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 Medical Massage & Rehabilitation

Oncology Massage

Cancer, With a Healing Touch of Oncology Massage

What is Oncology Massage?

Oncology Massage is an easier way or getting through your Chemo/Radiation treatments. With a massage scheduled just before the day of the treatment, your time will fly by as you look forward more and more to getting your massage. It also helps to flush the system before the new treatment is given, making for a more productive, and less toxic drainage result. Oncology is also for those finished with radiation/chemo, or on remission. Oncology is for those whom have/had cancer and had to have surgery. Scar tissue release and range of motion is important to be able to return to your every day life. And Oncology Massage is for those whom are terminal with cancer. The simple, light, caring touch of Oncology Massage can help to bring comfort when there is none. Your Oncology therapist should be trained in Oncology Massage. Each session is tailored to the patients individual needs and can use from the pressure touch to light, medium to firm, or Deep. Different goals are set for each individual, as no two patients are the same.

Oncology Massage can help with several side effects of cancer. It has been known to give immediate relief from pain and depression. It also has been recorded to help with nausea and fatigue. Touch is an open window to the heart, body, mind, and spirit. The power of touch has been known to increase blood flow and move lymph in the lymphatic system. Socially cancer patients tend to avoid society, physically it can bring us back to the total wellness.

Oncology is for all patients/survivors and our therapist at Scot Trahan Medical Massage & Rehabilitation was trained at M.D. Anderson in Houston. CALL NOW TO BOOK YOUR APPOINTMENT!


Massage Reduces Cancer Patients' Pain, Anxiety

A seminal study of massage on cancer patients has shown that the intervention reduces the level of pain and anxiety these patients experience during treatment for the disease.

The study, conducted over four years at the James Cancer Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, sought empirical evidence for the efficacy of massage on cancer patients experiencing pain in the course of treatment.

"The research on the use of massage with cancer patients has been minim[al] because massage therapy schools teach their students that massage is contraindicated with cancer patients," reported Pauline King, a mental health clinical nurse at the hospital, who led the study.

"We are always probing, sticking and doing other invasive treatments with cancer patients who are often touch deprived," King continued. "It was felt strongly that the patient needed caring touch as an antidote to the invasive procedures."

The study, which concluded in late 1999, was funded by a $10,000 grant from the AMTA Foundation. Its results have been widely reported by national media. For the study, 52 cancer patients receiving treatment at the hospital, which is affiliated with Ohio State University, were randomly placed into either an experimental group or a control group.

On the first day of the two-day study patients in both groups had a volunteer simply sit with them for 15 minutes, but had no physical contact. On the second day patients in the experimental group received petrissage on the hands, feet, shoulders and back of the neck for 15 minutes. Patients in the control group again sat with a volunteer for 15 minutes, but had no physical contact.

Pain and anxiety levels were measured on both days before the intervention, directly following, and again 30 minutes later. Pain levels were measured by a Visual Analogue Scale in which patients rated the severity of their pain on a scale from 0-10, with 0 equaling no pain and 10 equaling the worst pain possible. Anxiety, which was defined as "tension, apprehension, nervousness and worry," was measured using the Spilberger STAIT-TRAIT Anxiety Inventory, by which patients rated their own anxiety levels.

Data analysis showed the massage had a statistically relevant impact on pain and anxiety levels of patients in the experimental group compared to those in the control group. Overall, patients who received massage showed a .9 difference (drop) in pain level, versus no change in pain level for those in the control group.

"This study is a seminal study that produced empirical evidence on the efficacy of massage on cancer pain and anxiety," the report concluded. "More hard data studies are needed in order to bring massage in the medical systems where it is most needed."

An addendum to the study findings was the positive feedback the researchers received from the hospital's medical staff, in regard to the massage protocol. "Even before the study was completed, doctors and nurses were consulting the primary investigator to give their patients a massage," King reported. "The study raised the consciousness of the medical practitioners, which was another very positive outcome of this study."

- Source: Pauline King, Ohio State University. Special thanks to Massage Magazine(2000/issue 87).