Guest article for Dr. Dot blog about Massage Therapy Benefits by Emma Summers


Using Massage Therapy as a Complementary Treatment Option

For those patients with cancer and other terminal illnesses, battling stress and depression can be a daily occurrence. Hectic schedules of physician visits, treatment and testing coupled with the actual disease can be hard on anybody.

Even though routine treatment options such as chemo and radiation are still commonplace, a number of complementary therapy options are being used to help cut down on patients’ stress levels and side effects from treatment. One of the great options in complementary therapy is massage therapy, which can have both a positive physical and mental effect on patients.

The use of massage as a complementary therapy is geared to change the way patients are feeling, both inside and out. Massage allows them to take part in an activity that is geared to clear their minds and enter a totally relaxed state, something that is rare to have during the post-diagnosis stage. From a mental standpoint, the ability for massage therapy to have such a great impact on patients’ peace of mind is outstanding.

Besides the mental aspect, massage therapy has a great ability to have an excellent effect on numerous physical aspects with each patient. Of course, there would be a number of benefits that nearly everyone who undertakes massage therapy would experience. These include an improved range of motion, flexibility, muscle function and strength. When it comes to cancer patients using massage therapy, the most important benefit could be its ability to reduce the side effects that are common with routine forms of therapy.

Radiation and chemo are known for having some extremely debilitating side effects. These types of routine treatment are still commonly used by patients with lung cancer, mesothelioma and breast cancer among many others. The side effects include nausea, muscle pain and extreme fatigue. Luckily, many cancer patients have used massage therapy as a tool to help cut down on these side effects, allowing their body to become heavily relaxed.

There are loads of options in complementary therapies and they continue to grow as physicians continue to explore avenues of keeping their patients in the best condition possible. Even with the growth and expansion of complementary options, massage therapy will continue to be a popular choice for cancer patients because of its ability to mix both physical and mental benefits.