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Oncology Massage is also medicine during cancer treatment

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Oncology Massage is also medicine during cancer treatment

Today I am compelled to write about how massage is also medicine after a cancer diagnosis, during treatment, and in recovery for both patient and family. Many of us know someone whose life has been affected by cancer. The feelings of anxiety, doubt, confusion, fear and depression are all-too real, for both the patient and the family. Add to the overwhelming experience not just the physical toll but also the emotional, psychological and social implications, and this is where alternative therapies like massage become a huge support, if not essential.

With prior approval from the Oncologist, The American Cancer Society recognizes that “gentle massage and bodywork can be adapted to meet the needs of cancer patients.” Hospitals and Cancer Care Centers have begun adopting and recommending oncology massage as an essential treatment therapy along with other excellent therapies provided through acupuncture. Case in Point the Lennar Cancer Center in Miami or the Memorial Healthcare System in Florida, to name a few, who have supportive oncologists as well as on-site therapists offering care.

Oncology treatment has come a long way, and whilst in the past patients were advised to not engage in a host of daily activities for fear of the unknown, it is now researched and known that exercise (including sex), regular walking and movement, and therapies such as acupuncture and massage are highly beneficial to the positive physical, psychological and emotional outcomes of treatment. No, Oncology massage is not deep tissue massage, stretching or manipulating the tumor. Oncology massage is a specialized style of massage that requires specific training and is characterized by slow, gentle, nurturing touch with specific comfort positioning. Treatments vary in duration depending on the type and stage of treatment or recovery the patient is undergoing. The experience is one of acceptance of the body and its scars, support of the process, hope for positive outcomes, and nurturing of the spirit. With these intentions in mind, Oncology massage can change the way it feels to live with a serious illness.

By providing clinically reasoned and thoughtfully adapted massage, therapists nourish body, mind, and spirit to: 
  1. improve quality of life
  2. Reduce anxiety
  3. Help with the management of pain
  4. Improve quality of sleep
  5. Reduce fatigue
  6. Reduce unpleasant sensation from chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN)
  7. Increase function in areas affected by scar tissue resulting from surgery and radiation
  8. Reduce post-surgical swelling and support rehabilitation and recovery
  9. Support the lymph system and assist with lymphedema management
  10. Improve body awareness and image.

I most recently had the pleasure of treating a patient who had flown-in from overseas for cancer treatment in Miami. After recommending a combined course of acupuncture and massage therapy, the patient reported a significant reduction in pain from radiation treatment, and the extraordinary surprise from the cancer radiation team at how well he was coping with treatment compared to peers. He received 2 weekly massage treatments for a course of 5 weeks and completed his course of radiation successfully, thanking our team profusely for the support, comfort and peace of mind we had provided to him and his family during this difficult time. We said goodbye recently with a big smile and the hope that he will soon make a full recovery and continue to enjoy his life back home with friends and family.

For more information on how you or a loved one can benefit from oncology massage, search for a registered and preferred practitioner near you using the search option the Society of Oncology Massage offers ( or contact us if you are located in Miami-Dade and we will gladly come out to your home or welcome you in our clinic. You can reach us, DeNatura® Wellness, to get ,more information and to schedule by calling +1 305 814 9818 or


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