The Power of Touch: Oncology Massage

Cancer patients receiving medical treatments, experience the myriad of side effects that overwhelmingly assault their health. Physically, the body can receive toxic chemicals, the burn of radiation, and the effects of inactivity for long periods of time.

Their mental health can be compromised by the anxiety of a severe illness, affecting mood and a sense of well-being. Recently, research studies provided evidence that massage therapy is an essential part of supportive care for cancer patients.

Oncology massage is a relatively new approach in treating the physical and mental health of patients in cancer treatments. Massage can counteract and provide a beneficial response to many of the harmful side effects from chemotherapies, radiation, and other medical interventions.

Massage Relives Pain

Cancer patients experiencing pain from illness, inactivity, and certain medical treatments can benefit from the increased circulation and elimination of destructive toxins in the body. Removing harmful chemicals and improving oxygen flow can decrease inflammation and lessen pain. Gentle manipulation of tissues relaxes muscle spasms, and relieves tension.

Muscle weakness and fatigue are an expected problem for patients that are inactive due to illness or treatment. Massage therapy pushes venous blood back to the heart and reduces fatigue by increasing blood supply and nutrition to the musculature. Muscle atrophy, or wasting, is delayed by improving tone and the stimulation of muscle fibers from massaging of the tissues.

Respiratory Impairment

Patients experiencing cancers that affect the respiratory system, such as mesothelioma, have a decreased ability to breath and expel air. Toxins that are not eliminated through the lungs accumulate and become harmful, and chest muscles become painful and fatigued. Massage relieves muscle spasms and decreases tension around the ribcage. Massage also increases the excretion of toxins via the kidneys, and encourages the retention of minerals and electrolytes necessary for tissue repair.

Anemia and Immune System

Chemotherapies, radiation, blood loss, and other treatments may medically induce anemia. Many cancer patients’ immune systems are impacted by disease, medical treatment, and inactivity. Massage can open venous vessels and increases oxygen to the blood cells and improves the health of the immune system. More oxygen to the body promotes better function of all body systems.

Consult your doctor today and find a massage therapy that will be beneficial to you and your treatment and give your mind, body and spirit a vacation from some of life’s everyday stressors!