Hello to all! I hope that you have been enjoying this sunny heat wave! I trust that all of you outdoor enthusiasts are having a delightful summer.
I was reading through an article in the American Massage Therapy Association’s (AMTA) journal that featured ABC’s Good Morning America anchor, Robin Roberts. In Robert’s words, massage therapy can improve the quality of life for cancer patients, “…by reducing pain, nausea and fatigue.” Roberts speaks from experience— a “cancer thriver,” who has overcome both breast cancer and myelodysplastic syndrome, a precursor to leukemia. Throughout her treatment, which included a bone marrow transplant, she received regular massage. Because massage therapy was so helpful in her healing journey, the former college athlete and ESPN commentator was selected as the key note speaker for the upcoming AMTA National Convention.
When I went through massage school, massage therapy was considered contraindicated for cancer patients, so when I read Roberts’ story, I was interested in familiarizing myself with the latest research. The notion that massage can spread cancer cells throughout the body via the lymphatic system turns out to be unfounded. The circulation of lymph occurs naturally when we move, and whether through a massage or an exercise session, it does not cause cancer to spread. Rather, according to scientists, cancer develops and spreads because of genetic mutations to a cell’s DNA.
While massage is not used to treat cancer directly, it has been shown to help to reduce the side effects of conventional treatment, decrease anxiety and depression, improve feelings of well-being, and increase immune system function. It is also helpful in lowering pain and nausea.
Hope you found this information helpful. I would love to see you soon, for some well-deserved relaxation and recovery from your summer activities.
To Your Health,
Theresa Zink, LMT