By Eleanor Le Fevre
Cancer is a word that instills fear into the hearts of many of us. It used to seem like
such a foreign disease but it is becoming more and more prevalent in our lives.
We all now know at least one person who has been affected by this terrible disease.
Yet we still struggle with the best course of treatment and how to help sufferers
get relief and find some light in their daily life.
Massage therapy, while it may seem like a luxury, can be an integral part of a cancer patient’s health and well-being. Human touch is said to be a key part of our overall happiness and physical, mental and emotional wellness. When someone is suffering from a disease that may threaten their life, people surrounding them can often pull away and not offer physical touch as they are afraid of hurting or losing their loved one.
Massage therapy is gaining more and more recognition in the medical community and is now being utilized in hospitals and doctor’s offices across the US to ease cancer patients’ suffering and promote relaxation and regeneration. There are even programs where family members are being taught basic massage techniques to administer to their loved ones to help them feel comforted and safe during chemotherapy treatments.
There are many different therapeutic techniques that massage therapists use daily to promote healing and wellness, but which are the right ones for cancer patients? Deep tissue and rehabilitative work may not be the best route when going through cancer treatments. This is the time for your massage therapist to take it easy on the tissues due to inflammation, swelling, tenderness or lack of tonicity brought on by treatments. Relaxation and overall wellness needs to be emphasized at this time. Patients need to feel safe, cared for and relaxed during their massages and know that they are in a place that supports wellness and that their practitioner truly cares about their health.
When seeking care from a licensed massage therapist during cancer treatment, clients need to ask for what they want and receive feedback from the therapist to make sure they are receiving the care that they desire and that any special considerations are addressed. Clients should feel comfortable enough with their therapist to ask them to lighten their massage strokes, move on to a less tender area and even wear gloves if they feel that their immune system needs that much more protection and care.
It is important to address any concerns with the massage therapist before and during the session to ensure that they are properly prepared to handle any issues and or special considerations when working with a cancer patient. It is imperative that good communication exists between client and therapist and that the therapist can refer the client to another practitioner if he or she does not feel comfortable taking on the client.
As the client, healing and trust are the key part of any massage therapy session. If there are any concerns or questions the client should feel comfortable addressing these with their therapist. Sometimes treatments for cancer patients can be more aggressive than the cancer itself – but massage therapy should not be one of them.
At Under Pressure Therapeutics, we love to support our clients on their journey to wellness. Find us at https://underpressuretherapeutics. com/ to learn more and book an appointment.
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