An oncology massage is a client-specific, customized massage session designed to meet the unique and changing needs of someone in treatment for cancer or with a history of cancer treatment. A safe massage plan generally revolves around the side effects (both short- and long-term) of chemotherapy, radiation and surgery.
Oncology massage can only be provided by a massage therapist who has received training in the specifics of cancer and cancer treatment. When I give an oncology massage, I use the same traditional, established massage therapy techniques I’d use with any client, but adapted to account for your unique health situation. Those adaptations can take many forms, but typically they will be related to pressure, positioning, session length, and areas of specific compromise or concern like mediports, bone metastases, or skin reactions to treatment.
Benefits of massage for someone with cancer are many and varied, and can include:
deep relaxation and improved sleep
relief from pain and nausea
reduced stress, anxiety, and depression
improved mobility and range of motion
easier recovery from medical procedures
improved body self-image, and increased feelings of well-being
At the very least, oncology massage can provide you with a brief vacation from the challenges of living with cancer. At best, it can ease your journey considerably.