Oncology Massage is a specialized practice that addresses the physical, emotional, and psychological needs of those in all stages of cancer - diagnosis, treatment, and remission.
How Oncology Massage Differs From Traditional Massage
Oncology massage requires special training that prepares the therapist with the knowledge and skills to provide safe and clinically effective bodywork for people currently receiving or with a history of cancer treatment. An oncology trained therapist will adjust the massage pressure, avoid treating certain parts of the body, and change the client sitting or lying position to accommodate for many factors, including low blood counts, lymphedema, surgical and/or radiation sites, fragile skin, and medical devices. Not all massage therapists have received oncology massage training.
I am a certified oncology massage therapist. The training I received required over 300 hours and my approach integrates Western and Eastern modalities of bodywork to address the symptoms and side effects of both cancer treatments and the disease. I combine specialized massage strokes and specific therapy techniques, including gentle scar release techniques, foot reflexology, acupressure, and lymph drainage therapy.
The body of research on massage therapy and cancer is small, but growing. From the available research, there are some themes: the strongest support is for the view that oncology massage can relieve pain and reduce nausea, fatigue, depression, and anxiety.