Saturday, October 12, 2013
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Preliminary findings of an ongoing pilot study demonstrate that massage decreased anxiety and lessened depression among 10 women with stage-one (diagnosed within the previous five years) breast cancer. The study will be complete when 35-40 women have participated in the study.
Measurements of immune function, which consisted of blood, urine and saliva samples, also indicated that natural killer (white) cells -- those cells that fight viruses and tumors -- also increased, which implies an improved immune system, said one of the lead researchers, Maria Hernandez-Reif, Ph.D., director of research at the Touch Research Institute.
The massage routine focused on promoting relaxation, Hernandez-Reif said, and included strokes of effleurage and petrissage, as well as range-of-motion techniques.
The average age of the 20 women (10 in the massage group and 10 in the nonmassaged control group) is 52. Seventy percent had a breast removed and the remainder had a lumpectomy.
One group had 45-minute massages three times a week over a five-week period. The control group did not receive massage. Eighty percent of those receiving massage had better immune function, while only 30 percent of those in the nonmassaged group showed improved immune function, according to Hernandez-Reif.
Those who received massage were half as anxious after massage, while those in the control group remained anxious, Hernandez-Reif said. Women who were massaged had progressive drops in their reports of depression, she noted, while those who did not receive massage reported no change in their depression over the same time period.
Article copyright Massage Magazine, Inc.~~~~~~~By Melissa B. Mower
Monday, October 7, 2013
Do it for your boobies!
In honor of all the women in our lives who have had breast cancer, I was going to write to our readers about how personally affected we are by this life changing disease. Whether it’s you, your mother, your sister, your wife, or your friend, we are taught lessons from experiences of just how fragile life is. As I pondered, I realized that it’s impossible to put into words, at least in a few paragraphs, how life changes because of cancer. Instead of telling you of, unfortunately, we will all learn, whether first hand or through others experiences, I want to focus on the hope and positive energy of healing.
As research shows, massage is very helpful for breast cancer patients. In the post-operative period it decreases pain and speeds up healing. During chemotherapy and radiation, massage significantly boosts immune system function. That is key to staying on track in a chemo regimen and beating cancer before the treatments beats you. Regular massage improves feelings of anxiety and depression. It decreases insomnia, fatigue, and nausea. Research shows massage therapy had an incredible effect on breast cancer patients that had lymph node dissection and/or lymphedema too. It also improves range of motion and shoulder function in these patients.
There’s a ton of info out there to support the positive benefits of massage for cancer patients. I’m posting several research studies and articles this month for you to read. Please take a look at them, as the proof is in the pudding.