Alert
Close

Emergency Aid Needed After Nepal Quake – Donate Today

HIGHLIGHTS

Open
AARP Staying Sharp: Keep Your Brain Healthy

AARP VETERAN MEMBERSHIP

Military and Veterans Discount

AARP REALPAD

The tablet with free 24/7 customer support. Learn More

CONTESTS AND SWEEPS

Healthy Selfies! Shows us your healthy habits!
You Could Choose Your Dream Vacation

KEEP BRAIN ACTIVE!

AARP Games - Play Now!

Webinars

Learn From the Experts

Sign up now for an upcoming webinar or find materials from a past session.

AARP BOOKS

Planning for Long-Term Care for Dummies

Get expert advice on planning for your own or a relative’s future care needs.

Learning centers

Get smart strategies for managing health conditions.

 

Arthritis

Heart Disease

Diabetes

Most Popular

Viewed

You May Also
Like

Battling Cancer With Touch Therapy, Yoga, and Exercise

Studies show that these practices can relieve stress, ease muscle tension, and may help alleviate nausea and other side effects of cancer treatments.

Touch therapy

Touch therapy may also help many cancer patients feel better, even if it doesn’t fight the disease itself. There are plenty of complementary approaches based on touch, including massage, Reiki (an approach developed in Japan that uses touch to direct healing energy through the body), and healing touch (which typically involves hands placed over but not touching the body). A 2009 study of periatric patients by researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, N.C., found that healing touch lowered stress and reduced heart rate variability. Researchers at Sweden’s Goteborg University reported in 2007 that massage therapy helped relieve nausea in women with breast cancer who were undergoing chemotherapy.

Despite the claims made by some unscrupulous practitioners, however, there’s no evidence that these approaches fight cancer.

“We have to be very careful not to claim too much,” says Joan Engebretson, a professor of nursing at the University of Texas Health Science Center’s School of Nursing, who recently reviewed findings of studies testing touch therapies. “Touch can be enormously powerful for restoring a sense of well-being and balance. It can help people heal in the holistic sense. But there is no evidence that it directly treats any disease.”

Still, many cancer patients say they get enormous benefits from massage and other touch therapies.

“Ten years ago I would have scoffed at the idea of someone using his hands to manipulate energy fields in the body,” says a retired physician who requested that his name not be used. Diagnosed several years ago with late-stage kidney cancer, he now receives Reiki therapy once a week. “I don’t know if it will have any effect on the tumors. And I know it’s no substitute for conventional treatment,” he says. “But it has had a big impact on my sense of well-being.”

Peter Jaret is a freelance writer in Petaluma, Calif.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Advertisement

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Walgreens 1 discount membership aarp

Members can earn 50 points per $1 spent on select products at Walgreens.

member benefit aarp hear usa

Members can save 20% on hearing aids with the AARP® Hearing Care Program provided by HearUSA.

AARP membership discount Man trying on eyeglasses at optometrists smiling

Members save up to 60% on eye exams and 30% on glasses at LensCrafters.

Membership Benefits Discounts Email Genius

Brain boost? Get AARP email for access to memory exercises & more that help you focus.

Advertisement