For People living with cancer
People with cancer can benefit from massage at every stage of the disease, from diagnosis, through their treatment and in the time after their treatment has ended.
It is important to find an appropriately trained therapist that will understand the demands that the disease itself and the treatments put on the body and can modify their touch, techniques, positioning and length of session to be appropriate for each individual client. For those actively undergoing treatment, it is important that the body isn’t placed under extra stress so the pressure and application of techniques will match what they can cope with. The aim of the massage is the patient’s well-being and to assist recovery by easing symptoms. Any particularly sensitive areas, tumour sites, areas being treated with radiotherapy and any medical equipment like intravenous lines or colostomy bags will be avoided and the client’s positioning will be adapted to ensure comfort. This is not to say that the massage will feel too light or insubstantial, instead, time is given to sink into the tissue mindfully and allow it to respond so the work can actually still be deep. Post treatment, massage can be used to help relieve pain, restore range of motion from surgeries, help with body image and the relaxation effects can help with anxiety.
Even for people with a history of cancer, the therapist needs to have an understanding of how the cancer and medical interventions have impacted on the individual and the adaptations that may be required to ensure that the massage treatments remain appropriate, safe and effective.
There is research out there that shows that massage can help to reduce anxiety and depression, reduce nausea, pain and fatigue. If you want further information, some papers are referenced on the Cancer Research UK website. Other benefits of oncology massage may include:
Relieves muscle soreness
Eases symptoms of chemotherapy and radiotherapy
Stimulates lymphatic flow (assisting immune function)
Improves quality of sleep
Decreases anxiety and depression
Promotes faster recovery from anaesthesia
Stimulates faster wound healing and improve scar tissue elasticity
Stimulates digestive system and increase uptake of nutrition
Increases range of motion
Decreases oedema and swelling
Shortens hospital stays
Re-establishes positive body image
I am now fully trained to deliver massage for people living with cancer. If you are interested and want to know more, please do not hesitate to get in touch for a chat. Home visits may be available if you are too unwell to travel, and concessions may be available on a case by case basis.