I am pleased to welcome guest blogger Melanie Bowen today. She joined the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance in 2011 as an awareness advocate for natural health and cancer cure initiatives. You will often find her highlighting the great benefits of alternative nutritional, emotional, and physical treatments on those diagnosed with cancer or other serious illness. She also assists in social media outreach in her efforts to spread awareness.
Dealing with the reality of cancer and the sometime painful treatments employed to slow the progress of the disease is not an easy task. For many people, cancer saps a great deal of physical energy and also undermines their emotional well-being. While massage therapy is not a cure, it can help to alleviate some of the physical and emotional suffering, and help the patient enjoy a better quality of life.
The Physical Benefits of Massage for Cancer Patients
As noted by an article published by the National Institutes of Health, different massage techniques could go a long way toward alleviating some of the physical discomfort that comes from cancer and the ensuing treatments. Depending on the type of cancer involved, different types of massage may be utilized to ease the soreness found in different muscle groups. The ability of the therapy to help ease the tension carried in those muscle groups will make a huge difference in how the patient feels.
As the massage helps to alleviate the physical tension, the muscles will begin to relax. This will have the effect of making the muscles feel less tired. For many people suffering from mesothelioma and other forms of cancer, fatigue and tension are constant companions. By removing some of the tension from the muscles, this in turn helps to reduce some of the sense of feeling so tired. A lower rate of fatigue makes it easier to participate in activities that the patient normally enjoys, such as being able to visit with loved ones or go to a movie.
Emotional Healing and Massage Therapy
Not all the stress and tension is carried in the muscles. For many people suffering with cancer, the constant emotional turmoil makes it very difficult to get any enjoyment out of life. With so many questions about what will happen in the future, it is easy to become depressed or to develop a wide range of phobias that effectively cut off the individual from living in general.
One way to help minimize these negative emotions is to have a massage session at least a couple of times each week. The very act of massage helps to release endorphins that help to establish and maintain emotional equilibrium. This is especially important for patients who have developed depression or some type of anxiety disorder. Both conditions cause the mind to feel just as tired as the body, making it almost impossible to squeeze any enjoyment out of any activity. As the massage helps to relax the muscles, the mind will follow. By the end of the session, the patient is likely to feel a little more balanced and ready to take part in at least a few activities.
Using massage therapy as a coping tool is very important to the treatment of people with cancer. The benefits to the mind and body help to keep pain at bay promote emotional stability and aid the patient in continuing to seek the best possible treatments for the type of cancer involved. Since attitude is so important to any treatment process, using massage to help keep the mind and body feeling energized just makes sense.
Consult your doctor and find a massage therapist that will work best for you and your treatment and soak up all the benefits natural healing has to offer!