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Massage Therapy for Mesothelioma

Diagnosis of mesothelioma brings stress and pain into one’s life. It is okay and even recommendable to go for alternative treatments to deal with it. Massage therapy can be both relaxing as well as healing for mesothelioma patients. It combines the methods of Anma, Balinese, and acupressure together with their individual effects. Massage therapy is often added to the cancer treatment regimen to alleviate tension and help the muscle to relax. It is a time-honored medicine, which dates back to 2700BC. In fact, it is an important element of Chinese, Persian, Greek, Arabian and Indian tradition.

In 1992, the massage therapists in the US formed the Nation Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork to regulate training for the therapy and help people recognize genuine and skilled practitioners. There are several types of massage therapies but not all are appropriate for treating mesothelioma patients. Massage types like sports massage or deep tissue massage can worsen the conditions. If you are planning to go for massage therapy, then consult your doctor or healthcare provider to help you find a qualified therapist with skills to deal with your condition. Make sure that they are well-trained, experienced and comply with the state laws. Take time to consult with the therapist about the massage techniques best for you and their costs. You can also check American Massage Therapy Association’s online massage therapist finder [1].

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How Does Message Therapy Help People with Mesothelioma?

Expected Cost of Message Therapy

Cancer like mesothelioma is associated with physical pain and distress. Massage therapy can be both relaxing and pain-relieving. Massage can reduce stress, fatigue anxiety, depression and improve the quality of sleep. It helps the release of endorphins, that acts as the body’s natural pain-killer. It improves blood circulation by dilating the blood vessels. It loosens the tight muscles reducing chronic muscle tension. Apart from that, it encourages the nervous system and digestive system to relieve pain and boost healthy digestion.

Additionally, it can help in proper lung functioning. Combined with other cancer treatments, it has shown effective recovering outcomes. This kind of message therapy for the cancer patients is officially known as oncology massage.

Depending on your health and symptoms, your massage therapist would suggest an ideal frequency for your sessions. Generally, it is once a week. Cost-wise, it depends on your location and the type of the massage you need. If you are from a small city, an hour’s session of basic massage would cost you around $75 whereas it could be $90 or more in the large cities. Special therapies or combination therapies could be more expensive.

If it is prescribed by your doctor, then your insurance may cover the expenses. However, it would be better if you confirm it with your insurance company as many don’t cover it.

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Stats & Side Effects of Message Therapy

In general, it is safe, but it should not replace your traditional treatment. A massage therapy without your doctor’s approval could be dangerous. Your doctor would determine if you have any condition that can preclude this therapy like low platelet count or bone metastases. Also, he would tell you if you have a thrombus ( a region directly over a tumor) or an open wound or if your skin is tender after a radiation treatment. Under such scenario, the therapist must avoid those areas. Applying extreme pressure (without doctor’s approval), it could lead to severe complications. It is not a cure, but alleviates pain, stress and relaxes both mind and body. It is one of the most effective palliative treatments for mesothelioma.

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