Massage therapy may reduce side effects
Feb. 25 Wellness Wednesday, held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the
Children’s Hospital lobby will present two topics: Sign up for a
presentation about healthy lifestyle tips and become eligible for a
drawing for an American Heart Association blanket and cooler on wheels;
and receive a free massage from masseuses from the MUSC Wellness
by Ashli Golden
At any given moment, there are a handful of people in your life that
have had some sort of relationship to cancer.
Whether an individual has leukemia as an infant, lymphoma as a child or
discovers breast or prostate cancer as an adult, there is a prognosis
set up by health care professionals to help patients and their families
survive this consuming condition. Alongside the treatment track,
such as chemotherapy and radiation, doctors have increasingly found
benefits for managing symptoms of cancer through massage
In order to understand the comfort that massage brings for a patient
with cancer, one must understand the depths of this disease.
First, cancer is a term for the disease in which abnormal cells divide
without control and can invade nearby tissues and spread to other parts
of the body. There are several main types of cancer. Carcinomas
begin in the skin or in the tissues that line or cover internal organs.
Sarcomas are cancers that begin in bone, cartilage, fat, muscle, blood
vessels or any other connective tissue. Leukemia starts in the
bloodforming tissues and bone marrow by producing a large number of
abnormal blood cells that can enter the blood stream. Lymphomas and
multiple myelomas are cancers that begin in the immune system. Finally,
there are central nervous system cancers that begin in brain tissue and
The battle lasts different lengths of time for each patient, so types
of treatment vary just as much as the disease. Symptoms, on the other
hand, are somewhat similar for most patients with the most common being
apathy, anxiety, depression, nausea, trouble sleeping, and pain. The
inability to get comfortable is also a common symptom and in
combination with other difficulties results in a decreased quality of
life. This is where a massage therapist may come alongside as a
caregiver and offer a benefit to both the patient and the family.
The benefits of massage are numerous in all systems of the body, but
are especially important in the lymphatic and immune systems, which are
affected in the cancer patient.
A 2004 study at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, one of the
nation’s leading cancer centers, showed that the symptoms of cancer
patients dramatically improved with the use of massage. During a three
year period, more than 1,200 patients were treated using massage and
showed an approximate 50 percent reduction in their scores for symptoms
such as pain, fatigue, anxiety, nausea, and depression. In a
world dominated by allopathic means of controlling disease, it is nice
to know that comfort for symptoms can be found at the touch of one’s
The Culprit and the Cure
“The Culprit and the Cure” is a book about why lifestyle is the culprit
behind America’s poor health and how transforming that lifestyle can be
the cure. The book has information about why people should strive
for good nutrition and increased physical activity.
Employees may schedule a brief presentation during their staff meetings
about healthy lifestyles. Employees attending the staff meetings will
receive a copy of “The Culprit and the Cure.” Presentations can be
scheduled at Wellness Wednesdays or by calling 792-1245.
Friday, Feb. 20, 2009