Chicago Chiropractic

A Unique, Multidisciplinary Approach to Pain Management

Massage Therapy and Cancer

Today we have a guest blog writer! This is a very useful and insightful article so we hope everyone gets a lot out of it. Thank you to  Melanie L. Bowen for sharing it with us at Chicago Chiropractic!


How Massage Therapy is Being Used to Reduce Symptoms in Cancer Patients

For many years, massage therapy was not recommended for cancer patients based upon the belief that it helped to spread cancer around the patients body. Today, this theory has been retracted. In fact, there is voluminous body of data supporting that massage therapy actually reduces the cancer symptoms and the number of cancer cells.


In a study that was performed by The Cancer Institute of America, it was found that 61 percent of the patient’s that survived cancer used some form of alternative treatment, including massage therapy. After decades of supportive data, massage therapists began to specialize in a form of massage therapy that is tailored to alleviate the primary symptoms of cancer.

The benefits of massage therapy for cancer patients are numerous. Below are few of the main benefits associated with this alternative form of treatment:
-Pain Reduction
-Improved quality of life
-Decreased stress levels
-Improvement with depression
-More energy
-Better, more restful sleep
-Reduced Muscle Tension
-An increased sense of well being, helping patients to recover

It has been shown that cancer patients are four time more likely to suffer from depression than people without cancer. For this reason, the psychological benefit that is conferred from massage session is invaluable to the patient. Aside from that, there have been numerous studies published that show that there are physiological benefits as well. In one such study, patients experienced immediate pain relief and, while massage therapy may not replace pain medications, it can be used with medications so that patients can take them at lower dosages.

Massage therapy has also been shown effective for decreasing anxiety as has been shown by one study performed by CHUM Hospital Notre-Dame and the Canadian Touch Research Centre in Montreal. In this study a group of people being treated by radiation therapy were given a massage session before the radiation therapy and a control group was given no massage.


The results indicated that 43 percent of the people who were given the massage session before their radiation therapy showed a reduction in anxiety. Ultimately, massage therapy may not be a cure for cancer, but it has been shown, on numerous occasions, that it can drastically reduce the most unpleasant symptoms of cancer.


Whether being treated for breast, mesothelioma, colon, and ovarian or even leukemia there are potential benefits for all patients. Consult your doctor and simply find which massage therapy will be best for you and your treatment and give your mind, body and spirit a break from some of life’s everyday stressors today!



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