Massage therapy benefits cancer patients

Published: Aug. 2, 2022 at 6:10 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - After a long day at work, a relaxing massage is a nice way to unwind and forget about your troubles. Patients at the Bismarck Cancer Center also enjoy forgetting their troubles through massage therapy.

Receiving the news of a cancer diagnosis is never easy and can hit you like a ton of bricks. So, at the Bismarck Cancer Center, a unique program emphasizes the “treat” in treatment.

“As a special bonus, I’d get a massage twice a week, and it was a nice, relaxing thing to do. Because there’s a lot of stress, even though things were going very well for me, there was a lot of stress at that time,” said Tim Moore, who received treatment at the Bismarck Center.

For Courtney Pierce, the call to provide a special touch and relief goes a bit deeper. After she became a licensed oncology massage therapist, she got some news she never thought she’d hear for herself.

“A few years after working here I did find out that I had two types of cancer. And that actually pursued and made my love for what I do even greater because I was able to relate and help the patients through their journey even more so,” said Pierce.

She says adding massages to cancer treatment has lots of benefits.

“Lowering that blood pressure, reducing that stress, working through those scar tissues that some of our patients have,” said Pierce.

Moore, who once received massages regularly, was surprised by how much better he felt.

“I forgot how wonderful it was. And, in fact, because of it, I’m probably going to schedule a periodic massage because it just feels so good,” added Moore.

Patients at Bismarck Cancer Center have the option of receiving a massage once or twice a week during their treatment, and it’s no surprise most patients choose the twice-a-week option.

Pierce says that any cancer patient seeking massages should make sure their therapist has a background in treating people going through cancer treatments, as lymphedema is possible if the right technique is not used.

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