Massage is no longer thought to be an hour of pampering but rather a form of non-invasive treatment that can help to improve overall health. A range of studies show that complimentary therapy, such as massage therapy can bring relief to cancer patients. Patients who include massage therapy as part of their care plan tend to experience lower levels of stress, higher levels of relaxation and tend to sleep better. So what is massage therapy and how does it help people undergoing conventional or ?
Massage therapy is a treatment by which massage therapists use their hands and fingers to press, rub and manipulate skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments in a range of pressures from deep pressure to light touch. Considered an alternative treatment or therapy, there are a wider range of massage types, including Swedish massage, trigger point massage, Reiki, and reflexology.
According to ancient Chinese history, massage has been used for its healing powers for over 4,000 years. Today, while the benefits of massage are widely accepted by many, the Western medical community is starting to recognize the benefits of massage as clinical research starts to provide evidence that massage can reduce stress, depression and anxiety, improve sleep behaviour, and immune response as well as having a positive impact on a number of condition-specific conditions.
Benefits of Massage for Cancer Patients
Massage therapy for cancer patients has shown to improve both the management of symptoms associated with cancer and cancer treatment as well as improve overall quality of life for cancer patients during and after cancer treatment.
Clinical research has shown that cancer patients who add massage therapy to their treatment plans tend to experience better levels of relaxation, improved sleep and immune response, as well as decreased pain, anxiety, nausea and vomiting, improved circulation, reduced swelling and pain.
Breast Cancer Treatment and Massage Therapy
In 2011, Researchers from the UK reviewed the connection between massage and women who were undergoing breast cancer treatment. Reviewing 6 trials indicated that the massage helped with symptoms of depression, fatigue and pain and their study concluded that massage ‘seems to be useful as a supportive therapy’.
Another study of breast cancer patients was conducted in Germany in 2009, where half of the 86 women received massage therapy and the other half did not. Results showed that those women who received massage reported less pain, discomfort, fatigue and fewer mood disturbances than those in the group who did not receive massage. This study provided further evidence to suggest that massage therapy can provide beneficial support to some women receiving breast cancer treatment.
A 2004, US based study of women with Stage 1 and Stage 2 breast cancer receiving massage therapy three-times per week showed immediate and long term effects of the massage therapy. Reduction of anxiety, depressed mood and anger were all noted as immediate effects of the massage therapy, while longer term benefits included reduced depression and hostility, increased urinary dopamine, serotonin values, NK cell number, and lymphocytes. There is growing interest in the benefits of massage therapy, and funding is being allocated to further research these benefits. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, part of the National Institute of Health, currently spends USD $2.7 million on massage research.
With such a broad range of s and complementary cancer treatments available, it can be hard to make a decision on the best cancer treatment program.
At Alternative Cancer Treatment Mexico we believe in treating the patient, not just the disease. As such we develop a unique functional medicine program for every one of our patients.