Massage Benefits for Patients with Cancer

By: Janet Penny, RMT.

After years working as a massage therapist at OICC, there is one thing that continually amazes me: The willingness and perseverance of our patients to feel well during difficult cancer treatments.

Ottawa integrative cancer centre

Below is a brief description of some of the benefits of massage therapy as you move from diagnosis through treatment:

At the time of diagnosis: There can be no underestimating the benefits of allowing the body and mind to rest and restore as fear, unknown outcomes as well as learning about your diagnosis and proposed treatments consumes time and energy.

Surgery: Massage therapy is effective in preparing for surgery as well as reducing swelling and muscle guarding/stiffening after surgery.

Scar tissue: Gentle manual and cupping massage treatments soften scars and surrounding tissue to improve movement and scar appearance. Pain caused by nerve entrapment, fluid build-up or adhesions can be reduced.

Radiation treatments: A variety of massage techniques are effective in reducing the stiffening and decreased mobility brought on by radiation thickening of skin, fascia and muscles.

Chemotherapy: A gentle and slow massage can help cope with feeling unwell during chemotherapy treatments. As well, chemotherapy induced peripheral neuropathy ((CIPN) can be minimized.

Cording (axillary web syndrome): Massage treatments can significantly reduce the mobility-limiting restrictions of cording.

I look forward to working with you, Janet Penny, RMT.