Patients ask all the time, “What is Oncology Massage and Why Does it Matter?”
Oncology Massage is a term that describes safe and appropriate massage for a person in cancer treatment and even the special modifications once treatment is over. “Oncology Massage is service from the heart, one patient at a time, when caring touch matters.” Oncology massage takes the understanding of what massage can do for a person in treatment and gives that patient help with the long and short term side effects of treatment and creates a comfort-oriented massage that can help with anxiety, may decrease pain, help with sleep and decrease muscle tension. A Massage Therapist trained in Oncology Massage has the awareness and ability to assist with basic physical and emotional issues of cancer treatment, create a healing environment for their client and has a unique opportunity to teach about the risks and prevention of lymphedema due to cancer treatments. Oncology Massage Therapists can help Physician, nurses and patients understand how appropriate massage may help throughout cancer treatment and can help with survivorship issues.
Oncology Massage Training not only helps the patients but helps to educate the healthcare professionals see the benefits of integrative care. Simply stated, patient driven healthcare is about offering support services that are safe, affordable and doable in a fast pace cancer center.
Oncology Massage matters because it allows a patient the ability to continue to have massages during treatment.
If massage was part of their wellness plan, prior to cancer treatment, their face lights up when they realize they don’t have to give it up during treatment. Good touch begins at a young age. It can comfort, soothe, calm and relax a weary child who then grows up to see the positive benefits of touch. Watching my twin grandchildren calm themselves with touch brought that point home to me on a long car ride. Hearing a patient say, “it feels so much better to have someone massage my neck then when I do it.” It is the personal contact.It is always important to communicate with your physician before receiving a massage during treatment for cancer. The diagnosis of cancer is difficult for the patient and their loved ones, along with the necessary decisions concerning surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. Oncology massage, if done safely, can complement conventional medical care. Touch, done tenderly,offers the patients so many benefits; a caring presence, relief of symptoms from treatments, pampered attention and diversion.