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October 20, 2004

A Tale Of Two Itches

Two weeks ago I helped my sister mow her grass and unwittingly blazed a path through some poison ivy near the edge of her woods. I'm highly allergic to poison ivy and have been breaking out in spots here and there on a daily basis. Topical creams, ointments, and antihistamines have done little to ease the itching for more than a couple of hours at a time.

Two mornings ago I got a massage. I did not itch until about six o'clock that evening.

Three years before my father passed away, he broke out in shingles and had a relapse because of surgery stress six months later. He described the pain of his lesions as every kind of pain you could imagine all put together. Unfortunately, he developed post herpetic neuralgia, and had pain every day for the rest of his life. His doctor put him on Neurontin, an anti-seizure medication, for nerve pain. He never missed his medication at the proper time.

Occasionally, I would get an opportunity to give him a massage, working carefully over his lesion sites. He preferred firm steady pressure as anything that was light and ticklish was most irritating and painful. He didn't seem to think massage helped much beyond the actual session, but my mother reported that he didn't take his medication until dinnertime.

I realize these are anecdotal accounts of the effect that massage can have on pain. Numerous studies have been conducted concerning massage and pain. Neuralgia is one of the conditions that benefit from massage therapy.

Posted by linda at October 20, 2004 10:59 PM

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