According to medical professionals, massage can help to reduce common side effects of cancer treatment by approximately 50%. Among the mainstream methods, oncology massage therapy stands out with notable benefits that can be of much help to patients during their treatment process. So what makes it different and what are the benefits? Read on to know the answer.
Basic Information About Oncology Therapy
Simply put, Oncology massage therapy, also known as OMT, is a traditional massage technique. It serves as a tailored-made complementary approach to patients suffering from cancer. Unlike other massage therapy, OMT sets a specific focus on the clients’ state of wellbeing and the disease. OMT works in accordance with medicine to help diminish the potential side effects of cancer treatments. For example radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and surgery.
More than a collection of light strokes and hand techniques, oncology massage therapy gives more mindful touches. It’s about taking care of and understanding the mental and physical needs of the customer. Through face-to-face communication with clients in a comfortable environment, massage therapists could modify their techniques to achieve the desired purpose.
Due to the complexity of each condition, it is essential that the medical staff have to be insightful and experienced about the symptoms as well as the side effects of cancer treatment. For example, if the patient is battling lung cancer, the therapist must be well aware of all the symptoms and notices when performing their massage.
Scientific evidence to the benefits of oncology therapy
The benefits of this alternative treatment aren’t simply limited to mental wellbeing and relaxation. Scientists have pointed out that it also helps to provide relief from the physical symptoms and some other side effects of cancer treatment. The “Big Five” negative impacts include fatigue, pain, depression, nausea, and anxiety.
In fact, international research conducted by the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre in New York has shown solid evidence around the benefits massage has on the ‘Big Five’. With 1300 cancer patients involved in the experiment in 3 years, the results were pretty much expected. With 20 to 60 minutes of the massage therapy session, staff and patients noted:
- 47% improvement in pain levels
- 59% improvement in anxiety levels
- 42% ease in fatigue levels
- 48% improvement in levels of depression
Besides, there was data suggesting that the longer time the massage treatment took, the longer-lasting relief was.
A further study conducted by Deborah Fellowes and colleagues switched to focus on aromatherapy and massage for relieving symptoms of cancer and cancer treatment. In Fellowes’s study, they were able to demonstrate that massage consistently reduced anxiety and depression. These findings have further demonstrated the efficacy of Oncology massage therapy as a secondary approach in relieving symptoms of cancer treatment.
Irish Cancer Partnership – Your trusted companion
The massage Irish Cancer Partnership teaches on our Oncology Massage Course is not exclusive to only oncology. We also provide knowledge about the sensitivity to the clients’ condition through extensive training. Most importantly, the transfer of specialist medical knowledge from our experienced therapists to trainees is what makes our technique so unique. By providing comprehensive training, we are able to confidently create a space that both they, and the client can relax in.
The careful and considered approach can also create an active environment for patients. Each patient and client can feel relaxed, share their feelings, and be more positive about their own bodies. That’s why our clients not only stop at the massage therapy during their cancer treatment. But desire all stages of the process, including pre-treatment, during palliative care, and post-treatment.
Besides these above benefits, our oncology massage therapy can be a valuable resource to those suffering from cancer and the medical community.