Massage while undergoing radiation?


Question from Heather: I am a breast cancer patient who is ready to begin radiation therapy. Can I do massage therapy while undergoing radiation?
Answers - Tracy Walton Yes, you can begin or continue massage therapy throughout your radiation therapy. The massage therapist needs to follow all precautions, including not massaging directly on the radiation field with pressure. They also need to ask where your radiation markings are, and avoid rubbing at them. This depends on what kind of markings they are. Different radiation therapists use different tools for marking. On the other hand, you may find that if they rest their hands gently on the field through the towel draping you and do some gentle energy work, or even "cooling energy" into that area, that this helps reduce irritation in the area. The therapist also needs to honor any lymph node removal by not massaging the affected arm and the upper trunk with any significant pressure.

On Wednesday, March 16, 2005, our Ask-the-Expert Online Conference was called Acupuncture and Touch Therapies. Mary-Ellen Scheckenbach, M.Ac., Tracy Walton, L.M.T., M.S., and moderator Beth Baughman Dupree, M.D., F.A.C.S. answered your questions about acupuncture and touch therapies.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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