Massage Me, Pace Me
I learned a very interesting fact from my cardiologist the other day when I went to get clearance to return to massage school. He said my ability to give massages is completely up to me. I should know my body. However, when I receive a massage I need to be careful about receiving too much pressure as I am on Plavix and I will bruise very easily. What I did not know is that massage may affect my AICD. My AICD works as both a defibrillator and pacemaker. He advised that besides staying away from the chest area where the AICD is implanted, that the massage therapist not work on my back on the same side as the AICD or on the left arm. The reason for this surprised me. The movement in these areas, or the vibration caused by some of the massage strokes could be read by the AICD as movement by me, and cause the pacemaker to activate and increase my heart rate. It will be registering it as if I am moving and the heart is not able to keep up, so it will increase the pacing. So if you have an AICD, just know that vibration can cause your pacing to increase, thus your heart rate to increase.