Pathology – F

Definition: Not a disorder but a symptom: accompanies many diseases : hypoglycemia, diabetes, cancer, allergies, candida, anemia, poor circulation, chronic fatigue, thyroid malfunction.  May be mental/emotional or physical.

Causes: psychological from boredom or depression, poor diet with sugar, caffeine products, dehydration, stress, overexertion.

Signs/Symptoms: lack of energy, unable to get out of bed, foggy headed, muscle tightness, insomnia, anemia, depression.
Indications: Massage for stress reduction, detoxification, increase circulation, release tight muscles that may be robbing the body of energy.  Reconnects person with their physical body. Teach client to pay attention to their body and what they need to take care of themselves.
Contraindications: Refer to appropriate health care practitioner, especially if symptoms persist and do not seem to be directly related to lack of sleep. Naturopath/Acupuncturist to help with lifestyle changes and nutritional support.

Definition: Not a disease but a symptom of many diseases, elevation in body temperature to rid the body of harmful microbes
Causes: viral, bacterial, diabetes, hepatitis, lyme disease, mononucleosis, chronic fatigue
Signs/Symptoms: Normal body temperature is 98 degrees to 99.  Above 102 in adults  and 103 in children need attention; shivering and chills, sweating, capillary dialation, dehydration.
Indications: N/A:  Working on a person with a fever may help rid the body of the toxins and help relieve it or Make It Worse.  Proceed at your own risk.  Generally contraindicated.
Contraindications: Refer to Physician if persistent or extremely high.  Fever may be necessary to rid the body of organisms, so stopping this action with aspirin or ibuprofen may not be necessary.  Refer to Naturopath/Acupuncturist for immune support.

Definition: irregular twitching of individual muscle fibers, cells or groups of muscle fibers that inhibit effective action of that muscle
Causes: stress, allergy, fatigue, poor diet
Indications: Massage to relieve contraction
Contraindications: Refer to Physician if it becomes worse.

Definition: benign growths that can be found on the uterus, cervix, breasts and other areas of the body
Causes: may be estrogen related, thyroid dysfunction, caffeine intake, high fat diets
Signs/Symptoms: round lumps, may be painful, increased menstrual bleeding, may block fallopian tubes and cause infertility, anemia may result from excessive bleeding.
Indications: Massage for stress relief. There is controversy over working the psoas with this condition. I believe it can assist in restoring balance to the pelvic area.  Some say deep work is contraindicated.  Proceed with caution.
Contraindications: Watch for changes; Refer to rule out cancer. Refer to appropriate health care practitioner, Naturopath/Acupuncturist.

Also known as or confused with Fibrositis, Fibromyositis, Myofascial Pain Syndrome, Epstein-Barr Syndrome, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Candida Infections

Definition: connective tissue disorder; group of symptoms
Causes: Unknown, but may be related to sleep disorder, stress, overexertion, poor diet, lack of exercise, immune system dysfunction, mercury poisoning, Epstein-Barr, candida albicans, hypoglycemia, hypothyroidism, chronic fatigue
Signs/Symptoms: nine pairs of tenderpoints, painful muscles usually of the neck, shoulders, lower back, upper chest, TMJ; Also headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, palpitations, memory impairment, skin sensitivities, dizziness, sensitivity to light, sensitivity to heat and cold, lack of concentration.
Indications: Massage for stress reduction, removal of toxins, tenderpoint relief, break up adhesions.
Contraindications: Do not use anything that will add to inflammation such as heat; Often over sensitive to touch.  Refer to Naturopath and Acupuncturist for treatment.  Diet and Lifestyle changes necessary.
See Massage and Fibromyalgia Section.

Definition: formation of fibrous connective tissue in locations where it usually doesn’t exist, such as in skeletal and cardiac muscle
Causes: injury, death of cells, restricting movement of muscle as in setting a fractured bone.
Signs/Symptoms: thickening, hardening of tissue
Indications: Massage to break up adhesions and restore mobility
Contraindications: N/A

Basic Clinical Massage Therapy: Integrating Anatomy and Treatment (Lww Massage Therapy & Bodywork Series) (Hardcover)
by James H. Clay, David M. Pounds 

Clinical Massage Therapy: Understanding, Assessing and Treating Over 70 Conditions (Paperback)
by Fiona Rattray (Author), Linda Ludwig (Author) 

Travell & Simons’ Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual (2-Volume Set) (Hardcover)
by David G. Simons, Janet G. Travell, Lois S. Simons, Barbara D. Cummings 


Definition: Inflammation of hair follicle
Causes: skin problem, allergy
Signs/Symptoms: redness and swelling around hair follicle
Indications: Massage to increase circulation and remove toxins
Contraindications: Avoid direct contact with inflamed area. May need to be referred to physician for removal of hair if does not resolve itself

Foot Pain and Problems

Articles by Ben Benjamin

Dropped Arch

Eversion of the Foot

Foot Pain (Sitting)


Heel Pain

Injured Toe Joints

Lateral Ankle

Lateral Ankle Sprains

Medial Arch

Medial Foot

Pain Under the Medial Arch of the Foot
  By Ben Benjamin, PhD


Definition: break or crack in a bone
Causes: injury , trauma, stress, brittle bones
Signs/Symptoms: pain and tenderness, swelling, bruising, bone may be completely broken or just cracked
Indications: Massage above site to reduce edema, and below to improve circulation. Work directly on site after bones unified completely. Soft tissue injury may be in surrounding areas.
Contraindications: Do Not work directly on the break.

Frozen Shoulder

Let’s Talk About … The Acromioclavicular Joint By Ben Benjamin, PhD

Traumatic Arthritis of the Shoulder By Ben Benjamin, PhD

Is That Really Frozen Shoulder?  By Whitney Lowe, LMT, NCTMB

Assess & Address Frozen Shoulderby Whitney Lowe


Fungal Conditions
Definition: infection of the skin, mucous membranes with fungi such as candida and tinea
Causes: moisture, depressed immune system, oral contraceptives, overweight, sugary diet
Signs/Symptoms: red, itchy patches of skin; can be under the nails and cause yellowing and swelling of nail bed; ringworm small red spots that grows and gives a ring-like appearance
Indications:  Do not use oil or lotion to keep area dry.  Massage for stress reduction and detoxification.  Tea tree oil may be applied directly or in oil or lotion for anti fungal treatment. Clean sheets with bleach.  Avoid direct contact with area especially if you are feeling run down.
Contraindications: You may want to avoid direct contact with the area until it is diagnosed.  Refer to Naturopath/Acupuncturist for immune system building.

Furnuncle (boil)
Definition: pus filled cavity formed by infection of hair follicle
Signs/Symptoms: redness, swelling, oozing
Indications: Massage to increase circulation and removal of toxins
Contraindications: Avoid direct contact with infected area