Manual Therapies and Cancer

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Linda and I attended a fascia conference in the Netherlands last weekend as there were some ‘hot’ topics that we wanted to have more information on, one being the fascia and cancer debate. Once again further information on fascia’s role as a cellular transport system raises questions over manual therapy and cancer.

To be clear – oncology massage has always taught – do not treat the site of a tumour. However, do we always know where the tumour is? Additionally, new imaging from multi photon microscopy does elude to the fact that cells move along the interstitial spaces (fascial conduits). Peter Freidl, once again, presented an amazing lecture and showed a video where, with pressure, cancer cells migrated into healthy tissue along the interstitial conduits which he calls ‘passive cell drift’.

Another speaker, a cell biologist called Heike Jäger, also stated that as we learn more about the body, we have to accept there are potential risks involved with manual therapy especially when cancer is involved and she said that she would not get manual therapy if she had cancer. I think far more questions need to be asked and clarity obtained with these new insights into fascia’s role in the body. Linda is presenting the latest research on fascia and cancer at the BFS in May. Picture – from Peter’s slides – cell drift along fascial conduits from a palpable tumour (mouse in vivo).

Ruth Duncan

Ruth Duncan

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