With World Cancer Day on 4 February around the corner, I thought I would talk a bit about how massage can support people undergoing treatment for the condition.
Learn more about the role of massage, here.
February 4 is World Cancer Day, an international event seeking to educate, raise awareness and encourage governments and individuals to take action against the disease that affects so many people globally.
Over the years the variety and effectiveness of cancer treatment has improved dramatically from surgery, radiation therapy, and systemic therapies like chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, immune therapy, and targeted therapy.
As effective as these treatments may be, people still experience many side effects that overwhelm them physically, psychologically and emotionally making the road to recovery a rocky and gruelling one.
One of the many ways people with cancer choose to be supported in dealing with the symptoms of the disease as well as the treatment side-effects, is with massage.
Can massage really help support cancer patients?
Definitely but first, let’s just get one of the common massage myths out of the way.
Massage does not spread cancer cells, not by working on the muscles and also not via the lymphatic system.
Lymphatic circulation occurs naturally as we move. Cancer may spread (metastasise) into the lymphatic system via the lymph nodes, or it may start in the lymphatic system itself.
Having said that, a cancer patient going for a massage has to:
SO WHAT DOES MASSAGE DO?
Massage improves physical symptoms giving short term or sometimes long term relief by:
Psychological and Emotional Symptoms
But massage also supports on an emotional level to improve coping and improve their quality of life by:
Massage cannot cure cancer or even alleviate all the symptoms and side-effects.
But what it can do is offer a respite from the daily battle and some TLC.
Body-mind or mind-body? If you are struggling with physical and mental pain and feel that the dominant health paradigm’s dualistic approach to mind and body seems inadequate to explain anything, I want to talk to you. Join me under the tree in my garden for a cup of rooibos tea and let’s talk massage and SomaSense!