Massage offers great benefits for people with Parkinson’s, Ataxia, Post-Polio and related conditions. The touch of a skilled massage therapist can make a big difference in day-to-day life. Do you know of someone who might benefit from massage?
For Massage Therapy Awareness Week, we are telling the stories of a few of our clients- maybe one of them will make you think of someone you know that could benefit from massage!
Mary F has a disorder that causes her muscles to tighten, cramp,spasm and rebel. It’s a rare condition called Dystonia. She has a lively intellect and loves to study ecology and evolution. But much of her spare time is filled with doing research on finding ways to mitigate Dystonia’s symptoms, and going to therapy appointments. Her physical capacity is limited. Having full range of motion, with ability to sit, stand, walk and even swim, she looks “normal”. However, her body is in a constant state of tension that makes her exhausted after a simple activities like a brief trip to the market. And her leg cramps make driving even a short distance nearly unbearable. Her body gets so tired, so quickly that she has to lie down often. So she gets massages weekly, and considers it a big part of her routine to reduce the symptoms of her condition without the unwanted side effects that go along with medications and injections. It also gives her some much-needed relaxation, since dealing with the everyday challenges feels overwhelming sometimes.
June is a vibrant, active retired Teacher. When she was in college, she had a mild case of Polio. She was blessed to have recovered quickly and without much neurological damage. However, it did leave her with Post-Polio Ataxia, a condition that makes her muscles fatigue very quickly. So she can do everything she wants to do, just not for very long. The muscles of her back and shoulders ache after a couple of hours of quilting. When walking around at Disneyland she must take frequent breaks to last throughout the day. She does lots of strengthening activities to keep her postural muscles strong, and likewise uses massage to maintain elasticity in her tired back and shoulders. Her regular massage sessions address the trapezius, levator scapula, and paraspinal muscles with kneading and trigger point release. She also responds very well to gentle compressive gliding on the pectoralis major to open the chest and release the tension of the upper cross posture patterns.
(names have been changed for privacy)
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