Prescription drug side-effects

A 36 year old man who contracted the H.I.V virus 10 years ago. 

He has taken numerous combination drugs over the 10 years which has caused him some side effects and obviously his immune system is low because of the virus. I wanted to treat him to see if together we can ease the side effects of the drug therapy and try and boost his immune system for improved general health. 

My client was happy to volunteer as a boost to his health would be welcome. 

At the moment my client is taking three different antiretrovirals (A.R.V’s) for the H.I.V virus. These are abacavir, sustiva and kivexa 3TC. The main side effects of the drug therapy are diarrhoea, indigestion and itchy skin. He is taking antihistamines for his itchy skin and losec for the indigestion. My client also suffers from depression which started in 2002, a direct effect of trying to cope with living with H.I.V. He takes citalopram for his depression.

My client also suffers from mild insomnia which started 4 years ago. He struggles to drop off and only sleeps for 2 or 3 hours at a time before waking up. He has low energy because of this. He does not take any regular medication for insomnia.

On initial assessment my client’s feet felt very soft with no evidence of hard skin. he does suffer from dry skin in between the toes which can be controlled with moisturising. The lung reflex areas are yellow in colour. His feet are pale and clammy and his ankles are fairly flexible.

This case study has been very happy to give me a thorough account of his medical history. He does not appear to be stressed today although he says his energy levels are low which is normal for him due to his insomnia. I want to encourage my client to take responsibility for his own health and to improve his diet and lifestyle to boost his immune system.

Our aims and objectives of the treatment are :

  • to improve circulation throughout the body
  • to relax and ease tension to improve sleep
  • to balance the body to help achieve homeostasis
  • to boost the ‘feel good factor’
  • to boost the immune system and help release more toxins

After the treatment my client felt good but tired. He is looking forward to going home and chilling out on the sofa. He felt his stomach rumbled a couple of times. His feet remained pale and clammy.

I also chatted to my client about his diet and I suggested he take a look at what he is eating and encouraged him to possibly make one small change this week for a step in the right direction to improving it e.g eat an extra piece of fruit every day.

Client feedback
I spoke to my client the next day and he said that he went straight home after the treatment and fell asleep for 3 solid hours. He woke up feeling refreshed and felt fantastic which he was very pleased about.

Treatment 2
My client feels well today and his stress levels are low. My client informed me that he has tinea pedis (Athlete’s foot) at the moment so I protected my hands by wearing latex gloves. My client’s feet were warm and pale with fairly flexible ankles.

I really felt my client’s feet ‘talked’ to me today. There was so much more to work with this week and everything felt tied in with my client’s health problems.

Client feedback
My client said he had a slight healing crisis after his last treatment – he had a headache – but slept well that evening.

Treatment 3
My client seems well today and his stress levels are low as he is off work today. He has felt fine over this last week, no other healing crisis signs. he has not noticed any improvement in his health. His feet are warm and pink, ankles flexible. There is still some evidence of tinea pedis so I used two drops of T-tree oil with the foot wax to help combat the infection.

Client feedback
My client did not sleep well after his last treatment and noticed his feet were a bit sore.

Treatment 4
My client feels a bit tired today due to work. His stress levels are medium (3). He seemed a bit lethargic and looked slightly paler than normal. His feet are warm and pink.

It has been 2 weeks since my client’s last treatment.

We agreed that I would continue treatment of the nervous, endocrine and lymphatic systems with a warm up first and a cool down to finish. My client felt very relaxed and is taking it easy for the rest of the evening. He felt no tenderness today and his feet stayed warm and pink.

Client feedback
My client slept well after his last treatment and felt quite refreshed the next day. He has noticed the reflux has lessened although diarrhoea is still present.

Treatment 5
My client feels tired tonight – he has just finished work – but stress levels are low. He looks quite pale and lethargic. His feet are very hot and burning which happens frequently. My client thinks this is a result of previously suffering from peripheral neuropathy. There is still some evidence of tinea pedis although it has almost cleared.

I suggested to my client that we treat the digestive system next treatment to try and ease the reflux and diarrhoea, side effects of his medication, to which he agreed.

Client feedback
My client didn’t notice any changes immediately after the last treatment but has noticed that he has slept a bit better than usual over the last week. His heartburn is still present but less frequent and he is still suffering from diarrhoea daily.

Treatment 6
The case study seems much brighter today and has noticed that he has been sleeping better than usual over the last week. We agreed last week that I would work the digestive system this week to try and ease the discomfort of reflux and diarrhoea, to which he still agreed. His feet are warm and pink and stress levels are medium (3). Tinea pedis is still slightly present.

Treatment today will be a warm up, treating the nervous, endocrine and digestive systems and finishing with a cool down.

Client feedback
I spoke to my client the next day and he said he slept really well but had a bout of diarrhoea before bed and again this morning, although the morning episode was not unusual. Overall he felt well.

Treatment 7
The case study has finished his course of antacids and said heartburn has been more settled this week. Diarrhoea has also not been so bad this week and me client is keen to continue with treating the digestive system. His stress levels are fine this week but he is feeling tired as he has not been sleeping well. He said this could be due to over indulging with alcohol this past week. Tinea pedis still evident but it looks much better. His feet are very dry today and warm and pink.

Treatment today will be a warm up, treating the nervous, endocrine and digestive systems and finishing with a cool down.

Client feedback
My client said he slept well after his last treatment and he noticed the heartburn had improved.

Treatment 8
My client has not slept well this week but has noticed his bowel movements are more settled and although heartburn is still present it is not nearly as bad. His stress and energy levels are medium today. Feet are warm and pink and Tinea Pedis finally cleared.

Treatment today will be a warm up, treating the nervous, endocrine and digestive systems and finishing with a cool down.

Client feedback
My client slept well after the last treatment and is still noticing an improvement with heartburn.

Treatment 9
My client has noticed definite improvements with diarrhoea and heartburn – they are a lot less frequent. He has slept better this week and said he feels much better within himself. He has finally changed his pillows which is probably contributing to him sleeping better this week. His stress levels are low and he feels he has more energy. His feet are pink and warm.

My client is keen to continue with the same treatment as before.

My client really relaxed into the session today and fell asleep during treatment. His feet were not sensitive and there were few crunches. His feet stayed warm and pink. I am very pleased my client is responding well from treatment and that he has seen an improvement with his symptoms.

Client feedback
My client said he felt brilliant after his last treatment and slept very well that night.

Treatment 10
As this is the last treatment I offered my client the choice of either having the lymphatic system treated or the digestive system. He preferred to stick with the digestive system because he has had such good results from this. There has been a vast improvement with digestive problems and also sleep patterns and energy levels have improved. He feels less stressed also.
His feet are pink and warm.

Treatment today will be a warm up, treating the nervous, endocrine and digestive systems and finishing with a cool down.

I will also do the ‘lymphatic pump’ up both feet at the end of the session to boost immunity.

After the treatment I advised my client on the possibility of a healing crisis. He may feel tired, lethargic and achy over the next 24-48 hours. I also suggested my client increase his water intake, especially if he feels a headache coming on. I advised him to rest well for the rest of the day to encourage his body to heal itself. I also suggested he cut back on his alcohol intake for the next 24 hrs. If he had any worries or problems he could contact me. I recommended monthly treatments to help with his health problems.

I feel my client has responded well to treatment over the last few weeks and his symptoms have improved significantly. I noticed that my client also had more energy and has seemed chirpier over the last couple of weeks. I feel this case study has been challenging but rewarding.


My client’s primary complaint was low immunity due to having the H.I.V virus which he contracted 10 years ago. The virus is controlled with anti-retrovirals from which he suffers side effects such as itchy skin, reflux, diarrhoea and also depression from having to deal with the virus. He also suffers from insomnia which leads to low energy levels.

My client wanted to boost his immune system primarily but was keen to try and treat other symptoms. I was interested to find out if Reflexology made a difference to his immune system and viral load count which is found out through blood tests. Before treatment started his viral load was sitting at 39 which is the amount of viruses p/mm3 of blood. His CD4 count sat at 756 and this tests the immune system function. A person who is not H.I.V+ would have no viral load present and immune system function can be anywhere between 500 and 1500, depending on lifestyle and stress.

I noticed that this case study took longer to respond to treatment than my other case studies – we did not see significant improvement until treatments #8/#9 whereas my other studies responded after about the 4th treatment.

There was slight improvement with sleep pattern after 4 weeks but this did not significantly change until he changed his pillows.

On the 6th week I suggested we try and treat some other symptoms and work the digestive system to try and ease reflux and diarrhoea to which my client agreed. The results were good. The reflux improved that very week and continued to improve with every treatment. Bowel movements settled after the 7th treatment and continued to stay that way for the remainder of the study. Although both were still present I noticed that my client had more energy and seemed happier since we started treating the digestive system.

Although the main priority at the beginning was to treat the lymphatic system to boost immunity I felt that we should continue treating the digestive system for the remaining treatments and my client was in agreement – he felt much better and glad his digestive problems were easing. I added the lymphatic pump in the last treatment to give his immune system a last boost as I did not know if my client would be back for a treatment any time soon.

Once our study had finished my client had another blood test and the results were positive. His viral load was down to 30 and his CD4 count was up to 850 – less viruses in the blood and better immune system function. Result!

I learned a lot about the H.I.V virus from this study and because it took longer for my client to respond to treatment could maybe have had him in twice a week if he was not suffering badly from a healing crisis after treatment.