- Posted by Andrea
- On August 23, 2016
Oncology Massage post mastectomy
Oncology massage post mastectomy can speed up your healing process and improve the end results of your reconstruction. Oncology massage post mastectomy can assist you to get back “in touch” with your body.
Benefits of Oncology massage post mastectomy
Post mastectomy difficulties may include atrophy (wasting of muscle) caused by limited and restrictive movement during the first weeks post op. Muscles that are not being used tend to contract and become rigid. Often the entire upper body region is affected, including the pectoral area, shoulders, arms, upper back and neck.
Massage as well as assisted stretching to these areas releases tightness and improves flexibility and range of movement.
Often scar tissue and adhesions form lumps which can be painful and cause puckering beneath the skin. Correct Massage to these areas assists in breaking down adhesions , relieving pain and reducing swelling, making the skin appear smoother. (as circulation returns to these tissues you may experience a tingling sensation).
Massage aids in the relief of post-op pain and fatigue; it also helps to alleviates sore and tight muscles of the chest, neck, shoulders and back.
Gentle massage releases stress and promotes relaxation; relieves anxiety and may help improve sleep.
Appropriate massage aids in the reduction of swelling and lymphoedema.
Capsular contracture is an unavoidable complication of breast augmentation/implants where hard scar tissue forms a capsule around the implant. Breast massage will not prevent capsular contracture but may help reduce the symptoms associated with it.
Surgery and lymph node removal can create a loss of sensation or pins and needles and massage can help alleviate these symptoms by increasing blood flow to these areas and encourage nerves to reconnect.
Reconnecting with your body
Many women feel a disconnection with their body post mastectomy. This is not surprising since they have lived with and grown to like/accept their pre-mastectomy body for most of their life. An aversion to touching the post op area is not uncommon.
The therapeutic touch of a massage can assist with helping you identify with your new shape and ease the feeling of being a stranger in your own body. Your massage therapist can show you how to apply lotion/oil to make you feel more connected with your body, encouraging self-acceptance.