How Massage Therapy for Parkinson’s Patients have Shown Miraculous Results
Parkinson’s is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system, which impacts millions of people all over the world. The number of patients suffering from Parkinson’s is increasing rapidly globally. Basically the disease is caused due to dysfunction in the basal ganglia in the brain. This area helps in controlling various kinds of voluntary movements in the body. The dopamine-producing nerve cells in the brain start degenerating and gradually lead to Parkinson’s.
What is dopamine and its function in the body?
Our brain comprises of various kinds of neurotransmitters and dopamine is an important one among them. The function of this neurotransmitter is to stimulate motor neurons, which help in controlling different kinds of muscles. When the production of dopamine is depleted in the brain, the motor system nerves are not able to control movements and co-ordinations. It is quite sad to note that by the time the first symptoms of Parkinson’s appear, almost 80% or more of dopamine-producing cells are lost in the brain. Symptoms of Parkinson’s can set at any time. But since this is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system, the average age at which the problem starts is 60 years.
Some of the most prominent symptoms of Parkinson’s seen in the body include rigidity, tremors, difficulty with handwriting, difficulty in walking, impaired body balance, loss of clarity and volume of speech, loss of automatic movements in the body etc.
Massage therapy and Parkinson’s:
Curing Parkinson’s completely is not possible. With the help of different kinds of medications and physical and speech therapy, the symptoms can be kept under control. In some severe cases, surgery is also recommended, but not much benefit can be gained from the same. Along with all these attempted measures, there is another therapy, which has shown miraculous results for Parkinson’s – the massage therapy. With this therapy, Parkinson’s patients have shown considerable improvements in functioning and movements. Here are the potential benefits of massage therapy for patients suffering from Parkinson’s:
Helps in increasing blood circulation in the body
Massaging has extremely positive results on the body and the holistic healthcare results on Parkinson’s have been proved. Medical researchers have proved that massaging helps in improving blood circulation all throughout the body. And when this happens, there is a positive effect on the central nervous system in the body.
Helps in reducing muscle spasms
Rigidity and muscle spasms are some of the most common symptoms in people who suffer from Parkinson’s. It has been seen that massage therapy helps in alleviating these symptoms considerably. As per reports from Institute for Integrative Healthcare Studies, massage therapy is not enough for relieving abnormal muscle activity, but it can definitely help in improving function. It has been seen that patients of Parkinson’s who undertook 15 minutes of massage sessions while lying flat on their stomachs followed by 15 minutes of bodywork, while lying on their backs showed considerable reduction in less tremor activity and muscle spasms.
Helps in getting more restful sleep
As per reports from Massage Therapy Foundation, it has been proved that effective massaging helps in inducing improved sleep in Parkinson’s patients. With massage therapy sessions, lesser tension in the muscles and decrease in tremors were seen in patients. Urine tests were also carried out in many patients and they proved to show lesser stress hormones, thus making the patient calm and relaxed. Restful sleep for a long time was induced with less restlessness and wakefulness during sleep. Some patients opined that they enjoyed 10 hours of restful sleep at a stretch with massaging.
Helps in improving digestion and removes toxins from the system
Digestive dysfunctions are quite common in patients suffering from Parkinson’s. Massage sessions help in reducing cortisol levels in the body along with removing harmful toxins from the system effectively. Many Parkinson’s patients suffer from chronic constipation and other digestive disorders. Abdominal massage helps in removing the obstructions and the discomfort associated with the same successfully. With proper digestion and toxin removal, physical as well as emotional well being of the Parkinson’s patient is ensured.
Betters range of motion
Muscles in patients suffering from Parkinson’s are under continuous contraction and trembling and thus there is no scope of rest or recovery. With lack of blood circulation, oxygen does not reach to the muscles and they are not rejuvenated. As a result joint functions and range of motion are hampered. The patient reaches to a ‘frozen’ state, where he practically becomes immobile. With regular massaging the range of motions in the body is improved.
Including massage therapy for Parkinson’s patients should be mandatory.