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Posted by Lisa Stork, Oct 5 2012 4:23PM

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redness of skin

Hi, I recently treated a client who has ME and suffers stiff aching muscles. She has had some relief to receiving massage and has come back a few times. My concern is she goes very red, only on her scapula area and does not complain of it being sore but I recently read this could be Erythema and to stop treatment immediately if this occurs. To my mind and knowledge I thought redness of the skin was a good sign of good circulation. Should I continue treating this client....?
Amanda Clegg
Oct 5 2012 5:26PM
I've never heard of erythema being a contra-indication - it normally happens to me when I'm massaged and is a result of blood coming to the surface of very fair skin. If I'm recieving any deep tissue work (and lets face it, all us therapists need to be 'done to') I expect it - indicates that the area is warm and worked. However, with an ME sufferer I would probably go a bit easy as it might be too exhausting.
Nicki Lee
Oct 5 2012 6:18PM
I agree with Amanda. Erythema, by itself, is not a contraindication. Some people redden quite easily, and it can be helpful as with those people the red areas frequently indicate a lot of tension. It may be that her scapula area actually needs more treatment, but of course proceeding carefully with someone with a chronic condition. If she feels ok after the session and the next day it should be fine to continue as you have been.
Mike Colquhoun
Oct 8 2012 10:58AM
Hi Lisa
Erythema to worry about is there before you start work, is probably tender and has a ring like appearance:-
erythema annula´re a type of erythema multiforme with ring-shaped lesions.
There are several variations of the condition. On my web site there is a link to the free dictionary which will give you a full description of the various types [don't forget to click on the 'Medical Dictionary'].
Reddening of the skin after you have been working on a tight area is just the blood suffusing tissues that have been starved for some time and a visual reward for doing a good job so long as you gave no pain.
Also on my web site is a description of how to identify a blocking lymphatic system which is the cause of most of the symptoms of M.E. and methods of ‘Pumping’ it to help relieve those symptoms. This can be worked through with the Patient and taught to them giving them control of their condition.
A Major cause of the sporadic blocking of the lymphatic system is a flattening of the upper back and there is even advice on the site about how to resolve that problem.
Hope this helps
Yours aye Mike

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