How Can Massage Help Someone with Cancer?

Massage has much to offer a person living with cancer by improving many of the side effects of cancer and cancer treatment. Massage can reduce pain, anxiety, and depression. It can bolster the immune system and control nausea. It can also relax, energize and improve sleep.  At a time when many treatments used cause pain and discomfort, massage therapy provides nurturing and restorative touch. Massage can empower a person to provide him or herself with a therapy which is effective, soothing, non-invasive, and has no side effects. Massage therapy can make a significant and positive contribution to the life of a person living with cancer.

Many people wonder whether massage is safe for someone with cancer, or whether a person with cancer is allowed to have massage. Massage therapy is a safe for people with cancer when provided by a trained massage therapist. Modifications can be made to work around the side effects of cancer and cancer treatments in order to provide an effective and safe massage. A qualified massage therapist will do a thorough intake, and collect all necessary information to make sound decisions about a client’s treatment. The therapist will design the treatment based on the medical information and what the client needs or has requested at the time.

Massage does not spread cancer. Old myths speculated that an increase in circulation might spread cancer. Regular daily activities like movement and exercise increase circulation more than a session of massage; physical activity is often encouraged in people with cancer as part of their treatment. Some type of massage or caring touch is always safe for a person living with cancer. Because of its many benefits massage is recommended and frequently used, during and after treatment for cancer, at many hospitals including the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Memorial Sloan-Kettering.

If you are interested in finding out more about oncology massage for yourself or someone you care about, you can find information in the following places.

Integrative Oncology: Massage Therapy

Massage Benefits Women with Breast Cancer

Tracy Walton: Cancer and Massage Therapy


If you have further questions about massage and cancer please feel free to contact me or visit Massage & Cancer FAQs.

Wellness in Bloom Massage & Bodywork for Women - Bolton, MA - 508.410.1138
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