Certified massage therapist Jim Weiler will demonstrate the proper techniques of contra indications in classical Swedish/stress reduction massage.
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Jim Weiler: Hi! This is Jim with Piedmont Therapeutic Massage in the Washington DC area and next, I am going to talk about what are called contraindications. These are certain conditions, when massage should not be done and hence, termed contraindicated. Probably, the single most important contraindication is if someone has a condition thats referred to as thrombophlebitis. This is where they have blood clots, which are usually in the lower extremity in the leg, and usually in the lower part of the leg. A test that can be done to indicate, if someone has a blood clot, or thrombophlebitis is whats referred to as Homans sign. To do Homans sign, the foot and ankle are forcefully dorsiflected or the toe is pulled towards the head. You then give a squeeze of the calf if that intensifies the persons pain or symptoms, thats a good indication they may have a blood clot and they should be referred to the appropriate medical personnel to take care of that. There are a few instances and where harm has been done by doing massage, which is generally for the most part in normal situations or circumstances very safe and beneficial. This is where a layperson was performing a massage on their partner, a husband massaging the wife, or vice versa. The person did happen to have thrombophlebitis, blood clot in the lower extremity. The spouse was massaging that area to help the person to feel better broke the blood clot, lose and it traveled either to the heart and caused a heart attack or travel to the brain cause a stroke and ultimately death, which is something, we do not want. Some other contraindications where you may want to get clearance or approval from the appropriate medical personnel, is situations like cancer. Most oncologists are very supportive and encouraging for people who are receiving conventional, orthodox, western medical treatments to do whatever they want to make them feel better and massage is usually one of those. Some other instances where you may want to exercise some caution, is if a person has had a recent injury and there is inflammation present. There a several key signs that indicate inflammation that is pain, heat, redness or swelling. You can have anyone or a combination of those systems. Sometimes inflammation is not visible, but you can feel the area possibly compared to the other side and see that there is heat being generated and again heat is one of the indications for inflammation being present and that usually would want the application of ice.
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