Let’s be honest, it’s touched us all: the C word. Whether we have had a personal diagnosis and battle, lived through the journey with a family member or friend, watched a child lose a parent or worse, a parent lose a child, we all have a story. Cancer is, like it or not, a part of our daily lives, our culture, our reality. With technological, medical and educational advances, cancer, while still a leading cause of death in the US, is more understood. Focus on health education, low cost or free screening and national campaigns have created heightened awareness and an increase in early detection of many forms of cancer, resulting in the greatest news, higher numbers of survivors.
The road from diagnosis to survivorship, however, is not an easy one. It is filled with emotion for the patient, family members and friends – the circle of impact is wide. There are many opportunities to help a family, from cooking meals to offering help with transportation to and from treatment (radiation is often daily for weeks at a time). House cleaning services are available at no or low cost to families in treatment and grocery store home delivery is also a great option. In addition to the emotional roller coaster diagnosis brings, treatment brings its own physical challenges. Fatigue, a common and debilitating symptom of cancer and treatment, nausea often the result of chemotherapy treatment, skin irritation or burns resulting from radiation treatment and recovery from surgery all pose significant challenges for the patient. To combat fatigue, massage, acupuncture and yoga are excellent options, PSI wrist bands and ginger essential oils or candies may help ease nausea naturally and specially formulated body lotions are available for use on skin affected by radiation burns.
The specific needs, both physical and emotional of the cancer patient are important to understand in order to provide the most appropriate and beneficial service. Massage therapy has been statistically proven to reduce the effects of cancer fatigue as well as decrease stress levels and promote a sense of well being in cancer patients. Trained therapists are able to provide adapted sessions for patients at any time during their journey – there may be certain days that massage sessions are not recommended based on treatment programs or post surgery, however communication between therapist and client is of paramount importance and a session plan can be created together based on personal needs and goals. The time spent in the massage room is sacred for the cancer patient, it is time to just be, quiet and relaxed or open and communicative with feelings they may not express elsewhere. It is a gift for the therapist as well as the client.
The number of cancer survivors is increasing each year, however , the effects of cancer last far beyond remission dates. Massage therapy is a necessary component for maintaining health and wellness and is often overlooked – a great way to celebrate the important milestones your loved one is able to enjoy – gift certificates are always available. If you are interested in Cancer Aware Massage Services for you or a loved one, or would like more information, please contact us and trained therapists will be happy to help.
The best of health to you….