Massage and Breast Cancer: What You Need to Know

Massage and Breast Cancer: What You Need to Know

Nothing beats the therapeutic value of a massage after a hard day, and breast cancer treatment is a marathon of long, hard days. During this time, a trained massage therapist can help in many ways.

Ease your pain. 
Massage can reduce fatigue and soften muscles and connective tissues which might feel tight and uncomfortable. Cancer, stress, and side effects of treatment take a toll on the body, and the right massage can offer chemical-free relief.

Reconnect you with your body. 
The sensation of healing hands on your body can be a great reminder of the experience you’re undergoing and the strength you’re demonstrating to get through it. Your practitioner’s hands on your own brave skin can offer support, validation, and comfort when you need it the most.

Cheryl Chapman, nurse and massage therapist, says that “massage allows a woman to let go of fear, anger and loneliness and deal with her altered self-image.”

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Restore your spirit
Part of the massage experience, for many people, is a spiritual connection that transcends the physical experience happening in the room. The energy exchanged between the practitioner and the recipient can lift up both people, and that healing is especially beneficial in the atmosphere of breast cancer treatment.

Before you schedule your next massage, talk to your doc!
According to Lora Packel MS, PT, breast cancer patients need to be aware of some potential issues before they enjoy a massage. During and after treatment, she advises, your oncologist might want you to avoid putting your body in certain physical positions. For example, after surgery, you might not be able to lie on your stomach, or your masseuse might need to avoid contact with particular areas of your body while you’re healing. If platelets are low, typical massage techniques might need to be modified. And risks for infection might be an issue if you’re in chemotherapy.

Get the information you need to give yourself the best resources for healing, and, as always, if in doubt, ask!

MORE: What your pet can teach you about breast cancer recovery 

Breast Cancer News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. 

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