Is there anything more stressful than living with a diagnosis of cancer? The only thing more difficult may be dealing with the nasty side effects of the medical treatments. The American Cancer Society says that studies of massage for cancer patients suggest a real decrease in stress, anxiety, depression, pain and fatigue.
Oncology massage is a specialized form of massage therapy requiring a licensed massage therapist with training in oncology massage in order to provide safe massage for those during and after cancer treatments. Oncology massage therapists are trained to support and provide comfort to cancer patients with a unique treatment plan suited just to them. An oncology therapist like Traci Hardin will adapt the treatment plan for fatigue and peripheral neuropathy, low blood cell counts, blood clots, radiation treatment, bone metastases, medication side effects, and more. Other reported massage benefits to cancer patients include decrease in nausea, improved immune function, improved sleep, ease of isolation and enhanced body image. What nearly all sources agree upon is that massage therapy can improve the quality of life for cancer sufferers.
A growing number of health care professionals are incorporating massage into their conventional treatment plans. In a 1999 publication, the National Cancer Institute found that approximately 50 percent of their cancer centers offered massage as optional therapy for cancer treatment.
Family members may not even realize that those living with cancer feel isolated therefore need and crave the close support and especially the touch of their loved ones. So forget the health benefits of massage therapy, to someone with a life-threatening disease it may simply be the relaxing touch that improves their day or week.
Traci welcomes clients who are currently undergoing cancer treatment as well as those with cancer in their past. She will want an in-depth intake form to be completed and a consultation prior to the session to tailor the treatment plan around any side effects or symptoms the client may be experiencing.
(Dave Pelzer is an American author of several autobiographical and self-help books.)