Sometimes, cancer treatment can be just as traumatizing as the disease itself. Side effects of treatment can be anything from mildly uncomfortable to severe. These include chronic pain, nausea, and hair loss. Comfortable living conditions are crucial for patients undergoing cancer treatment. There are alternative wellness treatments that can help to ease some of the discomforts.
What are the benefits of massage therapy for cancer patients?
Massage therapy has many benefits that go beyond the side effects of chemotherapy. The following common benefits of Massage for Cancer Patients — many of which are scientifically proven and well-studied — are:
Reduction of fatigue
These benefits may make cancer patients feel more comfortable. However, massage therapy should not be considered a replacement for cancer treatment.
Which types of massage therapy are best for cancer patients?
Cancer treatment can cause pain, inflammation, and increased touch sensitivity. It is important that patients and massage therapists choose massage techniques that will not cause any more discomfort or injury.
These are some of the most popular massage therapies for cancer patients:
Swedish or classic massage
Swedish massage combines long, gentle strokes with light tapping to promote relaxation and energy. It helps release tension from the muscles by using long, soft strokes. This massage is especially gentle for patients with cancer or people who are prone to bruises
Myofascial release can be used to relieve chronic facial pain and indirectly target pain elsewhere in your body. Myofascial releases can be particularly effective in relieving headaches. They are a great alternative for full-body massages for sensitive skin and muscle tissue.
Deep tissue massage
Although this technique is not recommended for active cancer treatment, it can be used to manage chronic pain or limited movement due to scar tissue and stiffness in the legs.
These techniques aren’t just for professional massage therapists. You can get a quality massage at home by:
Massage chairs: The personalization of massage chairs has undergone incredible advances in the past few years. You can program the intensity, heat level, and combination of massage techniques for a massage chair. Because they are portable, massage chairs can be used in any location to provide a complete body massage experience.
Targeted Massagers: Products that target a specific area of your body, like the feet or shoulders. These devices can be carried around easily and are portable, so they can be used at home or on the go.
How to find the right Oncology Massage Therapist
Although general massage therapy training is useful for treating a variety of medical and physical conditions, massage therapists are trained to cater to the specific needs of patients with cancer. A trained oncology massage therapist can be recommended by an oncologist and patients may be able to get in touch with them.
What to Avoid During Cancer Treatment?
Patients with cancer are more likely to be infected or injured if they come into contact with other patients or sustain prolonged physical contact. While an oncologist can give specific instructions to patients for maintaining good health between treatments.