Massages can spread cancer?

This might be more IMHO, but I’ll start it here and let a mod move it if necessary.

I had a spa day last week, as a treat to myself, and when Ivylad booked the appointment, he told them I had recently been diagnosed with breast cancer. They said that they couldn’t give me a massage, since it could spread the cancer.


Then, when I went for my facial and mani and pedi, I told the technician again that I had been recently diagnosed, and she said massaging opens up the lymphatic system, and they don’t want to do that if you’re sick.

Oookay. I still had fun, but I’ve more than one person since tell me massaging is not good for people with cancer.

So, Dopers, is this up there with ear-candling and pads to detox your feet, or is there some truth to this?

Yeah, I’m glad you posted this thread, because I was extremely :dubious: when you mentioned this in the other thread but was too lazy to actually start one myself.

From three cancer websites:

Thanks for the links! I’ll e-mail them to the spa, although I doubt they’ll change their mind.

My massage therapist declines to do massage on cancer patients as well, as does one of her colleagues I went to once. She mentions the concern about the lymph system that is addressed above. I think she also told me that even if she works very, very lightly, there is too much of a risk of making her client very uncomfortable in the following days…maybe she is talking about chemo patients bruising more easily or something, I’m not sure. More thananything, I got the impression that she was afraid a cancer patient would be in more pain after a massage than before.
I hope you find someone to do your massage. You might contact your hospital and see if they have massage therapists on staff who would do it. I know my local hospital does.