The Benefits of Massage
Stress is commonly experienced to an extremely high degree in those who are affected by Brain Tumours. Over time, it can manifest and present itself in the most bizarre and painful ways. One of the many presentations is severe muscle pain and tension. This can be anywhere in the body but is commonly found in:
• Back and side of the neck (one or both sides)
Something we all have in common is that once we have noticed that small ‘niggling’ pain it can soon be turned into something much more, and suddenly we’re stressing about having pain caused by stress! It’s a vicious cycle and I certainly have been known to sulk about it.
I recommend a good massage every 3-4 weeks on the areas you most commonly find you have pain. In a study from 2011, regular massage had been shown to reduce psychological stress and improve quality of life on patients with Brain Tumours, and especially those who are newly diagnosed or experiencing secondary concerns about their Brain Tumours.
Make sure that you disclose your Brain Tumour to your massage therapist before you book your massage as some therapists chose to not work over the area near the tumour. I once had a therapist decline to give me a massage at all as they believed tumour cells could travel in the lymph with massage: no study has proven this to be true. Plenty of online sources say that it is safe to work over the area; it is simply the personal preference of the therapist or company policy not to.
When stress and its subsequent muscle pain is alleviated, you have more time to focus on the potential of each and every day.Remember, massage is complimentary therapy and if you find that your pain is not going or is getting worse please see your GP.
Also, if massage is too expensive for you to have done professionally, I recommend buying some massage oil such as my favourite: L’Occitane Relaxing Massage Oil, £24 for 100ml and asking a partner, housemate, friend or family member to help out. They can work it into the painful area in small circular motions followed by harsher, purposeful strokes. This particular oil contains Lavender and Rosemary which are both essential oils proven relax the user purely on their fragrance. It also leaves no layer of oil or grease so no need to wash it off after. Sometimes, if I’m feeling particularly anxious I rub a small amount of this oil behind my ears and on my wrists and the scent works its way into my olfactory senses to calm and reassure me.
You can buy that oil here
Treatments can be 15 mins-90 mins long, depending on what you want to get out of your massage. Some worked examples are below for you to choose from that are typically seen on the menu:
• 15 min Back and Shoulders Massage – perfect for first timers. Not everyone will enjoy massage and there’s certainly no point paying for an hour if it’s uncomfortable for you.
• Swedish Massage (choose your own pressure)- The Swedish is one of my favourites; it’s a deep, soothing and relaxing massage that you can have all over your body and works over your knots until you feel that intense moment of release. It’s also been shown to improve circulation.
• Hot Stone Massage: This massage is my favourite. Hot stones are placed over tight muscles and pressure points to alleviate tension. The therapist then massages the areas of warmth to loosen the problem areas even further. I recommend an hour in total of this on both the legs and the back for a full body relaxation and loosening experience.
If you have had any benefits from massage of have a favourite technique that I have not mentioned, please leave a comment to help out the Brain Tumour Community. You can also get in touch with me if you have a service or product you believe would be beneficial to promote at email@example.com
By 2020 I am aiming to have raised £10,000 for The Brain Tumour Charity to help #FindACureSooner and ensure continued support and readily available resources for patients and families of those who have Brain Tumours. Please click on the link and donate, if all of my readers donated £1 I would have met my target already! https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/lobeyourself