Oncology Massage

Oncology massage is a form of massage treatment that can be adapted to individual needs. While it can be used on anyone, it’s particularly beneficial for cancer patients because of its gentle, yet effective, approach and its ability to be adapted with your changing needs physically and emotionally, over the course of your cancer treatment.

 

 

  • Should cancer patients have massages?
    The short answer to this question is yes. The longer answer is also yes, but it’s important that you find a massage that is tailored to your needs by an appropriately trained therapist. This helps to ensure your treatment provides comfort and support physically and mentally, and uses natural, effective skincare products. When therapists have specialist training, they’re able to do exactly that, and as a result, massage is shown to provide lots of benefits to cancer patients.

 

 

  • What are the benefits of massage for cancer patients?
    Massage is known to provide lots of benefits for everyone. If you’ve had one before, you will know that it can be a joyful, restorative experience. However, when you’re going through something big, like cancer or cancer treatment, those benefits can be even more important. Most people we work with talk about how nice it is to experience gentle, attentive touch at a time when they’re having, or have recently had, so much medical treatment. Studies also show that there are tangible short- and long-term benefits:

Short-term benefits

    • Reduced anxiety, depressed mood and anger
    • Increased vigour
    • Reduced mood disturbances and perceived stress levels
    • Improved sleep quality
    • Improved quality of life
    • Reduced perception of pain, nausea and increased relaxation
    • Pain intensity, pulse rate, and respiratory rate significantly reduced immediately after the massages
    • Reduced anxiety, depression, general fatigue, motivation fatigue, and emotional fatigue
    • Reduced heart rate and lower blood pressure
    • Decrease in physical discomfort
    • The effect of massage on mood disturbances was greater when treated continuously by the same therapist

Long-term benefits

    • Reduced depression and hostility
    • Increased urinary dopamine and serotonin values
    • Increased natural killer cell number and lymphocytes in breast cancer patients
    • Reduced mood disturbances and perceived stress levels

 

 

  • Is it ok to get a massage while on chemotherapy or radiotherapy?
    As long as you visit a therapist who is oncology trained, you can usually have a massage at any stage of your cancer treatment, including chemotherapy or radiotherapy. It may be that your therapist will adapt a treatment to avoid radiotherapy sites, or you might not feel up to having a massage in the days surrounding your cancer treatment. The crucial thing is that it’s very much about you and your individual requirements. If you’re feeling very anxious or unsure, speak to your doctor and phone your therapist before your planned visit to chat about what is best for you.
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