Hope in Healing
In Japanese culture, the crane is a symbol of hope and
longevity. It's believed that anyone who folds 1,000 paper cranes
will live a long healthy life.
For women with breast cancer, massage goes a long way toward
replenishing mind, body and spirit
TOUCH, LIKE LOVE, can move mountains, especially
when it comes to helping someone heal-a hug, a pat on the back, a
held hand, a soothing, gentle massage. There's something about the
mind-body connection-the curative power of relaxation, the
knowledge that someone cares.
That's why Massage Envy has once again partnered with Susan G.
Komen for the Cure to present "Massage for the Cure." The event,
now in its sixth year, will take place at Massage Envy locations
nationwide on Sept. 14.
Massage for the Cure
"During Massage for the Cure, anyone can book a one-hour massage therapy
session for just $49," says Carrie Glasscock, manager of corporate
relations for Susan G. Komen for the Cure. "Massage Envy then
donates $15 from every massage to our organization, and we put the
donations to work in the same communities where the donations
Over the years, the event has raised approximately $1.4 million,
and much of those funds were used to pay for more than 500,000
reduced-cost or no-cost breast cancer screenings.
"Early detection is key," Glasscock says. "Massage Envy is
helping us save lives by helping us reach people with messages
about early detection where they live, work and play."
Indeed breast cancer is second only to lung cancer deaths among
American women, and more than 40,000 U.S. women were estimated to
have died from the disease in 2009. What's more, recent studies
suggest that too many women in the United States schedule their
first mammogram much later than recommended. By getting a first
screening at age 40, women are more likely to be diagnosed before
their tumor size is advanced, making treatment more effective.
The Mind-Body Connection
Those statistics compelled Massage Envy to reach out to Susan G.
Komen for the Cure. "It's a natural partnership," says Dawn Weiss,
Massage Envy's director of brand continuity. "So many of our
clients are affected by breast cancer, and many breast cancer
survivors participated in the first Massage for the Cure event.
Since then, we've been surprised to discover how many of our
therapists and franchise owners are survivors, as well. Massage is
a wonderful way to help people cope."
That's a sentiment that Glasscock shares. Although there are no
final research reports on the benefits of massage for breast cancer
patients, massage is just another tool in the cancer-fighting
"We recommend massage as a complementary therapy," she says.
"It's a tool to fight anxiety and nausea and, more generally, it
helps provide some much-needed emotional support."
Therapists use long, connective strokes designed to relax the
body and the mind during a session with a breast cancer survivor,
according to C.G. Funk, a licensed massage therapist and vice
president of industry relations and product development for Massage
Envy. In addition to actual massage therapies, she adds, some of
the best healing techniques a therapist can employ are compassion
"Any type of life-threatening disease creates stress and
anxiety," Funk says. "Many medical interventions, including surgery
and chemotherapy, tax the body and the immune system. Massage is a
healthy counter to the aggressive treatments that many people have
to endure to fight cancer. It's a gift for people with breast
cancer to be touched in a compassionate and healing way."
-By Kelly Kramer