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If you or a loved one are suffering from pain due to cancer, you should know that massage as a complementary therapy to conventional pain management is a highly effective way to offer comfort and relief. Cancer can be painful for a number of reasons, both psychologically and physically. The dual effect that massage has on both mind and body is precisely what makes it so effective in cancer pain management.
Obviously, cancer is a highly stressful disease. Fear easily pops into one's head when even the word cancer is mentioned. Cancer treatment itself can be difficult and taxing on the mind and body. Pain may be caused from the cancer itself, inflamed tissue, related infections, surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.
The National Institutes of Health reports that "improvement in pain and mood immediately following treatment was greater with massage than with simple touch" in a randomized trial of 380 advanced cancer patients spanning 15 hospices.1
Massage can relieve your stress and produce a sense of calmness. During massage, endorphins are released that produce a calm feeling. Researchers also believe that the mere positive experience of receiving a massage temporarily distracts a cancer patient from all of the negative aspects of cancer. Physical pain is relieved with massage because it can reduce inflammation, relieve muscle spasms and stimulate blood and lymph circulation.1
If you or someone you know is suffering from the physical and psychological pain of cancer, please contact a licensed massage therapist today.
1. Kutner JS, Smith MC, Corbin L, et al. Massage therapy versus simple touch to improve pain and mood in patients with advanced cancer: a randomized trial. Ann Intern Med. 2008 Sep 16;149(6):369-79.