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3 Reasons Breast Cancer Patients Should Consider Getting a Massage

Massages aren't just for relaxation. They can promote healing and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Many people think of getting a massage as something to indulge in or treat yourself to as a reward. While they can be a great way of motivating yourself to get something done, massages can actually be very beneficial to your health. Here are three reasons you may want to consider getting a massage if you have breast cancer:

Promotes relaxation
Whether you sit at a desk all day at work or spend the day in bed while recovering from cancer treatment, your body is likely tensing up without you even knowing it. Typing at a keyboard, sitting during chemotherapy treatments and everything you do involves a body posture. Often, that posture is not properly aligning your limbs and spine, which can cause muscle aches. A massage therapist works to relieve the tension and stress that is built up in your body. This process feels good and helps many people relax and de-stress.

Can relieve pain
According to a survey by the American Massage Therapy Association, 77 percent of people turned to massage for help with pain relief from an injury, migraine or other health issue. Of the 1,003 adult individuals surveyed, 14 percent were referred to a massage therapist by their doctor. About 57 percent were encouraged to try massage therapy by their physicians. Talk with your doctor to see if he or she has a recommendation for a massage therapist for you to visit. 

May help manage anxiety and depression
When you are going through your cancer journey, you will likely experience bouts of anxiety and depression. There is often uncertainty about your future, and you likely have a lot of questions about your diagnosis and treatment outcome, which can lead to depression and anxiety. Massage helps reduce the physical symptoms of these conditions (like aching muscles, drooping shoulders, headaches) and can help improve your breathing and blood pressure. 

Consult your physician before getting a massage. He or she may have suggestions for certain parts of your body to avoid massaging, such as lymph nodes or areas affected by cancer treatment.

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