Receiving Massage Therapy if you have had Cancer
Some people worry that having a massage when you have cancer may make the cancer cells spread by traveling via the lymphatic system and/or blood flow to other parts of the body. No research ever has proved this to be true. (The first massages I’ve ever give had been lymph drainages while working at the Radiotherapy Department of a Swiss hospital!)
Instead, research has shown that massage of the muscle and soft tissue does not spread cancer cells and the circulation of lymph/blood – from massage or other movements – does not cause cancer to spread. If an increased risk does exist, massage would not be isolated in creating this type of effect.
Individuals with cancer are almost always encouraged to exercise and remain as active as they can. I mean: If stimulation of the circulation would encourage metastasis, hot showers, exercise and many other aspects of daily life would confer equivalent risks.
Massage therapy can cause many positive physiological changes such as significantly reduce the stress hormone. People can find a relief from pain, fatigue, and nausea through a more toxin-free body and increased hormonal balance. The range of movement can be increased, peripheral neuropathy fought and the health of scar tissues accelerated.
Psychologically effects are especially the feeling of being whole again, more relaxed mind, relief from anxiety and depression, better sleep, more positive body feeling, all of which results in a rebuilt, bigger hope.
Individuals who have had massages during cancer treatments have reported a range of positive outcomes resulting in an overall increase in the quality of their lives. Massage therapy by a knowledgeable therapist can be an important part of your healing process.
Massage is considered a type of complementary therapy, aiming to treat the whole person, not just the symptoms of the disease.
A complementary therapy is always used together with conventional / mainstream medicine never replace cancer treatments (such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy, surgery or drug therapy). Light, relaxing massage can safely be given to people at all stages of cancer. Thus tumor and treatment sites should not be massaged because it can cause discomfort.