How Massage Therapy Helps Patients With Cancer


Massage therapy can help improve the wellbeing of patients who are receiving various types of cancers. Physicians are increasingly including massage therapy as part of their treatment plan. Massages can help improve a patient’s spirits and ease some of the unpleasant side effects of cancer treatments.

Whether an individual is going to cancer treatment for breast, colon, ovarian, mesothelioma or leukemia, patients should consult their doctors first and indulge in massage therapy to give them some piece of mind. The road to recovery can be daunting, so now not give yourself a nice relaxation session?

Massage therapy consists of nearly 80 different types of massages. Each style consists of unique movements, pressures, and techniques. They all involve manipulating, pressing, and rubbing soft tissues and muscles. Qualified professionals will administer the massages using their fingers and hands. According to the American Cancer Society, massage therapy can decrease pain, depression, and anxiety in patients who have cancer.

Some patients report that massages help them feel relaxed and improve their mental state. Medical experts say that massages cause the to body produce more endorphins. Endorphins are the natural chemicals, which cause a person to feel good. Massages may also help raise serotonin and dopamine levels, which are also mood-elevating chemicals. These chemicals also flush waste from the muscles.

Research suggests that cancer patients typically experience these benefits after receiving 30-minute massages for three weeks. The stress reducing benefits of massage therapy are very important. Some cancer patients become depressed and fatigued due to the demands of coping with a serious illness.

Massage therapy may also help boost the immune system of cancer patients. Some studies suggest that massages can increase the production of certain cells which help the immune system fight off cancer. Some cancer patients who were undergoing radiation or chemotherapy noticed a reduction in pain after receiving regular massages.

A form of massage therapy known as myotherapy can decrease most muscle pain. In fact, this type of massage may be just as effective as pain relieving medications. Myotherapy involves identifying trigger points throughout the body. Trigger points are sensitive areas of muscle tissue, which are tight and painful. Muscle tension is eased in these pressured areas.

People who have cancer should consult their physician before undergoing massage. Not all cancer patients can handle having a massage depending on types of cancer. Cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy may find that massages are painful. These patients are more likely to have an allergic reaction to the oils or lotions that are used. In addition, massages can cause bruising in patients who are undergoing chemotherapy or are taking blood thinners.

Article by: Melanie L Bowen.

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