A Few Things you Should Know About Cancer and Massage

    What is Cancer? Cancer is when a normal body cell mutates and replicates uncontrollably.  The oncogene is the gene that has been given credit for in certain circumstances, transforming a cell into a tumor cell. Thus the oncology unit at ASM that educates it's students on the pathology of cancer and appropriate manual practices for these patients. 
  Recent studies show that cancer will affect 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women in the United States.  That is a large population so chances are very high, that as massage therapists we will work with someone with a cancer history or in treatment for cancer.  That is why it is so important for us to know how to safely and effectively work with these clients. 
     Information on how to work with this demographic has changed so much in just the last decade! Years ago massage therapists were told not to do bodywork on cancer patients in fear it would accelerate the spread of the cancer cells. After loads of research we are now learning that massage can be very beneficial for clients with cancer by reducing stress and relaxing patients. It bolsters the immune system and helps remove toxins from the body. It helps with circulation and restores energy. It reduces pain and minimizes the effects of radiation and chemotherapy treatments.  
    With that being said there are some adaptions that need to be made to safely work with these clients and because Adrian School of Massage is staying on top of the newest research and information we are being taught exactly how to do that!
     This is an emotional unit.  As Christy notes at the beginning of class, many of us students have either been personally effected by cancer or have a friend or family member that has been effected. Ironically days after finishing our oncology unit my mom was facing a cancer scare. There is a roller coaster of emotions we went through as a family over those next few weeks.  In the middle of tear explosions I kept telling her no matter the outcome I could keep giving her great massages....and then we would giggle and move on to the next emotion on that bumpy ride. In all seriousness though, being able to bring good touch and relaxation to this demographic gives me all the warm and fuzzy feels.  Helping people feel good is why we are here after all! Why should people who need it the most be excluded!  I am so thankful for this information and applaud the well done research that has provided the information needed to work well with these clients. As a very happy side note, my mom's results came back cancer free! Praise God <3


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