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Complementary cancer therapies
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Massage / Touch therapy cancer treatment


Massage therapy ©Thinkstock
What is massage or touch therapy?

This is the most common form of complementary therapy. Therapists massage and apply pressure to various areas of the paitents body and manipulate muscles to relieve tension and aches.

Massage is most commonly applied to the hands, feet, back and shoulders and sessions typically last from around 20 minutes.

How does  massage or touch therapy work?

Therapists trained in massage for cancer patients usually apply less pressure than mainstream therapists as a chemotherapy patient often has altered levels of platelets in the blood which prevent bruising.

For patients who feel uncomfortable undressing, chair massage is also used.

What is massage or touch therapy used for?

It aims to promote relaxation and calm, release tension and ease stress.

Massage and touch therapy in cancer treatment

Research by the Touch Research Institute (TRI) at the University of Miami found massage can reduce pain and stress hormones and improve the body’s immune function in patients with breast cancer.

Massage cancer therapy resources
Cancer Research UK - massage
The Royal Marsden - NHS Trust - massage therapy for cancer paitents


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