Massage and Cancer


When it comes to the subject of cancer, massage is considered a complimentary treatment, and is used together with (NOT instead of) traditional biomedical interventions like chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, and drug therapy.  In fact, for oncology patients undergoing these biomedical procedures, massage therapy can be extremely useful and effective at significantly reducing negative side effects and improving one's overall quality of life.  Massage treats the whole person - NOT just the symptoms of a disease.  People report:

  • Being able to RELAX.
  • Feeling WHOLE again.
  • POSITIVE feelings about their body.
  • the rebuilding of HOPE.  

Research shows that, contrary to previously held popular assumptions in medicine, massage of soft tissues DOES NOT spread cancer cells.  Light, relaxing massage can safely be given to people at all stages of cancer. Tumor or treatment sites are generally avoided to prevent discomfort due to pressure on the affected area and underlying organs.  Cancer patients undergoing biomedical procedures while simultaneously receiving massage therapy have consistently reported reductions in fatigue, anxiety and depression.  Symptoms of pain, and nausea are also reported as significantly lowered, although not quite as consistently.  Benefits such as these last longer in patients receiving a 60-minute massage versus a 30-minute session.  While blood tests show that stress hormones are significantly reduced by massage as compared to complimentary treatments consisting solely of aromatherapy or to rest, levels of dopamine and serotonin are increased.  In addition to improved neuroendocrine and immune system functioning, patients receiving massage also report a range of positive outcomes including the following;

  • Improvements in sleep.
  • Less complications and discomfort resulting from scar tissue.
  • Better quality of life.
  • More mental clarity and alertness.
  • Improved range of movement in affected joints and surrounding tissue.

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with any form of cancer and/or is currently undergoing treatment, please consider contacting us at Tranquility Massage and Wellness in order to ask any questions about booking an appointment with one of our qualified therapists. We look forward to hearing from you, and supporting and assisting in a treatment plan as part of recovery.

 ~Becky Barfield