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cancer massage

So many of us are already keenly aware of the healing power of touch. Deep tissue massage has long been a solution for stress and muscle fatigue. Furthermore, it can decrease depressive symptoms such as exhaustion and irritability. From a physiological perspective, according to an article on WedMD, “Ordinary massage ultimately works by stimulating pressure receptors under the skin, which increases the vagal nerve activity in the brain-thereby boosting serotonin and lowering cortisol, the stress hormone that takes a toll on our defenses against disease.” Let’s remember that serotonin is considered the “feel-good/anti-pain neurotransmitter”.

It should then come as no surprise that medical practitioners are now reporting that massage therapy can be extremely beneficial for cancer patients. In the past, some doctors steered their patients away from massage, fearing that it could cause the cancer to spread. Instead, individuals who are battling a variety of different cancers have been shown to respond very well to vigorous massage therapy. According to an article from the American Massage Therapy Association, several professional medical organizations, including the American Medical Association, have revealed that the quality of life for these patients can be dramatically improved. In fact, massage therapy has been shown to reduce their anxiety, depression, fatigue, nausea, pain and stress. It is also credited for reducing adhesions and scar tissue. Finally, massage has been shown to reduce the swelling or edema suffered by so many cancer patients, especially those fighting breast and ovarian cancer.

A survey that queried close to 600 cancer patients discovered that compared to conventional standard-of-care post surgery treatment, massage therapy was more effective for significantly reducing pain. In 2014, another study reviewed the responses of patients with acute myelogenous leukemia. Those that received 50 minutes of Swedish massage three times per week for seven weeks reported a reduction in stress and an increase in the sensations of comfort and relaxation. These positive feedback results far surpassed those in another group who were simultaneously receiving conventional care.

For those who are losing the fight with cancer, massage therapy can bring gentle relief during their final days. In addition to pain relief, it can improve sleep. For patients, loved ones and caregivers, massage therapy can help make an unbearable situation a little better.

Interested in becoming a massage therapist?

LHAA is a premiere Kentucky massage school focusing on the science, technique and business of therapeutic massage. Students have the opportunity to study massage in a friendly, positive environment while receiving advanced education from highly experienced instructors.

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