Clients seeking massage therapy while going through cancer treatment, living with cancer or recovering from cancer, would be best served by a therapist trained specifically in massage for oncology. It is important for therapists to have a thorough understanding of common cancer treatments, their effect on the body and how massage can help or hinder clients.
What Are the Benefits of Massage for Oncology?
Massage therapy during cancer treatment calms anxiety, reduces nausea, aids restful sleep and is often a physical and mental respite. During recovery from cancer treatment, therapeutic massage techniques can help reduce some of the lasting side effects of treatment such as chemotherapy induced neuropathy and inflammation, tension and pain from radiation and surgery.
It is important to be aware that cancer treatment can have lifelong side effects such as osteoporosis or risk for lymphedema that may be considerations during a massage.
Our Approach to Massage for Oncology
Each body that lands on our tables is a collection of their previous injuries and use patterns that led to where that body is today. We use a combination of assessment techniques and feedback from our clients to develop a treatment plan that is unique to our clients needs. Every person also responds differently to the techniques we use so we rely on feedback from our clients to ensure that their body is responding in a productive way that supports their goals for the session.
What makes Oncology Massage Therapy different at Loosen Up?
Focus on learning about our clients’ health goals We love learning about what motivates our clients and helping them achieve their health goals by creating unique treatment and self care plans to suit their needs.A
Collaboration with our clients and their health team We work with many local Oncologists, Doctors, Physical Therapists, and Chiropractors to ensure that our clients are getting care that supports the plans that they have developed.
Many modalities offered by experienced practitioners Many of our practitioners have been in practice for 20 years or more. Each of our therapists have unique skill sets and we love referring clients to the practitioner that can best support them.
What to Expect From a Oncology Massage Therapy Session
Your therapist may choose to implement several techniques from a variety of disciplines so it is always a good idea to come prepared.
Drinking plenty of water, doing some light exercise and stretching, and wearing athletic clothing to your appointment will help you and your therapist to get the most out of your time with us. Remember your goal is our goal so communicate with your therapist what your priorities are: reduce pain, improve range of motion, etc.
What to Do Before Your Session
Discuss massage therapy with your Oncologist.
Get a diagnosis if you’re experiencing severe or persistent pain.
Take note of activities that aggravate or provide relief for you.
Drink plenty of water.
Eat a light meal.
Get some light exercise and stretch.
What to Consider Before Your Session
As chemotherapy and radiation treatments progress, clients can become susceptible to adverse reactions from some massage techniques. The progression and type of cancer treatment will dictate what areas of the body can be massaged and which techniques are safe to use. Good communication between client and therapist will help determine depth of pressure and the duration of sessions.
Always get the ok from your doctor before you get your first massage during cancer treatment and do a thorough health intake with your massage therapist.