Massage Benefits Pain In Cancer Patients

Benefits Of Massage: Pain Management In Cancer Patients

Many cancer patients are not taking pain medications effectively due to concerns over dependence and addiction issues. Others express that pain medications interfere with the ability to think clearly, and report a “foggy brain” sensation.  Although these concerns must be addressed by patients and their healthcare provider, many cancer patients are presently experiencing high levels of uncontrolled pain. Massage therapy techniques can be used in conjunction with conventional treatments to naturally decrease pain and help ease the use of pain medications in cancer patients.

Tumor Pressure and Discomfort

Some forms of cancer create tumors that press on nerves and cause pain and inflammation. Massage cannot be performed over these areas and pushing circulation towards the tumor site is contraindicated. Sometimes the pain from a tumor is positional, and they may benefit from a chair message if side-lying is not tolerated. Patients can benefit from massage in areas of the body that stimulate the central nervous system and release natural pain-killing hormones. These powerful hormones, called endorphins, decrease anxiety, tension, and spread throughout the entire body.

Chemotherapy and Neuropathy

Cancer patients receiving chemotherapy often complain of a sensation of “pins and needles” in hands and feet accompanied by pain. The condition, known as neuropathy, occurs when the capillaries in the hands and feet are not receiving enough blood via capillaries to supply oxygen to the tissues. The massage protocol for neuropathy may be painful to the patient, and techniques should be applied slowly. Patients may only tolerate a light touch to the hand or foot, until the circulation improves and the painful sensation begins to subside.

Radiation Therapy

Over 60% of patients with certain forms of cancer, such as mesothelioma, benefit by the reduction tumors with direct treatment of radiation. Patients commonly experience dry mouths due to low saliva, difficulty swallowing, and often describe a “lump in the throat.” Side effects of the medical intervention include painful, red, and highly sensitive skin that becomes more inflamed with each radiation session. If skin is too sensitive to massage, therapists can apply pressure to the hands and feet, or other unaffected areas to assuage pain, increase relaxation, and promote sleep.

The Healing Touch

Medical therapies often cause changes in the body that result in painful, sensitive, or inflamed tissues. Many patients report that pain medication alone is not effective, uncomfortably mind altering, or they express a fear of addiction. Massage therapy can improve the management of pain and suffering for the cancer patient in conjunction with medical treatments. Massage techniques can usually be adapted to each patient’s experience and reduce their pain.

Consult your doctor today and find a massage therapy that will benefit you and your cancer treatment. If there are potential benefits in a natural cancer alternative than why not soak up all that it has to offer? Give your mind, body and spirit a break from some of life’s everyday stressors and go indulge in a massage today!

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TMJ Treatment With Massage Therapy

Alternative Treatments For TMJ.  What Your Dentist Might Not Know

TMJ or Temporamandibular Joint Syndrome is more common than ever.  In fact, millions of Americans suffer from the pain to the jaw and the teeth from this ailment.  Situations that can cause or aggravate the problem include prolonged thumb-sucking,  overuse of a pacifier as a child, excessive gum chewing, bruxism (grinding of the teeth), anxiety, and emotional stress.

Another factor that can aggravate TMJ is that our bodies tend to be asymmetrical, or having one side stronger than the other. Right-handers tend to have a stronger right side overall, including hands and legs.  Our jaw, too, can be affected by this imbalance, since you may favor one side of your mouth when chewing.  This misalignment may be the culprit in the TMJ diagnosis.

Billie Ann Hagen, LMT , NCTMB
New Jersey Massage Therapist

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Massage Therapy Has Medicinal Purposes By NJ Therapist

New Jersey Massage Therapist Explains The Healing Purposes of Massage

To most people it’s a relaxing activity meant to soothe, calm, and pamper.  It’s a treat, usually meant as special occasion, given as a gift.  However, the concept that massages have medicinal value is sometimes lost.  Massages can be a healthy way to ease the stress and strain of those who are very much into sports as a hobby, and is a regular wellness activity for serious athletes.

In fact, those who receive a sports massage as part of their training will find their overall performance improved.  Muscle tightness decreases and the body’s recovery after a workout is quicker.  Athletes even report feeling less tired after a workout and feel more alert throughout the day.

So what does a massage do for the body?  Here are just some of the benefits:

Increased flexibility. Your muscles will move more freely, thus you are more flexible.  The more flexible you are the less chance of a sprain or strain.

Muscle recovery. When a muscle is overworked, there’s a weakness in where the tendon attaches to the bone.  A regular massage after a workout reverses this reaction.

Reduced muscle tension.  Tight muscles mean improper blood flow to an overworked or injured muscle.  The oxygen, minerals and nutritional value of blood to aid in recovery can’t get to where it’s needed for a repair.

Speeds up the healing process.  The lactic acid that is produced during exercise must be flushed out. If not, a knot can form, resulting in restricted blood flow to overworked and injured muscles.

Reduction in muscle spasms.  During an exercise regimen, a lot is going inside the body. When there is pain either by a sprain or stretching too much, the nervous system sends a pain signal along a pathway to the brain. Each time the signal is repeated, it goes along the same route, and that causes your muscles to spasm.  Massages will break up the tissues in the muscles, which aids in their relaxation, reducing future spasms.

Soreness is decreased.  A massage to an injured area increases blood flow.  Once blood gets to the area, the muscle is replenished, healing is begun, and the soreness will ease.

Future injuries can be prevented.  A well-trained massage therapist can identify weakened areas of the body and counsel the athlete on ways to minimize injuries in the future.

Less pain overall.  Regular massages will keep muscles limber and healthy, and will be able to withstand subsequent workouts without injury, with a quicker recovery.

Billie Ann Hagen
Massage Therapist
, LMT , NCTMB
Servicing Bergen, Passaic, Morris,
Essex Counties of New Jersey.

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