Month: October 2014

Oncology Massage Tips

Massage therapy is special in a number of ways. It’s personal, it’s customizable, it’s hands on, and most of all, it can be used to help alleviate symptoms of injuries or illnesses in ways that other therapies are unable.

Oncology massage is just one subset of massage therapy. This specialized massage therapy is for those who are living with cancer or who have survived cancer. It takes into consideration the affects of treatment, the after affects of treatment, lingering symptoms of the cancer itself, and other complications that a patient might be experiencing. Unlike sports massage therapy or circulatory massage, oncology massage is typically much softer and even-toned in order to ensure the comfort of the patient.

Oncology MassageWhen a patient comes in for oncology massage for the first time, it’s essential to ask a series of questions to gauge exactly where the patient is in their treatment, how the treatment has affected the patient, and what the patient’s energy levels are. Even if the patient stopped treatment long ago, some effects can be residual.

Many oncology patients undergo chemotherapy, which is used to defeat rapidly proliferating cancer cells. Chemotherapy can be given orally, or through an IV. This IV is typically given through a port, which, on most patients, can be found below the clavicle. Always ask if a patient has a port or any other medical device on the body before beginning a massage so that these areas can be avoided and left undamaged.

It’s always important to ask about blood counts, which can be reduced during treatments.. If a patient’s red blood cell count has been lowered, for example, they may be more temperature sensitive and may require more draping to stay warm during the massage. If white blood cell count has been lowered, their immune suppression may be compromised, so it would be necessary to warn the patient if you’re feeling even slightly under the weather. If platelet counts are reduced, it’s important to use lighter pressure to avoid bleeding or bruising.

Radiation and chemotherapy induce a variety of side effects, including nausea, sensitive skin, peripheral neuropathy, and brain fog. In order to provide the most comfortable and effective massage for an oncology patient, ask about these symptoms to avoid discomfort. If any of these symptoms present, it may be necessary to adjust pressure or avoid certain areas. If a patient experiences nausCancer Survivorea, it may be good to consider positioning the patient near a restroom or source of water so that they can easily find relief.

Massage therapists have the responsibility of keeping patients safe and comfortable. For oncology patients, this means taking every potential symptom into consideration and adjusting the parameters of massage to avoid all possible discomfort. With open communication between the massage therapist and the patient, oncology massage can provide immense relief for cancer patients and cancer survivors alike.


Different Massages for Different People

Massage therapy is widely known to benefit a vast range of people with a broad range of needs. Anyone can benefit from massage therapy, from athletes to high-level executives to those living with chronic disease. People see massage therapists in hopes of easing their pain, whether that pain stems from a sports injury or a stressful work environment or the pain of a daily affliction. It is the responsibility of the massage therapist to adjust the parameters of the massage in order to fit the needs of every single client, and in order to do that, a massage therapist must communicate with and learn about the needs of her clients!

The Thai massage is primarily based on an acup...Every person who goes to see a massage therapist does so for his or her individual reasons; because of this, every single massage is unique. While many massages may have things in common – for example, a massage therapist may be most practiced in Swedish massage therapy or Thai massage therapy and use elements of those techniques in all of her massages – a good massage therapist knows how to manipulate what she has learned in order to best suit her clients.

Massage pressure is one of those areas that can be changed in order to meet the needs of clients. Pressures used in massage therapy range from very soft to very hard. At the softer level, the client will only feel a light pressing or rubbing on the surface of the skin as if a lotion were being lightly applied. At harder pressures, the massage therapist aims to affect various levels of tissue and muscle in client’s body. Athletes who seek sports massage therapy typically receive higher-pressure massages in order to stimulate commonly used muscles, while those seeking oncology massage therapy may receive the lightest possible pressure in order to avoid pain, bruising, or other discomfort.

Massage therapists can also customize contact levels. Some clients may have sensitive areas of skin due to radiation, rash, or other conditions, that massage therapists work to avoid. Other clients may have recently recovered from a surgery or injury and will have sensitive muscle groups.

Rhythm of massage can also be adjusted. Oncology massage clients, for example, may experience a sense of nausea depending on where they are in their treatment. As such, they may require a smoother massage that does not make the client uncomfortable. Other patients may experience vertigo or dizziness, and would also require a more flowing rhythm of massage. Clients who are less sensitive to change of motion and space can receive massage at a higher rhythm.

Massage therapists are not only trained in a variety of massage techniques, but they are practiced in interpersonal communication. A good massage therapist will communicate with a client before starting a massage therapy session in order to guarantee the best possible massage for the client’s needs. If you’ve ever wondered if massage therapy is right for you, the answer is yes, as long as you communicate with your massage therapist!