AMTA Compiles More Research Validating Massage for Cancer Patients

massage therapy cancer

Recent studies show benefits for easing pain and nausea

The American Massage Therapy Association released some recently compiled research on massage therapy for cancer patients that continues to indicate its value for easing pain, reducing nausea, and preventing chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy. 

The research also gives reasons for recommending or supporting consideration of the art by the American College of Physicians, The Joint Commission and the Federation of State Medical Boards.

A recently-published study showed significant prevention of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy in breast cancer patients for those receiving massage therapy. The success continued through a 12-week assessment. Another study indicated massage and inhaled aromatherapy significantly lowered chemotherapy-induced acute nausea and vomiting among breast cancer patients.

In September, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center published an evaluation and recommendations of various therapeutic approaches, including massage therapy for pain and to relieve anxiety and mood changes which are commonly associated with pain. This reinforces a meta-analysis of research on massage therapy for pain and anxiety in cancer patients released in 2016 that showed promise for reducing pain intensity/severity, fatigue, and anxiety in cancer populations.

“Research on the value and efficacy of massage therapy for many of the issues related to cancer and its treatments continues to evolve,” says Christopher Deery, President of the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA). “Cancer patients should discuss with their physicians the inclusion of massage therapy as part of an integrative approach to their care, as oncology massage can provide real value.”

Research included in the recommendation included Prevention of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy with classical massage in breast cancer patients from earlier this year, The Preliminary Effects of Massage and Inhalation Aromatherapy on Chemotherapy-Induced Acute Nausea and Vomiting from last fall, as well as the recently released Integrative Medicine Therapies for Pain Management in Cancer Patients

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