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Massage activates killer cells

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Massage and Cancer Symptoms

A study was made of 16 bedridden elderly stroke patients. A 10-min skin rubdown for about 10 min was administered for 10 days. Blood was collected at noon on the day before skin rubdown, 5 days and 10 days after initiation and 5 days after completion, and the neutrophil count, lymphocyte count, serum gamma globulin and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels and natural killer cell activity were measured. In nine of these 16 patients, B, T, CD4 and CD8 lymphocyte counts were also measured on the same days. There were no significant changes in the time course of the lymphocyte count, gamma globulin or CRP levels. The neutrophil count increased 10 days after initiation of the skin rubdown, and natural killer cell activity increased 5 days and 10 days days after initiation, and returned to the baseline level 5 days after completion. Although there were no changes in the time course of the B, T, CD4 and CD8 lymphocyte counts, the CD4/CD8 ratio showed an increase 5 days after initiation and completion. The authors concluded that skin rubdown activates natural killer cells, which may be attributed to the effect of certain mediators released from the T lymphocytes and/or the stimulated effect on the sympathetic nerves.

Iwama H, Akama Y. Skin rubdown with a dry towel activates natural killer cells in bedridden old patients.

Cancer Killer cells activated by massage

The benefits of massage for these clients include improved blood circulation, equalized blood pressure, and help with fatigue and nausea. The place to start is by consulting with your physician and your massage therapist. For those who are 2-3 months out from treatment, bodywork that can be used includes lymph drainage therapies, trigger point therapy, neuromuscular therapy, myotherapy and myofascial release, among others. It's better to wait before receiving deeper work.

While hospitalized, some appropriate techniques include cranialsacral therapy, polarity therapy, reiki and Therapeutic Touch. MacDonald said no matter how severe the cancer treatment's side effects, a way can always be found to administer some type of bodywork. According to massage therapist and former oncology nurse Cheryl Chapman, while it's important to receive touch from a qualified practitioner who has worked with cancer patients before, "Touch is always appropriate -- there isn't anyone who is untouchable."

Ease cancer-related pains well as pain related to treatment and muscle tension. Massage may help "take the edge off" of acute pain. Help control nauseafor those undergoing cancer treatment and some types of bone marrow transplants. A small study suggested that massage helped lower medical costs of managing nausea and vomiting. Improve sleep and lessen fatigue common side effects of cancer and its treatment. Ease stress and anxietyThe deeply relaxing effects of massage can help you cope with the emotional stress of having a life-threatening illness.If you have a family member who is in the advanced stages of cancer, or if you know of a dear friend in this situation, you may be glad to know that massage therapy has been found to be beneficial for their care. This includes the various massage therapy modalities offered by professional massage spas that give reflexology massage therapy, Swedish massage therapy, deep tissue type.