Meet Tracy


Tracy learned that massage was more than a frivolous treat when it helped her with her fibromyalgia and double mastectomy.

When Tracy, 61, first started getting massages over 30 years ago, she viewed them as a luxury that was only for elite people. She tried her first massage after a 2 for 1 deal, and for her they were a way to feel special.

It was only after her chiropractor recommended she try massage therapy for her sciatica that she began to realize that massage wasn’t just pampering or relaxation.

“Massage may have started with me as a once in a while frivolous treat but it has become a necessary medical treatment,” Tracy said.

With regular massage therapy treatments she has found many of her daily activities easier to accomplish. She receives foot massages which help her to walk without pain, and her regular hand massages allow her to continue cooking, knitting, crocheting and crafting.

“No singular thing helped as much as massage for me,” Tracy said.

Tracy suffers from fibromyalgia, and has found massage therapy particularly beneficial for that condition. Her primary issues related to fibromyalgia are pain, fatigue and trouble sleeping, and she has found massage therapy to be helpful in all these areas.

“Massage can help take knots from muscles and relax them and help induce sleep,” Tracy explained. “Massage can invoke a calmness or can also be aggressive enough to help alleviate a spasm.”

Tracy would confidently suggest that anyone with fibromyalgia give massage therapy a try.

“It was a very expensive journey for me to try all the things I have tried,” she said. “I think massage is where my money is best spent.”

Tracy has also found massage therapy to be particularly helpful after two bouts with cancer (malignant melanoma and a double mastectomy for breast cancer). On both occasions she started massage therapy within two weeks to deal with the damage caused by scarring and she’s found it immensely effective.

“My incisions on both occasions have healed wonderfully, quickly and with minimal scarring due to wonderful massage therapists being willing to do the necessary massaging to the areas,” she said.

About four months after her double mastectomy, she developed lymphedema across her chest and was in a lot of pain, but massage therapy treatment helped her feel more comfortable.

“The therapist actually taught my spouse and I how to perform this treatment as I need it twice a day to keep fluid moving out of that particular area which allowed me to feel less pain and swelling.”

Massage therapy has helped Tracy with a wide range of painful experiences throughout her life from headaches to foot pain but she found that she was particularly helped by massage therapy to alleviate the pain associated with shingles.

“The pain of shingles is one that is strong and hangs on for a duration and there is nothing that soothes it, but the massage can offer a mental relief for that constant drain – pain is exhausting!” Tracy said. “Any relief for even just a short time can offer a mental solace.”

In addition to being helped herself many times throughout her life, Tracy has witnessed firsthand the power of massage therapy to help others. She volunteered at a hospice and could see the benefits that hand or foot massage had for the hospice clients.

“You could see the stress and tension being released from their faces,” Tracy said. “A calmness seemed to prevail for a bit and they smiled and relaxed.”

Tracy wants to share the benefits of massage therapy with everyone she meets, and has often wished she knew about those benefits earlier in her life.

“I do think there is a large populace who are unaware of [massage therapy’s] true benefits.”

Tracy plans to continue with massage therapy as long as possible to help keep herself mobile and pain free.

Tags: benefits of massage therapy, patient stories