Patients diagnosed with breast abnormalities or cancer reported that massage therapy helped them relax.

For “Value of massage therapy for patients in a breast clinic,” surveys were mailed to 63 patients who had a breast abnormality or a recent diagnosis of breast cancer and received complementary massage therapy at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, from February to April 2005. The research was reported by PubMed.

Thirty-five patients responded (56 percent response rate). All participants felt that massage therapy was effective in helping them relax, and 34 felt that it was very or somewhat effective in reducing muscle tension.

“More than 75 percent reported that massage therapy was effective in reducing fatigue, creating a general feeling of wellness, and improving sleep quality and their ability to think clearly,” the authors, from the Division of General Internal Medicine and the Breast Clinic, Mayo Clinic, noted. “Although this study was small, the findings show that massage therapy may help patients with breast disease relax and feel better overall.”


Previous research reported by MASSAGE Magazine indicated massage can be useful in lowering nausea in patients with breast cancer undergoing chemotherapy,