Can Massage Help Manage Symptoms of TBI?
Massage therapy has long been used to ease pain, provide comfort and address cognitive and neurological issues. Currently, there are many massage therapists who focus their practice solely on headaches, sports related concussions and other TBI related issues.
In addition to possible complications with a TBI, the practitioner has other concerns outside of simply following the typical known contraindications and precautions associated with pediatric massage therapy. Children are still developing and have not reached their full cognition levels. This can make communication challenging, until you learn how best to communicate with the individual patient. As always, the mobile massage therapist should seek guidance from the parents and healthcare team on how to best to seek permission and proceed with safe communication.
Physiotherapists work with individuals who have neurological conditions such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, or Parkinson’s disease to improve mobility and function. Find out more here.
In my time researching and writing about traumatic brain injuries, I’ve heard quite a few far-fetched and barely researched “cures,” “treatments,” and “therapies,” most of which I ignore entirely out of skepticism. For example, after continuous research supporting the need for rest after TBI, I find it hard to believe that “quick return to activity” is the secret to healing we have been missing out on all this time.
I’m similarly less-nclined to believe that massage may be a reliable and effective treatment for many of the symptoms relating to traumatic brain injury. But that doesn’t stop Massage Today, a magazine for the therapeutic massage industry, from sharing their own tips for “Using Massage to Ease Traumatic Brain Injury Symptoms.”
I will wait until I see academic research on the idea before I endorse it. Nonetheless, I find these potential treatments, therapies, or simple coping devices intriguing.