4 Benefits of Massage and Reiki For Breast Cancer Patients

4 Benefits of Massage and Reiki For Breast Cancer Patients

Breast Cancer diagnosis can be scary and stressful. Massage Therapy and Reiki sessions offer a form of caring touch that listens to the whole person and supports physical and emotional wellness during and after cancer treatment.

Massage Therapy and Reiki sessions are safe and supportive for people undergoing cancer treatment. Studies have shown that there are both physical and emotional benefits to receiving healing touch while in cancer treatment. Hospitals around the country, including Penn Therapy and Fitness at Radnor and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center are offering massage therapy and Reiki sessions to cancer patients.

Here are four ways massage therapy helps cancer patients:

1.Pain: Researchers at the University of Minnesota conducted a study in 2003 where women with stage I and II breast cancer received either massage and healing touch or the caring presence of a healthcare professional . The study found that massage and healing touch both reduced pain as well as lowered the need for pain medicine.

2.Immune Function: Massage has been shown to increase levels of protective white blood cells that help boost the immune system.

3.Anxiety: Multiple studies have found that massage helps to reduce anxiety in people receiving cancer treatment.

4.Depression: In a study by the University of Miami in 2003 the group of breast cancer patients that received massage felt less depressed.

How do you find a massage therapist during cancer treatment? Look for a massage therapist who is licensed by their state and has received training in Oncology Massage. In an Oncology massage session care is taken to apply techniques in a way that is safe for the client in any stage of treatment.

Massage therapy works best when received regularly, ideally weekly or biweekly. If you or a loved one is receiving cancer treatment, massage therapy and Reiki sessions can be a wonderful way to take care of your whole being.

Leigh is a Licensed Massage Therapist and Reiki Master who completed her Oncology Massage training with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. She enjoys helping people to find more ease and relaxation in their bodies and lives.


1.The Effect of Therapeutic Massage and Healing Touch on Cancer Patients. Principal Investigator: Janice Post-White, RN, PhD,FAA

Date: December 2003



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