Massage In SW Florida

Learn about Massage and Health Benefits

  • 4983599 l 300x200 Massage Therapy Benefits Cancer PatientsMassage is the manipulation of outer and deeper tissues of the body, including muscle and connective tissue, typically using one’s hands. Massage therapy has the potential to speed the healing process, promotes relaxation, and foster overall well-being. It involves putting pressure on the body through motion, tension, or vibration, and can be done with mechanical aids or manually. Massage therapy can help relieve soreness, stiffness, and tension in the muscles and improve muscle tone. It helps increase muscle flexibility and range of motion in the limbs. It can reduce scar tissue, speed recovery from exercise, prevent muscle wasting, and increase physical confidence.

    Massage therapy helps reduce inflammation in muscles and boosts cellular energy production. A study conducted by the Buck Institute found that long-term massage lowers levels of chronic pain and helps in improving range of motion in joints.

    Muscle cells that had been massaged showed increased activation of genes that boosted mitochondrial growth, the energy “factories” of cells. Massaged cells also displayed less inflammation. Cancer patients, even those undergoing mesothelioma, breast cancer, or leukemia sometimes are looking for ways to augment their conventional cancer treatment or combat some of the side effects of cancer treatment. Many have found that massage helps alleviate their side effects and gives them more energy and a sense of well-being. Some cautions do apply for massage therapists who are treating cancer patients, however. Massage therapists treating cancer patients need to be in touch with their client’s oncologist to make sure there are no special restrictions on that patient. Some cancer patients are very frail, both from the cancer itself and the side effects of their treatment. These types of patients may need to recover some strength before benefiting from massage therapy. Others are too frail to undergo more vigorous forms of massage, but could benefit from milder massage.

    Often, clients who are cancer patients do not require full massage sessions and might benefit from one lasting no more than 30 minutes. Sometimes, only five minutes is helpful. These patients should be massaged using a lighter touch, taking special care to avoid tender areas or tumor sites, lymph nodes, and areas that have undergone radiation treatment.

    Massage therapists are also encouraged to pay attention to any signals their cancer patient clients may be sending. The patient may flinch or grimace when certain areas are touched, so avoid those areas. They may also tighten their muscles or hold their breath when some areas are manipulated. This is an opportunity for the massage therapist to ask them how they are doing and if less pressure would be preferable.

    Another benefit of massage therapy for patients is the increased production of “feel good” chemicals like endorphins. These chemicals reduce levels of pain; something that many cancer patients report during treatment.

    Cancer patients who want to experience these benefits should consult with their oncology team to ensure that this type of therapy does not conflict with their ongoing therapy. Talk to your doctor and find a therapy that will work best for you and your treatment and give your mind, body and spirit a vacation from some of life’s everyday stressor and soak up the potential benefits of what massage therapy has to offer!

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