Massage Therapy Offers Support for Clients with Lupus

Jenny Baltazar’s, LMT, RYT article from the 5/15/18 edition of Institute for Integrative Health Care reminded us all that most people can safely receive massage. Lupus is a chronic, autoimmune disease. Painful inflammation is often a daily reality for people with it. Muscle and joint pain, swelling, and damage to the body systems are common. Flares or flare ups are a severe expression of the symptoms and can run the gamut from mildly uncomfortable to life threatening. Massage therapy’s main goal is to increase blood flow; inflammation, joint pain, and chronic muscle pain are all reduced by massage. Light, myofascial techniques can help soften and release adhesions and tightness in muscles that are sore and irritable. Gentle compression techniques can help to flush the tissues and bring fresh blood to joints, muscles, and skin. Overall, the increased movement of blood and other fluid decreases inflammation, thereby decreasing swelling and pressure. Jenny recommends that therapists communicate with all other practitioners treating a patient with lupus.


Massage is a Non-Invasive Way to Protect Your Heart and Giving Massage Builds a Strong Heart for the Elderly

Jenny Baltazar, LMT, RYT’s 3/26/18 article from Institute for Integrative Healthcare A Non-Pharmaceutical Approach for the Aging Heart displayed that giving and receiving massage (ultimately, a professional form of the human touch) is beneficial and needed for the human body! Pre-hypertension is one way of predicting cardiovascular disease. In a 2013 study, researchers found that pre-hypertensive women benefitted from 10-15 minute massages (10 sessions over 3.5 weeks). There was a significant lowering of overall blood pressure for these women. Most remarkable was that their blood pressure remained lower for up to 3 days after each session. Once an adult has primary hypertension, massage therapy is also an effective intervention to help protect the heart. In a study done with patients who were older with primary hypertension, Swedish back massage significantly lowered blood pressure. They received 2 10-minute Swedish massages to their back, per week, for 12 weeks. Diastolic and Systolic pressures were found to be lower after each session. When a group of volunteers that was elderly gave massage to infants at a preschool, over 3 weeks, they displayed less anxiety and depression, as well as less stress hormone levels!


Christy Cael’s article, from my latest ABMP’s Massage and Bodywork, was full of palpation tips and client homework! The muscle is one, of the four SITS, that make up the rotator cuff, which has the important preventative job of stabilizing the shoulder (glenohumeral) joint. This joint is the most mobile in the body, which is why it’s also the least stable. Independently, they help to move the shoulders and arms!

Force Distribution in the Foot

In my second-to-last edition of ABMP’s Massage and Bodywork, Christy Cael emphasized that the human body adjusts, instantly, to forces during weight-bearing activities. Specifically, our ankles are rigid and stable because of this. Our joints send dysfunction all the way up to our lower back if that adjusted information is not heeded.

Statin Use and Massage Therapy

In my second-to-last edition of ABMP’s Massage and Bodywork, Ruth Werner investigated the safety of patients taking statins receiving massage. Really, she targeted SAMS (statin-associated musculoskeletal symptoms). She and her investigation found that a person CAN safely receive massage while using statins and experiencing SAMS; this is because, as always, the therapist should ask questions and still continually communicate with the patient for as long as that patient is their patient!

Massage Alleviates Muscle Soreness After Exercise

From my last edition of ABMP’s Massage and Bodywork, a systematic and meta-analysis published in Frontiers in Physiology found the following after analyzing 11 articles that involved 504 participants: Muscle soreness ratings decreased significantly when the participants received massage therapy compared to ratings when the participants did not receive massage therapy. The therapy also improved muscles’ maximal isometric force and peak torque. Researchers say that these findings suggest that massage therapy, after strenuous exercise, could be effective for alleviating delayed onset muscle soreness and improving muscle performance.

Exploring the Dorsal Scapular Nerve

Whitney Lowe wrote another informative, enlightening, and chocked-full-of-reminders one still in the latest edition of ABMP’s Massage & Bodywork! His very first sentence, which reiterated that nerves do NOT react well to compression and/or irritation, set it all up for us therapists! He then talked of entrapment of the nerve by the middle scalene muscle and other muscles, scapular winging, and dysfunction feedback loop. Lastly, he described the 3 main causes of the nerve pathology and how massage treatment should probably be light pressure!