For years it was thought to be taboo to perform massage on clients with cancer. Why? There were concerns that massage might spread cancer, yet others thought massage was appropriate only with a physician’s consent. With so many options, therapists opted not to provide this much needed service.
Today, that’s no longer the case. Incorporating certified oncology massage programs into your practice is one of the hottest new trends in the industry. Established in 2007, new Oncology Massage practices have dawned and now the Society for Oncology Massage and several continuing education providers offer certification programs for therapists to provide this much needed massage therapy safely and with confidence.
This practice is a specialization of traditional massage and is awarded after a therapist has had extensive training for anyone undergoing cancer treatments, in recovery, survivorship, and post treatment. Many of the body’s responses to cancer and its treatment require modifications to traditional massage therapy. While enrolled in an oncology massage program, therapists learn the tools and techniques to work on clients with cancer in any setting.
Therapists certified in oncology massage know how cancer treatments impact the body, as well as the best approach for each client. They know patients are dealing with stress, loss of sleep, nausea, as well as physical side effects of treatments and surgery. And while massage can’t treat cancer it can help reduce the side effects of treatment and improve a person’s quality of life and well-being.