Trismus after radiation – some great research!

A lot of things suffer when you can’t properly open your mouth:   Speaking, chewing and swallowing can all become compromised. So often I hear from clients that these side effects of cancer treatment are ‘better than having cancer.’ What if someone who received radiation treatment for head and neck cancer could be cancer-free AND have near-normal mobility? Radiation can contribute to dense and immobile soft tissues such as muscles and tendons.  In the face and neck, this can lead to difficulty opening the mouth – otherwise known as trismus. A recent study shows promise in its exploration of the use of manual therapy to soften radiation-toughened soft tissues and improve mouth opening.  A single session of. manual therapy was found to improve mouth opening in people who had received radiation treatment. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaotolaryngology/article-abstract/2790038 Hopeful news indeed for anyone who is seeking full recovery after cancer treatment.

Dry brushing.

An easy way to slough off winter Get smoother, glowing skin. Calm your mood. Provide gentle stimulation of the lymphatic system. A few minutes a day of dry brushing can achieve all of the above. Special care is required to ensure that lymph fluid is not moved towards the area in which lymph nodes have been surgically removed. The best effects of dry brushing are achieved when the natural flow of lymph is followed. Gentle circular movements of the dry brush starting: Near the heart Descend down the arm to the finger tips, then back up to the heart. Repeat on the other arm. Top of the torso to the belly button and back up to the heart area. Below the belly button to the top of the legs. Top of the leg to the toes and back up. Repeat on the other leg. Under your chin and down your…

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…