Metta Massage Therapy
Cancer Massage is Safe and Effective 

Medicine Recognizes Cancer Massage as Safe and Effective 

From Sloan-Kettering Hospital: "Massage therapy has become a key method of treatment ……. [Sloan-Kettering Hospital] established its Integrative Medicine Service in April of 1999, for the purpose of upgrading the quality of life of cancer patients and their families. Complementary therapies offered include many types of massage, spiritual healing, art and music therapy, meditation, guided imagery and visualization, yoga, t'ai chi, nutritional counseling and other services."
Schwanz, Michael L. Massage Makes Its Mark at Sloan-Kettering Hospital. Massage Therapy Journal. Fall 2000. P100

Cancer Center



From the American Cancer Society: "A growing number of health care professionals recognize massage as a useful addition to conventional medical treatment…..Results from some recent studies indicate massage may decrease stress, anxiety, depression, and pain, and increase alertness.  One review article reported massage helped improve migraines, blood pressure, postoperative pain, and chronic fatigue. …. These potential benefits hold great promise for people with cancer, who deal with the stresses of a serious illness and some unpleasant side effects of conventional medical treatment. …. Massage conducted by a trained, licensed professional is considered safe.  One concern for people with cancer is that massage might increase the risk that tissue manipulation will cause cancer cells to travel to other parts of the body, however, there is no research to indicate that this will happen."
Making Treatment Decisions - Massage;; accessed 9/16/2003 


From Oregon Health Sciences University "Six years ago, I was asked to bring massage students to Oregon Health Sciences University, a teaching and research hospital in Portland, to give comfort oriented massage to people with cancer. Since then the students and I have massaged at least 500 people. The medical staff frequently has required us to modify the bodywork sessions because of low platelet counts, low white blood cell counts, recent blood clots, skin problems, medical devices or incisions. Never once have we been asked to avoid certain patients or to make adjustments due to the potential for metastatic spread."
McDonald, Gayle. How Cancer Spreads. Massage Therapy Journal. Winter 2001. P74


Research at Duke, Harvard, Maryland, Miami and Others  "The Touch Research Institutes have conducted over 90 studies on the positive effects of massage therapy on many functions and medical conditions in varied age groups. Among the significant research findings are enhanced growth (e.g. in preterm infants), diminished pain (e.g. fibromyalgia), decreased autoimmune problems (e.g., increased pulmonary function in asthma and decreased glucose levels in diabetes), enhanced immune function (e.g., increased natural killer cells in HIV and cancer), and enhanced alertness and performance (e.g., EEG pattern of alertness and better performance on math computations). Many of these effects appear to be mediated by decreased stress hormones. Several of these findings have been reviewed in the TRI newsletter (Touchpoints) and in the volumes Touch Therapy (Harcourt Brace) and Touch (MIT Press)."  


Copyright 2003-2006
by Bruce A. Hopkins