Am I the Right Massage Therapist for You?

It can be hard to figure out who the best Massage Therapist for you is.  Several years ago, I wrote a post entitled Choosing a Massage Therapist to help you decide. I’ve grown as a therapist since then, so I thought an update was in order. If you haven’t read that post, this sums it up:

What really separates one Massage Therapist from another is what they are good at. No Massage Therapist is good at everything. Be wary if they say they are. As they say: “jack of all trades, master of none.” For this reason, I think one of the most important things to think about when choosing a Massage Therapist is the reason you are getting a massage.So think about your needs before you start your search. People seek massage for all sorts of reasons, from needing help with a specific injury to wanting to feel pampered.

Am I the Right Massage Therapist for You?

Over the years, I’ve become really good with two things: Massage for Stress and Oncology Massage.

Massage for Stress

This is a bit vague, I mean everyone is stressed, right? Allow me to clarify. I might be the right Massage Therapist for you if any of these statements sound like you:

  • You feel like you’re always rushing around trying to get everything done.
  • You say things like “I carry tension in my neck and shoulders” or “I’m just a stressful person.”
  • You’re exhausted, but you keep going anyway, thinking “when this life event happens [my kids are older, when this big project at work is over or when they hire more help at the office], then I will actually take care of myself.”
  • You’re a hard worker, and you know you could use a break, but you often find yourself saying I need to get this “one more thing” done until you’re completely worn out and you collapse on your couch and spend your evening mindlessly staring at whatever’s on TV.
  • You’re burnt-out, but you can’t rest. You just don’t know how to relax.

Single Integrative Massage (or Ashiatsu) Sessions are designed to allow you to rest, relax, and rejuvenate. Custom programs are available to help you get off the hamster wheel of stress.

Massage for Support During Cancer Treatment

Cancer and cancer treatments can be rough. Oncology Massage Sessions are designed to support you during this time. Sometimes a typical massage session could you leave you feeling worse. As an Oncology Massage Therapist, I’m always working to see how much more I can do with massage therapy to best support you, so you leave feeling better than when you came in.

Basically, Oncology Massage is designed to help you feel good at a time when nothing feels good.

Trouble Finding an Appointment

If either of these sound like what you need, but you can’t find a time on the scheduler, send me an email at karyn@balancechampaign.com with some times you’re looking for and maybe we can make it work.

Free Class with Healthy Tips for After Breast Cancer Surgery

SunflowerI recently heard about a free class offered at the Mills Breast Cancer Institute. I asked local Physical Therapist,  Kim Mills, to tell us about it.

This FREE class is available to ALL pre and post breast surgery patients (not just for Carle patients). Patients are welcome to attend the class before or after their surgery or even both, if they find that helpful, but the class content remains the same each time.

Classes are held monthly on the second Wednesday and fourth Friday at the Mills Breast Cancer Institute. To reserve your spot call (217)383-6636.

Can you tell me a bit about the Arise class and how it helps women who have had mastectomies?

The Arise class is designed to give breast surgery patients helpful information to further promote their healing process. This class is a one-hour class which includes scar healing techniques, gentle range of motion exercises, lymphedema education/prevention tips, and much more. Class participants have been grateful for the class and have stated how beneficial the information has been in helping them to know what they can and should be doing after their surgery.

The class has been named “Arise” because it’s so important for patients to realize the importance of getting up and getting moving again after their surgery (as long as their doctors haven’t given them any movement limitations).

What’s your favorite thing about the community here?

I Love how Bike-able this community is becoming and the many beautiful parks in Champaign/Urbana.

What’s your favorite local lunch place?

Favorite lunch spot would be Milo’s in Urbana! Lovely setting and delicious food!

Kim Mills, PT

 

Kim Mills is a PT who works for Carle Foundation Hospital. She’s taught this class since 2012 and is so thankful for the anonymous donor who makes this class possible through giving via the Carle Philanthropy Center.

 

Physical Therapy for Cancer Survivors. Ask the Expert.

weightsI frequently suggest folks talk to their doctors about physical therapy, whether they are recovering from injury or experiencing cording in the underarm area or swelling post-cancer treatment (lymphedema).  I interviewed Elizabeth Camp, a Physical Therapist at Carle to find out more about the benefits of physical therapy for cancer survivors. 

What is the most common reason cancer survivors seek out physical therapy?
There are many reasons that a cancer survivor might seek out therapy.

1) Some patients have a new onset of swelling in the arm , leg or trunk either immediately following treatment which doesn’t resolve or even years into survivorship. New presentations of edema that occurs after an extended time out from surgery or radiation should be assessed by the MD before referral for CDT intervention. (Note from Karyn: CDT is Complete Decongestive Therapy)

2) Patients may benefit from education regarding stage 0 lymphedema, prevention tactics, fitting of prophylactic compression to wear during high risk activities such as travel and heavy exercise, and skin care/protection against infection. Cellulitis is a frequent cause of lymphedema onset in patients that have completed treatment and did not have lymphedema initially. (note from Karyn: lymphedema ranges from stage 0 or no visible swelling to stage 3 or severe swelling)

3) Some patients have issues with limited shoulder mobility following surgery/radiation which can be addressed.

4) Limitations in shoulder/elbow mobility that is accompanied by “tightness” extending down the arm into the elbow or wrist can be an indication of axillary web syndrome (AWS). AWS most often is present during treatment or immediately following surgery/radiation interventions.

5) Various chemotherapy agents can impact the patients general health resulting in decreased strength, endurance, and can result in cardio-pulmonary limitations. Patients may benefit from therapy to direct a supervised rehabilitation program as they try to resume their former activity level.

What are the benefits of physical therapy for cancer survivors?

Physical/Occupational therapy can be of benefit for cancer survivors in many ways.
1) Education provision regarding lymphedema, expected prognosis, options for treatment
2) Supervised exercise programming to improve function and activity tolerance
3) Preventative or maintenance compression garment measurement and fitting
4) Instruction in home manual lymph drainage/exercise/compression/skin care program to prevent progression of lymphedema.

You teach lymph drainage massage to breast cancer survivors. How important is this in preventing the development of lymphedema post cancer treatment?

Manual lymph drainage is a technique that helps to increase lymph drainage from the involved region either through remaining pathways or by re-routing the drainage through another regional node system. This drainage is very important to the prevention of lymphedema onset. Lymphedema occurs when the high protein fluid is allowed to accumulate in the tissue resulting in progression of the edema from Stage 0 to Stage 1 or even Stage 2.

What do you love about the community here?
I enjoy the “small town” feel of C-U while still having the amenities of a much larger community.

What’s your favorite local lunch place?

I have a number of local lunch places that I enjoy. The Black Dog has wonderful barbecue and I have a favorite salad at Atties. It always surprises me the number and variety of good restaurants that are available in the downtown area of Champaign Urbana.

A PT/OT prescription is required before you can be scheduled for treatment. Prescriptions can be faxed to 217- 383-3567.

Elizabeth Camp, PT-MHS, CWS, CLT-LANA
Elizabeth Camp, PT-MHS, CWS, CLT-LANA

Elizabeth has been a practicing physical therapist for 30+ years. She has been a certified wound specialist through the American Board of Wound Management for 11 years. She is currently on staff at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, IL providing lymphedema treatment for both primary and secondary lymphedema patients.

Elizabeth provides lymphedema treatment to patients both during and following cancer treatment. She provides care to patients with many different types of cancer related lymphedema including not only breast and gynecologic cancers but also head and neck as well as soft tissue cancers. Additionally she works with the Carle Wound Healing Center providing lymphedema intervention and adjunctive therapies to patients with chronic wounds and/or lymphedema.

Elizabeth has provided professional continuing education for a number of years. She developed and teaches the current “ Wound Care for Lymphedema “course through Klose Training which educates practicing lymphedema therapists how to effectively address wounds associated with lymphedema. She has presented at the Carle- Skin Care Symposium in 2006, 2010 and 2015. She has provided education to multiple support groups/gatherings for cancer survivors in the CU community.

How to Offer Support to Families Dealing with Cancer

bridge supports

Families are in the trenches dealing with cancer every day. It’s easy to feel helpless when friends and people close to you are struggling. Since September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, we’re going to give you some simple things you can do to help those who are facing the dreaded “C” word.

Do. Don’t ask.

It’s easy to say, “let me know if you need anything.” What the family needs is someone to say, “hey, I’m making you dinner.” Or “I’m babysitting – just tell me what day (or night).” Don’t give them the burden of asking. Just offer it.

Gift cards go a long way.

Treatments can sometimes take a patient and family far from home. Do a little research and purchase gift cards for restaurants, hotel chains and gas stations near the hospital they are using. A gift subscription to Amazon Prime or Netflix may be helpful to someone who is bedridden. Some downtime and low key entertainment might be just what they need. And, of course, a massage gift certificate paired with an offer of babysitting is a perfect way to care for the care givers.

Remember the siblings.

Cancer affects the entire family. Siblings often are trying to navigate many emotions like fear and jealousy. Commit to a sibling and offer to be there for them. Be a friend. Be someone they can lean on and talk to. If you send the cancer patient a gift, make sure you give something to the sibling and include them.

Show up

Shortly after diagnosis, a family will receive calls, cards, and meals. Anything to help soothe the heartbreaking news. After time, these things fade away and the family is still traveling the long road. It could be months or even years. It’s a financial and emotional weight. Keep them in mind and reach out well after the dust settles.

It’s hard to know what to say to a family that’s struggling with cancer. But don’t disappear. Meet them where they are. Sometimes there are no words. Just be present.  Reach out and enlist the help of others to send cards, letters and other nice/silly/fun things that will brighten the family’s day. Even an “I’ve been thinking of you” text speaks volumes.

These tips might not seem like much, but it can mean the world to a family facing cancer. Long days and sleepless nights can be an endless cycle. Little gestures of kindness can bring the family loads comfort.

Is Yoga for Everyone? Ask the Expert.

yogi performing headstand on beachI’m always recommending yoga or some type of movement to complement your massage care. But we’ve all seen the photos of the super bendy yogis. That’s pretty intimidating!  One of the reasons I love yoga is that anyone can practice it. Anyone, really. I interviewed one of my favorite yoga instructors, Rachel Bass-Guennewig, to tell us a bit about yoga. She teaches a variety of classes, including gentle yoga and a chair-based yoga class. Plus she’s just an awesome person to be around.

What is the most common reason folks come to your yoga classes?

I think the most common reason people come to Daily Bread Yoga classes is because someone they trust invited them. Many come with little to no experience with yoga and are intimidated by the whole idea. I think they keep coming back because it feels like an accepting, fun, and friendly environment to learn more and practice yoga. We meet in church buildings, people know each other in class, and while I take the practice of yoga really seriously, I don’t take myself too seriously. Each class forms into a little community that is welcoming as people come and go. For better or worse, it’s hard to be anonymous in my class.

Is there a common misconception about yoga that you would like to clear up?

There are so many misconceptions about yoga; where to begin?! One misconception for sure is that it is “just stretching”, so you need to be flexible. While your muscles will definitely be stretched, they will also be strengthened, turned, and allowed to rest. There is so much happening in the body during a yoga class because your body is an amazingly dynamic machine. So, building strength in your back might allow you to stretch and open up across your chest. And then you might find that you breathe better. And then you just feel better. And then you sleep better. And then you digest food better. And because you feel better you make a few better choices about what you eat. There is so much more happening than we know in yoga, even if you think it is “just stretching”.

What are the benefits of yoga for someone in cancer treatment?

There is lots of research and special articles about yoga and people with cancer. I can tell you my thoughts based on the people who have done yoga with me while they are going through cancer treatment, recovering, and sadly right even until the time of their death. A gentler yoga, maybe practiced with a chair, provides some meaningful physical activity to do with your body that isn’t very strenuous or full of big expectations of accomplishing something. Yoga isn’t about “fixing” what’s wrong with you, but being present in the wholeness of your body, even in the midst of cancer. I think it provides a little break, mentally and physically from trying so hard to fight against what is happening inside your body. In every class we start with gratitude for being able to show up at all for class, despite frustrations with your body, anxiety, grief, or loneliness. It takes some serious determination to show up at a yoga class, especially when you are going through or recovering from cancer.

How long have to been in practice here in Champaign, IL?

I have been teaching yoga in Champaign-Urbana since about 2007. Back then I taught at the Living Yoga Center (during the Deb Lister era) and at the Lutheran Campus ministry where I worked on the U of I campus. I lived in Seattle and taught yoga, 2009-2012. I have been leading Saturday Morning Retreats and weekly classes through Daily Bread Yoga since moving back to Champaign-Urbana in 2012. I also teach a class at the Stephens Family YMCA and have two private yoga students. I have been and continue to train in Adaptive Yoga with Mind Body Solutions in Minnesota, working with people with a wide range of abilities and disabilities. This fall I will offer two classes at the Disability Resources & Educational Services at the University of Illinois. One class will be for people with physical disabilities, limiting their ability to stand and walk. The other class will be for people with a wide range of other disabilities such as PTSD, Autism, or anxiety disorders. I am so excited to be part of expanding the yoga community in Champaign-Urbana!

What do you love about the community here?

What I love about the Champaign-Urbana community is the incredible concentration of interesting people and places without ever having to get on the highway or pay in large bills for parking.

What’s your favorite local lunch place?

One of my favorite places for lunch is at Common Ground Food Co-Op. I love that roasted squash sandwich. Yum. Yum. And the pizza. yum.

About Rachel

Rachel Bass-Guennewig, Yoga InstructorRachel Bass-Guennewig leads weekly classes and Saturday morning retreats through Daily Bread Yoga, at 6 different church locations (Lutheran, Presbyterian, United Methodist, Disciples of Christ). While Rachel’s background as a Lutheran pastor definitely informs and gives shape to her yoga practice and teaching, she is not a “Christian Yoga” instructor. She welcomes and celebrates having a diverse community of people practicing yoga together. Rachel completed her 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training in Indianapolis with Nikki Meyers, an innovative yoga instructor who has created Y12SR – Yoga 12 Step Recovery; a yoga practice supporting people in addiction recovery. Rachel has also trained with James Fox of Prison Yoga Project, and Off The Mat-Into The World’s Leadership Training of Yoga for Social Change. Most recently Rachel completed Advanced Studies with Mind Body Solutions, in Minnesota, a world renowned center for Adaptive Yoga, founded by Matthew Sanford, an incredible yoga instructor and practitioner who is paralyzed from the chest down. You can learn more about Rachel and Daily Bread Yoga on her blog, Daily Bread Yoga.

Cancer and Massage: Information for Healthcare Providers

Massage Therapy is increasingly being used as complementary care during and after cancer treatment. The following information is intended to help you determine if massage therapy may help your patients.

Does massage have anything to offer my patients?

Yes, research supports (1) the use of massage therapy as a complement to pain medications and in the reduction of anxiety. Patients report many other benefits including decreased nausea and fatigue, and improved sleep and overall sense of well being.

A trained oncology massage therapist will also be able to show your patient some massage techniques to use at home.

Is massage safe for my patients?

Yes, a massage therapist with training in oncology massage can adapt massage to be safe and effective no matter where your patient is in their cancer treatment or recovery.

How will massage be adapted to my patients needs?

Oncology massage therapists have their clients complete a thorough health history and welcome the input of the patient’s healthcare team. This information is used to specially adapt the massage session to the needs of each client. Common adaptations oncology massage therapists make to a client’s cancer and treatment include shorter session length, care with pressure of massage strokes, and alternate positioning. For example, for areas at risk for lymphedema, “lotioning” pressure (like the pressure you use to apply lotion to your skin) is used on the extremity and on the associated quadrant. If needed, the limb is elevated during massage.

How do I help my patient find an oncology massage therapist?

While there are no government-regulated standards of what a qualified oncology massage therapist is, the Society for Oncology Massage (S4OM) has set forth minimum competency standards for massage therapists to work safely and effectively with people with cancer and cancer histories.  Therapists must have at least 500 hours of massage training, they must hold the appropriate credential to practice in their jurisdiction (in Illinois, this would be a massage therapy license), and they must have completed a foundational course in oncology massage.

If you are in or near Champaign, I am a Preferred Provider for the Society for Oncology Massage. You can contact me here . Otherwise, S4OM has a locator tool to help you find a provider in your area.

-Karyn Claflin, LMT

(1) MacDonald, Gayle. (2014). Touch- Rx for Body, Mind, and Heart: A Review of the Research in Medicine Hands: Massage Therapy for People with Cancer: p 26-54. Scotland, UK: Findhorn Press

Cancer, Caregiving, and Massage Therapy

While massage therapy can play a supportive role in cancer care, it can also support caregivers. Here’s a few things to know about massage for people in cancer treatment and how it can support you as well.

Is massage safe for people with cancer?

Yes, a massage therapist with training in oncology massage can provide a safe and effective massage no matter where a person is in cancer treatment or recovery.

Does massage have anything to offer people with cancer?

Yes, possible benefits of oncology massage include decreased levels of pain, anxiety, nausea, and fatigue. Massage may also help improve sleep and overall sense of well being.

What is oncology massage?

A massage therapy session is not one-size-fits-all. Oncology massage is a massage adapted to the specific ways cancer or cancer treatments have affected your loved one provided by a massage therapist with specific training in massage and cancer.

Great! Where can I get my loved one a spa gift certificate?

Awesome! You want to make sure that the location has a massage therapist with training in oncology massage. Be wary if the spa manager or massage therapist says they have not had training, but they will “just work lightly.”  Remember, massage is not one-size-fits-all; you want your loved one to receive a safe, effective massage. Here are some questions to ask to find out if the massage therapist at the spa is trained in oncology massage.

Or, you can find an oncology massage therapist using this locator tool.  And, if you are in or near Champaign, Karyn is a Preferred Provider for the Society for Oncology Massage. You can contact her here or schedule a massage here.

A trained oncology massage therapist will also be able to show you some massage techniques to use at home. You can provide more frequent massage. Even five minutes of massage can provide comfort to your loved one.

Does massage have anything to offer me?

Yes! You are amazing for helping your loved one through this difficult time. Caregiving can be a tough job. No doubt you are experiencing some stress, maybe even some pain. Massage therapy can help with this. Taking care of yourself is super important. If you get run down, who will care for your loved ones? Remember, self-care is not a luxury. So take some time for yourself. Get a massage. Meditate. Read your favorite book.

Take care of yourself.

What Every Person With Cancer Should Know About Massage Therapy

Massage therapy can play a supportive role in your cancer care. Here are some things you should know before you get a massage.

Is massage safe for me?

Yes, a massage therapist with training in oncology massage can provide a safe and effective massage no matter where you are in your cancer treatment or recovery.

Does massage have anything to offer me?

Yes, possible benefits of oncology massage include decreased levels of pain, anxiety, nausea, and fatigue. Massage may also help improve sleep and overall sense of well being.

What is oncology massage?

In short, it’s a massage customized to you. Oncology massage is a massage adapted to the specific ways cancer or cancer treatments have affected you and your body provided by a massage therapist with specific training in massage and cancer. Adjustments may include session length, pressure of massage strokes, and alternate positioning (i.e. maybe you are uncomfortable lying on your stomach or back).

What is an “oncology massage therapist” and why should I see one?

Why all this talk of an oncology massage therapist?

Another oncology massage therapist sums it up best here:

Maybe you’re in pain.  Maybe your hair has fallen out or you have neuropathy or shortness of breath or you’re inescapably nauseated.  You decide you need support in the form of massage therapy.

You find yourself standing in front of two doors.  One door says, “Massage, All Are Welcome…We’ll Figure it Out.”  On the other door, the sign reads, “Oncology Massage: Come As You Are. I am Skilled, Present and At Your Service. Which door would you choose?”.

Lauren Cates

There is no one-size-fits-all massage. In Illinois, as in many other states, the state regulates massage licensing. They have a baseline standard for entry-level massage therapists to protect the public. States require a certain amount of education covering various topics, as well as passing a licensing exam and a background check. In addition to many other things, they want massage therapists to know when it is safe for someone to receive a massage and when it is not. In school, we were taught to refer someone to their doctor or a more qualified massage therapist if we felt we lacked the knowledge to provide safe massage.

Cancer and cancer treatments have many effects on the body for which massage adjustments must be made.  There is no one-size-fits-all massage. Initial massage education in the United States does not typically prepare massage therapists for this. In massage school, over the course of a semester we discussed various illnesses and injuries and whether or not massage was safe or needed to be adapted. We even spent a whole week on massage and cancer. For many of the scenarios, I felt prepared to provide safe massage right out of school. But with cancer I felt I needed more information. I knew that there were lots of things to look out for, like lymphedema risk and bone metastasis, but didn’t really know how to adapt for them, and I certainly didn’t want to make someone feel worse after their massage.  I read everything I could find on the subject, including a textbook written by a leader in the field of oncology massage. Still, I did not feel “qualified” until completing a 4 day intensive hands-on training.

While there are no government-regulated standards of what a qualified oncology massage therapist is, the Society for Oncology Massage (S4OM) has set forth minimum competency standards for massage therapists to work safely and effectively with people with cancer and cancer histories*:  at least 500 hours of massage training, holds the appropriate credential to practice in their jurisdiction (in Illinois, this would be a massage therapy license), and has completed a foundational course in oncology massage.

* If you are in cancer recovery, a massage therapist with training in oncology massage will still be a great choice for you. Cancer and its treatments have many effects, some short-term, some lifelong.

How do I find an oncology massage therapist?

If you are in or near Champaign, I am a Preferred Provider for the Society for Oncology Massage. You can contact me here or schedule a massage here. Otherwise, check S4OM’s locator tool to connect with one of my wonderful colleagues.

-Karyn Claflin, LMT

UPDATED 1/22/2015: Added quote from Lauren Cates.

Cancer Metastasis: Can Massage Therapy Spread Cancer?

For a long time, there was a fear that massage could promote cancer metastasis. The thinking went that massage increases circulation and that increased circulation would spread cancer faster. Until rather recently, people with cancer were not experiencing the benefits of massage. It was only in the last 20 years or so that this fear was questioned. There has not been research into this question, but with the knowledge we do have we can reason it through.

First, does massage increase circulation? We’re not really sure, there is little research. So, for this discussion let’s assume massage does increase circulation. Does increased circulation increase cancer spread? Exercise and movement also increase circulation. Cancer patients are often encouraged to exercise. If there is no concern that exercise will spread cancer, massage will not either.

Second, cancer metastasis is a complex biological process. Let’s take a look at a few of the steps (1, 2) of cancer metastasis to see how they could be affected by massage.

  • Cancer cells shed from the tumor. It is possible that sufficient pressure applied directly to a tumor could increase cell shedding. Surgeons are concerned about disturbing tumors so they take great care when removing them.  Because of this and also because it can be painful, Massage Therapists avoid pressure on accessible active and suspected tumor sites. Most tumors are too deep to be accessible by direct pressure.

“Massage Therapy is not contraindicated in cancer patients. Massaging a tumor is, but there is a great deal more to a person than the tumor.” —Bernie Siegel, MD

  • Cancer cells are then carried through the body by blood and lymph. Blood and lymph move fairly quickly through the body already. We aren’t really sure that massage increases this, but if it does it would only carry the cells a bit more quickly. This isn’t spreading the cancer, it has not spread until the cells actually survive and implant in another area of the body. The vast majority of cells that shed from tumors do not survive this step to implant in another area.

“Tumor cells that enter the blood stream circulate until one of three things happens: 1) they are killed, 2) they are trapped in the capillary bed of another organ, or 3) they invade the blood vessel wall into the tissue of a distant organ. Only the latter group can ever form metastatic colonies. Cells that remain in the blood stream or are trapped inside the tiny vessels of a capillary bed die fairly quickly, often within hours (2).”

  • Cells implant in another area of the body. This is a biological process where the cancer cells and the organ or tissue interact. I don’t know about you, but I can’t see how this would possibly be affected by massage.

“One characteristic that might make an organ congenial to tumor growth is the presence of specific growth factors found at those sites. Other evidence points toward an idea of adhesive-specificity, where particular cancers bind to certain types of tissue. In part, this happens because they home in to certain sites that contain the molecular address system that matches to the surface of certain tissues or organ (2).”

I hope this discussion has calmed any fears you may have had that massage could spread cancer. Skilled Massage Therapy has much to offer people affected by cancer. As always, if you have any questions feel free to call me: (217) 552-1670.

Sources and Further Reading:

(1) Curties, Debra. Could Massage Therapy Promote Cancer Metastasis?

(2) MacDonald, Gayle. The Spread of Cancer.

Massage Therapy and Cancer

Cancer can be a scary and stressful thing, whether it’s you or someone you love. There are tons of resources out there to help you through the journey. Massage Therapy can be one tool to help. It can be a bit tricky to study and massage research is still in it’s early stages but research suggests several potential benefits of massage for people with cancer.

The evidence is fairly strong (1) that Massage Therapy:

  • effectively complements pain medications to treat pain in cancer patients.
  • can reduce anxiety.

There is anecdotal evidence(1) (meaning based on personal stories and case studies, not systematic research) that is not supported by research (due to conflicting results or lack of research/ too little research) claiming that Massage Therapy:

  • can help reduce nausea.
  • decreases cancer-related fatigue.
  • can improve sleep.
  • can decrease depression.
  • reduces the length of hospital stays.

All of these things can lead to better quality of life. Want to see if Massage Therapy can help you? Have any questions? Contact me.  As a Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT) with advanced training in Oncology Massage I can customize your massage so it is safe and effective no matter where you are in your cancer treatment or recovery.

 

(1) MacDonald, Gayle. (2014). Touch- Rx for Body, Mind, and Heart: A Review of the Research in Medicine Hands: Massage Therapy for People with Cancer: p 26-54. Scotland, UK: Findhorn Press.