Massage and Cancer

Benefits of massage therapy during cancer treatment - According to the American Cancer Society, massage is "thought almost universally to be a beneficial therapy.  It is helpful not only physically but emotionally as well, because it soothes the soul and the mind."  Massage cannot cure cancer, but it has been shown in several studies to improve quality of life and well-being.  There is some scientific evidence that massage enhances the immune system by increasing blood circulation.  In addition, massage was shown to promote relaxation and alleviate pain and anxiety in hospitalized cancer patients.

When to avoid massage - Massage should be avoided immediately following surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and over areas of known tumors.  Patients with circulatory ailments such as phlebitis or varicose veins should avoid massage.  Massage should never be performed on bruises, areas of tissue damage and inflamed or infected sites.

Consult your healthcare provider before beginning massage therapy.

Massage therapy should be used with, not in place of, standard cancer treatment.