Therapeutic massage as a cancer pain intervention appears to be safe and effective. Patients who receive massage have less procedural pain, nausea, and anxiety and report improved quality of life. The use of massage in cancer care centers and hospitals is on the rise. Massage has a positive effect on biochemistry, increasing levels of dopamine, lymphocytes, and natural killer cells. Specialized training of massage therapists in caring for people with cancer is recommended. Most studies to date are small but promising. Exact methodology and best practices warrant further investigation by the industry. More randomized clinical trials and case studies must be conducted.
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
References and Recommended Reading
- 1.MacDonald G: Medicine Hands: Massage Therapy for People with Cancer: Florida: Findhorn Press; 1999. The first modern comprehensive text documenting MacDonald’s work with cancer patients and supervising massage students in the oncology unit at Oregon Health Sciences University over a 4-year period.Google Scholar
- 2.Mars M, Maharaj SS, Tufts M: The effect of compressed air massage on skin blood flow and temperature. Cardiovascu J S Afr 2005, 16:215–219.Google Scholar
- 3.American Massage Therapy Association Press Release, October 2003.Google Scholar
- 12.Hernandez-Reif M, Field T, Ironson G, et al.: Natural killer cells and lymphocytes increase in women with breast cancer following massage therapy. Int J Neurosci 2005, 115:495–510. The studies conducted by these authors were among the first to explore the field of modern massage. The samples, although usually small, cover a wide range of conditions and reap significant results. The findings on the effects of massage on the immune response are remarkable.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 16.Smith MC, Kemp J, Hemphill L, Vojir CP: Outcomes of therapeutic massage for hospitalized cancer patients. J Nurs Scholarsh 2002, 34:257–262. Dr. Marlaine C. Smith has a deep respect for massage intervention and has been exploring its effects for many years. She has been instrumental in terms of conducting concrete, scientific research using her knowledge and experience as a nurse to ensure reliable documentation of findings.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 18.American Massage Therapy Association Overview of the Massage Therapy Industry 2005. www.amtamassage.org.Google Scholar
- 22.Webster’s Encyclopedic Dictionary of the English Language. New York: H.S. Stuttman Co; 1957.Google Scholar
- 23.Stedman’s Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing, edn 5. Baltimore: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins; 2005.Google Scholar
- 24.Montague A: Touching: The Human Significance of the Skin. New York: Columbia University Press; 1971.Google Scholar