Mesothelioma patients experience a number of symptoms throughout the progression of their disease. Chest pain, difficulty breathing and anxiety are common, and coughing or reduced chest expansion may also occur. While a number of different treatmentscan help relieve these symptoms, massage therapy is one of the gentlest ways to keep them under control.
Massage therapy is considered a palliative mesothelioma therapy. Although it cannot cure the cancer, it is one of the effective therapies for the management of mesothelioma symptoms.
Therapeutic Massage for Mesothelioma Pain
Pain is one of the most intense mesothelioma symptoms, but it is also one of the symptoms that is most responsive to massage. Mesothelioma pain is often dull and located in the chest. As the cancer spreads, the pain can also spread to nearby parts of the body such as the upper shoulders. Depending on the location of the pain, gentle stimulation of certain pressure points can provide a great deal of relief. Some of the pressure points that can provide the most benefits for mesothelioma patients include:
- · Central Treasury pressure point (for chest pain)
- · Serratus Posterior muscles (for chest pain)
- · Thoracic Paraspinal muscles (for a stiff spine and reduced movement in the chest)
To help prevent causing any additional pain, a trained massage therapist will avoid directly stimulating any areas of the body that are already tender from tumor growth.
Therapeutic Massage for Other Mesothelioma Symptoms
Therapeutic massage may also be able to improve breathing by relaxing the muscles along the back and the chest. Stimulating the Heavenly Rejuvenation point – located between the shoulders – can help boost lung function. Massaging the deep muscles of the back can also help reduce sharp pains that occur during breathing.
Additionally, massage can release stress and promote relaxation. Points such as the Heavenly Pillar below the skull and the Inner Gate on the arm are related to anxiety; stimulating these points can help release nervousness. Stress-related insomnia and fatigue may also be relieved by stimulating the Sea of Vitality pressure point.
Author bio: Faith Franz is a writer for the Mesothelioma Center. She combines her interests in whole-body health and medical research to educate the mesothelioma community about the newest developments in cancer care.