Massage is a traditional practice that involves the manipulation of muscles and delicate tissues in the human body. It is sometimes regarded as conventional medicine in some countries due to its popularity and success although it is part of CAM (National Institutes of Health, 2007). A massage is a form of healing that provides benefits ranging from treating several health complications to improving an individual’s well-being.
Evidence of therapy
Despite its value, massage does not require prescribed classes and additional qualifications (Sechi, 2003). However, proper procedures must be followed in the application. When properly administered by a practitioner, massage provides no side effects. There are several techniques and practices which range from kneading and rubbing to various forms of muscle and tissue manipulation with varying pressure and movement. The hands, fingers, elbows, and palms move in different patterns to create calm and reduce stress in patients (Rich, 2002). The main purpose of massage is to relax the muscles, enhance the flow of blood and oxygen to the body system, and lower overall pain.
An aspiring massage specialist must be conversant to specific topics related to the human structure and how to relate with clients. These include physiology, anatomy, kinesiology, first aid, and ethical and legal issues. One is thus able to work in a variety of fields including hotels, medical institutions, and other clinical environments (Calvert, 2002).
A session would usually last for around thirty minutes depending on skill and the rate of the healing process (Rich, 2002). The client must bring up concerns on medical history, and the cause and nature of stress before offering the therapy. Evaluations of the patient are administered through touch to ascertain that the process would provide healing rather than worsen the condition.
Massage is used by most citizens simply because they deem it as cheaper than conventional medicine. Its combination with conventional medicine leads to faster healing. It involves the use of aids like oil, heat, or machines which offer more attractive results than modern treatment facilities (Sechi, 2003). The therapy must nevertheless not be used to replace or delay conventional treatment without a proper recommendation from a doctor.
There are some situations where massage is not advisable. Individuals affected by a blood clot problem or bleeding disorders may further damage their bodies if this remedy is not properly administered. Tumors weakened bones, and damaged nerves are areas where massage is not permitted. A health care provider must always be consulted before massaging a pregnant woman, a cancer victim, or an individual suffering from heart disease (Calvert, 2002).
The credibility of the sources
The credibility and reliability of information from the sources are convincing. The book by Grant Jewell Rich offers evidence of the effectiveness of massage in a clinical setting. Both the book and the article broaden and heighten awareness of the effect of massage. The book on the history of massage gives an insight into how massage has been implemented in different fields, in several parts of the world.
Implementation of massage into practice
With a greater percentage of women undergoing breast reconstruction, nurses and other medical practitioners are incorporating additional methods in their practice to improve the client’s surgical experience and complement healing. It helps to reduce swelling or tightness, and accelerate the exclusion of bruises from the site of an operation. I plan in implementing this form of therapy while handling clients who undergo plastic surgery despite the global recession.
The massage begins three or four weeks after the surgical procedure. The process would normally be administered 4-8 times a month. Further training on the massage techniques is necessary to ensure effective implementation of the massage. It would be useful before and after the operation environment. The cost, expectations, and pain experienced through surgery often lead to depression. Ensuring that the patient is relaxed and has minimal anxiety before the surgical process is part of the process of a successful operation.
A combination of the different massage methods is part of my objective in implementing the therapy. Swedish massage, aromatherapy, and neuromuscular techniques are among the common methods. All the techniques have their uniqueness; hence there would be the need to consult with both the plastic surgeons and the patient to identify the best combination of treatment.
Effectiveness of the therapy
The effectiveness of massage before and after surgery is extensive (Calvert, 2002). Its integration into practice has proven beneficial following the positive feedback received from my clients. Reduction of stress is essential before surgery. Most clients are usually much tense and may contemplate postponing the operation till they feel more comfortable. Recent studies have proved that this therapy raises the levels of valuable chemicals in the human system which promotes relaxation. Hormone levels that are responsible for raising stress are also reduced (Sechi, 2003). It improves a faster return of lymphatic depletion from the site of operation especially those who have undergone tummy tucks. This reduces swelling and hastens the clearance of bruising.
The clients reported several benefits of the therapy, resulting in an exceptionally pleasant experience. The anticipated pain that patients fathom is significantly reduced by massage, which interferes with the nerves linking pain and the brain. The pain caused by engorgement and tightness of muscles caused by surgery is also eased. The edema caused by either simple or total mastectomy is also reduced hence invigorating the immune system.
Massage has reduced scarring of patients thus leading to softer and smoother skin. Protecting an injured part from further impairment is part of the healing process (Sechi, 2003). The formation of tough, fibrous tissues is further hastened by the massage process. The combination of the different forms of massage techniques has been increasingly successful.
Lessons learned in the implementation of the therapy
There are various lessons understood which will be immensely useful in my practice in the future. Some patients initially fear the process of massage and feel that it is too coarse or may add pain after the surgical procedure. However, after a few gentle touches, most clients significantly relax and see the results after only the first session. There are several psychological benefits of massage after the distress of surgery. The experience of compassion and tenderness helps create a relationship with clients who may be shy to disclose some information, which may otherwise lead to their speedy recovery. Retention of the patient in the medical institution becomes much easier.
The repercussions of plastic surgery are common in several patients. Swelling, scarring, pain, and depression are some of the symptoms. Medication may be prescribed for some of these symptoms, for example, pain and relaxation, but massage, in general, reduces the duration of time required for dosage. It significantly aids in the healing process (Sechi, 2003). Massage accelerates the healing process by eliminating the buildup of toxins that occur after breast reconstruction. This increases the motion of blood thus bringing nutrients to the tissues underlying the skin. Flexibility and sustenance are restored to the area of surgical operation.
Working with plastic surgeons necessitates positive interaction processes to ensure that the clients receive the appropriate massage techniques. The before and aftereffects of surgery must be fully understood ensuring positive impacts of the therapy. I have also learned that there are situations when a massage is not advisable. The period before starting the massage process also depends on the intensity of surgery or whether the patient still has stitches (Sechi, 2003). Massaging patients who are undergoing radiation is also dangerous.
Calvert, R. (2002). The history of massage: an illustrated survey from around the world. Vermont: Inner traditions/ bear & company.
National Institutes of Health (2007). Massage therapy. Medicinenet.com. Web.
Rich, G. (2002). Massage therapy: the evidence for practice. London: Elsevier Health Sciences.
Sechi, D. (2003). Massage basics. New York: Sterling publishing company, inc.