Author: Argash O, Caspi O.
Affiliation: The Integrative Medicine Unit, Davidoff Comprehensive Cancer Center, Rabin Medical Center. firstname.lastname@example.org
Date published: 2008 Aug-Sep
Other: Volume ID: 147 , Issue ID: 8-9 , Pages: 707-11, 749, 750 , Special Notes: [Article in Hebrew] , Word Count: 241
In recent years there has been an increase in the interest of cancer patients in receiving complementary medicine therapies as supportive measures to cure the disease. In response, medical units that combine conventional and complementary medicine (integrative medicine) have been established in leading cancer centers worldwide. In Israel, a special integrative medicine unit that combines mind-body, Chinese medicine, nutrition, herbs, supplements, and manual therapies (such as shiatsu) before, during and after conventional anti-cancer therapies has been established as an integral part of the Davidoff Comprehensive Cancer Center in 2006. Shiatsu represents a group of manual therapeutic techniques, including acupressure. Shiatsu offers cancer patients a non-pharmacologic method to relieve symptoms and improve quality of life throughout the course of illness. Research indicates that acupressure is relatively effective and safe for common cancer-related symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and insomnia. In our experience, shiatsu is also relatively effective and safe for other common symptoms such as fatigue, muscular pain and body image dissatisfaction. Yet, insufficient evidence exists to delineate the best means by which shiatsu and other manual therapies could or should be integrated into routine cancer care. The purpose of the present paper is to describe what is currently known about this topic in order to support decision-making that is based on facts, rather than on myths and misconceptions. We call for more research that examines the effectiveness and safety of shiatsu and other manual therapies in the care of cancer patients.