The side effects and stress of cancer and its treatment can take a heavy toll. However, medical massage therapy provides a holistic, drug-free approach to managing common symptoms and improving well-being for cancer patients.
Common Symptoms Addressed by Medical Massage
Trained therapists can help alleviate:
Massage techniques like trigger point therapy, myofascial release and neuromuscular therapy target specific areas of muscle tension and spasm that cause or worsen cancer-related pain.
Relaxation attained through medical massage – combined with increased blood flow and reduced inflammation – can improve energy levels in cancer patients dealing with constant exhaustion.
Medical massage may stimulate the vagus nerve which connects to the part of the brain that controls nausea and vomiting. This can provide relief for those dealing with effects of chemotherapy.
Anxiety and Depression
Deep relaxation, mood improvement and stress reduction effects of massage can help counter anxiety and depression often present in cancer patients.
Conditions Benefiting from Medical Massage
Massage therapy tailored to the unique needs of those with:
• Breast cancer – helps lymphedema, shoulder stiffness, scar tissue pain
• Prostate cancer – relieves pelvic floor tension, reduces pain
• Lymphoma – alleviates peripheral neuropathy pain in hands and feet
• Leukemia – decreases mucositis pain and discomfort in mouth and throat
• Lung or colorectal cancer – relieves neck and shoulder muscle tension
Most local massage therapists can tailor a regimen to your specific cancer type and symptoms. Look for one that:
• Has experience with cancer patients
• Can modify pressure according to your sensitivity
• Accommodates treatment schedules
• Provides a safe, healing environment
Medical massage can significantly improve the lives of those undergoing treatment for cancer by addressing many unpleasant and debilitating side effects in a natural, drug-free manner.