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A recent survey shows that more people choose to get their muscles kneaded and rubbed for medicinal purposes than they do for leisure or relaxation. Though some complementary and alternative therapies have not been clinically proven to be safe or effective in the treatment of many diseases, including cancer, the bulk of scientific literature ascertains massage as a natural way to help patients deal with stress, anxiety, headaches, and specific types of pain associated with their condition. The current thought on massage therapy points to its effectiveness to provide benefits in terms of psychological well-being and symptom management among cancer patients that can result in an improved quality of life.

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As with any medical intervention, therapeutic massages come with precautions as cancer and its treatments can put people at risk for complications arising from the massage treatment. Aside from choosing professional massage therapists who meet all state and local licensing requirements and who are well-educated in the field of oncology massage, proper initial consultation and clinical assessments for someone experiencing cancer or with a history of cancer treatment is pivotal to providing a safe, individualized massage session that fulfills patients’ goals and expectations. Some of the types of massage offered to cancer patients include:

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• Aromatherapy massage
• Reflexology
• Shiatsu
• Neuromuscular massage
• Swedish massage
• Acupressure
• Trigger point therapy

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The clinical relevance of therapeutic massage hinges on its mechanisms for pain reduction that may include localized effects on muscle and on the specific parts of the brain that control the experience of pain and emotions. As part of cancer care, massage therapies may be used to address patients’ need for human touch—that kind of connection that turns into something as valuable as comfort and healing.

Massage Envy completes your wellness ritual with customized massage therapies that aid in dealing with day-to-day stresses and the effects of cancer treatment such as pain, nausea, and fatigue. Click here to learn more about the effects of massage to your physical and emotional being.