October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so I wanted to address some of the benefits of massage to cancer patients. Let me start by saying that massage is not a treatment for cancer and should not be used instead of other treatment options such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy or surgery. Instead, massage is considered a type of complementary therapy and while it won’t treat the cancer itself, it may help reduce the side effects caused by conventional treatments and improve quality of life and wellbeing.
Scientific studies have looked at the effects of massage on people having cancer treatments and these studies have shown that massage may reduce pain, fatigue, nausea, anxiety and depression.
As well as improving physical symptoms, some people with cancer say that having a massage makes them feel whole again, helps them to relax, helps them share feelings in an informal setting, makes them feel more positive about their body and rebuilds hope.
Research shows that massaging muscle and soft tissue does not spread cancer cells. Light, relaxing massage can safely be given to people at all stages of cancer. Tumor or treatment sites should not be massaged to avoid discomfort or pressure on the affected area and underlying organs. If you have any concerns, talk to your doctor before scheduling an appointment.