New Research Analysis: Massage for Pain & Anxiety in Cancer Patients


New Research Analysis Indicates Massage Therapy Shows Promise for Pain & Anxiety in Cancer Patients

Massage therapy shows promise for reducing pain intensity/severity, fatigue, and anxiety in cancer populations.

This is the conclusion of a collaborative meta-analysis of research on massage therapy for pain conducted by Samueli Institute and commissioned by the Massage Therapy Foundation, with support from the American Massage Therapy Association. This review and analysis is published in the August issue of the journal Pain Medicine.

Massage Therapy Can Benefit Cancer Patients

The study concludes that patients should consider massage therapy as a therapeutic option to help manage their cancer pain. Pain is the most common and debilitating symptom among cancer patients. While the exact prevalence of pain varies depending on the type and stage of cancer, research shows that pain generally affects over 50 percent of those undergoing cancer therapy and up to 90 percent with advanced cancer experience pain.

Conclusion

Specific factors surrounding the massage protocol, as well as selection of appropriate controls and standard outcomes, need to be well-understood before definitive clinical conclusions and recommendations regarding the usage and implementation of massage can be made for cancer pain at a policy level. However, this review’s promising results appear to warrant investment of time and resources into future research aimed at addressing these aforementioned gaps in order to ultimately consider massage therapy a standard treatment for cancer populations experiencing pain.

Read the full Research Roundup »

Related: Cancer & Massage Therapy: Essential Contraindications | 2.5 Credit Hours

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