Pathology: Contraindications and Indications for Manual Therapy
Look up over 150 medical conditions below
The following is an excerpt from ‘A Massage Therapist’s Guide to Pathology’ by Ruth Werner and Ben E. Benjamin.
It is posted on this website with the kind permission of the publisher based on the following conditions:
· No printed or electronic copies of this posted text shall be made, except for the private usage of the reader
· Copyright remains with Lippincot William & Wilkins, 1998
· Class room reproduction to students – either directly from this webpage or from the book itself – requires also prior permission of the publisher.
· If this webpage text is hyperlinked from another domain, it is important that the link goes to the very beginning of this text (i.e. before and not after these copyright notes).
· Robert Schleip highly recommends the purchase of this book by Ruth Werner and Ben E. Benjamin for any practitioner of deep tissue manipulation as well as other somatic practitioners. The following excerpt is only a small portion of the book, which is at the appendix of the book, called ‘Quick Reference Chart’. The main part of this book (489 pages) contains a much more detailed description of most of the conditions. The chart below often includes under ‘condition name’ a reference to a specific page number in the book, which then contains usually 2 to 4 pages of detailed information about this condition and why and how massage might be contraindicated or indicated, as well as specific cautionary notes and recommendations for the practitioner.
Text of Excerpt:
Quick Reference Charts: Read this first !
This appendix provides a reference for massage students and practitioners who need fast answers to simple questions. It is not intended as a substitute for reading the complete article for each condition, and will not provide enough information to make a well informed decision without that background. Some conditions, however, are not detailed in text. These have been marked with an *.
Several things are important to remember while using these quick reference charts:
• The label "indicated" does not mean that a condition will always be improved by massage. It means that massage will not make the situation worse, and the support and comfort massage gives can certainly be beneficial to the client, if not to the particular condition.
• The term "massage" refers to circulatory‑based massage that has a direct effect on blood and lymph flow. If a condition is labeled "contraindicated," it's usually because the influence of massage on circulation would have a negative impact on the client. This does not necessarily rule out touch altogether, however, and many conditions that contraindicate vigorous circulatory massage are perfectly appropriate for less mechanically based bodywork modalities.
• When massage is considered appropriate or indicated, it is a systemic recommendation. When massage is contraindicated, guidelines for whether those cautions are local or systemic have been provided.
• The specific kind of impact that massage may have on various conditions is discussed in the complete articles rather than here in the abbreviated version.
The most important thing to remember is that it is impossible to make a foolproof judgment about whether massage is a good choice strictly from a book. Every client is different; every practitioner has a different kind of approach. These recommendations are just that: recommendations that may help to shape well‑informed decisions about the appropriateness of massage.
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