Massage Therapy for Easing Cancer Pain and Anxiety

When diagnosed with cancer, fears and questions about life and survival start to arise. What will happen to me, my family, and my career? Will I live in pain? Will I survive the disease? Thoughts of physical discomfort and difficulty in daily functioning come to the surface.


Along with the mental effects are the physical effects of cancer. Pain is inevitable and will serve as a constant reminder of the ravaging disease. Although pharmacologic medications are standard, they don’t provide the holistic relief—physical, mental, and emotional relief—that cancer patients need. For many Singapore patients, pain and anxiety are vital signs and are often more relevant factor for cancer care than monitoring blood pressure and pulse.

How Massage Helps With Cancer

Ever since, massage is used to help alleviate pain and increase blood circulation in the body. Because of this effect, massage therapy has been used to ease discomfort caused by cancer treatment and surgery. The nurturing and caring touch a massage provides is a beneficial and acceptable procedure welcomed in the world of medical for treating cancer.

A therapeutic massage done to a cancer patient with metastatic cancer (cancer that has spread in other parts of the body) eases pain and induces better sleep. For some Singapore oncology consultants, it is the warmth of human touch and the sense of care are the essential reasons why massage therapy is beneficial for managing cancer-related pains, anxiety, and stress. Generally, massage therapy helps lift the mood, improve quality of sleep, and enhance the patient’s well-being.

Oncology Massage

A specific kind of massage, called ‘oncology massage,’ was specially designed for cancer patients. Therapists are taught to target symptoms and side effects, and use specialized treatment that can be recommended by http://www.harleystreet.sg/services/cancer/ in Singapore to provide comfort and support to the patient. Most of the time, therapists use their hands, but they also use their forearms, elbow, and some special massage tools to stroke and rub soft tissues of the body.

Oncology massage comes in various styles, but all aims to relax you physically and mentally. These techniques have been used for centuries to provide relief from pain and any discomfort. Here are the most common types of massage used for treating cancer.

1. Shiatsu – a Japanese massage therapy that targets the flow of the natural energy of the body.
2. Swedish massage – the most common type of whole body massage.
3. Sports Massage – used before or after a strenuous physical activity to help prevent or heal injuries.
4. Aromatherapy Massage – a message that uses essentials from fruits, flowers, leaves, seeds, bark, or root of certain plants.
5. Deep Tissue Massage – the massage commonly used to treat muscular problems.
6. Reflexology – applied on the pressure points of the soles of the feet or palms of the hand with the aim of improving the body’s overall health.
7. Neuromuscular Massage – aims to balance the health of the muscles and the nervous system.


All of these can be done soft and gentle or vigorous and brisk—sometimes can even be a little uncomfortable.

Gentler types of these massages like the aromatherapy, affect the nerve endings, possibly stimulating release of endorphins—also known as the ‘feel good hormones—and reducing the patient’s sensations of pain. On the other hand, stronger methods like Swedish massage, aim to improve blood circulation and mechanism of lymphatic system, as well as ease knotted tissues that could cause stiffness and pain.

What to Expect In an Oncology Massage

On the first visit, the therapists will ask the patient some general health questions. If the therapist is concerned that the massage will interfere with the patient’s health and medication, he will likely ask to contact your Singapore oncologist. This is just to check that the patient’s oncologist allows the massage. Most of the cases, it is rare for an oncologist to say no.

For Shiatsu massage, the patient is normally asked to lie on a soft mat on the floor, fully clothed. For most other massage therapies, the patient lies down on a massage table, and may be asked to take off all the clothes except the underwear. The patient will then be covered with a large towel or a robe.

The amount of pressure applied when massaging vary greatly on the types of massage. It’s important to let the therapist know whether the pressure is too much. However, most cancer patients say that having a massage, regardless of the pressure, is relaxing to the body and mind. Most sessions last an hour, but this depends on the therapist.

Who Shouldn’t Have Oncology Massage

Although massages are beneficial to the health, some cancer patients may not be allowed for this treatment. Some of the people who may not be allowed by their Singapore oncologist consultants to undergo massage therapy are:

• Pregnant women
• Patients in certain cancer treatments
• Patients who are very weak
• Patients with bone fractures and advanced cases of bone cancer
• Patients who suffer from arthritis

It is important to always refer to an oncologist Singapore before considering oncology massage therapy for treating cancer symptoms. It could be that the hospital where the patient gets his primary health care offers a more suitable massage therapy for his case.

Also, patients with cancer are likely asked by oncologists to avoid deep massages. Gentler types of therapies are safer. For patients having radiotherapy, avoid massaging the treated area. And do not massage any area of the body where the skin is bruised, broken, or bleeding.

More and more Singapore oncologists adopt massage therapy as a cancer treatment. While the therapy alone cannot kill the cancer cells, it provides significant relief from the pain and discomfort that the disease and its treatment are causing. The best oncologist in Singapore will certainly take advantage of this additional treatment method for the welfare of his patients.


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