Chances are you or someone you know will have cancer at some point in your lives. Cancer effects over one million Americans each year. In fact, according to the American Cancer Society there were 1,638,910 new cancer cases in the United States alone in 2012.
Treating cancer can be very difficult and come with painful side effects. Managing the symptoms associated with cancer and cancer treatment can be challenging. Physical and emotional concerns can become overwhelming throughout the cancer care journey for both the patients and their loved ones. According to recent studies, massage therapy can help.
A study involving The American Cancer Society confirmed that more than 61% of cancer survivors used some form of complementary or alternative medicine, including massage therapy. The research concludes that patients receiving massage therapy can possibly experience improvement in their: level of pain, overall mood, and quality of life.
Pain can occur in people with cancer for multiple reasons such as muscle soreness caused by chemotherapy or radiation. Perhaps a patient is experiencing spinal cord compression because the size of the tumor. Pain may also be caused by swelling and fluid retention and stiff muscles and joints. Massage therapy can help to relieve pain from cancer treatments in multiple ways. The use of Swedish Massage uses different techniques to apply pressure to muscles in order to relax them and encourage blood circulation. Deep tissue massage can release chronic tension by focusing on deep layers of muscle and connective tissue. This can restore muscles for better daily function as well as increase flexibility and range of motion. Using different types of massage can also release endorphins, which are natural pain-killers in the body.
Cancer Knowledge Center Current Oncology conducted a study with 1,290 cancer patients that saw a fifty percent decline in their pain severity scores after receiving a Swedish massage or a light touch massage.
Massage can also manage the daily stress and depression that many cancer patients go through. Not only does massage relax the body physically but it releases hormones like serotonin and dopamine that are linked to reduction of stress and improved happiness. According to the International Journal of Neuroscience, research has shown that after receiving a massage, the levels of those hormones were increased.
Relieving pain, relaxation of the body, reduced stress and improved happiness by the use of massage are all ways to improve the quality of life. Paul Scholl, Nationally Certified Therapist in Massage and Bodywork (NCTMB) at Living Touch Massage, says “We’ve had patients who come to just give it a try and leave surprised by how effective massage can be. Most are used to relying on certain medicinal treatments and forget that there are completely natural ways to deal with the pain associated with symptoms of cancer.”
Massage is proven to be an effective complementary therapy for cancer patients. It naturally relieves pain, improves overall mood as well as enhancing the quality of life.
If you or your loved one is battling cancer and would like to relieve some of the physical and emotional pains, call or text Living Touch Massage today to book an appointment at (218) 368-2963 or (218) 368-2964.
American Cancer Society : Cancer Facts and Figures
National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health:
Cancer Knowledge Network, Current Oncology
Massage therapy for cancer patients: a reciprocal relationship between body and mind
From the Journal of Neuroscience: Cortisol decreases and serotonin and dopamine increase following massage therapy. (Oct. 2005) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16162447