Cancer and Massage
For Patients and Professionals
Issue #4 - May, 2005
"As a massage therapist, my greatest joy is a client's discovery
that the body which is bringing so much pain and worry
can still bring pleasure and peace as well."
From a recent article in the Wall Street Journal. "While virtually all cancer
patients experience some level of distress, the anxiety, depression and fear can reach a
point where it affects a person's daily life.......Distress is an umbrella term doctors
use to describe a range of responses, from fear to depression to spiritual crisis.......Distress is particularly acute among cancer
patients. A study by researchers affiliated with Johns Hopkins University estimated that
more than one-third of cancer patients experience significant levels of distress that
require some kind of helpbut only 5% of those ever get it." The article
mentions a free tool
from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (see below) to evaluate cancer
distress. Your medical team needs to know if you are experiencing significant
Benefits of Massage
For a comprehensive list of benefits of massage for the cancer patient, goto mettamassagetherapy.com and click on
"Cancer and Massage".
2005 ACS Living with Cancer
This year's conference titled, "Healing from Within" is Wednesday, May 4 at
the Augusta, ME Civic Center. It is free to patients, their families and caregivers.
There is a full day (7:45 am to 3:30 pm) of talks, panels, exhibits and workshops. People
come from all over Maine for the learning, the community or both. It is a positive,
Every session at Metta Massage ends with a softly spoken "Namaste". This
ancient Sanskrit word conveys a powerful connectedness which may be translated as,
"The part of God that is in me greets and honors the part of God that is in
you." There is a wonderful explanation at Exotic-India,com.
The National Comprehensive Cancer Network
is an alliance of 19 of the worlds leading cancer centers, working together to
develop treatment guidelines for most cancers, and dedicated to research that improves the
quality, effectiveness and efficiency of cancer care. (Massage is a regular part of
their programs to treat the whole person, not just the cancer.)
A noteworthy new program, developed in partnership with the American Cancer Society,
is Treatment Guidelines
for Patients. These explain, in plain English, "best practices"
diagnostic and treatment decisions for about 95% of all cancers. There are also "best
practices" guidelines for dealing with many treatment side effects.
The Perfect Gift
Massage is the gift that keeps on giving. Amazingly, the benefits of this 75
minute mini-vacation can continue for days or weeks. Call 207-831-8067 to order a
gift certificate for a friend, a loved one, or even yourself.
Cancer Massage Is Affordable
Massage can make a profound difference in quality of life for anyone dealing
with cancer - no one should be deprived of the benefits. To that end, the
regular rate of $60 for 75 minutes on the table is reduced to $45 for cancer patients,
caregivers, and family members. For patients currently in treatment the rate is
$35. Please pay less if this strains your budget. Thank you for paying
more if you are moved to support this work. I only ask that clients pay both in
proportion to the benefits received and to their resources.
Bruce A. Hopkins, LMT
Afterword: From the Cancer Massage Library
[When] "Karen McIver was
diagnosed with Wilms tumor
radiation and surgery saved her life
now 50 years and five kids later,
its the ancient art of touch therapy thats helping soothe her ailing body and
soul, she says. Atrophied muscles, surgical scars, crumbling vertebrae and thin,
tight skin left her in pain, unable to exercise properly and stressed. Added to that
was a diagnosis in May 2004 of infiltrating ductal carcinoma of the right breast, with
But every two weeks or so, McIver goes in for an
hour-long touch therapy session
She leaves rejuvenated, physically and
McIver and other proponents say the ancient techniques of touch
therapy offer benefits not found in modern medicine. "Instead of 10 to 15 minutes in
a cold, clinical setting, you have 60 wonderful minutes in a quiet, comfortable room,
often with gentle music playing, while someone focuses on bringing relaxation and renewal
to your whole body," says McIver, 52, of Laurel, Maryland. "Its
like a mini-vacation, and even the traditional medical community will agree to the
positive benefits of that. Having someone minister to your body, especially where
its been screaming out, does something for you mentally. I come out of there relaxed
and uplifted. Even if we dont have clinical, measurable evidence, its hard to
argue with these feelings."
Jennifer M. Gangloff, CURE Magazine, Spring 2005, reported at http://www.curetoday.com/currentissue/departments/diagnosis/index.html
"May you be at
peace. May your heart remain open.
May you awaken to the light of your own true nature.
May you be healed. May you be a source of healing
to all beings."
The Metta of the Buddha
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