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Massage for Stroke

A stroke (also known as cerebrovascular disease) is a sudden loss of brain function that results when the blood supply to the brain is suddenly disrupted. Blood is carried to the brain by blood vessels called arteries, which when blocked by plaque, a clot, or they burst altogether, blood may no longer be able to move through it. Brain damage or even death may then occur as the brain cannot survive without a continuous flow of nutrient-rich blood.

Long Term Stroke damage

Long term effects of stroke can greatly vary depending on the level of brain damage that has been incurred. Some of these effects include:

  • Muscle weakness

  • Paralysis

  • Immobility

  • Insomnia

  • Fatigue

  • Chronic Pain

  • Depression

  • Anxiety

  • Memory loss

  • Speech loss

Side effects of damage to the left hemisphere of the brain may include:

  • Reading, speaking, problem solving difficulties.

  • Paralysis or weakness on the right side of the body.

Side effects of damage to the right hemisphere of the brain may include:

  • Short term memory, visual and spatial difficulties.

  • Paralysis or weakness on the left side of your body.

Benefits of Massage for Stroke Victims

Recent scientific studies have shown that when massaged, stroke patients experienced increased mobility, decreased pain, decreased depression and as a result used less medication. Please read on for more ways in which massage can help patients manage the long term side effects of a stroke.

Massage Improves Mobility in a Stroke Victim

Stroke victims with mobility issues may benefit greatly from massage. Using various techniques, massage of the muscles can stimulate blood flow and consequently improved overall mobility. Specific nerve centers may be stimulated using acupressure in massage, or mobility may be increased using the long, heavy strokes of Swedish massage instead.

Massage Relieves Fatigue in a Stroke Victim

Fatigue is a common, long-term side effect of stroke. Symptoms associated with the fatigue include never feeling rested, excessive sleep, slower speech and movement, shortness of breath, lack of care and interest, a strong desire to be alone.

Massage can increase the levels of energy and assist the stroke victim in conserving it. It does so by releasing muscle tension and toxins in the muscles and reducing the stress hormone called cortisol.