A Guest Post by Mira Adora
At a certain point, medical equipment and medications become commonplace and tiring. Massage, on the other hand, can act as a grounding exercise for the patient and bring them rest.
What Causes Breast Cancer?
Breast cancer happens when the code (like a computer code) in a breast cell mutates or changes. The cell becomes cancerous, attacking other breast cells. Our immune system can fight some of them off, but others can grow into a lump or tumor as they continue to attack.
While the cause is still unknown, what we can be sure of is that our underwire bras are not causing breast cancer. However, it is certain that the wrong kind of bra will put undue stress and strain on your breasts, so the right thing to do is still to find the best fitting bra for you.
Benefits of Massage for Breast Cancer Patients
Breast cancer patients can experience tenderness in their breasts and chronic pain. One possible way to relieve pain, with the guidance of medical personnel, is through a breast massage. The Oketani massage in particular, which focuses on where the breast tissue is connected to the chest muscles, is effective. It also reduces handling of the breast proper, which might be too tender to massage in the normal way. Relieving the tissues of some stress will reduce overall pain.
One simple massage you can do to yourself is to put the arm of the breast you will massage behind your head. That will free up the area. Then, with your opposite hand, use the three first fingers to slowly and carefully massage around and over the breast in circular motions.
Physical activity has long been considered a grounding exercise for therapists. Grounding exercises help patients reactivate their nervous systems, pulling them out of the up and down of emotional responses. A breast cancer patient who receives a massage may see their symptoms of anxiety lessen. These include insomnia, high blood pressure, or mild panic. If they are able to rest and sleep during the massage, it also gives the body and the immune system the boost it needs to help the mind believe it can manage the situation. A regular massage, especially by a trained masseuse who does not need you to lie on your stomach during the session, can decrease anxiety.
Nausea reduction in chemotherapy recipients
Chemotherapy, especially general chemotherapy, slows down the growth of cancer cells and reduces their attack speed. However, it also slows down the growth of many healthy cells, especially the fast-replicating ones. This is why it is normal for chemotherapy patients to suffer fatigue, nausea, and a general lack of good feeling.
Massage therapy helps relieve general pain by relaxing muscles and reactivating the nervous system’s contact with the outside world. Pain tends to cause muscle tension as the patient attempts to deal with it, but the tension contributes to the overall loss of well being. Anxiety and stress also cause tension that can be relieved by massage therapy.
If massage therapy is carried out regularly, for long periods of time, it counteracts the buildup of stress and anxiety in a person’s body. Since the tension is not given a chance to build up, the patient’s window of tolerance—for pain, stress, anxiety, and others—is widened.
Breast cancer patients, like all other cancer patients, deal with long term pain, stress, and uncertainty. Regular massage therapy can relieve their tension, decrease their pain, and widen their window of tolerance for the normal stress that comes with battling cancer. These regular times of rest and grounding help them face the continuing fight.
Pain, stress, anxiety, and chemotherapy all contribute to an increase in fatigue. If the patient persists in their studies or work, or if they are a full-time house wife, they may find themselves less able to manage their day-to-day tasks. One massage therapy session, usually between 30 minutes to one hour, gives the patient time to relax and ignore all emails and text messages. At the same time, they feel themselves relaxing under the therapeutic massage. As their muscles release tension and stress, the body begins to heal and refresh itself normally. In that way, the patient’s fatigue is reduced and they can better handle their daily tasks.
Better immune function
The immune system works best when it can rest once in a while, and when it is supported by proper diet and exercise, or by external supplemental medical practices such as massage therapy. The immune system requires our body’s energy to fight off sickness and heal, which is why we leave ourselves open to sicknesses when we are tired.
Massage therapy lowers our heart rates and blood pressure, and makes it easier for blood circulation. Blood circulation is one of the main carriers of healing to all parts of the body. Massage therapy also rests the body, giving the immune system a chance to regain energy and charge up to fight the cancer.
All of those benefits add up to one simple one: relaxation. Being intentional about getting a massage, or going to massage therapy, also shows us the different muscle groups in our body. As they are identified by the massage therapist, we can also work on relaxing and releasing them when we feel ourselves begin to tense up in that area. Regular massage therapy will also show us how to take more part in helping ourselves relax.
Not sure what we mean? Try it out for yourself! We recommend that you start with a very gentle massage, like the Swedish massage, and don’t forget to mention any health conditions to the massage therapist.
Carisma Spa & Wellness International has been offering a superior service in 5-star hotels, and holiday resorts along the Aegean and the Mediterranean coast of Turkey and Malta since 1990.