October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so I wanted to address some of the benefits of massage to cancer patients.
Let me start by saying that massage is not a treatment for cancer and should not be used instead of other treatment options such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy or surgery.
Instead, massage is considered a type of complementary therapy and while it won’t treat the cancer itself, it may help reduce the side effects caused by conventional treatments and improve quality of life and wellbeing.
Scientific studies have looked at the effects of massage on people having cancer treatments and these studies have shown that massage may reduce pain, fatigue, nausea, anxiety and depression.
As well as improving physical symptoms, some people with cancer say that having a massage makes them feel whole again, helps them to relax, helps them share feelings in an informal setting, makes them feel more positive about their body and rebuilds hope.
Research shows that massaging muscle and soft tissue does not spread cancer cells. Light, relaxing massage can safely be given to people at all stages of cancer. Tumor or treatment sites should not be massaged to avoid discomfort or pressure on the affected area and underlying organs. If you have any concerns, talk to your doctor before scheduling an appointment.
Lymphatic massage is great to help reduce swelling that occurs due to removed lymph node
What is the lymphatic system?
The lymphatic system is a network of tiny vessels and small, bean-shaped organs called lymph nodes that carry lymph throughout the body. And fights infections.
What is Lymphedema?
During surgery for cancer, nearby lymph nodes are often removed. This disrupts the flow of lymph, which can lead to swelling. This is lymphedema. Lymphedema can affect one or both arm, the head and neck, the belly, the genitals, or the legs. Swelling can worsen and become severe. Skin sores or other problems can develop. Affected areas are also more likely to become infected.
3 Types of Lymphedema
A mild type of lymphedema can occur within a few days after surgery and usually lasts a short time.
Lymphedema can also occur about 4 to 6 weeks after surgery or radiation and then go away over time.
The most common type of lymphedema is painless and may slowly develop 18 to 24 months or more after surgery. It does not get better without treatment.
Massage therapy helps move fluid out of the swollen area. To learn more how Massage therapy helps cure Lymphedema click on the button below.
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