By Colleen Wolfe, Massage Therapist
Cancer. It’s a scary word, and one that no one wants to hear. Navigating your way through surgery and treatment and ultimately survivorship comes with side effects, both physical and psychological. Massage can be a wonderful tool to help you cope with the stresses put on the mind and body. We know that massage reduces stress, pain and muscular tension. But did you also know that it helps to lower blood pressure (and high blood pressure can be a serious side effect of prolonged exposure to stress) and improve circulation of the blood and lymphatic system (which contribute to a healthy immune system)? It is also helpful with anxiety, depression and sleep disorders, side effects that are common among cancer patients.
But not all massage is appropriate for someone dealing with the effects of treatment. And not all massage therapists are schooled in the specialized knowledge it requires to safely and effectively massage a person who has or has had cancer. As a licensed massage therapist for 13 years I have worked with cancer patients, helping them cope with stress, and the side effects of treatment. It is the most rewarding work I’ve done in all my years as a therapist.
Maybe more importantly, I am a cancer survivor myself. I continue on this journey still, 4 years after being diagnosed with breast cancer. The diagnosis left me filled with anxiety. Every new test, every consultation with surgeons, oncologists, physical therapists, genetic doctors, plastic surgeons left me with more and more questions and huge decisions to be made. Enduring 3 surgeries, chemotherapy and several years on hormone therapy has taken its toll on my body and mind. And the transition to survivorship has come with a new set of anxieties.
I am not just compassionate about your circumstances. I am empathetic. I have walked in your shoes and know that one of the hardest things to do in the midst of endless doctors appointments, treatment appointments, nausea, losing your hair, losing your appetite, and every other side effect is also trying to carry on with your life while taking care of yourself. The stress of balancing it all takes its toll. Let me help you cope while on this journey. It would be my honor and a privilege.
**Baltimore Spa and Salon wants to be part of your journey to good health. Our dedicated and professional staff has designed a menu that will be help you in your journey!