Oncology Massage: massage for people effected by cancer

I am here to serve you. This is your hour.

I have lived with cancer, and found that in my journey (and I see the word “journey” not as in a vacation, but like the journey Frodo went on into Mordor. Where you are forever changed afterwards.) massage helped me physically and emotionally.  If you want to know more, please visit my about me page.

I now serve people who are living with cancer. Oncology Massage is an extremely effective form of bodywork that supports the entire body: physically and emotionally. This form of massage supports anyone at any stage of cancer; whether the person is actively in treatment, such as surgery, chemotherapy or radiation, or is in remission or is a cancer survivor. Massage offers a drug-free, non-invasive approach allowing the body to naturally support itself.

What are the benefits of massage for someone with cancer?

Patients and their caregivers report many and varied changes after massage.  A therapist trained in oncology massage can provide a variety of positive effects from relaxation to scar tissue mobilization to pain reduction,  but the anecdotal evidence suggests that there are many benefits beyond even these that are enjoyed by people  at all stages of the cancer journey.

General Benefits

  • deep relaxation ● reduced stress ● improved sleep ● eased constipation ● increased alertness and mental clarity ● reduced anxiety ● less nausea ● reduced pain

Following Surgery

  • reduced anxiety in advance of surgery ● easier recovery from anesthesia ● reduced post-surgical pain ● improved mobility and appearance of surgical scars ● reduced swelling ● improved range of motion ● easier adaptation to implants and expanders

Following Radiation or Chemotherapy

  • reduced anxiety in advance of and during treatment ● reduced post-treatment fatigue    ● improved appetite ● improved peripheral neuropathy

Emotional Benefits

  • decreased anxiety ● decreased depression ● increased feelings of well-being ● being pleasantly distracted ● improved body self-image ● restored hope ● satisfaction in participating actively in a part of the healing process
    Portion from: Society for Oncology Massage: Oncology Massage Info Review

As a massage therapist trained specifically to work with people living with cancer, I know the benefits of massage and how to make adaptations that meet the needs of each individual as specific conditions arise. Touch is so important for anyone and especially for those who are struggling with a life threatening disease. I am here to provide a nurturing, therapeutic and compassionate massage to help and support those challenged by cancer.

An oncology massage is a client-specific, customized massage session designed to meet the unique and changing needs of someone in treatment for cancer or with a history of cancer treatment. A safe massage plan generally revolves around the side effects (both short- and long-term) of chemotherapy, radiation and surgery.

Oncology massage should only be provided by a massage therapist who has received training in the specifics of cancer and cancer treatment.  This training is more about cancer and less about massage.  When you are receiving an oncology massage, you are receiving traditional, established massage therapy techniques that have been adapted to account for your unique health situation.  The changes that might be made to a massage that make it an “oncology massage” can fall under any number of categories, but typically they will be related to session length, pressure, positioning and areas of specific compromise or concern like mediports, bone metastases or skin reactions to treatment.

Oncology massage does not try to “fix” anything, and unlike many massage modalities is not a series of techniques or applied protocols. Rather, it is the ability of the therapist to recognize and safely work within clinically established guidelines, given a client’s unique circumstances.

Clinical research supports the use of massage in reducing the perception of pain, and in the reduction of anxiety. Patients reported massage benefits additionally include improved sleep, decreased sense of isolation, enhanced body image, and increased feelings of well-being.

Portion from: Society for Oncology Massage: Oncology Massage Info Review

Make massage part of your support for your recovery. Caring, professional touch can ease  pain, relax mind and body, and restore your body’s own healing resources.