What is Oncology Massage?
Massage refers to any form of systematic touch. Basic hand holding can enhance positive, non-verbal response in those suffering with pain and mental stress…. So how much more beneficial is Positive touch to the rest of our body if holding a hand can make a difference….
Relaxation Massage is a "hand-mediated" therapy involving the practitioner using his or her hands, on the client's body, to restore, energize and equilibrate imbalances with the goal of health, well-being or to alleviate specific conditions.Reported benefits include reducing stress, anxiety, pain and depression symptoms, while increasing relaxation and an overall sense of well-being.
Relaxation Massage has a relaxing effect on the recipient and has physiological effects such as
Increased flexibility of muscles and circulation by dilating blood vessels. It facilitates the removal of waste products, Promotes lymphatic drainage, Benefits connective tissues and Improves gastro-intestinal activity. It can also aid in decreasing oedema, post-operative pooling of blood and can aid in reducing the use of Pain and Sleep medications.
There are many different forms of this type of physical therapy, which involves a therapist stroking, kneading, applying friction, and stretching specific muscles and other connective tissues at an even tempo with various levels of pressure. In clients with ‘Issues in their Tissues’, the goal of massage is to promote relaxation, address muscle stiffness and pain, and resolve musculoskeletal complaints. There are multiple forms of massage, including, but not limited to, Swedish, Shiatsu, Myofascial and Deep-tissue massage. Classic massage is a noninvasive therapy that has limited adverse effects. For the general population Relaxation massage therapy, by a trained massage professional, appears to have few risks and may reduce pain, promote relaxation, and boost mood, at least in the short term.
Relaxation Massage is beneficial for the wider Population for all those reasons mentioned above. However with the over loading stresses the body and mind are impacted with when going through Cancer, and other ailments such Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia and other Complex Chronic Illnesses, a different approach and style of delivery of Massage has been developed and scientifically proven to benefit the recipient on a whole deeper level.
OM Massage is an adaptation of massage, to an individual whose body is going through a high level of stresses. These stresses, which can be made up form a variety of stimuli such as Hormone imbalance due to various reasons, surgical impact, chemical/toxin level increases and radiation, together influence how we cope and deal with our life’s journey. The Fatigue and Hydration Levels our bodies are maintaining through these traumatic times, impact on our ability as individuals, to heal. This is where OM Massage is able to reach a whole deeper level of health and well being, through evoking the Relaxation Reflex.
Om Massage continued on the next page >
The Relaxation Reflex is the ‘Stress Off’ switch, negating the harmful effects of the Fight/Flight reaction…more simply known as Stress. Prolonged Stress and the resulting cascade of harmful biochemical reactions is extremely damaging. The by-products of stress are the most cellular eroding chemical reactions the body can experience. This molecular damage is the primary cause of aging and degenerative illness.
It is important as a therapist, delivering Massage to a Person going through this journey, to understand the biology of the body and the treatments, and apply this understanding to the technique being given.
For the recipient, being as open as possible with sharing both the physiological and the physiological space of where they are at, with the therapist, so that the Massage can be given in a ‘Best Practice’ form that is going to be most effective for the receiver.
OM Massage takes both the state of the Mind and Body to a deeper level of Relaxation Response/Reflex. As well as the physical, there is also the Mind Power strength that enables us to deal with or hinder how we are able to move forward from the Traumatic time we have been enduring.
During an OM Massage the mind is able to let go and really relax, to allow the central nervous system to scan the body, get a better understanding of where the different body systems are at. This gives the brain time to formulate a plan to help it to get the body to a space where healing, and/or coping, can take place at a better and more controlled level of awareness.
When our body has something traumatic happen to it, in which ever form in comes in, there is a natural response which occurs, leading to a dehydration in body tissue. This usually occurs in areas that have historically had issues, or in New sites. This tissue is the Fascia, which is what aids all other tissues to secure their place but also enable them to move when they need to. This tissue is a bit like a 3 dimensional spider web made from a very elasticated, fibrous but robust, wet but gooey proteins, that binds our entire body together, and keeps parts in their proper placement.
There are different levels of fascia, however with OM massage we are working with the interstitial fascia, of which 50% of the receptors in this part of the bodies tissue, located almost everywhere in the body from within the bone through every layer out to the skin, respond to Gentle stimulation, like a stroke as light as a ‘painters brush’.
With this lighter form of Massage the Relaxation Response/Reflex is triggered quickly. Tension in the tissue is able to be released through direct, gentle but firm, intentional contact to the destressed tissue allowing the Hydration to occur. The Fascia contracts independently of our muscle activity as it is the sympathetic nervous system. With taking the pressure off the surrounding and intwined organs, glands, muscles, bones and joints, nerves, basically every system of the body you are creating space. Remove the Pressure, retrigger flexibility and movement in the tissue, reduce points of Pain Receptors being activated, invoke the endocrine and sympathetic central nervous systems to check in and reset all systems for a more harmonic healing plan!
With OM Massage the intent is not to solely focus on the Muscles….it is to support the Fascia, and in turn help you, the individual receiving this amazing natural treatment, to heal, manage, cope to the best of your ability to have a better quality time...
Women and Men with breast cancer who have undergone radiation therapy or surgery or have implanted medical devices also may need to be cautious in having massage to the affected regions. A trained Oncology Massage therapist has this understanding and will guide you to ensure ‘Best Practice’ for each individual is maintained, allowing for a positive and effective response.
Each one of us is unique in this path but we are connected by a common bond…to live the life we have, with love and compassion, and do so with as much comfort in our skin as we can…