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Cancer and Massage Therapy - An Integral Treatment Option

Recent studies on massage therapy for cancer survivors continue to suggest its value in preventing chemotherapy-related peripheral neuropathy. A recent study showed significant preventative benefits of massage therapy in breast cancer survivors for those getting massage therapy compared to those not getting massage therapy at all. This study was done by the National Cancer Institute, the University of Pennsylvania, and the American Cancer Society. The study was published in the July issue of the Journal of the American Medical Associations. It was funded by the National Institutes of Health.

What are the benefits of massage for breast cancer survivors? In general, massage has shown benefits for all kinds of illnesses and diseases. Studies have shown that massage therapy can help in the treatment of cardiovascular disease, asthma, arthritis, depression, nausea, osteoarthritis, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, digestive disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, insomnia, stress, and many more. According to a 2002 study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, massage therapy is one of several treatments used in conjunction with chemotherapy for the treatment of pancreatic cancer. Many other studies have since been conducted on the subject, all bringing consistent, promising results.

One of the new research studies looked at the effect of massage on the treatment and possible cure of invasive cancer. The researchers examined the effect of massage on ovarian sarcomas, newly diagnosed lung adenocarcinomas, and lymphomas in both children and adults. These cancers account for about a quarter of all cancer cases. While no serious side effects were noted, one of the conditions, lymphoma, was not found to be affected by massage therapy in any of the three groups of patients studied. However, further studies are still needed to determine if it should be included as a part of standard therapy in the case of patients with these types of cancers.

Another area of study focused on fatigue in cancer patients. While it is known that massage can relieve pain and increase range of motion, it is less clear whether it has a benefit in the treatment of fatigue. Previous studies have suggested that massage can help improve circulation and relieve pain, but fatigue was not a focus in this study. It was found that those patients treated with massage had improved mean blood pressure and a lower heart rate than those who received traditional therapy only. It is unclear what the implications of these results are for people with circulatory problems since improved circulation could lead to better utilization of oxygen and therefore increased stamina.

The third area of the study looked at the effect of massage on nausea associated with chemotherapy. In previous studies, the effects of massage on nausea had been examined in patients who were undergoing chemotherapy. These studies showed no benefit, but patients were not given details on which massage therapist was used during the treatment. This new study looked at the use of massage therapists specifically in the early parts of the chemotherapy process, before and after the chemotherapy patient went home.

Overall, this research has shown very positive results for cancer therapy and massage for fatigue in patients undergoing treatment. While no definite conclusions can be drawn from these studies, the overall opinion is very positive. In addition, the improvement in the quality of life that cancer survivors report is another reason for considering massage as an additional treatment option. Cancer survivors can receive a variety of benefits from massage that improve sleep, range of motion, relaxation, and balance. Many people say that their life quality has dramatically improved since they started receiving massage treatments.

The next issue of a well-respected massage therapy journal is due out. The editors of this popular medical and massage publication are extremely welcoming of new ideas, including massage therapy as an additional treatment option in cancer treatment. The editor-in-chief, Dr. Helen Thomas, says that she welcomes innovative ideas that can improve cancer treatment. "Cancers must be approached with rigor and patience," she said. "The addition of massage as an additional adjunct to cancer treatment can only be good for patients and their families."

To learn more about lymphatic massage, please visit the website listed below. You will find a complete list of oncology massage therapists in your area and you can even book an appointment with a local lymph drainage specialist in minutes. You can schedule a session that is convenient for you, or you may choose to make an appointment for a one-on-one massage. With the help of a qualified oncology massage therapist, you can increase your cancer survival rate and take control of your life back.