I am so pleased to introduce my first guest blogger to contribute to Broadway Beauty. Melanie Bowen joined the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance in 2011 as an awareness advocate for natural health and cancer cure initiatives. You will often find her highlighting the great benefits of alternative nutritional, emotional, and physical treatments on those diagnosed with cancer or other serious illness. Bowen resides in upstate New York and also assists in social media outreach in an effort to spread awareness.

Battling cancer can be one of the most difficult experiences a person can go through and the process of getting treatment can take a toll on both the body and the mind.  While not clinically proven to provide a medical benefit or cure for cancer, massage therapy can help alleviate pain and mental distress throughout the treatment process.

According to an article in Current Oncology, therapeutic massage can help people with cancer improve their ability to cope with the condition, ameliorate symptoms of cancer and cancer treatment, and generally enhance quality of life. While the effects of massage are typically short- term, they can be invaluable for patients.

From patients with mesothelioma to acute myeloid leukemia, the primary benefit of massage therapy for cancer patients is alleviation of pain.  Many cancer treatments, as well as the cancer itself, result in patients feeling fatigued, sore, or achy. Therapeutic massage can help patients reduce muscle tension and relax the body, helping to reduce that pain. There is also some evidence from limited clinical trials that massage therapy strengthens the lymphatic system.

In addition to relaxing the body, massage can also help to ease the mind.  While massage therapy can help anyone manage stress and day-to-day concerns, therapeutic massage can be particularly helpful for people coping with cancer and cancer treatment by helping to reduce symptoms and improve one’s mental outlook. Massage therapy can relieve anxiety and depression in cancer patients and enhance relaxation.

Overall, massage is a very safe therapeutic activity.  However, cancer patients should only use a licensed masseuse and inform them of the type of cancer and any pharmaceutical treatments the patient is undergoing.

Patients should also consult with their oncologist before undergoing any massage therapy.  The link between massage and the body’s reaction to it is still not fully understood, so communication between the masseur, the patient, and a physician is essential for the best outcomes.

However, if there are potential benefits within a natural alternative to cancer treatment, why not indulge yourself and soak up all that it has to offer? Give your body, mind and spirit a vacation from some of life’s everyday stressors and go get a massage today and make treatment a little easier on your soul.

At Broadway Retreat, our trained Massage Therapists understand that massage treatments provide heightened benefits not only for those who wish to relax and unwind, but for people struggling with trauma, distress, and pain.  We hope to assist Melanie Bowen’s outreach efforts and encourage cancer patients to consider massage as an outlet to cope, heal, and calm.