Cancer massage

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Cancer massage requires special training. It is important to use a very light, delicate touch, and to avoid putting stress on radiation sites, sites where surgery has been performed, or tumor locations. A massage therapist who has learned to work with cancer patients has to be knowledgeable about which massage creams and oils are safe, and have the experience to make the massage comfortable and enjoyable. Some people fear that massage is dangerous for cancer patients is that there is a fear that massage may cause cancers to metastasize, because it stimulates the flow of lymphatic fluid in the body. Studies have suggested that this may be the case with some deep tissue massage modalities, but that gentle massage is probably not going to lead to a spread of the cancer. Of more concern is lymphedema, a condition caused by pooling of lymph in the limbs; a massage therapist who is not experienced in working with cancer patients could cause lymphedema by accident. Many people believe that touch therapy is very beneficial, especially for cancer patients, who sometimes feel very isolated and frightened. A very gentle massage can help reduce stress for cancer patients, and reductions in stress levels can benefit the immune system as well as one’s outlook on life.

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