Massage therapy for cancer patients has gained a lot of popularity in the past few years. It is a healing form that dates back to ancient times when civilizations in the East and West used natural healing and massage to heal injuries, relieve pain, as well as prevent and cure illness.
The medical community recognizes the healing qualities of massage, and it has earned its place alongside other therapies used in hospitals and treatment centers across the globe to improve the quality of life for people suffering from all kinds of illnesses including cancer.
Cancer patients are treated differently than people without the disease. Therapists trained in oncology massage are the best professionals to administer the therapy because they have a thorough understanding of cancer’s effect on the body, as well as side effects that can result from cancer surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and medications.
Massage treatment follows a thorough assessment of the patient which includes assessing the location of the cancer tumor, involvement of lymph nodes, affected blood cell counts, involvement of organs, risk of blood clots, weak and unstable tissue, immune system issues, and current medication and prescriptions, pain, loss of sensation, and history of treatment. Cancer patients should also tell the therapist of any symptoms they are experiencing. Most of the times, a letter from the oncologist to the massage therapist helps.
The therapy can take place at the patient’s home, a cancer treatment center, or a hospital setting. To get maximum benefits, massage should be carried out at a place free form noise and distractions. Subdued lighting and relaxing music helps the patient relax.
Massages can be done while the patient lies face down, or sits upright in a chair. It is meant to be a positive experience. Reporting any side effects like pain, as well as, how one feels several hours after the massage is very important for the therapy to go well.