Gentle Movement and Oncology Massage

 You Tube Video (Round Up For The Cause)

Gentle Moving Yoga

Round Up for the Cause, a great time was had by all. Our time and effort helped provide clean water thanks to GE’s Good Times dance contest.  Two hours of fun for one minute of video.

Massage Therapists with training in Oncology Massage, help patients recognize the tension in their muscles during treatment, brought about from physical and emotional stress, as well as the side effects of treatment.  Chemotherapy Induced Peripheral Neuropathy is a side effect of treatment that can be temporary or permanent.  This condition can be painful and cause problems with activities of daily living.  Patients continue to tell me that when gentle stretches are taught and they incorporated these stretches into their daily routine, they feel better.  It is safe and simple, if you know if anyone that suffers from this painful conditions suggests gentle stretching.

Gentle massage allows a patient to feel a sense of “remembered wellness,” to remember how they use to feel; relaxed, energized, and comfortable.  Massage, even temporarily may help to decrease stiffness from inactivity.  Many times they have admitted that the aches and pains from the inactivity bother them as much or more than the other side effects of surgery, chemotherapy or radiation treatment.

A Massage Therapist, trained in gentle movements, also has the ability to teach patients gentle exercise.  When a patient is taught the importance of gentle exercise they are more apt to attempt physical activities when their energy level allows them to.  Patient receive massage gratefully, but more importantly they appreciate the instructions concerning gentle movements and stretches.  Patients comment that they are excited about being taught how to do something that is good for them.  Research has shown when a patient can exercise throughout their treatment they feel better physically and emotionally  Research shows the benefits of tai chi for falls in the elderly, but is also beneficial for patients in treatment for cancer.   An Added bonus is that tai chi followers also learn that “meditation in motion” may also lower blood pressure.  Check out your local cancer centers for tai chi and qigong classes. The Gentle Power of Tai Chi

Patients should always discuss this matter with their physician.  See what the hospital has to offer during your treatment time.  Some patients play golf every day of their radiation treatment and other patients faithfully make it to the gym during chemotherapy.  For others the fatigue is so tremendous it is an effort to move from the couch to the bed.  “Do what you can and rest as often as needed,”  is a good motto to live by doing treatment for cancer.

Gentle Movements

 NATIONAL LYMPHEDEMA NETWORK HAS A POSITION PAPER FOR REDUCING RISK FOR LYMPHEDEMA  As an Oncology Massage Therapist I am always suggesting to patient that tai chi or qigong is a perfect movement therapy.  It is slow, gentle, aids in flexibility, good lymphatic flow, movement meditation.

My personal best exercise for pain management is swimming and it appears Dr. Andrew Weil recommends it as well.  Always check with your doctor, but when water therapy is possible it helps me reduce pain, decrease muscle tension, is a meditative movement in water when done slowly.

Spring Issue 2011 Living Beyond Breast Cancer has an extensive article titled “Physical Rehabilitation After Breast Cancer.”  A great article that explains the benefits of exercise and physical therapy; pre-treatment, during and after cancer treatment.  I have seen the benefits of rehab for many survivors.  Possible long term side effects of cancer treatment may be reduced if rehab is starting early in treatment.

Country Line Dancing, especially a “WALTZ

Line Dancing   We all know that dance is fun. Even those of us with two proverbial “left feet” have a hard time resisting the universal foot-tap or leg-shake when certain music comes on.  Research is finding out how beneficial dancing it is for balance, exercise, memory, and community.  Beginner classes are great for patients needing to exercise during cancer treatment or when treatment is over to regain your energy and strength.

Guidelines for exercise for Breast Cancer survivors visit research page

Yoga, Exercise and Treatment

Line dancing for exercise for therapy



Stretches that are gentle to do that might help with Chemotherapy Induced Peripheral Neuropathy-

Leg, foot, and ankle stretches

Hand and wrist stretches


ACS & Physical Activity for the Patient

Dance-based therapy in a program of all-inclusive care for the elderly: an integrative approach to decrease fall risk

On a more physical level, dancing can give you a great mind-body workout.  Researchers are learning that regular physical activity in general can help keep your body, including your brain, healthy as you age.  Exercise increases the level of brain chemicals that encourage nerve cells to grow.  And dancing that requires you to remember dance steps and sequences boosts brain power by improving memory skills. It can be better than doing crossword puzzles, a great boost to your self esteem when you realize that a dance you mastered 2 months ago is still in your brain when the music comes on.

I dance with 3 different teachers and many dancers.  Many of them are cancer survivors or caregivers.  It is a great way to socialize, get exercise, and celebrate life.

Swimming and simple exercise when allowed: