[ Metta Massage Therapy [
500 Route One, Suite 10, Yarmouth, ME 04096
(207) 831-8067

Bruce A. Hopkins, LMT

"All through diagnosis and treatment, the only time I was touched
and it didn't hurt was on the massage table.
Massage was an oasis in the desert."

Cancer patient





Cancer and Massage Newsletter
For Patients and Professionals
  Issue #4 - May, 2005

"As a massage therapist, my greatest joy is a client's discovery
that the body which is bringing so much pain and worry
can still bring pleasure and peace as well.

Cancer Distress
From a recent article in the  Wall Street Journal. "While virtually all cancer patients experience some level of distress, the anxiety, depression and fear can reach a point where it affects a person's daily life.......Distress is an umbrella term doctors use to describe a range of responses, from fear to depression to spiritual crisis.......Distress is particularly acute among cancer patients. A study by researchers affiliated with Johns Hopkins University estimated that more than one-third of cancer patients experience significant levels of distress that require some kind of help—but only 5% of those ever get it."  The article mentions a free tool   from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (see below) to evaluate cancer distress.  Your medical team needs to know if you are experiencing significant distress.

Benefits of Massage
For a comprehensive list of benefits of massage for the cancer patient, goto  mettamassagetherapy.com and click on "Cancer and Massage".

2005 ACS Living with Cancer Conference
This year's conference titled, "Healing from Within" is Wednesday, May 4 at the Augusta, ME Civic Center.  It is free to patients, their families and caregivers. There is a full day (7:45 am to 3:30 pm) of talks, panels, exhibits and workshops. People come from all over Maine for the learning, the community or both.  It is a positive, uplifting day.

Every session at Metta Massage ends with a softly spoken "Namaste".  This ancient Sanskrit word conveys a powerful connectedness which may be translated as,  "The part of God that is in me greets and honors the part of God that is in you."  There is a wonderful explanation at Exotic-India,com.

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network  is an alliance of 19 of the world’s leading cancer centers, working together to develop treatment guidelines for most cancers, and dedicated to research that improves the quality, effectiveness and efficiency of cancer care.  (Massage is a regular part of their programs to treat the whole person, not just the cancer.)

A noteworthy new program, developed in partnership with the American Cancer Society, is  Treatment Guidelines for Patients.   These explain, in plain English, "best practices" diagnostic and treatment decisions for about 95% of all cancers. There are also "best practices" guidelines for dealing with many treatment side effects. 

The Perfect Gift
Massage is the gift that keeps on giving.  Amazingly, the benefits of this 75 minute mini-vacation can continue for days or weeks.  Call 207-831-8067 to order a gift certificate for a friend, a loved one, or even yourself.

Cancer Massage Is Affordable
Massage can make a profound difference in quality of life for anyone dealing with  cancer - no one should be deprived of the benefits.  To that end, the regular rate of $60 for 75 minutes on the table is reduced to $45 for cancer patients, caregivers, and family members.   For patients currently in treatment the rate is $35.  Please pay less if this strains your budget.  Thank you for paying more if you are moved to support this work.  I only ask that clients pay both in proportion to the benefits received and to their resources. 

Bruce A. Hopkins, LMT

Afterword: From the Cancer Massage Library
[When] "Karen McIver was …… diagnosed with Wilm’s tumor …… radiation and surgery saved her life …… now 50 years and five kids later, it’s the ancient art of touch therapy that’s helping soothe her ailing body and soul, she says.  Atrophied muscles, surgical scars, crumbling vertebrae and thin, tight skin left her in pain, unable to exercise properly and stressed.  Added to that was a diagnosis in May 2004 of infiltrating ductal carcinoma of the right breast, with metastases.

But every two weeks or so, McIver goes in for an hour-long touch therapy session …… She leaves rejuvenated, physically and spiritually …… McIver and other proponents say the ancient techniques of touch therapy offer benefits not found in modern medicine. "Instead of 10 to 15 minutes in a cold, clinical setting, you have 60 wonderful minutes in a quiet, comfortable room, often with gentle music playing, while someone focuses on bringing relaxation and renewal to your whole body," says McIver, 52, of Laurel, Maryland.   "It’s like a mini-vacation, and even the traditional medical community will agree to the positive benefits of that.  Having someone minister to your body, especially where it’s been screaming out, does something for you mentally. I come out of there relaxed and uplifted. Even if we don’t have clinical, measurable evidence, it’s hard to argue with these feelings."                 Jennifer M. Gangloff, CURE Magazine, Spring 2005, reported at   http://www.curetoday.com/currentissue/departments/diagnosis/index.html

"May you be at peace.  May your heart remain open.
May you awaken to the light of your own true nature.
May you be healed.  May you be a source of healing

to all beings."                              The Metta of the Buddha

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Copyright 2005
by Bruce A. Hopkins