For years Boris Prilutsky, LMT has made great contributions to our Journal by sharing with readers his knowledge and clinical expertise. Boris is also an active blogger and he posts on-line his clinical cases and shares with therapists his thoughts and experiences. We decided to publish some of Boris’s previous blog posts to give readers additional information about the clinical aspects of Massage Therapy and grant Boris’ posts ‘new life.’
Dr. Ross Turchaninov, Editor in Chief
POST-TRAUMATIC BRAIN REHABILITATION USING MEDICAL MASSAGE
By Boris Prilutsky, LMT, Los Angeles, CA
From the very beginning of my professional career I learned and practiced all aspects of Medical Massage from trauma and injury to abdominal massage/visceral work. Being a competitive athlete in my younger years I was always interested in post-trauma rehabilitation.
One of my teachers suggested I get special training in Medical Massage protocol for rehabilitation of post-concussion brain dysfunction. At that time, I wasn’t aware that the implementation of this protocol was such a necessity. I didn’t even know that so many people especially in professional sports suffer from such intense brain trauma that they must be rehabilitated. In 1973 I finished my CE training in post-concussion rehabilitations.
When I started to work in the USA I didn’t suspect the pandemic proportions of brain trauma and post-traumatic brain dysfunctions in the US since patients in general don’t have regular access to rehabilitation from concussions by massage, due to the absence of this treatment option in the arsenal of traditionally accepted therapies. All of that made the implementation of this protocol so critical.
The urgent sense of necessity to share with other therapists the clinical effectiveness of Medical Massage Protocol for Post-traumatic Brain Dysfunction came to me almost 7 years ago. I happened to sit in the hospital’s cafeteria with a group of physicians and scientists, whom I consulted on the Medical Massage protocol for the treatment of Essential Hypertension. A specially designed protocol indeed can be very helpful in managing Essential Hypertension:
I had just finished a successful treatment program for patients with severe uncontrolled Hypertension and we were eating lunch while continuing to discuss details of hypertension protocol. I was also explaining the physiological effect of Medical Massage, goals of the treatment, etc.
Suddenly, there was breaking news on TV, ”Domestic violence in the NFL!” and security camera footage appeared where Ray Rice punches his girlfriend in the face, knocking her out.
The entire nation condemned this action and demanded decisive action from the NFL commissioner. This pressure was so significant that the NFL banned Ray Rice from playing for good. Later footage showed Ray Rice asking for forgiveness and promising to take anger management classes. At the end of his apology, his head went down, and he said, ”I don’t even remember what happened.”
I commented that Ray didn’t appear to be a violent person and his behavior had a medical explanation. By having repeated concussions, he more likely developed behavioral disorders, which is a typical consequence of repeated mild to moderate brain traumas. In these cases, after a violent episode is over, patients with frequent concussions often don’t even remember what happened.
While at the table, one of the physicians asked me if there was a Medical Massage protocol for post-traumatic brain rehabilitation. I said yes that such therapy existed and was developed through scientific and clinical research. Briefly, I explained the concept and what to do in such cases. Therapists may have access to this protocol by reading a two-part article published in the Journal of Massage Science.
When I got back to my clinic, I immediately asked my partner to find out when was the last time Ray Rice suffered a concussion. Sure enough, it happened the same year as his violent act against his girlfriend and he also had several prior concussions. Certainly, it was terrible to witness a man punching his girlfriend as well as seeing her lifeless body dragged out of the elevator, and I absolutely understand the people’s emotional outcry and the reaction of the media. To me, Ray suffered a post-traumatic brain injury and he should be correctly rehabilitated first, rather than everyone labeling it as a case of domestic violence. I am sure that if he was treated appropriately, he wouldn’t exhibit such violent behavior.
Another equally important aspect of mild brain trauma is car accidents. I think readers agree that the treatment of car accidents has become a very profitable industry. Everyone concentrates on body trauma and local injuries while a very small number of therapists practice post-traumatic brain rehabilitation. An additional problem which complicates the situation is that very frequently mild concussions due to car accidents are being misdiagnosed and not addressed at all. These patients may for years suffer from chronic headaches, sleep disorders, behavioral changes, depression, anxiety, etc.
Since that conversation in the cafeteria, for more than 7 years I am constantly expanding my practice in post-concussion rehabilitation since these patients don’t have other treatment options. During my long career, I have learned, practiced, and taught a great variety of Medical Massage protocols. In October of 2018 I presented a post-concussion massage protocol seminar. I was very excited, and I would say, it was my best seminar ever.
Now I would like to come back to the injustice to Ray Rice. We may consider that he had job-related trauma, and he needed correct therapy rather than national condemnation. The link below shows a clinical case from my clinic which illustrates the necessity of timely and correct post-trauma brain injury rehabilitation: https://medicalmassage-edu.com/post-concussion-patient-testimonial/
If not for Medical Massage, this patient may have exhibited the same episodes of violent behavior as Ray, but successful rehabilitation by means of specifically designed Medical Massage protocol helped him recover completely.
Tags: 2019 Issue #2