Home

Massage and other manipulation therapies

Related article: Pain

Massage, chiropractic, manual lymphatic drainage, and other manipulation therapies have been touted to alleviate symptoms of chronic disease. Those patients who are sicker or in an earlier stages of the Marshall Protocol (MP) have found that deep tissue massage can generate intolerable symptoms. These patients may want to avoid massage or any other therapies which cause a certain amount of tissue damage. Patients who want to try massage should start slowly and do only what feels beneficial and tolerable.

According to some patients, other more gentle manipulation therapies like craniosacral therapy or manual lymphatic drainage appear to improve symptoms.

For most conditions treated with a manipulation therapy, reviewers have concluded a lack of effectiveness or lack of well-conducted clinical trials.

Types of manipulation therapies

  • Acupressure – A traditional Chinese medicine technique derived from acupuncture. In acupressure physical pressure is applied to acupuncture points by the hand, elbow, or with various devices.
  • Chiropractic – A health care profession that focuses on diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system, with special emphasis on the spine, under the hypothesis that these disorders affect general health via the nervous system. Collectively, systematic reviews of chiropractic have not demonstrated that spinal manipulation is effective, with the possible exception of treatment of back pain.1)
  • Craniosacral therapy – Gentle manipulation technique somewhat similar to light massage that is directed towards freeing the flow of cerebrospinal fluid. Some believe impeded flow of this fluid can cause face pain. Evidence for the efficacy of craniosacral therapy is limited.2)
  • Manual lymphatic drainage – A massage technique which uses gentle, rhythmic pressure to stimulate lymphatic flow.
  • Massage – Massage, particular Swedish or deep-tissue massage, may increase circulation and, thus, increase immunopathology. A number of patients have reported feeling much worse after a massage. Use with caution.
  • Osteopathic manipulation – A treatment that attempts to improve joint range of motion and balance tissue and muscular mechanics in order to relieve pain.
  • Physical therapy – Any of several therapeutic exercises to treat injury or dysfunction.

Note that practitioners of manipulation therapies can be helpful in recommending stretches or motions to do at home, or - on the other hand - warning what physical activities to avoid while a person is dealing with temporary inflammation from the immunopathological response.

Massage can exacerbate the immunopathological response

For MP patients, massage can result in a stronger immune system reaction. This may be a desired effect for healthier patients and others in later stages of treatment who wish to speed up their progress.

Mechanical forces resulting from massage or exercise may expose L-form bacteriaDifficult-to-culture bacteria that lack a cell wall and are not detectable by traditional culturing processes. Sometimes referred to as cell wall deficient bacteria. to the immune system. Such bacteria survive inside the phagocytes, “floating” in a biofilm A structured community of microorganisms encapsulated within a self-developed protective matrix and living together.. A thin exoskeleton protects the biofilm from the lysosomes, which would otherwise consume the bacteria. Mechanical forces on the cells are transmitted through body fluids, and some may weaken or break the exoskeleton structures, exposing the bacteria to the immune system. Once the immune system of MP patients has been activated by olmesartan (Benicar), it will digest the bacterial DNA (deoxyribose nucleic acid) and increase the level of immunopathological response.

For patients in latter stages of treatment, exercise sometimes can cause a Stage Five response, in which severe immunopathology follows exercise.

Taking hot baths is another way to increase the immunopathological response.

Tips for visits

  • Patients who need to should wear all their protective clothing, including hat, gloves, NoIRs, long sleeves and sunscreen when you go out to the doctor. It helps if someone else will drive you to the office and drop you off at the door so you can quickly get indoors. Having someone else park the car saves one those extra minutes of sunlight while driving and walking.
  • Patients should explain to the physician, healthcare practitioner, or the admitting nurse the need to restrict exposure to sunlight and bright lights. If they understand this need, the office staff should be willing to limit the amount of time a patient spends in a sunny waiting room and may make it routine to place patients in a treatment room with no windows or with dimmers on the lights.
  • Consider scheduling visits so as to have a short wait. The office may be most likely to be running “on time” either the first appointment in the morning or the first appointment after lunch. You may wish to call ahead to make sure.
  • Take off extra clothing (jacket, hat, glasses, gloves, etc.) as soon as being assigned a treatment room. For those with a companion, ask them to keep up with these articles.
  • Just as any other doctor visit, have in mind or bring a list of your most recent complaints to discuss.
  • After the visit, drink lots of water and schedule some quiet time at home - a nap is even better - so the mind and body can make the most of the treatment and recover from the sun exposure.

Cautionary experiences regarding deep tissue massage

Massage just makes me feel awful, and I never seem to get any benefit. It was not like that before I got really sick.

Dogster, MarshallProtocol.com

In December, less than a year after beginning the MP, I got a deep tissue massage. The masseur rubbed my muscles way too hard and for way too long. I left feeling like jello. That evening, I kept crying for no reason, and I felt like I was in another world. The day after the massage, I began to feel terrible. All my herx symptoms hit me with a vengeance.

The next day, my muscle pain was beyond what I had ever felt. I could not move from the sofa, nor could I stand without almost fainting. I could not lift anything. I could not stand noise. I did not even have energy to call my parents.

I feel that the five months of C+Z+M prior to the massage allowed a huge amount of toxins and debris to accumulate in my tissues. The massage must have freed up these toxins, poured them into the bloodstream, and dumped them all on my liver at once. My body was probably in a state of toxic shock.

Ames, MarshallProtocol.com

After starting the MP, I had occasion for a massage therapist to very gently massage my hands and forearms for about 15 minutes. After that, I was in so much pain I could hardly use my hands for several days. It was terrible! I can only imagine what it would have been like if I had gotten a two-hour massage…. Even now, when I treat myself to a manicure and pedicure I say “no thank you” to the hand and foot massage.

Carol, MarshallProtocol.com

I have been doing the MP for the past three years for my chronic Lyme. Two years ago, I had two sessions of massage therapy, two weeks apart. I was having great pain in knees, as well as ability to walk. My doctor thought therapy would help. Big mistake. I could not walk at all for three days, my legs were numb, felt terriable pain, like two stiff wooden legs. Yet my doctor said, no pain, no gain. I was stupid enough to try again. After all, you get desperate. Once again, the same reaction. Bottom line, never again.

Lori, MarshallProtocol.com

Other patients experiences

I relied on osteopathic manipulation and lymphatic massage techniques as wonderful complements to the MP…. Manual lymphatic massage does require specialized training, but it *is* something a family member can learn. My doctors taught my husband a few techniques and he took a class to learn more comprehensive treatments to use on me at home…. Having my husband do the manual chest drainage technique made it easier for me to breathe and stop coughing at times. It's a good one to do before going to bed and on getting up in the morning….

I got a lot of benefit from lymphatic massage in two areas: my chest, which felt not as tight and heavy and I coughed less and one leg which would swell up. I still rely on lymphatic massage to help with my leg swelling.

Belinda, MarshallProtocol.com

Regarding massage, I use a machine called a “pro shiatsu” which I find is superb for relieving any back (or other) muscle herx. You can buy one on eBay for the price of a single real massage and will never have to venture outside into the light for a real massage again.

Patrick Burke, MarshallProtocol.com

References

1)
Chiropractic: a critical evaluation.
Ernst E
J Pain Symptom Manage35p544-62(2008 May)
home/othertreatments/massage.txt · Last modified: 01.03.2012 (external edit)
© 2015, Autoimmunity Research Foundation. All Rights Reserved.