10 Client Benefits of Oncology Massage

February 5, 2020 12:05 pm Published by

According to research, here are 10 client benefits of oncology massage

The Canadian Cancer Statistics 2017 annual report states that nearly 1 in 2 Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer during their lifetime.  1 in 4 will die from the disease.  In order to serve this special population, we encourage therapists to receive training on how to safely treat clients throughout their cancer journey.

– Reduces pain and fatigue

– Improves/enhances mood

– Reduces depression and feelings of isolation

– Decreases nausea

– Reduces anxiety

– Contributes to better rest

– Improves perception of treatment


…recent experimental studies seem to also suggest it:

– Reduces inflammation

– Increases immune system function

– Vagal nerve (and parasympathetic nervous system) stimulation seems to have an effect on reducing metastasis in existing cancers, and on a systemic level, slow tumorigenesis

Research Ressources

Massage Therapy for Symptom Control: Outcome Study at a Major Cancer Center (2004) Memorial Sloan Kettering observational study of 1,290 patients Rated symptoms (pain, nausea, fatigue, anxiety, and depression) pre- and post-massage with an immediate reduction in all areas

Safety and Efficacy of Massage Therapy for Patients with Cancer (2005) MEDLINE and CINAHL database study showing the strongest evidence for stress reduction with trends toward pain reduction

Massage Therapy May Have Immediate Positive Effect on Pain and Mood for Advanced Cancer Patients (2008) NIH funded study, randomized trial of 380 advanced cancer patients at 15 US hospices Improvement in pain and mood following massage compared with a simple touch

The Role of the Vagus Nerve in Cancer Prognosis, Journal of Oncology Volume 2018, Article ED 1236787 Marijke De Couck, Ralf Caers, David Spiegel, and Yori Gidron

Emery University (Research University) Atlanta, Georgia


Written by Shirley Damberger, Seminars for Health Certification Oncology program



Categorised in: Oncology

This post was written by Linda Hoppe

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