Cancer is one of the greatest worldwide health concerns. According to WHO, it is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality for which a definite treatment is yet to be found.
At the same time that its incidence increases, better and more varied treatment options are available. Consequently, mortality rates have decreased and life expectancy risen. According to recent studies cancer patients are, indeed, living longer than before. For example, in 2011, in the UK, 50% of the diagnosed cancer patients survived ten or more years.
Living with cancer
How do people live after a cancer diagnosis? What is their quality of life? Spending the rest of one’s days in pain and/or worry is not a nice prospect.
Even after the cancer has been partially or totally eradicated, there is always the possibility of its return. Dealing with this possibility is distressing for many cancer patients. The need to monitor for cancer signs in a long-term and frequent basis increases the cancer patients’ stress. In addition, available drugs still have a considerable number of side effects. These actively affect patients’ daily quality of life.
Alternative and complementary treatments
Massage therapy can be an important resource for everyone who is fighting cancer. These are non-invasive therapies that complement the medical treatment. The objective is manipulating the body to produce mildly enduring physically and psychologically positive health effects.
Through the body-mind manipulation process, massage can improve one’s quality of life; strengthen one’s coping mechanisms; and reduce one’s anxiety and pain. In the long-run, this might also translate into a drug intake reduction. There are benefits to the use of massage when fighting cancer. So why not give it a try?
There are many types of massages. Each uses a different physical manipulation technique and is often associated with a set of cultural origins.
For example, Shiatsu is a Japanese massage that stimulates the Chinese acupuncture meridians and points. Swedish massage is based on Western anatomic principles and is primarily concerned with muscle manipulation.
Choosing your massage therapy
If you are considering giving this therapy a try, it might be important to start by considering which massage, massage therapist and massage schedule is suitable for you. You should not rush your choices.
You could try more than one type of massage before making a more definite choice. There might be one which has a greater and better impact on you.
Moreover, you should understand and accept the therapist’s language and values. For example, you may disbelieve the Eastern approach to illness treatment. You may have difficulty with their wording and reasoning. In this case, you should opt for Western-based massages, such as the Swedish and Deep Tissue massages.
You should also choose a therapist with whom you feel comfortable. As Mike, from therapyworlddirect.com, says, “a massage is an intimate experience. The patient lies naked, partially covered by draping, on a table. If you want the process to reduce your stress you’d better feel as comfortable as possible.”
Finally, if you feel too weak, you can always arrange for the massage therapist to come to your place at a time that is convenient for you. In this case, having a room with the proper massage equipment would be beneficial.
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