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My husband was recently diagnosed with MS.... as a massage therapist I have been doing some research on line in regards to this disease. I have to admit to being overwhelmed and would love to hear some direction or input in regards to what is the best treatment for MS clients?

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I have found that just general swedish can be very effective in managing this. Because of the sedative nature of the work it can really help to calm the CNS.
Hey Laura,

Be sure to assess your husband thoroughly before each massage as symptoms may change from day to day.

As you know, massage is contraindicated during periods of exacerbation.

While in remission, massage may be performed.

But, if he is fatigued, weak, or debilitated, reduce treatment time to 30 minutes and use lighter pressure to avoid further fatiguing him.

Because nerve transmission is reduced, you cannot completely relay on his feedback regarding pressure so be cautious with any aggressively applied techniques

I hope this helps.
Susan,

Thank you. That was what I needed confirmation on in regards to the contraindication... somewhere the Trager method came up? Are you familar with this?

Susan G. Salvo said:
Hey Laura,

Be sure to assess your husband thoroughly before each massage as symptoms may change from day to day.

As you know, massage is contraindicated during periods of exacerbation.

While in remission, massage may be performed.

But, if he is fatigued, weak, or debilitated, reduce treatment time to 30 minutes and use lighter pressure to avoid further fatiguing him.

Because nerve transmission is reduced, you cannot completely relay on his feedback regarding pressure so be cautious with any aggressively applied techniques

I hope this helps.
Thanks Nate... I have been working with the swedish strictley and will continue. I appreciate your insight.

Nate Ewert said:
I have found that just general swedish can be very effective in managing this. Because of the sedative nature of the work it can really help to calm the CNS.
Laura,

Yes, I am familiar with in Trager (took the training in 1985) and it would be an excellent choice in technique. Just adapt to his signs/symptoms.

For example, if he has a visual impairment (common with MS) adapt to that.

During advanced stages of MS (such as mobility impairments and the use of wheelchairs, etc) adapt to that too.

Good luck and I will keep your family in my prayers.

Laura Sarmiento Solem said:
Susan,

Thank you. That was what I needed confirmation on in regards to the contraindication... somewhere the Trager method came up? Are you familar with this?

Susan G. Salvo said:
Hey Laura,

Be sure to assess your husband thoroughly before each massage as symptoms may change from day to day.

As you know, massage is contraindicated during periods of exacerbation.

While in remission, massage may be performed.

But, if he is fatigued, weak, or debilitated, reduce treatment time to 30 minutes and use lighter pressure to avoid further fatiguing him.

Because nerve transmission is reduced, you cannot completely relay on his feedback regarding pressure so be cautious with any aggressively applied techniques

I hope this helps.
Laura, my sister was diagnosed 9 years ago at age 40, and is maintaining an active lifestyle, full time, high-profile job as director of a regional rape crisis center. Her approach is pro-active, always researching the latest and discarding what doesn't work or feel right for her.

On Friday afternoons she self-injects an interferon RX, adjusts to its effects by staying in bed weekends. It's easier now that her son is 18 and she has a supportive husband. By Monday AM she is ready for work driving herself everywhere. She walks unaided some days, using a wheelchair or walker (always in her car) as needed for long walks or being on her feet for long. Whole, unprocessed foods are working best for her.

Early on she had a personal trainer friend design a home-exercise program she can do at home, and the trainer comes once a month to assess her ability. She receives regular chiropractic and massage therapy too. She says regular exercise sessions (slow and steady) chiropractic adjustments and MT are keys to maintaining an active life during the week.

On a side note, both my sister and a client of mine recently diagnosed with MS have broken wrists from falls. They tell me that everyone's experience is different, but that wrist and arm injury are common. Both have developed a sense of humor about their various falls, but they will tell you the humor came only with practice!

A special interest in MS may not be what you'd ever hope to have, but I notice I am now attracting more clients with MS, and learning more about it myself regularly. If there is a protocol for revesing the demyelinating process, I want to spread the word.

www.emedicine.medscape.com has very good descriptions and overviews of various presentations of MS. Blessings to you both.
Ellen,

Sorry had to step away for a few. It is wonderful to hear a positive side to MS. My husbands trade is a carpenter/cabinet installer and his strength is no longer there in order for him to continue his line of work. Because it is so new to him, I know that he is still trying to accept his disease.... I belive he will have to go through occupational training. We will be seeing a nuerologist this month to get the type of MS he has. Thanks for your insight.
Laura

Ellen Stetson said:
Laura, my sister was diagnosed 9 years ago at age 40, and is maintaining an active lifestyle, full time, high-profile job as director of a regional rape crisis center. Her approach is pro-active, always researching the latest and discarding what doesn't work or feel right for her.

On Friday afternoons she self-injects an interferon RX, adjusts to its effects by staying in bed weekends. It's easier now that her son is 18 and she has a supportive husband. By Monday AM she is ready for work driving herself everywhere. She walks unaided some days, using a wheelchair or walker (always in her car) as needed for long walks or being on her feet for long. Whole, unprocessed foods are working best for her.

Early on she had a personal trainer friend design a home-exercise program she can do at home, and the trainer comes once a month to assess her ability. She receives regular chiropractic and massage therapy too. She says regular exercise sessions (slow and steady) chiropractic adjustments and MT are keys to maintaining an active life during the week.

On a side note, both my sister and a client of mine recently diagnosed with MS have broken wrists from falls. They tell me that everyone's experience is different, but that wrist and arm injury are common. Both have developed a sense of humor about their various falls, but they will tell you the humor came only with practice!

A special interest in MS may not be what you'd ever hope to have, but I notice I am now attracting more clients with MS, and learning more about it myself regularly. If there is a protocol for revesing the demyelinating process, I want to spread the word.

www.emedicine.medscape.com has very good descriptions and overviews of various presentations of MS. Blessings to you both.
Hi Laura
I dont know if you are Reiki trained but am sure it would help.I find it can soothe mental anguish, at what must be a difficult time (for you as well).

Regards steve
I have been collecting articles on MS and things related to massage and have them posted on my site. I was tested for it in 2000 but it was inconclusive. It is linked to the HH6 virus from what little research I did back then

http://thebodyworker.com/pathology-M.htm

Julie
Hi,

I worked with a client who was diagnosed with MS a couple of years ago. I did Chi Ni Tsang (sp) with her found that to be extremely effective. Also I practiced/performed Swedish/deep tissue on her for a period of four months weekly. Her symptoms subsided to where now she just gets occasional tingling in her feet. (Apprently a common symptom for MS sufferers)

She thinks that the bodywork was a major factor in her recovery. She also did this without taking expensive medicines.

Do I think this would work with every one, probably not, but it probably for some it would.

MS is a scary disease, IMO the sooner you start getting after it the higher chances of success.

For me what I do is ask myself if I can help this person and see what feeling or answer I get back. I've found that when the answer is a strong yes, success is assured. I always try to work within the boundaries of whats comfortable for the person if that helps. I just feel that on any disease you have to push back, the sooner the better. Bodywork IMO is one of th best ways to holistically push back.

Jason
I work on several MS clients. One thing that has been of benefit to them all is foot work. Dorsiflexion issues seem to be a large contributor in walking problems. Also hip issues. Check some Structural Integration work on these areas. Recommended sources (DVD and classes); Erik Dalton, Art Riggs, James Wasleski. The work I have learned from some of these incredible teachers on DVD is why I have been able to help MS clients. I have I would suggest that rather than look for "massage techniques for MS", which so far as I know does not exist, that you assess where you husband is having problems and learn how to treat those issues.
Laura,
I am new to this group. I have been massaging almost 10 years. I have MS! Yes, that is true. I work 4 days a week, and it is exhausting, but I love it. I have had 2 major episodes in 5 years. But I find the positive attitude I carry is the key to everything. When first diagnosed, I learned Reiki to help myself. It is amazing. I am a Reiki Master, and it is a good healing tool. I rarely have problems other than the fatique. But I think if one is positive, that is the big key. I do take an injection every evening at dinner time. No big deal. Maybe I am lucky, but I am mostly happy! I think masage and Reiki have saved me. And Yes, I do used deep pressure, and work on 4 clients a day. It's about being positive no matter what!
Patty in PA

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