Several clinical studies show that therapeutic massage can reduce symptoms such as stress, nausea, pain, fatigue and depression.

Therapeutic Massage benefits for Patients with Cancer

Review of the scientific literature indicates oncology massage helps improve quality of life. Benefits include:

  • Improved relaxation
  • Sleep,
  • Immune function
  • Relieving anxiety
  • Pain
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea.

Oncology Therapeutic Massage Therapists

They are specialized to meet people where they are in their experience with cancer, and apply a highly individualized massage treatment to comfort, nurture and support them in their process.

The treatments are modified according to the full spectrum of cancer-related issues:

  • Physical
  • Psycho-social
  • Emotional consequences of cancer.

In addition, the person’s individual goals are considered and aspects of the disease and cancer treatment side effects.


A systematic review of studies on aromatherapy and massage for relieving symptoms in people with cancer looked at 10 studies including eight randomized controlled trials.

It found that massage consistently help lower:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression.
  • Lower nausea
  • Pain

Cancer Study

A large American study published in 2004 looked at the effects of massage therapy on almost 1300 people with cancer over three years. People in hospital had a 20-minute massage, and people treated as outpatients had a 60-minute session.

The study found that overall massage therapy lower:

  • Pain
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Depression.

The benefits lasted longer in patients who had the 60-minute session.

Safety and Effectiveness Study

Another American study of 39 people looked at the safety and effectiveness of massage in reducing stress hormone levels in patients with blood cancer. It randomized people to receive aromatherapy, massage or rest. The study concluded that massage significantly reduced the stress hormone.

Cancer Cases

According to the American Cancer Society, there will be an estimate of 1.68 million new cases of cancer in the United States this year, and more than 9,500 people in Nebraska will have a new case of cancer. All can receive therapeutic massage during or after cancer treatment.

Massage Therapist

Finding a qualified massage therapist is now easier due to cancer and massage advanced certification, and there are 5 massage therapists in the Omaha area with this education.

Dawn Wagner LMT, BCTMB received this designation in May of this year. Her studio is at 3520 N.163rd Plaza. For more information call Dawn at 402-740-9731 or

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