Working with Cancer Survivors, Massage Treatments

Updated: Apr 10

New research is helping health care professionals and patients alike understand the role massage therapy plays in an integrative care plan. From providing stress relief to helping patients better handle symptoms such as pain and side effects like nausea, massage therapy can make an important difference for cancer patients.


Massage therapy shows promise for reducing pain intensity/severity, fatigue, and anxiety in cancer populations. This is the conclusion of a collaborative meta-analysis of research on massage therapy for pain, conducted by Samueli Institute and commissioned by the Massage Therapy Foundation, with support from the AMTA.


Acupressure is one of the techniques used in shiatsu practice. They are both based on the meridian system of Traditional Chinese Medicine and use the same pressure points. Shiatsu therapists promote gentle therapeutic touch as a natural way to help you relax and cope with stress, anxiety, depression, pain and feeling sick (nausea).

A very small observational study (21 patients) in 2017 looked at giving shiatsu to cancer patients in a day hospital found that shiatsu helped the patients feel more relaxed, have an improved feeling of well being and they experienced improved quality of sleep.


Cancer patients are often very isolated and many need human touch.

Shiatsu Massage can be a very light and gentle touch, appropriate to those in pain from cancer.

  • Shiatsu works with the body's energy flow, known as Ki or Qi (pronounced chee).

  • It uses acupressure to release tension and bring balance to the body.

  • It can help to lift your mood and make you feel relaxed.

  • Shiatsu cleans the blood, lymph, organs, glands, fascia, dna, meridians, tan tien (the mind), & merkaba!

  • The final step in assessment includes palpation of the wrist pulses at 6 different locations on the radial artery, as well as areas of pain/tension, and the affected meridians—energy pathways that help coordinate the work of the organs and keep the body balanced by regulating its functions.


Click here to set up a complimentary one-on-one phone appointment to come up with a personal plan


Touching cancer: shiatsu as complementary treatment to support cancer patients https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18935760/


Super Gentle Touch Based Massage Therapy Benefits for Cancer Patients Include:

  • Reducing pain

  • Alleviating stress & anxiety & depression

  • Relieving nausea

  • Reducing depression and anxiety

  • Improving sleep and lessen fatigue

  • Preventing chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy

  • Relieving lymphedema

Find out how massage can help reduce isolation, relieve symptoms and empower cancer patients.

Working with Cancer Survivors By Doug Levine, LMT, AMTA National Convention Speaker Below



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