Why can't I have the deep massage I had before I was treated for cancer?
The person who has been treated for cancer even a year or two post treatment does not realize the weakened lymphatic and vascular systems continue to actively cleanse the vital organs and systems in the body. This is a large task for a body that is healing and may be permanently damaged from the toxicity of chemotherapy; and the ravaging affects of radiation treatments. Vital organs such as the liver, heart, and lungs may not have the ability to rid the body of all the release of toxins after a deep massage.
The over toxicity following a deeper massage may cause flu-like symptoms or severe digestive upset. Deep or moderate pressure massage may cause brittle bones to break, easy bruising, Immunosuppression, and increase your risk for triggering lymphedema.
Many clients who continue to take pain medications or have neuropathy in the hands or feet are not able to judge the actual depth of a deeper pressure massage and as a result there have been several instances where an untrained therapist has done a considerable amount of damage to a cancer client even in the remission and recovery phase.
What happens during an Oncology Massage session?
Oncology massages are different from the massages you received prior to your cancer diagnosis and treatments. This fact is also true for people in recovery/remission due to tissue or lymphatic system damage caused by chemotherapy, drugs, and radiation.
Some differences include:
- A detailed intake form with treatment history outlining side effects you are experiencing; and any current concerns your physician has related to medical treatments. A doctor's release may be required with certain comorbid conditions such as diabetes or history of deep vein thrombosis, unstable spine/ fracture, low platelet counts, or blood disorders.
- Lighter pressures and shorter sessions than you are accustomed to may be required depending on your level of tolerance, current health condition, stage of treatment, and surgical status. Lighter pressures are used when lymph nodes have been removed or irradated anywhere in the body to avoid triggering latent lymphedema. Bone metastasis and multiple myelomas are a major concern and deeper pressures are contraindicated.
- Position modifications must be considered due to painful or swollen areas, radiation sites, physical limitations, medical devices, ports, prosthetics, or implants.
- Techniques used during the session are well planned and secifically address current concerns such as nausea, pain, depression, neuropathy, and fatigue. Methods will be reviewed and updated at each appointment to give you the best possible treatment.
Gilyard Medical & Oncology Massage strives to provide the best possible treatments to fit your goals and needs. Massages are appropriate for most all cancers when administered by a trained therapist.
Massage can not cure cancer but given with understanding, compassion, and expertise can enhance the quality of life for you and your loved ones. To learn more or schedule an appointment, go here.