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August 5, 2008

Skin: The Largest Organ In The Body

The semester has finally wound down with final exams today in Neuroanatomy and Pathology. We had a unit in Pathology about skin. I could fill a month's worth of posts about skin and it's importance in massage therapy.

They say that the eyes are a window into the soul, but the skin is a window into your body's health. Pathologies of the skin are of primary importance for massage therapists, because we are often the first to see changes in a client's skin. Whether it is from contact dermatitis or skin cancer or signs of physical abuse (elder abuse, child abuse, domestic abuse toward women), being aware of signs, symptoms, precautions and contraindications is our job and we need to take the responsibility seriously.

Every massage therapy education program should give therapists a thorough knowledge of skin and pathologies that we as therapists will likely encounter. If you're looking at a massage program, look for a good coverage of anatomy and pathology. If you've already been through school, then the responsibility is yours to get informed about pathologies of the skin. By being informed, you protect from hurting your client, and just as important, from hurting yourself and your massage practice.

Imagine not recognizing a highly contagious skin condition or parasite. You would not know to take precautions about laundering your sheets and possibly spread the contagion to yourself and your clients. One mistake could ruin the reputation of your practice and even cause you to get sued. Nobody wants that to happen. If you need a resource for skin disorders, I highly recommend Pathology A to Z: A Handbook for Massage Therapists.

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Posted by linda at August 5, 2008 7:19 PM

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