Oncology Massage

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Massage can be a much appreciated gift for people in any stage of a cancer condition or cancer treatment.   Oncology massage uses gentle techniques for relief of pain and emotional distress to promote deep relaxation, comfort, balance, and revitalization for people living with cancer.

An oncology massage therapist will take extra time to discuss your diagnosis, current condition, and medical treatments.   Oncology Massage is done in a gentle way to avoid overtaxing a debilitated body.   Oncology Massage avoids pressure in the area of active tumors, and uses soothing pressure on the rest of the body, along with stretching, rocking, and energy clearing techniques.   The work focuses on helping your body to feel connected and normal, relieving pain, providing deep relaxation, and comforting parts of the body which have been traumatized.   If you are in a very debilitated condition, your therapist will work in the most gentle way imaginable.   Just the simple touch of loving hands can provide powerful relief from pain and distress.   Read stories about Oncology Massage experiences.

You can use Oncology Massage whether or not you are receiving any medical treatments for cancer.   Please feel free to contact Linda with questions about bodywork for cancer, or to make an appointment.   I will be glad to take all the time we need to discuss all of your questions and concerns, to help you decide whether to pursue bodywork to assist your healing.

Years ago, it was feared that massage might cause cancer to spread, because it increases blood circulation and lymphatic flow.   It is now believed that massage pressure is not the mechanism for cancer metastasis.   In fact, clinical research has demonstrated many healing effects of massage for cancer, including reduction of side effects from chemotherapy, increased immune response, quicker healing after surgery, and reduction in anxiety and depression.

One study reports the results from 1290 cancer patients receiving massage at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.   Researchers conclude that "major, clinically relevant, immediate improvements in symptom scores were reported following massage therapy."   Overall the study found a 54-percent mean reduction in pain, fatigue, anxiety, nausea, and depression in cancer patients studied during a three-year period.   Because of the overwhelming research evidence, the US National Cancer Institute endorses the use of massage to relieve anxiety and pain in cancer patients, and funds clinical trials to learn more about the specific healing mechanisms of massage for cancer symptoms.

For peace of mind for yourself, your massage therapist, and your oncologist, it is a good idea to consult with your doctor before receiving massage, if you are undergoing oncology cancer treatments.   If your doctor is not up to date about the benefits -- and safety -- of massage for cancer patients, print one of these very informative articles to show her/him:

Tracy Walton, Learning from the Largest Study on Cancer and Massage, 2007.

Gayle MacDonald, Oncology: Bodywork for Cancer Patients. The Need for a Less Demanding Approach, 2005.

Tracy Walton, Cancer and Massage: Essential Contraindications, 2006.