Integrative oncology is the combination of mainstream cancer care with evidence based alternative therapies including acupuncture, massage therapy, physical fitness measures such as Pilates and Yoga and mind body modalities such as meditation to minimize the side effects of cancer treatment and enhance overall quality of life.
Massage Therapy/Manual Therapy and Cancer Care
Medical cancer treatment often involves surgery to excise metastases. Surgical procedures leave superficial scars on the skin. The morphology or composition of scars is analogous to an iceberg, meaning that the magnitude of the scar is far more expansive below the surface. Muscle, connective tissue and fascia become intertwined and bound together restricting range of motion.
Manual therapy interventions including massage therapy and myofascial release technique are effective for minimizing scar tissue and restoring function the trunk and shoulder girdle after a mastectomy.
Acupuncture and Cancer Care
Acupuncture is also effective for minimizing scar tissue, working by altering the activity of fibroblasts; the cells that lay down connective tissue, acupuncture can be beneficial in minimizing tension along scar tissue lines.