Massage and After-Effects of Cancer Surgery

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One of my clients was diagnosed with cancer of the right ovary after having suffered for more than 5 years with heavy bleeding during her periods. She was 57 and had not yet had menopause, and finally it was discovered she had a small tumor on the ovary. The doctor who performed the surgery removed the tumor and both ovaries, and she removed the uterus and all the lymph nodes in the inguinal area. My client had a very difficult time recovering her strength after this surgery, and began going to treatment to a specialist in lymphodema, as one of her legs remained continually swollen after the surgery. This client did not come to see me until roughly 3 months after the surgery. The right leg was actually still swollen from the lymphodema, and so it was very painful for her to lay either supine or prone for very long. We used side-posture massage, with very light, gentle flowing strokes and gentle effleurage for relaxation and continued restoration of the body’s circulation without forcing blood or lymph flow. It has taken almost a year for her to regain her strength, and she still goes to therapy with a lymphodema specialist, although she has been able to reduce the frequency of those visits to monthly. She still wears a bandage on that leg if she has to stand for any length of time, and she still loves her weekly massages and is finally able to get her full-body massage as she can now lay prone or supine with ease.

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