Awakenings Wellness Center, Portland Oregon

Articles by our Therapists

Drugs and Their Affects on Massage

Posted 04/25/09 by Leah Vesta Hansen

Cardiovascular Drugs*

Calcium Channel Blockers

Common Usage:* These medications are used to prevent angina and arrhythmias by blocking or slowing calcium flow into muscle cells.

Drug Name: Benzothiazeprines - Diltiazem

Trade Name: Cardizem

Side Effects: Headache, dizziness, asthenia, flushing, edema, negative inotroic effect weakening muscles)

General Precautions: Relatively contraindicated for heart failure, sick sinus syndrome: may cause liver dysfunction

Massage Precautions:* Expected effect for massage may be distorted. Care must be taken to watch for any exaggerated effects. Massage may help with constipation. The blood pressure lowering effect of massage may result in dizziness after the massage. Have the client contract and relax the leg muscles for a minute or two before getting off the massage table.

"Calcium channel-blocking drugs represent a higher sophistication in the drug approach to high blood pressure. These drugs, along with the ACE ihibitors, will likely take over the top spots in drug treatment of high blood pressure currently held by diuretics and beta-blockers because they are better tolerated. However, if these drugs provide any significant benefit in reducing cardiovascular mortality (fatal heart attaacks and strokes), the primary goal of blood pressure-lowering (antihypertensive) therapy remains to be proven...Side effects: Although much better tolerated than beta-blockers and diuretics, calcium channel blockers still produce some mild side effects including constipation, allergic reactions, fluid retention, dizziness, headache, fatigue and impotence (about 20% of users). More seriouse side effects include disturbances of heart rate or function, heart failure, and angina."

Michael T. Murray, N.D., Natural Alternatives to Over-the-Counter and Prescription Drugs, 1994: pg 107-108

1-Source is "Ther Merck Manual" 2-Massage Implications:Mosby's Appendix C

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