When treating someone who is undergoing treatment for cancer you should have approval from their medical practitioner. Nowadays, massage is successfully used alongside cancer care as it can help the person deal with the emotional stress of the condition as well as minimise some of the side effects of the treatment. It is important to know as much as possible about the type of cancer involved and the effects of treatment. Some hospices and cancer resource centres offer training for massage therapists.
Whiplash/head or neck injuries/ slipped disc
Seek medical clearance as massage may worsen the condition; with old injuries, massage can reduce scar tissue, decrease pain and increase mobility.
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Pain is a signal of a problem somewhere in the body and although massage can help relieve pain by releasing endorphins (the body’s own natural morphine) the person should be advised to seek a medical diagnosis if pain is severe and the cause unknown.
Dysfunctions of the nervous system
Therapists should ensure that they gather as much information as possible about the particular condition. Although massage can ease stress and help to maintain mobility, over-stimulation may cause muscle spasm. In some cases, a shorter treatment may be more beneficial. The comfort of the client during treatment should be carefully considered. Conditions that therapists may encounter include the following.
This is a disorder of the central nervous system marked by weakness, numbness, loss of muscle co-ordination, and problems with vision, speech, and bladder control. Multiple sclerosis is thought to be an auto-immune disease, in which the body’s immune system destroys myelin, a substance that insulates nerve fibres, speeding up transmission of nerve signals.
This is a non-progressive disorder of movement resulting from damage to the brain before, during or immediately after birth. The most common condition is a spastic paralysis, leading to lack of balance and contracture of the limbs. Hearing and vision may also be affected.