• Matt

Massage and Lupus

Lupus is a rare, chronic, autoimmune disease that can be devastating to the body. When someone has an autoimmune disease, their body’s defense system is literally fighting against itself. In a healthy person, viruses, bacteria, and germs are pushed out by antibodies created by the immune system. For someone with lupus, their antibodies can't differentiate between foreign substances and healthy body tissue. The body’s own tissues are under attack and painful inflammation is a daily reality. Lupus sufferers cope with an ongoing inflammatory response that causes muscle and joint pain, swelling, and damage to the body systems.

Common symptoms of lupus include the following:

  • Chronic pain

  • Joint pain

  • Inflammation

  • Tissue damage

  • Fatigue

  • Stress

  • Anxiety

  • Butterfly-shaped rash across the cheeks and bridge of the nose

No two people have the same experience of lupus symptoms. Flares or “flare ups” are a severe expression of the lupus symptoms. Flares may include fatigue, headaches, sensitivity to light, joint pain, facial rashes, high and frequent fevers, dizziness, abdominal discomfort, and forgetfulness. Often, the lupus symptoms go in and out of a “flare up.”A lupus flare varies in intensity from moderately uncomfortable, disruptive of daily living activities and, at times, it can even be life threatening. Should you have lupus please consider the following before looking to massage as a mechanism for relief.

  • Contraindications should be discussed according to your personal experience of what gives relief heat - deep tissue work - joint mobilization during flare ups, check with your Doctor that it is OK and discuss with your therapist

  • Work with flexible therapists who are OK with you making yourself comfortable according to how you are feeling that day; chair or bed, pressure,feet no back, joints only, choice of oils no massage should be the same should be tailored for each session

  • Longer 90 mins, more gentle, or weekly / regular massages, look out for specialists who offer package deals


The bottom line is your experience of Lupus is unique and I hope that you find a therapist who can tailor make a massage you need.

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