Assist Hemodialysis Patients with Acupressure Massage Therapy from a Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT

Published: 15th July 2010
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Hemodialysis is often prescribed for patients with end stage renal disease. It is a difficult time for the patients. One of the ways these patients can be supported through this period is with acupressure massage therapy given by a licensed massage therapist or LMT. Acupressure massage therapy has been found to be effective in easing the fatigue and depression among patients with end stage renal disease who are undergoing hemodialysis.

In this medical procedure, the patient is connected to a dialysis machine which filters waste products from the blood. The machine does what normal kidneys are supposed to do. In patients with renal disease, however, the kidneys are no longer functioning properly. Most often, two needles are used to carry blood from the patient to the dialysis machine and to return the filtered blood to the patient. A dialysis session can last for three to five hours and may be prescribed three times a week or more, depending on the condition of the patient.

A study entitled "The Effect of Acupressure with Massage on Fatigue and Depression in Patients with End-Stage Renal Disease" was conducted by Yi-Ching Cho, R.N. and Shiow-Luan Tsay, R.N., Ph.D. of the Department of Nursing at the National Tainan Institute of Nursing in Tainan, Taiwan and the National Taipei College of Nursing Graduate Institute in Taipei, Taiwan.

There were 62 participants in the study, all end stage renal disease patients undergoing hemodialysis. They were randomly assigned to an acupressure massage therapy group and a control group. Participants in the acupressure massage therapy group received 12 minutes of acupressure and three minutes of leg massage therapy three days a week for four weeks. Participants in the control group received the standard care for patients their condition for the same period.

During the acupressure sessions therapists used their finger pads to rub and press on acupressure points known to ease fatigue and depression. These are called the Zusanli, Sanyinjiao, Taixi and Yungchuan acupressure points. The pressure applied was equivalent to three to five kilograms. This was maintained for five seconds, with a one second release afterwards. Each acupressure point was treated for three minutes.

Assessments of the participants were done at the beginning and the end of the treatment period. Fatigue was measured through the Piper Fatigue Scale while depression was measured through the Chinese counterpart of Beck's Depression Inventory.

At the end of the study, participants in the acupressure massage therapy group showed lower levels of perceived fatigue and improved depression scores. Participants from the control group, on the other hand, showed no significant difference in perceived fatigue and in depression scores.

The study established the effectiveness of acupressure combined with other massage therapy modalities in alleviating the fatigue and depression of patients suffering from end stage renal disease and going through hemodialysis. They, therefore, recommended that these combined therapies be integrated into the standard care for patients in such conditions. In the words of Yi-Ching Cho, R.N. and Shiow-Luan Tsay, R.N., Ph.D., "Assessment of end-stage renal disease patients' fatigue and depression should be an essential part of nursing practice, and clinicians may consider providing acupressure therapy as a method for improving dialysis patients' fatigue."

Patients with end stage renal disease who are undergoing hemodialysis may be brought to licensed massage therapists (LMT) for acupressure massage therapy. A reliable and experienced licensed massage therapist is expected to have expertise not only in acupressure massage therapy but also reflexology massage therapy, shiatsu massage therapy, craniosacral massage therapy, deep tissue massage therapy, sports massage therapy and pregnancy massage therapy. Since LMTs often treat people who have been hurt in auto accidents, an LMT usually also does insurance billing for people in auto accidents.

David Jacob LMT - Licensed Massage Therapist
David Jacob
5406 SE 45th Ave
Portland, OR 97206
Phone: 503-522-5550
Email: pdxmassage@live.com
Website: http://www.pdxmassage.net


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