Cancer has affected so many people I know and love. That's why I've learned how to provide safe oncology massage for those who need it. It also has inspired me to join a team with my colleagues from EmbroidMe La Mesa in the Relay For Life in El Cajon. This fundraiser is a community-based event, which means no two Relays are the same, but they all support the American Cancer Society’s mission.
In addition to walking in the relay, I'm donating two 60 minute massages to be raffled off at our booth to raise additional money for the event.
Funds raised support cancer patient programs and groundbreaking research that can help save lives. This event also celebrates over 15.5 million cancer survivors nationwide. 15.5 MILLION. That’s huge. That’s why I’d love your support.
How can you help? There are three ways that come to mind:
Together we can fight cancer and win!
Ladies of La Mesa, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which serves the wonderful purpose of reminding us all to get our checkups as prescribed by our Doctors. According to the National Breast Cancer Organization, "It is estimated that one in eight women, or approximately 12%, will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime." Free guides for early detection are available from their site.
If you've ever wondered whether stress plays a role in development of breast cancer, research shows it may. "In 2012, some research studies have shown that factors such as traumatic events and losses can alter immune system functions, and when immune functions are altered cancer cells may have an opportunity to get themselves established within one’s body. What has been shown is that it is not the fact that a major life crisis has occurred but instead how the individual reacted to this event and coped (or didn’t cope). Therefore, identifying ways to keep your stress level in check is wise."
I would encourage all women to include massage in their self-care. It can aid stress reduction for those who are in the prevention mode. It can comfort and ease symptoms in patients currently in active treatment. For survivors, it continues to be a very good component of self-care. As a trained oncology massage and Reiki provider, I urge you to seek a massage therapist trained for this specific type of massage. It is very important to have a therapist who is knowledgeable and able to adapt the massage for each individual to create the safest treatment possible.
Regardless of where you stand on your life's journey, I would love to work with you to assist you in obtaining your optimum health!
A few weekends ago, I spent three days learning how to provide safe massage to people with cancer, or who have a history of cancer. We had a very experienced teacher from the Greet the Day organization and great classmates (picture above). It was such a rewarding experience!
I learned so much about the treatment journey that people with cancer travel. I have many family members and friends who have suffered from cancer but I never knew how long and hard the treatments and side effects are. It's good to know that massage can be part of an integrative treatment plan for sufferers. On the third day, we had an oncology massage clinic and I was able to massage two lovely ladies. This was a new experience for these ladies, they had never had a massage. They were very pleased with the treatment and will be seeking massage again in the future.
Massage and other therapies such as Reiki, aromatherapy and restorative movement are various treatments that can be part of an integrative oncology care plan to help manage treatment-related side effects, and to improve the quality of life for people in active treatment, or with a history of cancer treatment. It is important that people with cancer, or who have had cancer, receive treatments like massage from an oncology-trained therapist not just during active treatment but for the rest of their lives.
I am pleased to now offer oncology massage in La Mesa. Please spread the word and let those who could benefit know!
I was with friends recently and we were discussing massage. A few of my friends suffer from fibromyalgia and one commented that the massage experiences weren't always pleasant. In fact one therapist had refused to provide lighter pressure and objected to my friend calling a halt to the massage. That just made me sad (and angry)! Massage therapists ALWAYS need to listen to their clients. No one knows someone else's body better than they do. People's pain tolerance can vary from day-to-day based upon the season, their activities, medications, and many other reasons.
An unfortunate outcome for my friend was the decrease in motivation to seek massage. That's sad because massage greatly benefits those suffering from fibromyalgia in the following ways:
In honor of American Heart Month (February), I wanted to share some information that probably isn't common knowledge. Massage is GOOD for your heart in a multitude of ways.
Most folks are familiar with the concept of massage therapy for stress relief. However, did you know it can temporarily reduce blood pressure for up to 72 hours after a massage? It also can significantly reduce pain, anxiety and muscular tension, as well as enhance relaxation and satisfaction after cardiac surgery. Amazing!
More and more research is documenting the effectiveness of massage as an alternative health therapy that complements traditional medical treatment. Details about the research I've described above is available here:
Massage isn't just for relaxation. Over the last 20 years, an incredible amount of research has been done to validate the health benefits of massage therapy. Two groups of conditions, anxiety and depression, have indisputable documentation that proves they benefit from massage therapy.
According to the International Journal of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork:
"Quantitative research reviews show that a series of Massage Therapy (MT) treatments consistently produces sizable reductions of depression in adult recipients. The effects of MT on anxiety are even better understood. Single sessions of MT significantly reduce state anxiety, the momentary emotional experiences of apprehension, tension, and worry in both adults and in children, and multiple sessions of MT, performed over a period of days or weeks, significantly reduce trait anxiety, the normally stable individual tendency to experience anxiety states, to an impressive degree in adults." (1)
Did you know anxiety affects about one in eight adults living in the US? The following disorders fall under the heading of anxiety (and this is not an inclusive list):
As is true for many health conditions, holistic approaches to treatment of depression and anxiety may yield improved outcomes. I would encourage other practitioners and patients themselves to include massage therapy in their course of treatment given its proven results.
1) Moyer, C. A. "Affective Massage Therapy." International Journal of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork 1, no.2 (2008): 3-5.