Cancer and Massage
For Patients and Professionals
Issue #7 - June, 2006
body. Calm the mind. Heal the spirit."
Massage in the News at Mercy Hospital
In May of '04 I proposed to recruit a team of volunteer massage therapists
with oncology training to provide massage to Mercy cancer patients during
chemotherapy. As of April 3rd, ten volunteer LMTs provide free massage in the oncology department weekday mornings from
9 - 1 and Thursday afternoons from 1 - 5. Additional volunteers are
being recruited and Portland Rotary has donated a portable massage chair and
an electric lift massage table. The short version is the
patients love it - some have said that they even look forward to
coming to the hospital on THAT day.
Two Different but Similar Views on Life's
From Alcoholics Anonymous "When I focus on what's good today, I have a good day. When
I focus on what's bad today, I have a bad day. If I focus on the problem, the
problem increases. If I focus on the solution, the solution increases."
Hindu Wisdom A young man in India complained to his guru about the pain in life. The guru sent
him for salt. The guru then mixed a handful of salt in a glass of
water and told him to drink. "How does it taste?" asked the guru.
"Bitter" replied the young man. The guru then took him to a lake, mixed
handful of salt and told him to drink. "How does it taste?"
"Sweet." The guru explained, "Pain in life is like
salt in water. Do not strive for less pain. Strive for more life."
People in physical or emotional pain often turn inward and experience less of
life. The antidote to pain is more life - more family, more friends, more places, more
sensations, more connections, more experience, more service.
Massage brings more sensation, more relaxation, more connection, more peace.
It produces an intense focus on the good in life.
How to (Truly) Relax... Try it!
Life's stresses give rise to chronic muscular tension. Chronic muscular
tension, in turn, produces a surprisingly large number of life's ailments.
All of us believe we know how to relax. In fact, most of us cannot truly
relax because we have never learned the simple physical skills.
You can learn to unwind both body and mind with two
exercises. Each day spend 5-10 minutes on the first and 10-20 minutes on the
second. These exercises are best done in a quiet place which is free of
distractions. They are especially effective if done on lying down at night
or on awakening in the morning.
The exercises are simple but they are not
easy at first. However, with daily practice anyone of any age can master
them in a few weeks. For detailed instructions go to:
The Perfect Gift
Massage is the perfect gift. Always appreciated. Call 207-831-8067
to order a gift certificate. (If the certificate has not been used after 6 months you
will be contacted and you will have the choice of reminding the recipient or using the certificate
If you are not sure about masage, make a no cost
appointment to see the office, meet the therapist and discuss massage and
how it might help you.
Cancer Massage Is Affordable
Massage makes a profound difference in quality of life for anyone dealing with
cancer - no one should be deprived of the benefits. To that end, I
reduce my regular
rate of $70 for 75 minutes on the table is $45 for cancer patients, their 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 you pay in proportion to
the benefits you receive and to your resources.
Bruce A. Hopkins, LMT
Afterword: From the Cancer Massage Library
Terry Hamblin, MD is a world renown expert on chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Now
semi-retired in the UK, he shares both his medical expertise and his love freely
with the CLL patient community on ACOR's CLL Listserve. His posting
last Christmas Day
was a gift to everyone struggling with cancer.
I hope this Christmas has been really special.
To those who are waiting and worrying:
Hang on in there. It may never happen.
Don't let [the] disease consume your life.
Use the time you have now.
To those who are undergoing treatment:
Be brave. The side effects will go away.
Look forward to tomorrow. Seize the day.
To those in remission:
Make use of the added time you have been given.
Heal broken relationships. Go about doing good.
To those who are losing the battle:
Be strong. Live each day as if your last.
Be grateful for those who are standing by you.
Make them miss you.
With love from Terry Hamblin
"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
Subscription requests, cancellations,
suggestions and comments:
Learn more about cancer massage and about Bruce: