Cancer Safe Massage
Scientific studies have been done to show the effects of various body-based practices on people having cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and surgery. These studies have shown that massage may reduce pain, fatigue, nausea, anxiety, and depression.
Massage for people with cancer can mean anything from a very normal massage involving all of the client’s body to very light, simple touch intended to help a person reconnect with his or her body in a kind and healing way.
When we broaden the definition of massage in this way oncology massage is safe for cancer patients when provided by a massage therapist properly trained in oncology massage.
Oncology massage is now available in many of the world’s leading cancer hospitals.
Oncology massage training addresses the full spectrum of cancer-related issues: the physical consequences of cancer, the side effects of various treatments, and the psycho-social and emotional considerations.
An oncology massage therapist will adapt the massage therapy techniques to the specific needs of the cancer patient.
Light, relaxing massage can safely be given to people at all stages of cancer.
Tumor or treatment sites should not be massaged to avoid discomfort or too much pressure on the affected area and underlying organs.
Some people worry that massage can spread cancer cells throughout the body via the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is a network of vessels, organs, and nodes through which lymphatic fluid (lymph) flows. It is part of the body’s immune system. Lymphatic circulation occurs naturally when we move: muscles contract and compress lymph vessels to force the movement of lymph.
Cancer may spread, commonly called metastasize, into the lymphatic system via the lymph nodes, or it may start in the lymphatic system itself. However, the circulation of lymph – from a massage or other movements – does not cause cancer to spread. Researchers have shown that cancer develops and spreads because of changes to a cell’s DNA called genetic mutations and other processes in the body.
Additional information and FAQ on Oncology Massage for Cancer patients