Medication for the treatment of cancer is healing patients internally, but can lead to physical and mental distress. Research has shown that there are other alternatives to help cancer patients through their treatment. Massage therapy can provide many holistic short-term and long-term benefits for patients such as:
Stress Reduction: Many cancer patients face emotional and physical distress while going through treatment. Seeing a massage therapist a couple times a week allows the patient time to relax and can lower their levels of distress.
Increased Blood Circulation: A huge benefit of massage therapy is the improvement of blood flow throughout the entire body. While patients are receiving treatment, this increase of blood circulation will help them respond to medication. Also, as blood circulation improves, it becomes easier for new blood cells to develop, again helping the patient’s recovery process.
Reduction in Pain: A benefit that massage therapy is most known for, pain reduction, is especially helpful during cancer treatment. As their muscles become stiff and stress manifests itself in aches, pains and inflammation, massage therapy will relieve patients of these extra burdens.
Reduced Edema: Edema is swelling and accumulation of water in the cavities or tissues of the body from medication. This is something that is often seen in cancer patients that massage therapy can help by improving lymphatic circulation.
Improves Mood: With all of its physical benefits, massage therapy offers patients a mental release, which is helpful for those who may experience mood swings or bouts of depression.
Improves Sleep: Another form of mental relaxation that massage therapy has been shown to help is sleep patterns. As the mind and body learn to relax, sleeping through the night becomes easier. With more sleep and rest, patients are able to get through their treatment more easily.