October is a National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. You may ask what massage has to do with breast cancer or how breast cancer patients can benefit from massage?
I’m glad you asked:
- Massage can help relieve pain
- Promotes relaxation
- Decreases anxiety and stress
- Decreases inflammation with Lymph Drainage massage
- Strengthens the immune system
Research shows that therapeutic massage is an effective complement to traditional medical care for women undergoing lumpectomy, mastectomy or breast reconstruction.Massage induces the production of the hormone Oxytocin which counter acts Cortisol also known as the “stress hormone. Under constant stress excess production of Cortisol can be harmful by decreasing the immune system response. A cancer diagnosis is very stressful and a person in susceptible to anxiety and depression. Since massage aids with the relaxation response and the release of Oxytocin it can be a major aid in strengthening the immune system and release of toxins and promote healing.
Pre-surgery massage relaxes muscle tissue and increases the flow of lymph where’s post-surgery, women who apply specialized lymph drainage techniques from a well-trained massage therapist to their treatment may experience less pain and swelling.
In a study performed by the University Of Miami School Of Medicine, breast cancer patients who were massaged three times a week reported lower levels of depression, anxiety and anger.