Anew You Massage: The Ultimate Wellness Spa
Oncology Treatments… There is Hope.
The following information has been taken from the Oncology Massage Therapy Course approved by the National Board of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork.
If a drug was discovered that provided the many benefits therapeutic massage gives to cancer patients, pharmaceutical companies would be falling all over themselves and each other to bottle it. And, if oncologists understood its value, they would write as many prescriptions for therapeutic massage as for analgesics!
Data shows that bodywork could be prescribed in conjunction with other interventions for many of the physical discomforts of cancer and its treatment, such as insomnia, nausea, fatigue, and muscular tension; for emotional distresses such as anxiety, depression, and loneliness; for improving mental factors, such as concentration and self-image.
Pain is one of the most feared elements of the cancer experience, and something that affects patients’ comfort and quality of life. Therapeutic massage not only provides pain relief essential in and of itself, but it can also improve the patient’s chances of survival. Pain can erode a patient’s willingness to continue treatment, even to live. Severe pain not only affects the will to live or response to treatment, it may hinder the healing process, or prolong hospitalization.
Cancer pain is caused by a variety of influences, such as fear, beliefs based on prior experience, or physical influences such as bone or nerve compression.
A research made by the Sahlgrenska Academy at Goteborg University in Goteborg, Sweden, showed that Massage Relieves Nausea in Breast Cancer Patients Undergoing Chemotherapy.
Treatment options for women with breast cancer include surgery, radiation, hormone therapy and chemotherapy. While these treatments are intended to help defeat the overall battle against breast cancer, they can also produce side effects such as numbness, pain, nausea, fatigue, and weakness.
One of the most common side effects in patients undergoing chemotherapy is nausea. The randomized, controlled study was conducted in an oncology clinic in a hospital in southwestern Sweden.
39 women with breast cancer scheduled to undergo chemotherapy were enlisted in the study. 19 of the participants received massage, while the remaining 20 were placed in a control group without massage. 5 massage sessions were given to the massage group. the 20 minutes massages consisted of soft strokes, and patients were able to choose the location of their massages - between the foot and lower leg, or between the hand and lower arm.
Results of the study showed that massage lowered nausea in women with breast cancer undergoing chemotherapy. However, the study did not find any effect of massage on depression or anxiety.
Another study was made at St Thomas’ Hospital, London, U.K.: Aromatherapy Massage Effects Short-Term Relief of Cancer Patients’ Anxiety, Depression. This study showed that aromatherapy massage can relieve mild-to-moderate anxiety and depression in cancer patients, but the benefits last for only a few weeks afterward, so a self care aromatherapy session must be on-going for cancer patients at home.