How to Ditch the Cigarettes with Massage Therapy

No_SmokingNovember 21, 2013 is Great American Smokeout Day. The Great American Smokeout is an initiative sponsored by the American Cancer Society to encourage people to quit smoking. Since the 1970s, every third Thursday of November, smokers across the country give up their cigarettes for one day as they begin to eliminate smoking from their life.

The first Great American Smokeout day was in 1976 when the California Division of the American Cancer Society got nearly 1 million smokers to quit for the day.  The event went nationwide that very next year.

Many local communities across the nation hold events in honor of the Great American Smokeout to help users create a plan to quit and inform of them of all of the available resources out there for them to help them quit.

How Smoking Leads to Cancer

There are more than 43 million people that smoke in the U.S., despite the risks and dangers that are associated with smoking. The most common of these health risks associated with smoking is cancer. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for men and women. About 87% of lung cancer deaths are thought to be a result of smoking. Smoking also causes cancers of the larynx (voice box), mouth, pharynx (throat), esophagus (swallowing tube), and bladder. It also has been linked to the development of cancers of the pancreas, cervix, ovary (mucinous), colon/rectum, kidney, stomach, and some types of leukemia. Smoking is responsible for nearly 1 in 3 of cancer deaths. Cigars and pipes cause cancers, too.

Massage Therapy and Smoking

One of the most common excuses for smokers who can’t quit smoking is that it relaxes them. We all deal with stress in our own ways, but you don’t want to cause any additional harm to your body. Stress can do enough damage on its own. Instead, throw out your cigarettes and invest the money into a massage. Massage therapy has been proven through many studies over the years to reduce anxiety and stress and promote endorphins and relaxation.

If you are a current cancer patient as a result of smoking, massage therapy has been previously found to reduce anxiety in cancer patients. In an analysis on the value of massage therapy in cancer care, twenty-four studies we analyzed to see the effects of massage therapy with cancer patients. Symptoms evaluated included anxiety, pain, nausea, depression, and fatigue. Twelve of the studies were on Swedish massage, five on aromatherapy, five on reflexology, and three on acupuncture (one of these studies were reflexology and Swedish massage combined). Collectively, the results suggested beneficial effects associated with massage therapy for cancer patients.

Join the movement this year and throw out your cigarettes. There are alternative ways to combat your stress and improve your overall health and wellness.


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