A whole body healingA Journey of Balance and Harmony
How can Massage Benefit People who are Living with Cancer?
Massage has many benefits for people living with cancer. A few are listed below. We know some of these from clinical observations, some from controlled research, and some from what clients tell us directly.
• Massage Reduces Anxiety
Many clients report being less anxious in general when receiving regular massage. In particular, clients in cancer treatment state that massage eases anxiety before and during uncomfortable procedures and interventions. Research literature reports that massage helps anxiety in patients with cancer and in other populations. In repeated studies of various populations, massage helps reduce depression, as well.(1)
• Massage Eases Pain
Recipients of massage therapy express less cancer-related pain, treatment-related pain, and pain related to muscle tension. They claim that massage helps “take the edge off” of acute pain and in some cases relieve it entirely. Although the direction of evidence suggests massage is effective for pain relief, (2), (7) more study is needed to firmly establish the role of massage in pain relief for people with cancer.(3)
• Massage Helps Control Nausea
Gentle massage has been shown to reduce nausea in inpatients receiving autologous bone marrow transplant. (4)
In a pilot nursing study, stimulation of acupressure points has been suggested to reduce nausea in patients in chemotherapy.(5)
A small study suggested that massage helped decrease medical costs of managing nausea and vomiting.(6)
Massage may be a viable, low-cost approach to minimizing this difficult side-effect of medication.
The forms below are provided to expedite the appointment process. These forms require the Adobe Reader to view and print. If you can not view these forms, download the Adobe Reader here free of charge.
Oncology Massage Forms – 4 Pages – View/Print
Includes a three page health questionnaire and a physicians permission form.
General Massage Form – 1 Page – View/Print
One page general health questionnaire
How to prepare for your session
It is best to shower before your session. It is a good idea not to eat a large meal, or consume large amounts of liquids, and do avoid stimulants (caffeine, sugar or other stimulants). Come with an open mind and heart to experience the full benefits from your massage session.
For consultations, questions, or to schedule a massage, please do contact me.
1. Lawvere, S, “The effect of massage therapy in ovarian cancer patients,” in Rich, GJ, ed. Massage Therapy: The Evidence for Practice. Edinburgh: Mosby, 57-83, 2002. Also in Ahles, TA et al., “Massage Therapy for Patients Undergoing Autologous Bone Marrow Transplantation,” Journal of Pain and Symptom Management 18:157-63, 1999. Also Field, T. et al., “Massage Reduces Anxiety in Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Patients,” Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 31(1):125-131.
2.Ahles et al. (above), Wilkie, DJ et al., “Effects of Massage on Pain Intensity, Analgesics and Quality of Life in Patients with Cancer Pain: A Pilot Study of a Randomized Clinical Trial Conducted within Hospice Care Delivery,” Hospice Journal 15:31-53, 2000. Grealish, L et al., “Foot massage: a Nursing Intervention to Modify the Distressing Symptoms of Pain and Nausea in Patients Hospitalized with Cancer,” Cancer Nursing 23:237-43, 2000.
3.Weiger, WA et al., “Advising Patients who Seek Complementary and Alternative Medical Therapies for Cancer,” Annals of Internal Medicine 137:889-903, 2002.
4.Ahles et al, above.
5.Dibble, SL et al., “Acupressure for Nausea: Results of a Pilot Study,” Oncology Nursing Forum 27(1):41-47, 2000.
6.Lively, BT et al., “Massage Therapy for Chemotherapy-Induced Emesis,” in Rich, GJ, ed. Massage Therapy: The Evidence for Practice. Edinburgh: Mosby, 85-104, 2002.
7.Smith, MC et al., “Outcomes of Therapeutic Massage for Hospitalized Cancer Patients,” Journal of Nursing Scholarship 34(3): 257-262, 2002.