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> Home > Articles by Tina Allen > Pediatric Oncology Massage

Massage for Children with Cancer

by Tina Allen, LMT, CPMMT, CPMT, CIMT
Updated April 2016

Diagnosis of Cancer

Having a diagnosis of Cancer is heartbreaking for anyone, even more so when that diagnosis is given to a child.   This pediatric oncology diagnosis can vary from any of the following pediatric cancers including Leukemia , Brain and nervous system cancers, Neuroblastoma, Wilms tumor, Lymphoma, Rhabdomyosarcoma, Retinoblastoma, and Bone cancers  (Osteosarcoma, Ewing sarcoma).

 



 

Complementary therapies

The use of complementary therapies is increasingly integrated into mainstream cancer programs and centers.   For Cancer patients, especially pediatric cancer patients, even just a little moment of relief can mean a lot. In general, about a third of all cancer patients experience significant pain. According to the National Cancer Institute, 15% to 25% of cancer patients become clinically depressed at some point during their illness. And of course, the very nature of possible hospitalization, isolation and the treatment for this very serious illness often makes things worse.

 

Oxytocin

During massage levels of feel-good neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine spike, Oxytocin (nurturing, cuddle hormone) is increased, while measures of the stress hormone Cortisol drop.  Massage can be just the supportive therapy a pediatric oncology client needs.

Although most studies have reported the effects of massage in adult patients, pediatric cancer patients also experience reduced pain after massage therapy.  Massage is one of the most commonly used pain management strategies for pediatric patients newly diagnosed with leukemia.  For Oncology patients, studies also indicate that many complementary therapies control treatment-related physical and emotional symptoms including pain, fatigue, nausea, xerostomia, anxiety, and depression.
 
Physical and psychological improvement

In a study published in the International Journal of Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork, researchers found that children with cancer or blood disease who received regular massage showed significant physical and psychological improvement versus a group of sick children who did not receive massage. This study focused on 30 children with cancer and blood disease, ages 6 months to 17 years old.

 

Specially trained Certified Pediatric Massage Therapists

Massage may be a supportive therapy that can be readily applied, most effectively by specially trained massage therapists or by parents who have learned massage techniques from a skilled, educated massage therapist.   Pediatric massage and nurturing touch are the most appropriate massage techniques to use in this population. When using massage therapy for children with cancer, your work does not need to be aggressive to achieve its maximum potential.

 

Pediatric Oncology Massage

Pediatric Oncology Massage requires specific skills to adapt massage and nurturing touch techniques suited for the child’s specific cancer treatment and treatment plan.

Healthcare professionals including massage therapists who wish to provide massage for pediatric oncology patients should consider specific specialized training in this area.  The comprehensive Touch Therapy for Liddle Kidz with Cancer (Massage for Children with Cancer) Course for massage therapists and healthcare professionals provides educational and professional training to those who wish to enhance their skills. Through this advanced training, participants learn to provide massage therapy, nurturing touch techniques and touch therapy for children who have been diagnosed with Cancer.

Massage therapy may not cure cancer but can provide some of the “medicine” which may relax and help a pediatric patient to heal.

 

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Comprehensive Pediatric Massage Training Course (CPMT) CertificationMassage may be a supportive therapy that can be readily applied, most effectively by specially trained massage therapists or by parents who have learned massage techniques from a skilled, educated massage therapist.  When using massage therapy for children with cancer, your work does not need to be aggressive to achieve its maximum potential.

For more information visit Comprehensive Pediatric Massage Training Course (CPMT)

 

 

The comprehensive Touch Therapy for Liddle Kidz™ with Cancer (Massage for Children with Cancer) CourseThe comprehensive Touch Therapy for Liddle Kidz™ with Cancer (Massage for Children with Cancer) Course for massage therapists and healthcare professionals provides educational and professional training to those who wish to enhance their skills. Through this advanced training, participants learn to provide massage therapy, nurturing touch techniques and touch therapy for children who have been diagnosed with Cancer.

For more information visit Touch Therapy for Liddle Kidz with Cancer (Massage for Children with Cancer) Course

 


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