Cancer care massage, or oncology massage as it is also known, is the adaptation of normal massage techniques for cancer sufferers.
Is it safe for me to have a massage while I am undergoing treatment for cancer?
Research has shown that massage for cancer patients is completely safe at all stages of cancer. Massage does not spread cancer cells around the body; research has shown that cancer spreads because of changes in a cell’s DNA. In fact many cancer hospitals offer massage as a complementary treatment.
In studies, patients with cancer have reported feeling significantly less anxious and better physically and emotionally.
Does a therapist need special training to be able to give a cancer-care massage?
The answer is yes. While everyone reacts slightly differently to the disease and treatment it is important that the massage therapist knows how the disease affects the human body and the impact of the side effects of cancer treatment.
You may find that your massage therapist will ask a lot of questions – more than usual – but this is important as he or she needs to know whether or not you’ve had surgery, how recently, how your wounds have healed, what medication you are on, where your tumour is (or was), what kind of treatment you’re getting – chemotherapy, radiotherapy – and more besides.
This is simply so they can adapt their normal strokes and techniques to suit you.
The benefits of oncology massage
Studies have shown that massage may reduce:
- Anxiety and depression
- Peripheral neuropathy (loss of feeling due to nerve damage)
Patients sometimes find improvements in:
- The health of the scar tissue
- Quality of life
- Mental clarity and alertness
- Range of movement
- Stress levels
- Body image
At the very least, having a massage is a pleasant distraction, which may make you feel ‘normal’ again if you often have massages, or pampered if you have them rarely – both positive outcomes.
Did you know that I have a hospice and nursing home service? If someone you know is suffering from cancer in a hospital or hospice, I can arrange to visit them in those environments and treat them there.
I have (July 2017) completed an oncology massage course based on the teachings of Gayle McDonald (known as “Medicine Hands”) that was organised by the OBUS School of Healing Therapies. The owner of OBUS is a guest lecturer at the Royal College of Surgeons and Trinity College Dublin.
Having also completed training in reflexology for cancer many years ago and having had ample experience helping cancer patients on their journey, I have found oncology massage very rewarding but more importantly, very beneficial, to patients and their family members or carers.
Bear in mind that I can combine any of the holistic skills I have built up such as Indian head massage, aromatherapy massage, lymph drainage massage, RLD, reflexology with massage, adapting the practice to suit the needs of any cancer patient.
Don’t hesitate to contact me on 086 3893413 or find out more about me and how I work…
If you think that Oncology Massage could help you or you’d like to know more, don’t hesitate to contact me on 086 3893413