Types of Massage Strokes

Now we get to the real meat: what methods there are to perform a massage. This isn’t really a ‘how-to’ guide: by far the best way to learn massage is by watching somebody else do it, and having them teach you in person. A little experimentation can be no bad thing, but attempting to teach yourself massage can be confusing and potentially even dangerous. I’ve tried to indicate which strokes could cause damage if performed incorrectly.

Above all: if it hurts, stop! Massage isn’t about contorting your body in unnatural ways, and if you’re hurting somebody you’re probably doing something wrong. With that, on to the strokes.


History of Massage

Many people would argue that massage has been practiced for thousands of years, and that we can find evidence of it in the earliest recorded civilizations. As we will see, there is a large element of truth in this, but perhaps also an element of wishful thinking. We can be fairly sure that in the ancient world – China and India, Greece and Rome – some ‘massage-like’ activities were known. This doesn’t mean that they were doing anything identical to modern massage, and certainly not that they thought of it in the same way.


The evidence for massage in Egypt is based on interpretations of Ancient Egyptian art. This is naturally an imperfect science, but there are tomb paintings which appear to show some form of massage in progress. Proponents of reflexology have gone further: on the basis of a painting which shows one Egyptian touching the feet of another, they have claimed that reflexology was practiced in this culture.


Benefits of Massage Therapy

Why have so many cultures made massage part of their lifestyle? Because massage works. It works as a social tool: between friends, between parents and children, between lovers. It works as a medical method: despite the basic hostility of the medical community to any ‘alternative’ treatment, doctors have come to accept the benefits of massage for relaxation, for improving the circulation, and for treating certain medical conditions. It works for maximizing the performance of athletes and sportsmen, as the development of sports massage has shown. It works for the young and the old, in professional and personal settings.

Emotional benefits

Massage is pleasant. Hardly a revelation, but it’s important to remember this when we delving into the medical literature, or into heated debates over the benefits of massage. The good feeling that you get after a massage is hard to test and quantify, but no less real for that.

Researchers Search for Lupus Answers

One of the oddities concerning lupus is that the medical profession really does not know what the cause of it is. There are theories and there are conclusions based on what they think but they have not yet been able to conclusively link the disease to one particular cause or trigger. Research continues as doctors and scientists try to crack the secrets of lupus. But so far they do not seem to be getting close to any answers that will help them find a cure or preventive measures.

Currently there may be as many questions as there are theories. For example, studies are being conducted to try to determine why this disease seems more significantly likely to occur in women than in men. Is there a hormonal aspect to it that makes this difference? Why does lupus attack African Americans, Asians and Hispanics more than Caucasians?

Medications for Lupus

To fight lupus a person must be prepared to take an assortment of medications based on their needs at that moment. These can be broken down in several groups depending on what the purpose of the drug is. The average patient dealing with lupus can count on using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, commonly referred to as NSAIDs, anti-malarial medications, corticosteroids and immunosuppressives.

Each one has its uses and some will work better for some patients then for others. But all of them will be reviewed by the health care provider to determine which are best for their patients based on the condition and needs of the individual.


NSAIDs are a type of medication, most often bought over the counter like ibuprofen and acetaminophen. Or they can be prescribed if the health care provider feels something just a little stronger would be better. These are a milder kind of anti-inflammatory that can give relief when the patient is suffering from swelling of the joints and joint or muscle pain.

Organ Damage in Lupus

One of the most serious issues with lupus is the damage that can be done to a person’s organs. How extreme the damage is will be dependent on a couple of factors. The first one will deal with how fast the illness is diagnosed. The quicker someone recognizes that the health issues they are dealing with is more than a flu that will not go away, an early onset of arthritis or the lasting pain of a minor injury the faster their health care providers will be able to put them on medication to slow down the diseases’ ravishing and stop the damage being done.

The other consideration is how strong the disease is. Lupus will affect each individual differently. It can be mild, and so not very difficult to deal with. It can be severe and so require aggressive medical intervention to bring it under control or it can be anywhere in between the two extremes.

Kidneys Vulnerable

DHEA for Lupus

As research continues to try to determine the causes of lupus and what to do to improve the quality of life for those who are suffering from it one thing that keeps coming up is the hormonal influence on this disease. There is no doubt that it plays a role.

One example of this is the fact that for many a flare-up of lupus will first appear during pregnancy. Another example would be the fact that very few cases come up after a women has gone through menopause. Lupus often develops when the body is going through hormonal rebalancing.

Hormonal Imbalance

For some people the imbalance of female and male hormones, estrogen and androgen, can make symptoms worse. Many studies have been conducted using mice. There is no doubt that the female mice suffer the symptoms much worse than the males.

Hair Loss from Chemotherapy

Many patients suffering from cancer also have the devastation of facing hair loss from chemotherapy. Not every cancer drug used in chemotherapy will cause hair loss. It is a common aftereffect with this treatment. The hair loss will vary from thinning to a loss of hair. Hair can be lost from all part of the body including pubic hair.

Hair loss will start appearing over a period of a few days or not happen for weeks into the therapy. The hair will come back in about six to eight weeks. When the hair comes back, it can come back different then what the patient is used to. When my mom lost her hair, it went from straight and always needing a perm, to curly.