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Jul 24, 2020

A client recovering from a stroke seems to have given up on getting any better. His massage therapist would like to help, but what can they do? Pathology educator Ruth Werner dives into an "I have a client who ..." story with a description of stroke, how it affects function, and the role of massage therapy in this context. This is a complicated situation that also involves ethical boundaries, communication skills, and some ideas for options that manual therapists might pursue for their clients with this central nervous system injury.

Additional resources you might be interested in:


Durai Pandian, J., Toor, G., Arora, R., Kaur, P., Dheeraj, K. V., Singh Bhullar, R., & Sylaja, P. N. (2012). Complementary and Alternative Medicine Treatments Among Stroke Patients in India. Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation, 19(5), 384–394


Sibbritt, D., van der Riet, P., Dedkhard, S., & Srithong, K. (2012). Rehabilitation of stroke patients using traditional Thai massage, herbal treatments and physical therapies. Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Xue Bao = Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine10(7), 743–750


Thanakiatpinyo, T., Suwannatrai, S., Suwannatrai, U., Khumkaew, P., Wiwattamongkol, D., Vannabhum, M., Pianmanakit, S., & Kuptniratsaikul, V. (2014). The efficacy of traditional Thai massage in decreasing spasticity in elderly stroke patients. Clinical Interventions in Aging, 9, 1311–1319


Werner, Ruth (2008). Potential for Recovery in CNS Injuries. Massage & Bodywork September/October 2008 Issue. 


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Ruth Werner