Article Archive

April 2018 (1)

February 2018 (1)

January 2018 (7)

December 2017 (1)

November 2017 (9)

October 2017 (7)

September 2017 (4)

August 2017 (5)

July 2017 (4)

June 2017 (1)

May 2017 (3)

April 2017 (4)

March 2017 (1)

February 2017 (2)

January 2017 (1)

December 2016 (5)

November 2016 (3)

October 2016 (5)

September 2016 (8)

August 2016 (6)

July 2016 (2)

June 2016 (1)

May 2016 (3)

April 2016 (9)

March 2016 (20)

February 2016 (2)

January 2016 (20)

December 2015 (8)

November 2015 (35)

October 2015 (49)

September 2015 (44)

August 2015 (38)

July 2015 (63)

This Week's Top Stories

  1. Nail biting: not just a habit
  2. About Counselling and the Menopause
  3. Anxiety, Panic & Claustrophobia: Case Study, Alison
  4. The Truth about Colonic Irrigation... from someone who actually knows what they're talking about
  5. Massage and Neuromuscular Techniques work for our more mature clients
  6. Digestive problems and how osteopathy can help
  7. The Truth About Habits
  8. F.E.A.R - Why does it have the power to stop you in your tracks and what can you do about it?
  9. What would you change?
  10. Why mums must put themselves first

Voluntary Therapy

Posted by Chris Penny

938 Days Ago


Some years ago my partner, who was already qualified as a massage therapist, decided to retrain as a canine massage therapist.  During the course, I found that I was picking up lots of massage skills by proxy – actions and insertions of muscles, massage techniques, benefits, physiology and more.  Rather than compete, I decided to train as a human massage therapist.  So now we offer AchyPaw Remedial Massage for Dogs and Massage by Chris for humans (and sometimes the owners of the four legged clients).  Our combined Facebook site is here : http://www.facebook.com/achypaw.

Since my own qualification as a Holistic Body Massage Therapist, I have undertaken several other courses including Reiki, Deep Tissue, Hands Free Massage and Animal Healing.

Interestingly there is a cross-over between the two disciplines – I’ve found human techniques working very effectively with animals and my human clients enthuse about having skin-rolling on their backs – a technique I learned from my partner and canine massage courses I’ve attended!

In addition to my regular clients, who I see in my treatment room, I have taken part in supporting events as part of therapy teams: these include The British Heart Foundation London to Brighton Trek, The Brighton Half Marathon and a Local Council sponsored Therapy Day for ‘older people with HIV’. Last year I heard of a local organisation which was looking for therapists to volunteer to offer a variety of therapies at a hospice to patients and carers affected by HIV, AIDS and associated conditions.  These days are twice each month and the clients are offered a range of therapies: holistic massage from myself plus other therapists who offer hands-free massage, Reiki and hypnotherapy.

I find those sessions incredibly fulfilling and the same is reported to be true also for the clients – the service feeds back to the therapists after every session.

There is plenty of evidence based and empirical research concerning the value and benefits of massage to patients with HIV (see Appendix for a couple of examples).  These and other articles conclude that massage therapy can play an important role in the lives of those infected with medical conditions as well as HIV and AIDS by complementing their existing medical team and regimen.  Specifically in relation to HIV/AIDS, massage therapy can help the patients cope with the various symptoms of, and also indirectly boost, the immune system. 

One of the reports evaluated several other studies across a range of age groups and across the disease spectrum from early HIV through late-stage AIDS.   These studies reported they found that massage therapy significantly improves self-perceived spiritual quality of life and improvement in total quality of life scores.   One study even found positive changes in immune function, in particular CD4+ cell count and natural killer cell counts, due to massage therapy.

Time and again the common theme I’ve had reported back from the group I work with is that the clients I have treated, during these volunteer sessions, really valued actually being touched.  Although HIV and AIDS does not have the same media presence these days (long gone are the scaremongering adverts of the falling tombstones) the stigma unfortunately still exists.  I treat each client as I would do any client adjusting my therapy appropriately to their physical condition. (One in particular sticks in my mind – the client had a ‘frozen shoulder’ and had been suffering with it – the next therapy day they were demonstrating the ‘new’ range of movement they had achieved since ‘Chris fixed it!’)

I am very grateful for the opportunity to be part of a team who can help enhance the quality of life of people living with, caring for or affected by HIV/AIDS – the physical and psychological realms, by providing the personal touch other therapies do not generally provide.

Appendix

Cutler L (2006). “Massage Therapy for HIV/AIDS”.  http://www.integrativehealthcare.org/mt/archives/2006/12/massage_therapy_1.html [accessed 25th September 2015]

Gnanakkan J (2005) “The Effects of Therapeutic Massage on HIV and AIDS Patients” Massage Today September  2005, Vol. 05, Issue 09

Hillier SL, Louw Q, Morris L, Uwimana J, Statham S (2010). “Massage therapy for people with HIV/AIDS”  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20091636 [accessed 25th September 2015)

Chris Penny

Article written by Chris Penny - Brighton

After 27 years as an aeronautical electronic engineer, followed by a change of direction to become a nurse, I trained to perform Holistic Body Massage (a Swedish/sports/deep tissue/hands free combination) and Reiki.
My FHT and CNHS Registered practice is based in Saltdean, East Sussex within easy reach of Brighton and the surrounding... [read more]

Massage Therapy
Reiki

View Profile


Find us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter

© Find a Private Tutor Ltd, 2014 / View our Privacy Policy / Website by Simon Hix.