A WOMAN with cancer contacted me today to say regular Shiatsu is “helping a lot” with the horrible side effects of treatment.
Amanda is an active woman in her late 60s. She is having chemotherapy for Myeloma – a cancer which starts in the bone marrow. She is also taking part in a case study to investigate the possible benefits of Shiatsu for her symptoms. After just four sessions in three months, crashing fatigue, anxiety, shakiness and agitation are markedly improved.
1st Session: “I just want to feel normal again”
“The treatment made me bonkers,” said Amanda at the beginning of her first Shiatsu session in mid August 2017. Feelings of agitation, “inner shakiness” and overwhelming tiredness were getting her down. Sleep was messed up and she was waking three or four times a night. Digestion was also disturbed with constipation, burping and acidity. Last but not least, facing her mortality was dampening her mood. “I feel fed-up at times. But the last thing you want to do is to dwell on the situation,” she said.
2nd Session: “Not Bad”
Sleep is still rubbish and the anxiety is still there. Amanda feels “jittery and shaky.” Tiredness is ongoing and she’s having to go to bed in the afternoon, which is “waste of time” she says. Overall things are “not bad” she concludes.
3rd Session: “Feeling pretty good”
“I’m still pretty tired and having the odd rest but tiredness is not as crushing as before. Digestion is ok and my mood is pretty good.”
4th Session: “Great”
Amanda picked up a chest infection just before the session – but up until then reported feeling great. Shakiness is a lot better. Sleep is disrupted with waking at 4am -but this is a marked improved from waking 3 or 4 times a night. She is very tired at 3pm in the afternoon and but no longer needs to lie down.
“Shiatsu is helping a lot”
Amanda is feeling very positively about the benefits Shiatsu. Most important her blood cells are returning to normal.
Click on the link for more info on cancer research & Shiatsu
Shiatsu for cancer
Although myeloma and it’s treatment is very complex, my Shiatsu approach is simple and down to earth. I work methodically to relieve individual symptoms, using acupressure points and stretches to stimulate or soothe.
The main focus in the early stages was to calm the agitation of the nervous system, create a nurturing experience to relieve the jitters. In turn this would impact on digestion and tiredness by allowing proper restful sleep. To achieve this there was was a big focus on the spleen and the heart.
As well as physical technique, I also believe it’s important to listen properly to the whole of the person, not just the “cancer”. For example, attending to a dry cough, sadness over a marriage break-up, worries about family. I also offered suggestions about yoga exercises to improve healing, such as supported chest openers to release tension in the arms and chest.
The case study is not complete – more to follow.