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Study Suggests Touch Therapy Helps Reduce Pain, Nausea in Cancer Patients

Update Date: Jun 26, 2012 03:42 PM EDT
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An ancient form of touch therapy could be bringing relieve to cancer patients following chemotherapy.

A new study by the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center shows that patients reported significant improvement in side effects of cancer treatment following just one ancient form of touch therapy, Jin Shin Jyutsu, session.

Researchers studied 159 cancer patients. The patients were asked to assess their symptoms of pain, stress and nausea on a scale of 0-10, with 0 representing no symptoms.

According to the study, in each session patients experienced significant improvement in the areas of pain, stress, and nausea with the first visit and in subsequent visits as well. The average decreases experienced were three points for stress and two points for both pain and nausea. 

 "I was pleased to see quantitatively the improvements that patients noted in these primary areas of discomfort," said Bradley. "It was interesting to note that regardless of age, sex or diagnosis, cancer patients received a statistically significant improvement in the side effects from treatment. It is encouraging to note that Jin Shin Jyutsu made improvements in these areas without adding additional unwanted effects that so often occur with medication interventions."

During the therapy, patients receive light touches on 52 specific energetic points called "Safety Energy Locks" as well as fingers, toes, and midpoints on the upper arm, upper calf and lower leg in predetermined orders known as "flows." Patients remained clothed except for shoes and all hand placements are done over clothing.

Jin Shin Jyutsu is considered part of an integrative treatment plan available at the UK Markey Cancer Center. Bradley offers Jin Shin Jyutsu to all cancer patients at no charge. Patients may self-refer, though half are referred by their physician or Markey staff.

 Sessions were performed in the Jin Shin Jyutsu Treatment Room, Chemotherapy Outpatient Clinic, or in the patient's hospital room. The study also noted that the greatest overall improvement came from sessions held in the Jin Shin Jyutsu Treatment Room, where sessions are generally of a longer duration.

"The American Cancer Society has noted that quality of life is an issue for all cancer patients; those undergoing treatment, late stage patients, and cancer survivors," Bradley said. "There is a need for additional research to develop evidence-based interventions that have a positive impact on the quality of life for all of these individuals without adding to their burden. From what I have seen in my office and the results shown in the study, I believe that Jin Shin Jyutsu has great promise in this area."

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