Massage Therapy and Chronic Illness

Massage therapy provides a source of both physical and emotional comfort for an individual who is living with a chronic illness, such as Cancer, HIV, Fibromyalgia, or Parkinson’s.  It can help a person to cope with the diagnosis as well as some of the physical and emotional side effects of the medical treatment and the condition.

Massage therapy can be a complementary therapy in the treatment and wellness program; it supports the bodies’ natural ability to heal itself. The systems influenced by massage include the muscular, circulatory, respiratory, immune, and nervous system, as well as the emotional, mental and energetic elements of an individual.  Working with a skilled and knowledgeable therapist can safely provide massage to an individual during the diagnostic process, when in remission, in active treatment, at end of life, or through survivorship.

How Can Massage Help?

Many research studies have been performed supporting the benefits of massage for individuals with a variety of different types of chronic illness.  Massage has been successful in assisting with:

  • Providing a positive sense of touch
  • Nausea
  • Anxiety
  • Pain management
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Muscular pain/stiffness
  • Respiratory difficulties
  • Scar tissue
  • Edema
  • Increasing overall comfort; emotionally, physically, spiritually
  • Decreasing feelings of loneliness and isolation
  • Stress Management

Your massage therapist will help you to better understand your body and how the massage treatment will affect your health.  After filling out a health history form, you will be given the opportunity to discuss any questions you have with your therapist, and you are encouraged to communicate any concerns before, during and after the treatment.

When planning your massage session your therapist will give special consideration to the following based on your individual needs.

Surgery / Radiation / IV / Ports / Catheters / Energy levels / Medications / Chemotherapy / Skin conditions / Pain / Edema / Nodal involvement / Tumor involvements / Injections / Stage of disease / Progression / Intestinal concerns / Bone involvement / Blood cell count

In some cases communication with your Medical Doctor may be necessary to ensure you receive the safest and most effective care.  Your therapist’s primary focus is to support you through your illness.

If you would like to talk to a therapist to discuss any concerns you may have, or to book an appointment please call Inspired Life Health Centre today at 416-461-8688.

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