Yes, Get a Massage during Cancer

Restorative Massage

Can you get a massage if you have cancer? and if you are receiving chemotherapy or radiation?  Although not as common a belief as it was ten years ago, some people still believe they should not get a massage if they have a diagnosis of cancer.  That belief was based on the false premise that massage could somehow spread cancer because it increases circulation.  However, exercise increases circulation much more than massage, and your oncologist will recommend that you exercise as much as you can tolerate.  We also now know that cancer spreads due to a change in DNA, not from massage.  Therefore, it is totally fine to receive massage from a qualified Oncology Massage Therapist. 

The reason to seek massage from a therapist trained in Oncology Massage is that they have the special training to know the effects of cancer, the side effects of treatment, and how to adapt the massage to your specific situation. One of the questions the Oncology Massage Therapist may ask is whether you have had a massage since you were diagnosed. We want to check in with your comfort level, and also want to let you know that we may need to adjust the massage from what you are used to based on cancer treatments and the side-effects of treatment.

The cornerstone of massage therapy and most helping professions is to first “do no harm”. At any time during the spectrum of cancer treatment and survivorship, physical changes occur. Oncology massage therapists are trained to make adaptations and can provide safe massage in many challenging situations. They are trained to provide the best and most therapeutic massage possible with patient safety their primary concern.

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