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Cancer Massage

Massage can be beneficial to cancer patients before chemotherapy treatments. it helps their body recover faster from the treatments as well as effectiveness of the treatments while lifting up their mood and brightening their spirits.
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Multiple studies now link gentle non-invasive massage for people affected by cancer with significant reductions in pain, fatigue, nausea, depression, and anxiety. Study after study reports improvements in some or all of these symptoms by unexplained mechanisms following massage interventions. Having cancer can be one of life's most stressful experiences. For many people, massage is an essential antidote to stress. To make use of the oncology massage information explosion, massage therapists search the scientific literature.


Information from Oncology Massage Training


Research into massage for people with cancer

Several clinical studies show that massage can reduce symptoms such as stress, nausea, pain, fatigue and depression.


  • A systematic review (1)  of studies on aromatherapy and massage for relieving symptoms in people with cancer looked at 10 studies including eight randomised controlled trials. It found that massage consistently reduced anxiety and depression. Massage also helped lower nausea and pain, but not as consistently.
  • A large American study (2) published in 2004 looked at the effects of massage therapy on almost 1300 people with cancer over three years. People in hospital had a 20-minute massage, and people treated as outpatients had a 60-minute session. The study found that overall, massage therapy reduced pain, nausea, fatigue, anxiety and depression. The benefits lasted longer in the patients who had the 60-minute session.
  • Another American study (3) of 39 people looked at the safety and effectiveness of massage in reducing stress hormone levels in patients with blood cancer. It randomised people to receive aromatherapy, massage or rest. The study concluded  that massage significantly reduced the stress hormone.

1 Fellowes D, Barnes K, Wilkinson SSM. Aromatherapy and massage for symptoms relief in patients with cancer. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2008, Iss 4.

2 Cassileth BR, Vickers AJ. Massage therapy for symptom control: outcome study at a major cancer centre. J Pain Symptom Manage 2004 Sep; 28 (3): 244–9.

3 Stringer J et al. Massage in patients undergoing intensive chemotherapy reduces serum cortisol and prolactin. Psycho-Oncology 2008 Oct; 17 (10): 1024–31.


Read more at http://www.cancercouncil.com.au/17958/b1000/massage-and-cancer-42/massage-and-cancer-benefits-of-touch/#vzWBlvOosTc3ktox.99



We have two options, medically and emotionally: give up or fight like hell.

Lance Armstrong