Once upon a time it was a complete no-no to massage a cancer patient. At the time it was thought that you could spread the cancer around the body, thankfully we’ve moved away from that theory and those with cancer can benefit from receiving massage treatments.
Touch is very important and is missing from many peoples lives. Touch reassures, calms and says I care.
However, if you have cancer, then touch really matters. If you’re on intravenous chemo, then your experience of touch in hospital is nurses gloved and gowned to the nth degree, injecting you with chemicals that make you feel awful but are necessary for killing the cancer.
This is where massage comes in, whilst the normal full body massage isn’t used under these circumstances, experiencing a massage treatment, for example a foot, a head or a hand and arm massage can made a huge difference to how you feel.
Massage treatments would really make a difference on chemo days. When you go in, you have your blood tested (the results of the tests can take up to an hour to come back). Then if your chemo can go ahead, it can then take up to 3 hours to prepare your chemo prescription. In the mean time you are sitting in the clinic listening to the noise of the machines and feeling really apprehensive. Having access to massage during to these times would really make a difference as it would help to take your mind off the treatment. Of course continuing with massage outside of these times does help too.