What do Cerebral Palsy, Banksy and me have in common? **

What do Cerebral Palsy, Banksy and me have in common? **

It is true, it has been a while since I have written a blog post and I am happy to say that this has taken second place to client interactions. There is only one of me and I have been getting busier. I LOVE what I do. I love it especially when clients report less pain, less muscle resistance, less stiffness of movement. Recently a Cerebral Palsy sufferer of many years approached me to start a course of relaxation therapy with me as he had heard of the beneficial effect my treatments have had on his friends who suffer from various other severe disabilities. I am not the sole answer to their ailments but I believe I can give them a helping hand to overcome the stresses and strains that have manifested in their physiology as a result of Life and all it’s shades of grey which they endure because of their disability. I make no apologies for regurgitating this information below. The Cerebral Palsy Group know what they are talking about. But to have the benefits of massage clearly defined for this particular congenital condition, is refreshing and informative, so I am literally sharing their findings without re-inventing the wheel…or the words…And even if you are lucky enough to have escaped this ailment, I invite you to please read on as you will be powerfully enlightened.

Massage Therapy Overview
“Massage therapy is centred on manual manipulation of muscles, ligaments, connective tissue and tendons, the body’s soft tissue. Massage methods vary and the therapy is used to achieve a number of goals.

Participating eases stress and anxiety, supporting physical and emotional well-being. The practice can be broken into two fundamental types of massage:

Relaxation massage – Widely utilised to ease stress and anxiety, this form of massage has a recreational aspect. Services are commonly provided in spas, resorts and wellness facilities.
Rehabilitative massage – Often conducted in medical clinics, hospitals and other health care facilities, rehabilitative massage strives to correct and improve physical conditions. Also known as clinical, therapeutic, medical and deep-tissue massage, this form of therapy has widespread benefits for patients battling illness and injury – including those with cerebral palsy.
For cerebral palsy patients, massage serves as an important adjunct to other treatment, particularly physical therapy, which is concerned with some of the same body structures. Through direct contact stimulation, massage therapists strive to improve muscle functionality and enhance quality of life for CP patients.

As a proven form of complementary medicine, massage therapy has many benefits. It has been shown to reduce stress, pain and muscle tension, and may also help with these conditions:

Headache
Fibromyalgia
Insomnia
Anxiety
Digestive disorders
Soft tissue strain
Joint problems
Massage Therapy and Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy presents wide-ranging symptoms, so comprehensive management of the disorder includes several forms of intervention. Massage therapy serves as complementary treatment, reinforcing the benefits of physical therapy, occupational therapy and other CP care. Benefits of massage therapy extend beyond physical structures, supporting a healthy mind, body and soul.

MIND
Massage contributes to balanced state of mind and is thought to enhance focus. According to studies cited by the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), massage therapy can help:

Reduce anxiety and depression – lending benefits similar to those gained during psychotherapy,
Increase brain activity associated with lowering anxiety,
Decrease hormones associated with increasing anxiety,
Decrease heart rate, diastolic blood pressure and systolic blood pressure.
The positive impacts of therapeutic massage may also reduce the effect of attention-deficit disorders, helping young cerebral palsy patients excel academically and keep pace with school curricula.

BODY
The physical benefits of massage are not limited to the musculoskeletal system. Various massage techniques also enhance circulatory and lymphatic functions, moving blood and releasing toxins. Massage can also promote respiratory health.

Massage therapy improves range of motion, in some cases and relaxes muscles. It can also have a positive effect on posture, reinforcing healthy structure and movement. Dozens of variations target particular muscle groups, maximizing the therapeutic value of massage among those with CP.

SOUL
As part of a holistic regimen, massage therapy reinforces physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. Massage techniques are performed in relaxing settings, lifting stress and encouraging healing and balance.

What is Massage Therapy?
Massage therapy is targeted manipulation of soft body tissue. The therapy uses manual stimulation to apply pressure or friction, and move muscles and tissue. Dozens of massage variations are directed at particular parts of the body, addressing the needs of each subject. Massage provides benefits in these areas:

Muscles
Tendons
Joints
Ligaments
Organs
Lymphatic system
Connective tissue
Circulatory system
MASSAGE TECHNIQUES
Massage therapists apply pressure over the skin to achieve various results. Using their hands, fingers, elbows, forearms, knees and mechanic aids, therapists utilise assorted massage methods to improve outcomes for CP patients. Therapy may include these and other techniques:

Pressure
Friction
Holding
Joint manipulation
Rocking
Stretching
Kneading
MANUAL AND MECHANICAL AIDS
Massage therapists sometimes utilise manual and mechanical aids to maximise the benefits of CP therapy. The special equipment and materials reinforce results and add to the positive physical and psychological contributions of massage therapy.

Cold packs
Manual massage tools
Oils and lotions
Massage tables and chairs
Self-massage tools
Thermal wraps
Heated or cooled stones
Rollers
In addition to physical gains, cerebral palsy patients participating in therapeutic massage may experience emotional and psychological improvements. Medical massage may be recommended to:

Reduce muscle tension and stiffness
Increase range of motion
Relieve muscle spasms
Reduce stress and tension
Add flexibility
Stimulate circulation
Manage pain
Support overall health and wellness
Reduce swelling
Improve posture
In practice, massage therapists may use multiple techniques to achieve the desired results. Deep tissue procedures are most beneficial for chronic muscle problems associated with cerebral palsy. In contrast to various forms of relaxation massage, deep tissue therapy uses slow, deliberate strokes to release chronic tension.

By applying pressure or friction against the grain of the muscle and reaching deeper layers of tissue, massage therapists effectively reduce stiffness and spasticity experienced by those with cerebral palsy.

How Does Massage Therapy Affect Organs and Body Systems?
The positive effects of therapeutic massage are not limited to surface musculature. On the contrary, massage can yield positive gains across the body’s organs and major systems. Massage therapy can provide benefits to the following systems:

Circulatory
Digestive
Lymphatic
Nervous
Respiratory
Skeletal
Endocrine

Make medical diagnoses
Prescribe medication
Furnish psychological recommendations
Perform surgery
Provide nutrition counselling
Perform cosmetic procedures
Does Massage Therapy Have Risks?
Most people are not at risk undergoing conventional massage. However, massage may not be recommended when certain conditions are present. Massage is not appropriate for patients experiencing these and other complaints:

Healing wounds
Bleeding disorders
Deep vein thrombosis
Fractures

SOURCES USED IN THIS ARTICLE
COMTA
AMTA – Massage Therapy + Mental Health
Mayo Clinic – Stress Management
Northwestern Health Sciences University – What is Massage Therapy?”

The above abridged article is from the Cerebral Palsy Group

If you have any Massage Therapy related questions you would like to discuss please use the contact form on my site and I will respond asap.

Sincerely

Jules
PS the answer to the title question is simply the correlation I have created …it’s only my opinion… between the non answerable confusion of why this disease exhibits, the frustration Banksy portrays in his images about life as I see it and the humble solution I can offer to enduring and managing this condition with mind body and soul resolution for as long as possible by massage therapy.
Please note : Both images in this blog are from photos I took when I attended the public Banksy Exhibition at The Tropicana, in Weston-Super-Mare, 21st August 2015

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