Ep 436 - Pulmonary Fibrosis—An Aberrant Matrix: “I Have a Client Who . . .” Pathology Conversations with Ruth Werner

3D image of an X-ray image of lung inflamation.

A person with rheumatoid arthritis and lupus develops new back pain in her mid-upper left side. It feels like “it’s coming from under my ribs,” she says. First, it’s diagnosed as arthritis, but interventions don’t seem to make a difference. Finally, a year into this unremitting pain, a rheumatologist asks about her breathing and discovers she has developed a complication called pulmonary thrombosis, probably related to her autoimmune diseases. They start treatment and voilà, her back pain is gone.

This is a good example of a case in which massage therapy was definitely NOT the best choice.


Dsouza, K.G. et al. (2023) ‘Management of interstitial lung disease in patients with autoimmune disease-related interstitial lung disease’, Multidisciplinary Respiratory Medicine, 18(1), p. 890. Available at: https://doi.org/10.4081/mrm.2023.890.

Fibrosis as an autoimmune disease (no date) CPC - M. Available at: https://www.cpc-munich.de/en/research-projects/fibrosis-as-an-autoimmune-disease/index.html, https://www.cpc-munich.de/en/research-projects/fibrosis-as-an-autoimmune-disease/index.html (Accessed: 3 May 2024).

Gole, S. and Bankole, A. (2024) ‘Nintedanib’, in StatPearls. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing. Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK585049/ (Accessed: 8 May 2024).

Interstitial Lung Diseases - What Are Interstitial Lung Diseases? | NHLBI, NIH (2022). Available at: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/interstitial-lung-diseases (Accessed: 8 May 2024).

Kašiković Lečić, S. et al. (2022) ‘Management of musculoskeletal pain in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis: a review’, Upsala Journal of Medical Sciences, 127, p. 10.48101/ujms.v127.8739. Available at: https://doi.org/10.48101/ujms.v127.8739.

Massage & Bodywork - MAY | JUNE 2021 (no date). Available at: https://www.massageandbodyworkdigital.com/i/1358392-may-june-

Author Images: 
Author Bio: 

Ruth Werner is a former massage therapist, a writer, and an NCBTMB-approved continuing education provider. She wrote A Massage Therapist’s Guide to Pathology, now in its seventh edition, which is used in massage schools worldwide. Werner is also a long-time Massage & Bodywork columnist, most notably of the Pathology Perspectives column. Werner is also ABMP’s partner on Pocket Pathology, a web-based app and quick reference program that puts key information for nearly 200 common pathologies at your fingertips. Werner’s books are available at www.booksofdiscovery.com. And more information about her is available at www.ruthwerner.com.   



Anatomy Trains is a global leader in online anatomy education and also provides in-classroom certification programs for structural integration in the US, Canada, Australia, Europe, Japan, and China, as well as fresh-tissue cadaver dissection labs and weekend courses. The work of Anatomy Trains originated with founder Tom Myers, who mapped the human body into 13 myofascial meridians in his original book, currently in its fourth edition and translated into 12 languages. The principles of Anatomy Trains are used by osteopaths, physical therapists, bodyworkers, massage therapists, personal trainers, yoga, Pilates, Gyrotonics, and other body-minded manual therapists and movement professionals. Anatomy Trains inspires these practitioners to work with holistic anatomy in treating system-wide patterns to provide improved client outcomes in terms of structure and function.    

Website: anatomytrains.com    

Email: info@anatomytrains.com          

Facebook: facebook.com/AnatomyTrains

Instagram: www.instagram.com/anatomytrainsofficial

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2g6TOEFrX4b-CigknssKHA  


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New Massage Board Created in Alabama

On May 15, 2024, Governor Kay Ivey signed into law Senate Bill 137, terminating the Alabama Board of Massage Therapy and its functions to create the new Alabama Massage Therapy Licensing Board. Learn key takeaways from the bill and how its passage may affect you.

Tennessee Regulatory Update

Tennessee massage therapy education requirements increased from 500 hours to 650. ABMP would like to share an update to explain how that change came about and give some overdue credit to those who made it happen.

Alabama Board in Jeopardy of Dissolution

Without your support, the Alabama massage therapy profession is in danger of losing its regulatory board, which could result in inconsistent regulation or none at all. Call Governor Kay Ivey to encourage the passage of Senate Bill 137 to protect massage regulation.



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