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Massage for Supportive Cancer Care

Kathleen Dzubur, MS; Francine Manuel, RPT; Gary Abrams, MD; Lee Erman, NCTMB; Ernest H. Rosenbaum, MD

One of the most soothing treatments for a bedridden person is massage. In Europe and elsewhere, it is used frequently to promote relaxation, decrease pain and speed healing. It may also help reduce or eliminate the need for certain medications. If you have a willing family member or friend, massage can be a pleasant way for others to participate in your recovery and gain satisfaction from being able to help. Massage therapy can help prevent bedsores. By turning over, you release pressure on the areas on which you have been lying. Massaging the pressured areas encourages more blood to flow into the tissue. If massage is done frequently, it will prevent skin breakdown. The buttocks, tail bone (coccyx), wings of the shoulder blades (scapulae), hips, heels, elbows and bumps (malleoli) around the ankles are susceptible spots for pressure sores.

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