Photo Courtesy of Triad Stage© Wit: a heartful and humorous play about Ovarian Cancer.
Cancer. It is a scary word for all; being there are generally not too many happy emotions involved and the likelihood that we know at least one person that has been affected by it, is pretty high. Cancer is a worldwide problem that does not discriminate.. old, young, seemingly healthy or not, rich, poor… it affects us all. Personal heath, whether mental or physical, was once something that was not widely discussed, or even at all. However, times have changed and the value of secrecy is no more. Awareness is more prevalent and in many cases the shame of losing hair, weight or other outwardly side effects of the cancer or treatment have turned into a badge of honor for the strong and courageous fight one is facing. Just the other day, we had a new client, Kate Goehring, walk into our office. She proudly sported a shaved head and later told us about a play that she is in, Wit, at the The Hanes Brand Theater, where she plays a cancer patient. The role has transformed her, as she takes on the persona of a very courageous women, who knows her fate, yet allows the journey to teach her something until her last breath.
Lately, all around town I have come across course maps for the upcoming Susan G. Komen: Race For The Cure that will be taking place this weekend, September 26th. Yearly, when I see the posters, it reminds me that Breast Cancer awareness month is right around the corner. The Komen Foundation, which actually has their NW North Carolina office right around the corner from 6th Sense Health and Wellness Center, has done a remarkable job reaching out to the community and getting them involved with a pretty awesome movement: finding a cure. Even though it is a very heavy and oppressive topic, the now familiar pink ribbons give millions of people hope and a reason to smile. Breast Cancer can drastically change anyone’s life, and yes… that includes males as well. In 2012 alone 224,147 women and 2,125 men in the United States were diagnosed with Breast Cancer.
When one learns that they have cancer, one of the first things that is deeply affected is their outlook or mental health. When it comes the treatments, which often have worse outwardly side effects than the presence of the actual cancer cells within the body, leaving the patient emotionally and physically drained. This also causes ample stress, which is counteractive to the treatment itself, as research shows us that stress actually speeds up or increase tumor development. This is where Massage Therapy can come into play and drastically changes things for the better. It is important to give oneself a “safe place” for healing; as massages during cancer treatment are a wonderful way for the body to heal in a non invasive setting, no poking or prodding here! Our Therapists are knowledgeable in how to care for your body even while undergoing Chemo or Radiation Therapy.
Here are several reasons why/how Massage Therapy is beneficial during treatment:
1) Reduces Stress and Anxiety, which can manifest into depression and anger
2) Breast Cancer patients have improved immune functions, from the stimulation of Circulatory and Lymphatic systems
3) Decreased pain, which allows patients to take less pain medications
4) Removal and loosening of scar tissue from surgery
5) Helps patients sleep better and regain a normal sleeping pattern
With October just around the corner, this is a great time to think of those you know or even yourself, that are undergoing treatments for Breast or any other type of Cancer. Massage Therapy would be a wonderful gift that can easily be given to aid in their or your fight. Our team at 6th Sense Health and Wellness Center is passionate and uplifting folk who have been trained in the art of healing. Massage Therapy is a proven and researched practice, that can and will give numerous benefits to those undergoing treatment.
Nike Roach,MS, CPT, LMBT
6th Sense Wellness Group