Manual of Hydrotherapy and Massage
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"This manual is presented as a teaching aid in the instruction of students in schools of nursing and physical therapy. The physician who writes the prescription for hydrotherapy or massage must entrust its actual application to the nurse or the physical therapist. He should have the assurance that those who execute his prescription are well qualified. Although the administration of hydrotherapeutic procedures is not technically difficult, good results are dependent upon meticulous attention to detail.
Massage is an art which requires diligent practice to develop the finesse for which every conscientious student should strive. Therefore, the therapist (nurse or physical therapist) should endeavor to develop a faultless technique in both hydrotherapy and massage. This is acquired first by practice in laboratory and later by closely supervised treatment of patients. Even as education in any field of learning does not end on commencement day, do the therapist should aim for perfection of technique after his formal training is completed. But technical skill is not enough; the therapist should know the underlying physical and physiological principles. He should know the properties of the physical agents he is using - I this instance, water. He should be familiar with the local general effects of heat and cold upon the body. He should know what takes place under his hands as he applies superficial or deep stroking, kneading, or friction massage. He should be able to correlate technical skill and physiological knowledge, thus adding greatly to his satisfaction and enabling him to give effective service to his patients.
Even though the physician writes his hydrotherapy and massage prescription carefully, it is still necessary for the therapist to exercise judgment in its administration, judgment based upon his experience and his knowledge of physiological principles. It may be necessary at times to vary technique somewhat as he observes the patient's physiological and psychological response to the prescribed procedure. The ability to observe and think makes the difference between a mere technician and a well-trained therapist. Experience is an excellent teacher to those who have the essential training.
Because of the importance of knowledge of the physical properties of water and the physiological effects of hydrotherapy and massage to the well-qualified nurse or physical therapist, two chapters on basic physics and physiology have been included in this volume, one on hydrotherapy and the other massage. It is suggested that these chapters be studied before the training in technique is begun.
The as each new procedure is introduced and practiced in the laboratory, an endeavor should be made to observe as many of the physiological effects as possible. This will sharpen the student's ability to observe and will add greatly to the value of the course in hydrotherapy and massage. It is a rewarding experience for one to watch his patient obtain relief from discouragement and pain, and in many cased recover from disease, as a result of the treatment given him."