This is a Q & A from ProActive Rehab in Huntsville Ontario!
I have been battling cancer for the past while and my doctor has suggested that Massage Therapy might prove helpful to my recovery. What would be the benefits of having a massage and what would my massage treatment be like?
Cancer and massage therapy has to be approached with a bit of caution. The very first step in using massage as a therapy for your recovery is getting permission from your treating physician, which you have done!
Many doctors will agree that the research in massage therapy for cancer recovery demonstrates that as long as your treatment is carefully executed and your Registered Massage Therapist has training in oncology massage, it can offer many benefits to your symptoms but keep in mind that massage cannot replace your primary therapy.
The biggest thing is keeping open communication between you and the RMT. A big risk with massage therapy is to overdo it in treatment so let them know if anything they are doing is making you dizzy/light headed, nauseous, or if you have a sudden onset of exhaustion or feeling of unwell.
To keep you safe, it is recommended to have only 10-minute sessions and to use only gentle techniques. The main benefits for massage therapy are to decrease pain, improve energy levels, improve moods and decrease stress and fatigue.
Once your physician has stated that your Healthy Body can tolerate more treatment, then massage therapy can help with soothing muscle tension, increasing circulation, increasing range of motion of joints and breaking up any scar tissue or adhesions caused by treatment/surgery.
Make sure that your doctor and your RMT are in communication with each other, be sure that your RMT has proper education in oncology massage and be involved with your treatment and treatment planning to make sure you’re safe.