Tag Archives: abdominal surgery

THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF MASSAGE THERAPY

In an attempt to understand how and why massage therapy is as effective as it seems to be, scientists and medical researchers from around the world have been studying it for decades. Some characteristics of massage therapy have been conclusively resolved with apparent consensus among the learned scholars, while other characteristics remain as inexplicably mysterious as ever. For instance, they all agree that when a certain amount of pressure is applied to a soft tissue such as a muscle, some changes occur within the affected muscles. They also all tend to agree that massage therapy promotes relaxation and reduces the stress which often leads to deterioration or worsening of certain physiological conditions.

Those characteristics of massage therapy which have not yet been explained by conventional science, gave rise to a number of theories and postulates. You will note that they are all prefaced with the word might to indicate uncertainty as they described possible health benefits of massage therapy:

* Might provide stimulation that may help block pain signals transmitted to the brain and this is called the gate control theory of decreasing or alleviating pain.

* Might promote better health by stimulating the lymphatic system to increase the flow of lymph, which is the secretion that carries disease fighting cells through the body.

* Might re-route the clients nervous system away from the sympathetic to the parasympathetic. In doing so, the fight-or-flight reaction of the sympathetic nervous system with its increased heart and breathing rates along with tightened muscles of distress are shunned in favor of the rest-and-digest reaction of the parasympathetic nervous system with its lowered heart rate, slowed breathing and relaxed muscles.

* Might be instrumental in effecting beneficial changes in the body by preventing fibrosis through the process of breaking up scar-like tissue

* Might arouse the body to discharge chemicals such as serotonin or endorphins which area known to give people the feelings of wellbeing.

* Might improve sleep patterns which is essential to pain control and healing processes.

* Might contribute to the overall mental and physiological health by the intimate interaction between the client and the therapist.

The following are specific cases and their reported benefits whether they are understood or merely observed with bewilderment:

* Students at a New Jersey Medical School who were given massage therapy before an exam displayed less anxiety, lower respiratory rates, a substantial increase in white blood cells and an enhanced immune system.

* Cancer patients at the James Cancer Hospital and Research Institute in Columbus, Ohio experienced less pain and decreased anxiety after receiving massage therapies than those who did not get such treatments.

* Studies at the University of South Carolina show that women who recently lost a child were less depressed after massage therapy.

* The National Institutes of Health (NIH) found that massage therapy improved weight gain in infants who were premature or those who were exposed to HIV. They also determined that massage therapy expedites recovery in patients who had abdominal surgery.

* Researchers at the University of the Miami School of Medicines Touch Research Institute discovered that massage therapy decreases high blood pressure, relieves migraine headaches, and generally increases alertness and performance in the workforce.

* Many additional studies confirm that massage therapy reduces heart rates, lowers blood pressure; increases blood circulation and lymph flow; relaxes stiffened and tense muscles while stimulating weak and inactive muscles to compensate for lack of movement due to an illness or an injury; speeds up the healing process after surgeries, disease and injuries; improves the range of vision; increases endorphins; reduces anxiety, tension, depression, pain and itching in burn patients; and Autistic children exhibit calmer and more predictable behavior.

So, is massage therapy beneficial? Yes! Massage therapy is beneficial on, oh, so many levels. The mechanics of the process may not be clear just yet, but the outcomes are undeniable by anyones standards.

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Appendicitis in Kids

Many children have their appendix removed even before turning the age of fourteen. And the risk starts to peak as they age. Majority of children who get an abdominal surgery is because of appendicitis. Appendicitis is actually appendix inflammation and as a result, a fingerlike tube grows on the lower right part of large intestine. Appendix is located at the closed end of the larger intestine, known as the cecum, and measures up to many inches. Although, doctors say that the appendix isnt of much help to the body, but appendixs inner wall releases antibodies, which are produced by the lymphatic tissues.

Appendicitis can be detected by the onset of pain in the middle portion of the abdomen, the portion above the belly button. After a few hours the area will swell and there will be intense pain when touching the abdomens right side. The patient will begin to vomit and will have nausea. There will low fever and there will be problems will gas and stool passage. Some people, after the onset of these symptoms, will take laxatives or enemas mistaking appendicitis for constipation. But this is extremely dangerous, as these medicines will in turn increase the risk of the appendix bursting. So it is recommended to consult the doctor before going for any kind of medication, even any pain relievers. Besides increasing the risk, they even mask the symptoms and makes diagnosis even more hard. If the childs symptoms are very much similar to that of the appendicitis symptoms, he should be immediately taken to the doctor for further diagnosis. The doctor will first study the childs digestive illnesses history. He should also be divulged information about the symptoms, timing, bowel movements and its frequency. The stool should also be checked for mucus or blood. Children, who can communicate, can be asked to point out the location of pain in the abdomen. Toddlers who havent started talking or who hesitate to do talk will raise their knees close to the chest, hips will be flexed and the abdomen becomes tender.

Although, the actual cause of this abnormal growth of the appendix is not known, but it can result because of some kind of obstruction or infection in the intestines. The obstruction can be created due to thick mucus build-up inside the appendix. Some part of the stool can also enter inside. There will be mucus formation and the stool will harden within resulting in the swelling up of the appendix. If it is an infection, it should be treated immediately, as it can burst and there is a danger of the infection spreading to other parts of the body via bloodstream. That is the reason why even blood test is done, so as to determine whether the infection has spread or not. The urine test is done to check for problems in the urinary tract. The problem is then confirmed with the help of computed tomography or an ultrasound. Sometimes children with pneumonia have the similar symptoms, so to make matters clear even X-ray of the chest is done. Medical attention must be sought within forty eight hours of the start of the abdominal pain. Sometimes, abdomen develops mild inflammation, many weeks before the diagnosis is done.

After the diagnosis is done and appendicitis is determined, appendectomy is performed on the patient. The doctor will immediately order the intake of antibiotics before the surgery is performed. In case of confined appendicitis, it can be treated solely by antibiotics and no surgery is required. This is because the inflammation is very mild and the body itself fights with the infection. But, still as a precautionary measure, such kinds of patients must be kept in observation until their condition becomes stabilized. If the appendix ruptured then appendicle perforation is done. In this procedure, a drain is inserted inside the skin, through the abscess with the help of CT scan or ultrasound which gives the exact location. Some people develop complications later such as wound infection and accumulation of puss inside the appendix.

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