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Oncology – Massage for those Living with Cancer

Oncology massage is a specialized form of massage therapy designed for individuals who are currently undergoing cancer treatment, are in cancer recovery, or have a history of cancer. It is provided by massage therapists who have received specific training in working with cancer patients and are knowledgeable about the unique needs and considerations of this population.

Oncology massage focuses on providing comfort, relaxation, and symptom relief to individuals who are dealing with the physical and emotional challenges associated with cancer. Here are some key aspects of oncology massage:

  1. Adaptation to Individual Needs:  Oncology massage therapists tailor their approach to each client’s specific condition, taking into account factors like the type of cancer, stage of treatment, side effects of treatment, and overall health.
  2. Gentle Techniques: The massage techniques used in oncology massage are typically gentle and light to accommodate the client’s physical sensitivities. The therapist avoids deep pressure and sensitive areas like surgical scars or radiation sites.
  3. Safety Precautions: Oncology massage therapists are trained to address potential contraindications, such as low blood cell counts, lymphedema, and compromised immune systems. They take precautions to ensure the safety and well-being of the client.
  4. Symptom Management: Oncology massage aims to alleviate the side effects of cancer treatment, such as pain, fatigue, anxiety, nausea, and stress. It can improve sleep, reduce anxiety, and enhance the overall quality of life for cancer patients.
  5. Emotional Support: In addition to physical benefits, oncology massage can provide emotional support and a safe space for clients to express their feelings and concerns.
  6. Communication: Oncology massage therapists communicate closely with their clients to ensure that the massage is comfortable and effective. They adapt the session as needed, based on client feedback.
  7. Hospital and Clinic-Based Services: Some oncology massage therapists work within hospitals and cancer centers, offering massage to patients as part of their treatment plans.

It’s important for individuals with cancer to consult with their healthcare team before receiving oncology massage. This ensures that massage therapy is safe and appropriate given their specific medical condition and treatment plan.

Oncology massage is not intended to treat cancer itself but rather to provide supportive care for cancer patients and survivors. It can be a valuable part of an integrated approach to cancer treatment and recovery, promoting relaxation, pain relief, and overall well-being during a challenging time.

I’ve completed the Gayle MacDonald curriculum for Massage for People Living with Cancer. I’m comfortable and have the knowledge to work with clients who have ports installed and may be undergoing chemotherapy or radiation. – Randy

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