ALS: Ice is Nice, Buckets are Fine, and Touch is a Powerful Healing Tool
With all the ice-bucket this and that these days in all our social marketing spaces we’ve become aware of the needs of those afflicted with ALS…
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)—also referred to as motor neurone disease (MND), Charcot disease, and, in the United States, Lou Gehrig‘s disease—is a neurodegenerative disease with various causes. ALS is characterised by muscle spasticity, rapidly progressive weakness due to muscle atrophy, and difficulty in speaking (dysarthria), swallowing (dysphagia), and breathing (dyspnea). ALS is the most common of the five motor neuron diseases.
In the U.S., more than 5,600 are diagnosed every year, and up to 30,000 Americans are currently affected. ALS is responsible for 2 deaths per 100,000 people.
… and that’s a grand thing. While there is a some growing dissent, the ice-bucket challenges have raised awareness and to-date $40 Million in donations. I know here, ALS is now a house-hold word and our family knows what it is… not true as of 2 weeks ago.
As a massage therapist I had honestly not connected my profession with this topic and was
The Power of Touch for ALS
The Benefits of Massage
In addition to easing pain, massage therapy may help increase mobility, minimize muscle pain and cramping, increase circulation and reduce anxiety. Massage can help the physical, emotional and psychological well-being of ALS clients.
Oftentimes, those with debilitating diseases do not receive enough touch as family and friends see them as fragile and are afraid of hurting them. Trained massage therapists can offer caring touch.