Manual therapy or integrative manual therapy as it is sometimes referred to, is a type of soft tissue manipulation which is not intended to address any specific health problems. In the case of cancer patients, it is not a cancer therapy per se. Rather it can be a very effective way for a patient to deal with many of the impacts and side effects from traditional cancer treatment. We’ll explore this process in greater detail and discuss how it can benefit those who are undergoing traditional cancer treatments.
Manual therapy was developed in the US around thirty years ago by Sharon Weiselfish Giammatteo. She was a licensed physical therapist and held a PhD. Her techniques have been used to help patients to achieve improved mobility and movement, sensory function and immune response.
This is a hands on technique and is often administered by practitioners who also offer holistic therapies as well massage, physical therapy, chiropractic, energy field healing, homeopathic and other holistically centered therapies.
A practitioner trained in manual therapy applies their hands to a clothed patient on a massage table. The objective of their touch is to apply gentle mobilization techniques and achieve nervous system response by focusing on reflex points. They may also apply rhythms in their technique such as muscle rhythms or craniosacral rhythms.
It is believed that this type of therapy can improve the mobility of joints as well as circulatory and lymphatic flow throughout the body. It is also believed that the connections from the nervous system and the immune, digestive and musculoskeletal systems are improved. An added benefit is a feeling of relaxation and increased energy. This has not been verified through strict scientific research and more works needs to be done here.
As it pertains to cancer sufferers, manual therapy can be helpful to those who are undergoing traditional cancer therapy and who wish to minimize the unpleasant side effects of their treatment. It can also be beneficial in addressing some of the symptoms of their cancer including pain and chronic fatigue.
A common problem associated with the onset of cancer is stress related. This technique can provide great relief when it comes to reducing this stress and eliciting a much more relaxed state of mind. This is beneficial in helping patients to provide better focus on their treatment and remain positive throughout.
Since these techniques can provide good relaxation and stress reduction, they can be useful for side effects from cancer treatments including nausea. The sense of relaxation helps to settle this nausea and put these people back on an even keel.
Manual therapy is viewed as a safe procedure for all patients. Since it involves a very light touch, it should not create any risk of damage to sensitive tissues. The process appears to be beneficial with no side effects.
And while there is no hard and fast evidence that it does offer benefit, many users strongly believe in these techniques. As indicated earlier, they have been used by many practitioners for over thirty years and are expected to continue as a desirable alternative cancer therapy which can provide some relief to sufferers.