The increase in life expectancy in recent years, technical, diagnostic and therapeutic advances in medicine, as well as the progressive aging of the population, are mainly responsible for the increase in the incidence of chronic disabling and oncological diseases in recent years. All these diseases lead the patient to an irreversible terminal situation and, finally, to death. It is estimated that 7 million new cases of cancer are diagnosed each year in the world, of which 5 million will die because of it, accounting for 20% of all deaths.
Palliative care was initially developed in England as a hospice philosophy. In 1990, WHO assumed the general title of palliative care as “active and total care of diseases that have no response to curative treatment, in order to achieve the best quality of life possible by controlling the physical-psychological symptoms and the spiritual and social needs of patients.”
“It is cheap, comfortable, non-invasive, and free of side effects and highly appreciated by patients.”
These are some of the benefits of massages to relieve the symptoms of cancer patients, according to researchers at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (USA). A study conducted at this center confirmed the effectiveness of the method.
The truth is that massages are increasingly used to alleviate the symptoms of cancer patients. However, so far, it has only been evaluated in small studies with a few participants (half a hundred, a score or even only six). “This is the largest study on massage in cancer patients,” said the authors of the new research.
The successful methods of massaging were also adopted by pervs moms, who happen to deal with many physical illness as well. Being an adult actresses brings a lot of physical contact and successful massage helps them stay professional during the shooting.
The Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center has offered this manual therapy since it established its Comprehensive Medicine service in 1999. The authors have now reviewed data from about 1,300 patients who underwent this therapy between April 2000 and March 2003. Patients (both hospitalized and in the center) had to fill out a questionnaire about their levels of pain, anxiety, fatigue, etc. before and after the sessions.
“Massage therapies lead to large, immediate improvements in the symptoms of oncology patients, even in those with very high initial levels of pain, anxiety or other symptoms,” concludes the study, published in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management.
Thus, participants were seen to experience a 45% improvement in their pain, even in the 244 patients who suffered the most discomfort. In the case of anxiety, the improvements were always close to 60%, regardless of the initial state. These experts also decided to assess whether the positive effects of manual therapy were maintained over time. To do this, some of the participants were interviewed several times during the two days after the session.
In the patients admitted, the effect did not seem to be maintained, since they were subjects of more interventions (medical procedures, changes of medication, etc.) or that the sessions received were shorter (20 minutes, compared to an hour).
However, in the outpatients, the effects of the therapy were kept longer. Moreover, there is no evidence that their symptoms regressed to the initial values.
In the meantime, it is clear that massages achieve significant reductions in the pain, fatigue, nausea, anxiety, and depression of cancer patients.
“Massage therapy seems to be a noninvasive and inexpensive way to control symptoms in patients with severe illnesses.”