Parkinson’s and Massage

old person seated on a table with parkinson's puzzle

Parkinson’s disease is a brain disorder that causes unintended or uncontrollable movements, such as shaking, stiffness, and difficulty with balance and coordination. Symptoms usually begin gradually and worsen over time. As the disease progresses, people may have difficulty walking and talking. (1)

The mechanism behind Parkinson’s disease.

So far, we know that Parkinson’s affects more men than women.

Regarding the mechanism behind Parkinson, we have to look into the loss of neuro cells in the Basal Ganglia, a brain area that controls the body’s movement.

Brain image and Basan Gaglia
Brain image and Basan Gaglia, area of the brain involved in Parkinson’s disease.

These specific neuro cells produce a brain substance called Dopamine, which is related to body movement.

Still, scientists don’t know what can make the cell in the Basal Ganglia die.

Along with the loss of dopamine production in the Basal Ganglia, for those who suffer from Parkinson, there is also to consider the loss of the nerve endings that produce norepinephrine.

Norepinephrine is the primary chemical messenger of the sympathetic nervous system (SNS).

As the Sympathetic Nervous System controls many automatic body functions, such as heart rate and blood pressure, this can explain how the symptoms related to Parkinson’s itself.

Parkinson’s disease Symptoms

  • A tremor in hands, arms, legs, jaw, or head
  • Muscle stiffness, where muscle remains contracted for a long time
  • Slowness of movement
  • Impaired balance and coordination, sometimes leading to falls

Other symptoms may include:

  • Depression and other emotional changes
  • Difficulty swallowing, chewing and speaking
  • Urinary problems or constipation
  • Skin problems

How can massage help?

Scientist suggests that massage can help reduce muscle stiffness and rigidity, symptoms often found in Parkinson’s patient.

Massages are also suitable for reducing stress and promoting relaxation.

Said so, receiving a massage enables the patient to individualism what is more sensitive to the touch and what can promote more benefit if stimulated.

Indeed, at the end of the massage, specific exercises can focus on relieving tension from that body’s area.

At Melbourne Massage and Treatment, Giovanni offers various services that can help reduce tensions with Parkinson’sons’ disease.

Since Parkinson’s is a condition found mostly in older people,  treatments like Myotherapy, Remedial Massage and MLD could be more indicated.

Said so, regarding MLD, we always want to double confirm that there is no other condition, related or not related to Parkinson that could be partial or absolute contraindications.

 

Reference:

1) https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/parkinsons-disease

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