Parkinson’s Disease and the Benefits of Massage Therapy

Bodywork therapy can provide tremendous relief to people suffering from a multitude of diseases, Parkinson’s disease being one of them. Parkinson’s disease, also called Parkinsonism, is a disorder of the central nervous system, and results in involuntary movements of the body. The disease results from the degeneration of dopamine-producing nerve cells in the brain. Some symptoms include tremors, slow movement, rigidity, and poor balance. Since western medicine has yet to find a cure for Parkinson’s disease, many people are turning to various forms of alternative treatment methods for relief, including massage therapy.

Although massage therapy is not to be considered a cure for Parkinson’s disease, it can offer valuable therapeutic symptom relief. Many people suffering with this disease experience severe muscle pain and tightness, which can be alleviated with manual therapy. If you are already working with, or are thinking of working with a client who has Parkinson’s disease, make certain you are aware of ALL medications they may be taking, as there may be serious massage contraindications present. Many medications prescribed for those with Parkinson’s disease often have side effects that can deter certain forms of massage from being performed. It is also important when working with these clients that you maintain close contact with their physicians.

You may need to alter your normal massage session slightly to better accommodate your Parkinson’s patient, but the results will prove worth the effort. Studies have shown that receiving regular massage treatments can reduce tremors and improve overall daily functioning, which is a huge triumph for someone with Parkinson’s disease. Your clients will be grateful for helping them reduce their frustrating symptoms, making massage therapy an ideal form of treatment.