Pathology I for Massage Therapists


Dietary, Nutritional and Botanical Interventions to Reduce Pain and Inflammation – Alex Vasquez, DC, ND

Neurogenic Inflammation: How Diet Can Feed Inflammation, Pain, and Chronic Disease – David Seaman, MS, DC, DACBN


Definition: highly contagious skin infection

Causes: bacterial

Signs/Symptoms: reddish discoloration of skin developing into vesicles with a yellow crust; usually found in children

Indications: Massage to increase circulation and detoxification for healing.

Contraindications: Avoid contact with immediate area. Refer to Physician for treatment.


Definition: “the flu”; infection of the upper respiratory tract

Causes: viral; 200 or more different viruses.

Signs/Symptoms: headache, fever, fatigue, body aches, chills, dry throat, cough, nausea, vomiting,

Indications: Light massage may assist in healing; May make it worse too.

Contraindications: Refer to appropriate health care practitioner for immune support at first sign of sickness to speed up recovery time.  If caught early enough, the effects can be reduced.


Definition: habitual sleeplessness

Causes: stress, grief, caffeine consumption, sugar consumption, anxiety, muscle tension, drug reaction (antidepressants, antihistamines, thyroid replacements), hypoglycemia, lack of calcium and magnesium, poor nutrition, other diseases of the endocrine, digestive system

Signs/Symptoms: tossing and turning, waking up in middle of night unable to fall asleep again.

Indications: Massage to reduce tension, relax, stress reduction

Contraindications: Refer to appropriate health care practitioner for treatment.

Pub Med Study – Cortisol decreases and serotonin and dopamine increase following massage therapy.

Digital Naturopath – Insomnia

Medline Plus – Sleep disorders

WebMd sleep disorders guide

Basic Clinical Massage Therapy: Integrating Anatomy and Treatment (Lww Massage Therapy & Bodywork Series) (Hardcover) – by James H. Clay, David M. Pounds

Clinical Massage Therapy: Understanding, Assessing and Treating Over 70 Conditions (Paperback)
by Fiona Rattray (Author), Linda Ludwig (Author)

Travell & Simons’ Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual (2-Volume Set) (Hardcover) – by David G. Simons, Janet G. Travell, Lois S. Simons, Barbara D. Cummings

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Definition: digestive disorder; muscular contractions of digestive tract become irregular and uncoordinated; digestion and elimination are impaired.

Causes: viral or bacterial, stress, poor diet, overuse of antibiotics, antacids, laxatives

Signs/Symptoms: abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, headaches, vomiting

Indications: Massage for stress reduction, peristalsis if needed.

Contraindications: Refer to appropriate health care practitioner for treatment.

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