Cancer care – for people with cancer or a history of cancer.
A massage can be safely given from a specially trained therapist at any stage of a persons cancer, from diagnosis through treatment and then the post-treatment stage.
There have been many myths about cancer and massage, that it might ‘spread it’ or make it worse. I have had people come for sessions, worried about this, but also desperate for a treatment. Luckily, I am able to reassure them, there is no truth in those myths. There has been much research, all of which show the benefits of appropriate massage, and none that reflect any problems arising from massage during cancer.
Benefits for Cancer Patients
Medical situations can be stressful, isolating and create anxiety. Problems with sleep and energy levels leave people feeling drained. Side effects of treatments and any associated pain is also exhausting and brings more worry.
Having a gentle massage treatment during this time can help reduce those stress feelings, and help alleviate the other symptoms.
If you are beyond the treatment stage, I still need to be aware of your cancer history, so I can continue to give appropriate treatment. I need to be aware of what impacts the treatments and any surgery have had on you and your body. So I can adapt treatment as required.
Post treatment, people often still have pain, restriction of movement and pain such as ongoing peripheral neuropathy. This can be a reminder of what you have experienced, and also contribute to worries about the cancer returning. Oncology cancer can help with improving range of movement and reduction in pain such as neuropathy.
While oncology massage needs to be GENTLE, it does not need to be a light ‘tickle’, it still focuses on the needs of the client, and what their body requires. Like my MFR work, this is about sinking into the tissue, as much as the tissue allows. There is no ‘forcing’ or ‘pummelling’, we MELT with sensitivity of touch. It is a lovely feeling, to give and receive. It is undemanding on the body, and is appropriate for any one, not just people with cancer. The intention is to support the persons recovery, and not make their body work harder to cope with the massage.
As I said above, only specially trained therapists should treat people with cancer. I have undertaken such training with Susan Findlay, and continue to increase my training through CPD and home study.