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New Research: Acupuncture and Massage Therapy for Oncology Patients

Proponents of alternative remedies in Toronto or elsewhere have long argued that the benefits of alternative medicine transcend the mere induction of feelings of relaxation, but a couple of recently published research has confirmed that both massage therapy and acupuncture are capable of providing real relief to cancer patients who are either going through or have just completed chemotherapy.

Aid from Acupuncture

The first of these two exciting studies, conducted at the University of Pennsylvania, concerned new strategies for the mitigation of daily (and often quite severe) hot flashes amongst breast cancer survivors. The typical remedies (such as various hormone replacement therapies) used to treat these hot flashes are off-limits to patients due to their estrogen content. Meanwhile, the results of the Perelman School of Medicine study suggest that electro-acupuncture could serve as a viable alternative; 47.8% of patients in this group reported a positive effect from the therapy in reducing the discomfort caused by their hot flashes during the test phase, compared to 39.4% of the patients in the pill group.

Massage Therapy for Comfort

It isn’t just acupuncture receiving academic attention of late, however, as a study published earlier this month has shown that massage therapy can be highly effective in improving the longer-term quality of life for both cancer patients and their caregivers. In terms of mitigating the physical stress and discomfort, such as joint pains, often incurred by the treatments and surgeries associated with going through oncological care. The meta-analysis of 600 patients found that introducing massage into the care regimen significantly reduced pain compared to the standard alternative.

The facts above should offer further validation to those who have long been espousing the benefits of massage (and may be a regular recipient of massage therapy in Toronto), as it sits nicely alongside the 2014 study that showed notable boosts to relaxation and comfort levels when Swedish massage was administered three times per week. All things considered, this is some great news that shows the potential benefits of alternative therapy as it continues to expand in scope. If you or someone you care about is going through cancer treatment or simply looking for some additional respite and relaxation, you could certainly do a lot worse than considering massage therapy from a registered massage therapist or RMT in Toronto.

Acupuncture Could Cool Hot Flashes in Breast Cancer Survivors, CureToday.com, September 17, 2015
Research Shows Massage Therapy Beneficial in Oncology Care (American Massage Therapy Association), Pharmiweb.com, September 15, 2015