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Anitra Brown

Massage After Breast Surgery

By October 30, 2012

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Massage provides stress-relief, relaxation and pain relief to patients who have undergone breast surgery, according to a survey by Barb Thomley, coordinator of outpatient services in the Complementary and Integrative Medicine Program at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

Patients were offered massage one day after their surgery and then surveyed on the effect on pain, anxiety and tension after surgery.  Massage was "very effective" at providing a general feeling of wellness and relaxation for 82% of patients survey.  It was "very effective" at stress-relief for 76% of patients. When it came to pain relief, 64% of patients reported it was "very effective" while 31% called it "somewhat effective."

Patients also had the opportunity to respond in the comments section of the study. One person said massage helped her more than pain medication. Another called it "an excellent complement" to standard health care. Another said, "This is a wonderful hands-on therapy that benefits the patient emotionally and physically."

"We know massage and other high-touch integrative therapies have the ability to transform patients' perceptions of the care they receive during their hospital stay", said Thomley said. "It is important to continue to study the effects of these therapies and patients' willingness to pay as we continue to educate healthcare providers and insurance plan providers on the benefits and ability to impact recovery."

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