The goal of receiving massage during treatment and recovery should be comfort, support, physical nourishment of the skin and emotional nurturing. It is in this restful state that side effects from cancer treatments, such as pain, fatigue and anxiety, are reduced and your overall well-being can improve.
It is important to talk about your medical history with your therapist, even if the massage is part of a beauty routine such as a facial or pedicure. This will help the therapist make the right adjustments to the session so that it is both safe and comfortable for you.
A number of the side effects caused by chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery require the therapist to decrease the pressure of their strokes and to be mindful of areas affected by such things as medical devices or fragile bones.
Let the therapist know if you are affected by any of the following conditions:
- risk for easy bruising or bleeding;
- low white blood cell count;
- bone metastases or fragile bones as a result of osteoporosis;
- recent blood clot;
- oedema or lymphoedema;
- medical devices such as a catheter or stoma bag;
- neuropathy; and / or
- skin conditions such as rashes, broken areas of skin or fungal infections.
Most professional massage sessions last for 30 minutes to an hour. You can have a one-off treatment or a series of regular sessions.