CREATED Apr. 8, 2013
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Women surviving breast cancer are finding relief in massage. And the woman who is the expert? A breast cancer survivor herself giving back now and making Las Vegas a better place to live.
At Inside Therapie, a Las Vegas massage practice, at any given time here will be women like these getting massages. But underneath the sheets, scars and pain from mastectomies and reconstructive surgery. Women like Hedda Stephens. "Sally teaches you how to do massages to bring that blood up. My doctor said I've never seen things heal this fast and I had 12 surgical procedures!"
Sally Spurgeon was a highly trained massage therapist before she was diagnosed with breast cancer. That's when she learned first hand the massage could help. "I would never have imagined there was a need for this. You think you have surgery, you recover, you're fine. Its not that way. Those muscles are contracted. The more pain killers you take, the worse you feel in my experience."
So Sally founded Silent Angels
-- an organization that offers free massages to breast cancer patients. Sally's own doctor watched how massage helped her recover and now refers all of her patients to Silent Angels.
Dr. Anne O'Neill says, "It's multiple surgeries -- a great deal of comfort and pain. So the massage helps physically with scarring and mentally as well."
And as we learned with Hedda, humor helps to. "The massage relaxes the muscle and the scar tissue. I said oh look Sally... they move! I'm sorry for being gross."
is now putting together a program to train nurses and other massage therapists to do this.