated dysfunction
Causes: trauma, nutritional deficiencies, fatigue, overwork, stress
Signs/Symptoms: headaches, trigeminal neuralgia, pain, tenderness with palpation, referred pain, hypertonic muscles, decreased circulation to the area of tenderness
Indications: Massage to relieve pain, trigger point therapy, break up adhesions and hypertonic muscles
Contraindications: none; refer to appropriate health care practitioner.
See Trigger point Therapy

Definition: nearsightedness; light comes to focus in front of the retina
Causes: eyestrain, fatigue
Signs/Symptoms: teary eyes, fatigued eyes
Indications: Massage for stress reduction
Contraindications: Refer to Bates Vision eye specialist for eye exercises.

Myositis Ossificans
Definition: inflammation of muscle cells leading to ossification ( turns to bone)
Causes: trauma, bruising, contusions, parasites, congenital, hereditary, progressive degenerative disease
Signs/Symptoms: pain, swelling, tenderness
Indications: None
Contraindications: Refer to Physician

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