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Oncology Massage, Crawley, West Sussex
An oncology massage is a specialist massage therapy for those who have been diagnosed with or are recovering from cancer. It uses expert techniques and works therapeutically to give a renewed sense of deep relaxation.
Is it safe to have a massage when you have cancer?
Some people worry that massage can spread cancer cells throughout the body via the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is a network of vessels, organs and nodes through which lymphatic fluid (lymph) flows. It is part of the body’s immune 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. However, the circulation of lymph, from massage or other movement, does not cause cancer to spread. Researchers have shown that cancer develops and spreads because of changes to a cell’s DNA (genetic mutations) and other processes in the body.
This Oncology Massage treatment is suitable for anyone with cancer or a debilitating illness. The treatment will begin with a case history to ensure that the treatment is adapted to be safe and appropriate for your current health status and to work alongside any other medical treatments you may be receiving and their side effects.
The treatment provides
- reduced stress and anxiety,
- helps with pain management,
- boosts the immune system, helps to improve quality of sleep,
- improves flexibility and mobility,
- improves lymphatic flow and so reduces lymphoedema and inflammation, promotes scar healing and much more.
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.
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