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.
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!
Have Your Blog Article Listed By Clicking On The Blog Article Posting Service Link Above.