Lupus and Massage
A guest column by Samantha Paige-Graeber, LMT
AMTA NY Chapter
Community Service Massage Team Chairperson
Massage reduces stress, increases energy and alertness, and much more. If you have Lupus, massage can help you take back control of the way you feel day to day. Many people with lupus tell us that they feel refreshed and relaxed after a session with a licensed massage therapist. Massage increases pain relieving endorphins (the feel-good hormones), and reduces inflammation and soreness—leaving you able to move more comfortably and therefore you will experience less of the exhaustion and physical pain of lupus.
A cautionary note: if you are experiencing a lupus flare up with possible fever, open lesions, a rash, or other signs or symptoms, you should postpone the massage. In addition, let the massage therapist know if you have been on corticosteroid therapy or any other medication. Deep tissue massage can exacerbate lupus. For these and other reasons, take time to communicate with the therapist what is going on in your body.
The best way to find good licensed massage therapist is by word of mouth! Ask your friends who they go to. You can also search for a therapist by ZIP code on the American Massage Therapy Association’s locator service at www.amtamassage.org You may check with the Yellow Pages or the NYS Society of Medical Massage Therapists.
In New York State a massage therapist must be licensed—it is the law. They must also be registered. A therapist's license can be confirmed by calling the NYS Board of Education at 1 518 474-3817 extension 570 or by going online to www.op.nysed.gov, click on online license verification and follow the instructions.
Not all states require massage therapists to be licensed. AMTA requires members to meet minimum education requirements, pursue continuing education and uphold its Code of Ethics. If you would like to be sure you are finding a qualified massage therapist in your area, consult the American Massage Therapy Association’s website www.amtamassage.org and click on the locator service.
Remember, the important thing is to make sure that the therapist is licensed and registered! The registration should be displayed, or shown to you if you ask to see it.