Massage offers Guillan-Barre sufferers a more comfortable recovery
July 3, Toronto, ON – Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) is the most common cause of acute paralysis in North America and Europe being diagnosed 80-120 times per week in Canada and the United States. Registered massage therapy may now be able to assist with patient comfort during illness and recovery from GBS.
July 14, 2010 By Massage Therapy Canada
GBS is a neurological disorder in which
macrophages of the body’s own defense system strips myelin from axons in the peripheral
nervous system (PNS). It may result from the immune system’s response to
food-borne bacteria (Campylobacter jejuni; 40 per cent of cases), viral
infections (ie Epstein-Barr), surgery, or the swine flu vaccination (very rare
less than 1 out of 1 million vaccinated).
Also called acute inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy, GBS is
characterized by a quick and severe onset usually developing into a medical
emergency as numbness and tingling in the extremities progresses from the feet
up to flaccid paralysis bilaterally. It
may advance to the loss of function in the respiratory muscles with approximately
30 per cent of its victims requiring assistance by ventilator. Loss of
sensation moving in an ascending, or proximal, direction accompanies excruciating pain usually settling into the
hips, back and pelvis. Symptoms progress in quantity and intensity for two to
three weeks before they level off, usually because of medical intervention such
as high-dose intravenous immunoglobulin therapy or plasmapheresis. Most
patients make a full or partial recovery in about 18 months, although 15 per
cent remain paralyzed and 5 per cent die.
Registered massage therapy can help patients suffering from GBS. GBS
is challenging to treat as it attacks several body systems at the same time in
varying degrees. A common denominator
for patients is the intense pain suffered and loss of control of their limbs. Patients
deteriorate drastically from the very first day admitted in hospital as the
disease controls their bodies. There are severe cases with symptoms of
decreased sensation, paresis and
numbness in their feet and lower limbs,
pain in their gluteals and back proliferating systematically within
hours ,and days, into situations such as Bell’s Palsy, total body weakness,
altered sensation, extreme pain, dizziness, rigid muscles, and atrophy to the
point of needing wheelchairs.
Registered massage therapist Paul Lewis has found success with his
customized GBS Treatment Plan, by treating patients upon hospital admission.
Initially Lewis provided treatments of three hours, three days per
week based on the patient’s pain and presenting symptoms. It was found that
after these specific GBS massage treatments, the clients were in better spirits
and reported that they were in less pain. The neurologists
on site, and the patients’ family doctors, were impressed with the results of
the therapy and have acknowledged that the specific massage treatment be an
integral part of these patients’ more comfortable recoveries.
Lewis, an accredited and approved provider – NCBTMB (USA), CMTO
(Canada), FHT (Great Britain) –is a fitness instructor and creator of ‘Lewis
Circles’ self-care exercise featured on YouTube, a Certified Reflexology
Healthcare Provider and world known educator. He believes that his patient-focused
treatment plan for Guillain-Barre Syndrome should give other sufferers hope for
a more comfortable and speedy recovery. The
complete detailed Treatment Plan for GBS will be available to therapists
For more information on Paul Lewis and the upcoming Treatment Plan for
GBS, please visit www.paullewis.ca.
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