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Massage For Pain Relief
Francine Manuel, RPT, Isadora Rosenbaum, MA, Ernest H. Rosenbaum, MD

Massage For Pain Relief
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Another technique that can relieve generalized pain is massage. It is also a soothing technique for bedridden patients. Massage is useful in several ways. It can help reduce pain locally for up to one or two hours. Massage can also help achieve overall relaxation. You can use the following instructions to perform massage on the patient yourself; or you can teach someone else to do massage for the patient, perhaps a relative.

A comfortable position at the start is very important. No matter how soothing the massage is, the patient must be comfortable or he or she will not be able to tolerate the massage for very long.

There are four basic massage strokes: (The first two strokes are the most useful with bedridden patients.)
1. Effleurage-light and deep stroking.
2. Petrisage-kneading.
3. Tapotement-hacking or slapping
4. Friction-working with the fingertips

is the stroke used to begin every massage. The two types of effleurage are light stroking, used to relax the patient and deep stroking which actually empties the blood and lympatic vessels.

Effleurage is done very slowly. It is used to totally relax the patient and it begins and ends every massage. Start by placing your hands very lightly on the area massaged. Using the least pressure you can, run your hands over the area at a slow pace. Make full contact with the skin, using both hands. Once you begin keep your hands on the patient's body until you are finished. All strokes should be done in a continuous motion. After five minutes of light stroking, deepen the strokes in the direction toward the heart. Increase the pressure to a deep effleurage. Lighten the strokes going away from the heart. Be careful if the patient complains, youare doing it too hard. Massage should never hurt. That defeats the purpose of relaxation. Some people can tolerate only light effleurage and nothing more. Deep effleurage can be used to decrease edema. It should only be used with approval of the physician in charge.

can be done in two ways. You can knead the muscles with the palms or heels of your hands, or you can use your fingertips. In this stroke, you can actually pick the muscle tissue away from the bones and you work on the right areas to decrease muscle spasm. Again, it should not hurt unless the patient tells you it hurts good. This is the usual description of an effectively given petrisage.

Foot massage
is an excellent type of massage. It gives relief from pain and increases relaxation. It can relieve pain in other parts of the body. Use effleurage to begin with. Then go to petrisage if comfortable for the patient. Use friction for most of the foot massage. Then end with gentle overall light stroking of effleurage again.

More Physical Pain Relief Pages
Breathing For Pain Relief
Exercise For Pain Relief
Range Of Motion Exercises
Arm, Shoulder, Chest and Wrist Exercises
Hip, Knee and Ankle Exercises
Relaxation Exercises For Pain Relief

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