Cancer changes one's life forever. It affects the family and loved ones and everyone surrounding this person. Before surgery, there may be little preparation for what is ahead, especially about how to teach women to care for themselves. Being a breast cancer survivor myself and helping my son survive cancer when he was 3 years old, I have first hand knowledge of the affects of cancer; mentally, physically and emotionally.
The word massage may be misleading for a person with a life threatening illness, especially if they have never experienced one. The Swedish technique as taught in massage school is overpowering during the acute and terminal stages of cancer, AIDS, and hospice. The terms touch and bodywork seem to evoke a positive response. This is a time for gentle, nurturing, supporting, tender, calming, relaxing, peaceful and loving touch.
The techniques I have learned are proven effective for the person with life-threatening illness. Since each person will be at a different stage with their illness, the techniques I use are modified to fit their level of comfort.
I do not do manual lymphatic drainage. This must still be done by a certified manual lymphatic drainage specialist. The techniques I use provide relaxation, comfort, stress reduction, quality of life, minimize the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation, relieve pain especially from surgery, restore vital energy, reduce cancer fatigue, reconnect the body, mind and spirit, promotes the removal of toxins without hepatic overload, boost the immune system, elevate T-cells, reduce scar tissue, increase range of motion and mobility, restore feeling and sensation by stimulating nerve endings, promote better health and overall sense of well being, improve body image, and provide education for empowerment and self healing.
IMPORTANT: I will need a note from your doctor or surgeon for permission to do the massage, your diagnosis, and what you would like me to help you with. I'm sorry, but at this time my services are not covered by insurance.
Phluffing is a safe, easy, gentle movement given to the breasts twice a day as a way to keep lymph fluid flowing in your breasts so that they can be happy and healthy!
Phluffing is an acronym for:
Breasts are the least touched part of a woman's body. The body's immune system circulates lymph fluid to destroy cancer cells, viruses, bacteria, microorganisms, toxins and waste material.
When lymph fluid is restricted, as like with a bra, the lymph fluid cannot circulate freely in the beasts. Daily Phluffing softens the breasts and increases awareness of changes in the breast tissues.
Remember, EARLY DETECTION SAVES LIVES!!! If your "girls" are talking to you, maybe they are asking for a Phluff!!!
Visit my Media page to download a pamphlet about this technique!
A comment from my plastic surgeon:
I have learned quite a bit from Cheri. Since I work with breast cancer patients performing frequently extensive reconstructive surgery,
I see first hand the effects of prolonged activity restrictions,surgery and lymph node removal on upper extremity strength, range of motion and also on the reconstructive outcome.
As surgeons we all are taught that direct pressure can make scar better, softer - but who has the patience, persistence and skill to really do it well - well Cheri does!
The difference that repeated scar tissue work can make is amazing. The lymphatics, strength and range improve for sure.
But even I was blown away by how much softer and more natural can reconstructed breast be if the capsule around the expander and then implant is massaged, manipulated by a therapist and then patient who was educated by an expert!
At this point every patient of mine gets the referral to a massage therapist. I wish there was one Cheri in every town!
Pawel Stachowicz, MD
Authentic Plastic Surgery, LLC