is it safe

Massage and cancer: Is it safe?

Massage therapy after a cancer diagnosis as well as during and after treatment is safe providing your massage therapist is aware of and practices in a manner that takes into consideration a range of precautions. “Just a relaxation massage” can be so much more. A physically safe and calm environment, a skilled and knowledgeable therapist and clear parameters lay the foundation for a massage that can help access greater calm and clarity.  This in turn serves you well as you process information about cancer, treatment options and adapt to the multiple changes the diagnosis will bring. A design study undertaken at a cancer centre showed that “massage, along with reiki and yoga, helped decrease stress and anxiety, improve mood and enhance overall health and quality of life” for 150 cancer patients. (Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, 2016) “No pain no gain.”    Pain during a massage treatment is an indication of…

unclench

Unclench

Take a moment to consider your clenching habits. If you’re like most people, you’re not even aware that you have been clenching your jaw, shoulders, fists and hips. Many of our physical discomforts can be traced back to the body parts we hold in a state of tension.  Below is a brief primer on how to trace from symptoms to muscles chronically tightened.

sciatic nerve_muscles

Sciatic pain and massage

The sciatic nerve is the longest and thickest nerve in the body.     It leaves the spinal cord between the lumbar vertebrae. Herniated and degenerative discs can put pressure on the sciatic nerve.   Travelling through muscles, particularly the piriformis, can put the sciatic nerve at risk for compression.           Sciatica is characterized by signs and symptoms such as pain, numbness and tingling in the low back, buttock and down back of the leg. Massage therapy can address short, tight muscles that contribute to sciatic pain. Early intervention is key to managing uncomfortable symptoms.