Manual therapy for cancer patients

Acupuncture; Acupuncture is well documented to relieve chronic cancer pain (Alimi et al., 2000). The anti-nociceptive effect of acupuncture is mainly mediated via central opioid release (Stux et al., 1995; Diehl, 1999).

Acu for cancerAcupoint at PC-6 (hand) has been used for nausea and vomiting. The recent review article concluded that acupuncture alleviates chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (Spencer et al., 2012). EA at PC-6 also inhibits the postoperative nausea and vomiting after the surgery (Gan et al., 2004). Anti-emetic effect of acupuncture is mediated via the central opioid pathway (Tatewaki 2005).

Acupuncture decreased mood disturbance associated with hormonal treatment in breast (Porzio et al., 2002) and prostate cancer patients (Hammar et al., 1999). Anti-anxiety effect of acupuncture is mediated via the hypothalmic OXT release (Yoshimoto et al. 2012).

Thus, anti-nociceptive effect, anti-emetic effects, and anti-anxiety effect of acupuncture are quite beneficial to treat the symptoms of cancer patients.

Massage; Massage improves anxiety and other symptoms of distress. Massage therapy or Unknown-1reflexology (foot massage) may be beneficial for patients with chronic cancer pain and is increasingly available in hospital programs (Cassileth et al., 2004). This intervention is safe when given by properly trained massage therapists.

Most patients feel better after massage therapy, and it may also result in substantial relief. Massage therapy also can enhance mood in patients with breast and lung cancer (Stephenson et al., 2000).