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Myofascial Release During Chemotherapy

Myofascial release (MFR) can help alleviate some symptoms from the side effects of cancer treatments such as chemotherapy. In my experience, clients have noticed significant improvements in their proprioception (perception or awareness of the position and movement of the body in space) after treatment. Diminished proprioception as a result of chemotherapy has been described as like being out to sea—-when walking, each step can feel like going off a curb, the height of which you consistently misjudge. These sensations can be disorienting and can cause or worsen other side effects such as fatigue, nausea and vomiting—-not to mention the increased risk of falling and incurring physical trauma. Improving proprioception can make walking on flat ground feel like it again.


People can experience adhesions in the fascia – connective tissue between the organs, bones, and tendons/ligaments – no matter their health journey. These adhesions can cause tension and stress that may not be alleviated by Swedish or deep tissue massage, which moves at a rapid pace. While chemotherapy makes one more susceptible to bruising, the time element of MFR allows the deep layers of connective tissue to be accessed and opened safely without bruising or injury. In MFR, each layer is gently, yet assertively met at its barrier of tension until the layer softens and lets the therapist’s hands through.

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