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Dec 9, 2022

A client has pain, tension, and a specific referral pattern between her right shoulder and left leg. She was also born with a rare disease that affects her mitochondria, and that carries a host of complications, like high blood pressure, headaches, and diabetes.

Can massage therapy help reduce her tension, even if it is led by mitochondrial dysfunction? We ask that question and discuss on this episode of “I Have a Client Who . . .




Books of Discovery:  


Host Bio:        


Ruth Werner is a former massage therapist, a writer, and an NCBTMB-approved continuing education provider. She wrote A Massage Therapist’s Guide to Pathology, now in its seventh edition, which is used in massage schools worldwide. Werner is also a long-time Massage & Bodywork columnist, most notably of the Pathology Perspectives column. Werner is also ABMP’s partner on Pocket Pathology, a web-based app and quick reference program that puts key information for nearly 200 common pathologies at your fingertips. Werner’s books are available at And more information about her is available at   


Recent Articles by Ruth:       


“Working with Invisible Pain,” Massage & Bodywork magazine, November/December 2022, page 36,


“Unpacking the Long Haul,” Massage & Bodywork magazine, January/February 2022, page 35,


“Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy and Massage Therapy,” Massage & Bodywork magazine, September/October 2021, page 33,


“Pharmacology Basics for Massage Therapists,” Massage & Bodywork magazine, July/August 2021, page 32,    




Pocket Pathology:


Mitochondria (no date) Available at: (Accessed: 2 December 2022).


Mitochondrial Myopathies | National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (no date). Available at: (Accessed: 1 December 2022).


Mitochondrial Myopathy Fact Sheet | National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (no date). Available at: (Accessed: 1 December 2022).


Philadelphia, T.C.H. of (2019) Mitochondrial Myopathy. The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Available at: (Accessed: 6 December 2022).


‘Primary Mitochondrial Myopathies’ (no date) NORD (National Organization for Rare Disorders). Available at: (Accessed: 1 December 2022).