My Web of Trust

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

MASSAGE AS PREVENTATIVE HEALTH CARE

Could you use a little help keeping an eye out for your health?

How often do you check that mole in the middle of your back between your shoulder blades?

How about that small patch of skin on the back of your neck that has been changing texture over the last several weeks?

Did you notice the red spot behind your knee that just appeared within the last month?

Are your ankles slowly swelling?

Let me tell you a story:

I have a friend whom I have been providing weekly massage to for years now. Recently his son started having sore ankles and asked me for massage. The first time I gave him a gentle exploratory massage just to see what I could discern. I noticed that there was a bit of swelling in his ankles. I asked him to try keeping his ankles elevated above his heart especially in the evenings while he was relaxing. The next week I came by, the swelling was worse.

I must tell you I was not immediately alerted but when I got home I started doing some reading and research as I do with all of my regular clients who develop some interesting anomaly that I am not familiar enough with. The information I read alarmed me. I did not want to be an alarmist so the next week I told the son that I did not feel comfortable giving him massage at this time and asked him to check with his doctor and specifically bring up this swelling problem which now seemed to be advancing to his knees. His father informed me that his son had just seen his family physician the week prior and was given a clean bill of health. I held off on the massage that week and explained that I was a bit concerned and would like to do some more investigation into what could be going on in this young mans system.

Within that next week unrelated events occurred that alarmed mom and dad enough to take their son to the hospital emergency ward where they found out their son had a defective aorta with an infection significant enough to put him into emergency surgery to repair the valve and start on an antibiotic program to reverse the infection.

My observation was only one of many that were not tied together yet it made me acutely aware of the role I may sometimes play in the recognition of health issues in my clients.

While diagnosing illness is not in my realm of service I am in a position to observe conditions of change that may otherwise be overlooked by the client. This may very well be the subtle clue that leads you to “acquire” an early diagnosis to a problem or condition that may even be life threatening in the long term.

Give another thought to massage as another tool in your health care regimen.

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