Day in the Life of a Integrative Medicine Massage Therapist
Massage Magazine recently profiled UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine’s full-time massage therapist, Marcia Degelman. Integrative medicine addresses patients from a whole-person perspective, rather than individual, separate parts. Cancer patients, trauma survivors, and even infants in the intensive care unit have all benefited from Integrative Medicine—and in particular, from massage therapy.
According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, integrative medicine is growing significantly in the United States. Therapies included in this growing field are homeopathy, yoga, meditation, and massage therapy, among others.
On a typical day, Degelman sees several patients suffering from varying illnesses. She uses a range of techniques from deep tissue to light touch depending on the patient’s specific circumstance. “I see all kinds of patients, from 90-year-olds who are having their first massage ever to doctors with pancreatic cancer to people with fibromyalgia, MS, scoliosis,” said Degelman,
The Osher Center conducted studies with patients undergoing a variety of treatments, from cancer related surgery to marrow transplantation, and found that the patients who received massage therapy as part of their integrative medicine had less pain and depression, and found relief from stress and anxiety. “We believe that massage can bring patients out of their worried minds into a more relaxed body, where they feel they have—and can tap into—resources in their body to help its healing process.”