Massage Therapy During Cancer: Empowering Wellness – by guest blogger, Melanie L. Bowen

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Nearly twelve million Americans are battling cancer at any given time, according to American Cancer Society statistics. Many of these individuals have bravely fought their disease for several years, through diagnosis, treatment, remission and relapse.

Cancer treatments are harsh. They load bodies with heavy toxins and unforgiving side effects. During the most stressful times of cancer, massage therapy can be a godsend.

Massage as Complementary Therapy

Many medical professionals recommend massage therapy as a complementary treatment for cancer patients. Without a doubt, therapeutic bodywork can greatly benefit these patients and their loved ones. While massage is not a cure-all for cancer or a stand-alone treatment, it can serve as nurturing healthcare in most cancer treatment plans.

Chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, hormone therapies and other treatments place a heavy burden on the body. Conventional treatments are successful because they aggressively target cancer cells and kill them before they can spread. This is a good thing. However, cancer treatments often cause debilitating side effects that are difficult to live with, and this is not so good. For many patients, the side effects of cancer treatment are worse than the cancer symptoms and pain.

Massage therapy does much to eliminate toxic chemicals, alleviate pain, reduce stress and minimize treatment symptoms. This often results in improved circulation, decreased blood pressure and reduced nausea and fatigue.

Swedish massage, reflexology and other relaxation techniques are the best ones to use during cancer treatment. When the treatment program ends, patients may consider lymph drainage, myotherapy, neuromuscular therapy and other trigger point techniques.

Anyone battling cancer can benefit from massage, whether they have metastatic breast cancer, mesothelioma or another form of the disease. Bodywork is possible even for hospitalized patients. Cranial-sacral therapy, Reiki and Therapeutic Touch are calming ways to cope with a hospital stay. The gentle touch provides comfort and reassurance during crucial moments in the cancer experience.

Massage as Empowerment

Talking to a doctor and massage therapist is the best place to start massage therapy. Physical manipulation can worsen some conditions, so discussing massage with a cancer doctor is important. Talking with a therapist about the disease and its treatment ensures that bodywork techniques are adapted to meet individual needs.

Massage is a healing therapy that empowers wellness. Cancer patients whose treatment plans include massage enjoy numerous health benefits. A caring touch can alleviate pain, nausea, stress, anxiety, anger, depression and all the other feelings and emotions that cancer evokes.

Regular massage therapy improves many body functions, from circulation and breathing to digestion and sleep. It also boosts the immune system, so the body can fight cancer growth and infection.

The calming experience of massage relaxes the body and mind. This relaxation improves mood, well-being and outlook. During a time when cancer seems to control everything, massage therapy empowers patients and gives them a better quality of life.

Thank you Melanie for your contribution

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