What is Massage Therapy?

Massage is defined as the rubbing of skin and muscles in the body to give someone a sense of well-being. Many of us are familiar with traditional back rubs, and massage therapy isn’t that much different -- in the sense that it simply feels good to most of us.
•Massage is a non-invasive therapy worthy of investing.
•Massage is an excellent immune booster.
• Decrease inflammation and swelling
• Improve circulation
• Help sore muscles
Lower the level of stress hormones in your blood
Emotionally, massage may:
• Help people relax
Cause the release of chemicals in the body (endorphins) that help with pain
Provide a distracting experience that helps take our minds off of pain
 
What Are the Benefits of Massage?

Massage is not a luxury, but rather an essential distress-er for our tired muscles and tissues. Massage is highly effective in reducing stress, which is one factor of many diseases and abnormalities, whether psychological and/ or physical. The connective touch of a caring therapist attributes to recovery from trauma and abuse of violence.
What Is the Difference between a Deep Tissue and Firm Pressure?

Deep tissue is not recommended for everyone. Unlike a Swedish massage a deep tissue massage aides to focus on specific problems for the client. The therapist uses certain techniques accompanied with their fists, knuckles, and elbows to reach the muscle tissue nearest the bone. A deep tissue massage relaxes and realigns the muscled, connective tissues, tendons and ligaments. When these tissues are out of alignment it produces postural deviations. Within a deep tissue massage firm pressure is used. Deep tissue reaches the inferior muscles to the skin.

Firm pressure is applied according to the client’s preferential needs. A client may not be able to handle deep or firm pressure, so light pressure would obviously be suitable for their tissues. Firm pressure manipulates the body’s tissues by applying a firm hold, stroke and/or touch. Firm pressure reaches the superior muscles to the skin.

But when it comes to massage therapy techniques, there are many different forms. Some forms of massage therapy used in people with cancer include Swedish massage, aromatherapy massage, and (Deep tissue massage is not usually used during active cancer treatment, but may be used to help with chronic pain and limited motion due to scar tissue after treatment is done.)
General Health Benefits of Massage Therapy
Researchers believe massage may be helpful for both its physical and psychological benefits.
Physically, massage may:•Massage is more effective than PAIN KILLERS!
Benefits for Cancer Survivors
Intuitively, it seems that massage should benefit those of us living with cancer. Physically it can feel good, and it’s hard to beat the emotional calm and serenity as we’re pampered by someone devoted to helping us. But what do the studies say about benefits specifically for cancer patients? Some of them include:
Lessened chemotherapy related nausea - A 2016 study looking at combining conventional and alternative therapies for cancer found that the combination of dexamethasone, massage therapy, and ginger for chemotherapy induced nausea worked better than some other combinations of conventional and alternative treatments.
• Decreased stress and anxiety
• Lessened cancer fatigue
• Improved sleep
Improved quality of life
Control of pain related to cancer - In one study, massage therapy brought about immediate pain relief for those suffering with cancer. While the benefits didn’t last too long, massage was found to be a safe and effective way of controlling pain. And while massage therapy may not replace pain medications for those with cancer, it may allow people to use lower doses of pain medications. Another recent study found that massage provided significant pain relief for people living with cancer that had spread to their bones.
Cautions and Risks
It’s important to talk with your oncologist before beginning massage therapy - especially if you have had recent surgery, or are being treated with chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Some possible risks include:
• Infection – if your white blood cell count is low due to chemotherapy
• Bruising

Risk of fracture if you have bone metastases (spread of cancer to bone), or are on medications that can weaken your bones
Skin breakdown from rubbing – especially during radiation therapy
Reactions to the lotions or oils used
Rarely, the risk of disrupting an undiagnosed blood clot in the leg
There is a theoretical risk that if a cancerous tumor itself is massaged, it could promote spreading

How to Get Started
If your oncologist agrees that massage could be helpful for you, ask her about massage therapists available at your cancer institution. Many large cancer centers have massage therapists on staff. In addition, many centers also offer classes to help your loved ones learn how to do massage for you when you return home.

Lymphatic Drainage

  • The human lymphatic system is, in a sense, the body's second circuatory system. The tonsils, adrenoids, spleen, and thymus are all part of the lymph system. It is made up of:
  • lymphatic vessels
  • lymph nodes
  • lymph (interstial fluid drained through the vessels)
  • lymphocytes (specialized immune cells)

We at PLT recommend that EVERY woman have a Lymphatic Drainage at least 6 times a year. This is the only way to stay on top of the toxins that our body can not  filter on it's own. What most of us don't realize is that the lymphatic system has no "pump". For people who get too little exercie and eat an unhealthy diet, the lymphatic system will become overloaded. This stresses other important organs in the body.  The body can then bceome suseptible to infection and disease.

Staying Safe

The lymph nodes in the neck are very near to the surface, as some veins in the legs. Light touch is important when doing lymphatic drainage. This very gentle massage can have profound effects on the body. For example, when doing yoga, gentle poses and deep breathing techniques can stimulate lymph flow, helping you feel better without strenuous asana practices.

As women, it is very important that we recognize the need for self breast examaination. Not only does this allow us to feel unusual growths, but it also allows us to manipulate the toxins and keep them moving out of the body. We must do our part to keep breast cancer at bay and having a regularly scheduled Lymphatic Drainage can help us to keep our health at the top of our priorities.

Our bodies are fighting a never ending battle each day to ward off the toxins that invade us. It's in the air, the water, and the food we eat.It may be unavoidable, but it can be kept under control by scheduling a Lympathic Massage.  The benefits can be felt immendiately and the toxins will be eliminated from your body very quickly.

These images show what the flow of the lymphatic system looks like.  The middle photo reveals the importance of the drainage to healthy breasts.  The last photo is an actual client who suffered from leg swelling due to her lymphatic system needing to be drained.  We owe it to ourselves to be as healthy as possible and scheduling a Lymphatic Drainage will help to keep us that way.

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