Easing the Chemotherapy Experience with Massage by Gayle MacDonald
Based on five years of working with cancer patients, Gayle MacDonald recommends the need for massage sessions for patients undergoing chemotherapy because of its ability to ease the side effects of cancer treatment. MacDonald cites a study that supports the use of massage as a component of a relaxation program for cancer patients. Chemotherapy is described as the chemical intervention taken to treat cancer. Besides anti-tumor drugs, MacDonald discusses side effects from steroids, narcotics, and anti-depressants, their effect on patients and when massage is contraindicated. A detailed description of guidelines for therapists is provided. MacDonald describes the benefits of massage for the chemotherapy patient and urges therapists to take an active role in helping to provide comfort and touch to those coping with chemotherapy.