While massage certainly cannot prevent or treat cancer, it can help those in Tucson who are battling cancer feel a little better. Cancer patients experience a broad range of side effects while they’re undergoing treatment. In addition to physical symptoms like pain and nausea, massage also boasts benefits for emotional symptoms like anxiety and depression.
The benefits of massage for cancer patients are still being researched and explored. Untapped potential may still remain within massage therapy as a complementary tool to traditional cancer treatment. Many oncologists encourage cancer patients to integrate safe and healthy treatments for their symptoms with effective treatments for their cancer. As long as massage therapy is approached gently and tailored specific to the patient, the patient should walk away feeling relief.
Why Massage Is Great For You
Massage imparts both physical and mental benefits to everyone who uses massage therapy. The manipulation and massage of muscles can reduce soreness, swelling, and inflammation. Circulation will improve, thanks to a rush of oxygenated blood that will flow through the affected muscles. Muscle waste fluids are easily drained away, allowing the muscle to become loose and flexible again.
Massage therapy helps the brain produce endorphins and hormones. Some of these hormones act as natural pain relievers, taking the edge off of the soreness. Cortisol, the stress hormone, is often lowered in massage therapy patients. Many people feel less anxious and somewhat blissful after a massage. It’s not unusual to sleep like a baby the night after you get a massage.
How People Fighting Cancer Benefit From Massage
While massage itself cannot slow or inhibit the growth of cancer, it can mitigate some of the side effects from aggressive forms of cancer treatment. The Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing conducted a research study in 2016 to test and verify potential benefits of massage therapy for cancer patients. This study focused on the most common side effects, including nausea, fatigue, anxiety, and pain. Therapeutic massage was used to combat these symptoms.
The findings of the study were that virtually every participant reported a significant reduction in the severity of their symptoms from a short therapeutic massage session. It only took 20 minutes a session for each patient to feel much better.
Reducing Pain With Massage
The fact that massage reduces pain has been well established and documented throughout a host of studies conducted over the course of decades. Massage is non-invasive and does not require the use of drugs, making it a safer alternative to many pain management methods. Its effectiveness is linked to the release of natural pain combating hormones released by the brain during a massage.
Nausea And Upset Stomach
Massage alone will not combat the nausea that comes as a common side effect of chemotherapy. It can, however, become an important part of a comprehensive nausea management plan. Researchers conducted a study on chemotherapy related nausea in 2015. The findings were that massage, when combined with ginger and the drug dexamethasone, made a significant impact on nausea reduction. Cancer patients having trouble managing their nausea should speak with their oncologist about finding a better solution. Adding ginger to their diets and incorporating massage therapy into their treatment plans may prove promising.
Depression And Stress
Depression is silent, but very harmful. Many cancer patients deal with depression. It’s understandable that patients may feel low sometimes. Treatment can be exhausting and the battle can be taxing. Depression is multifaceted – it affects things like your immune system and your ability to get a high quality of sleep. Cancer patients need to manage depression as soon as its recognized.
Stress and anxiety affect the body in a similar way. Even though someone who often feels stressed or anxious may not have depression, they’re likely to experience a lot of overlap in symptoms. Since it’s these symptoms that make day to day life more difficult, it’s imperative that they’re treated immediately.
Massage therapy has been proven to help combat the chemical symptoms of depression. Since massage works just as much on the brain as it does on the body, the benefits affect the patient as a whole. With a reduction in negative hormones and a boost in positive hormones can help cancer patients find an ideal emotional balance.
Cautiously Approaching Massage Therapy
Massage is unfortunately not an option for certain cancer patients. Patients undergoing certain treatment therapies, such as radiation therapy, may not be able to tolerate massage. People living with bone cancer are at a higher risk for fracture. Before you pursue massage therapy, speak with your oncologist.
Let Us Show You
Greentoes in Tucson offers a wide variety of specialty massages. It’s our goal to keep every visitor comfortable and relaxed while they enjoy their massage. We invite you to find your calm with us. One of our licensed massage therapists would be delighted to help you feel your best.