A massage therapist’s safety is important when working with clients who have infectious diseases like HIV and AIDS. But knowing how to balance personal safety while providing crucial treatment to infected clients is a delicate balance that can be learned through home study courses.
HIV and AIDS continuing education courses may outline and educate on the biology of the diseases, stages of development, symptoms, pathogens, modes of transmission and the history of HIV and AIDS.
Going past the biological aspects of the diseases, the courses also provide therapists critical guidelines to follow that teach proper sanitation and prevention techniques that help stop the spread of the disease.
Some of the courses offered also include diagnosis, treatment, transmission, standard precautions for preventing infection, contraindications for HIV-infected clients, bodywork modification, emotional impact to the practitioner, research findings, along with references and resources for further study.
Numerous studies have been done to measure the effects of massage therapy on those with HIV and AIDS. Those studies have shown massage has significant impact on the well-being of infected clients.
One of the studies, conducted by the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami in 1996, measured the effects of massage on 29 HIV-positive men. The study’s results showed a majority of the test subjects that received massage showed improvement in the body’s immune system function.
In another study involving HIV-positive infants, the mothers served as the massage therapist. Researchers found massage therapy improved behavior of the infants born to HIV-positive mothers. They also found in the study that the babies who received the therapy had a higher weight gain, lower stress levels and the mothers showed reduced anxiety.
Make sure you check with your national and state licensing bodies to make sure the courses you select are acceptable for your continuing education credits.