As defined by Society for Oncology Massage:
“Oncology massage is the adaptation of massage techniques to safely nurture the body of someone affected by cancer or its treatments. An oncology trained massage therapist has completed comprehensive training in general massage therapy as well as additional specialized training that addresses the side effects of cancer or its various treatments.
“Even after you are out of treatment, receiving bodywork from an oncology trained massage therapist is important due to the potential for late effects of treatment as well as long-term risk factors like lymphedema.
“An oncology massage therapist will adapt massage techniques to safely incorporate changing bodywork considerations during and after cancer treatment.
“People with cancer histories and in cancer treatment share a myriad of specific health concerns to keep in mind while getting a massage. Once it is a part of your history, it remains a variable to keep in mind always.”
As research and science progress, data comes available from clinical observation studies on the benefits of massage in people with cancer. While massage can be helpful during all kinds of health crises, it has welcomed benefits for people during treatment, at end of life, in the process of diagnosis, and during long years of survivorship.
While in cancer treatment or in the year of recovery from treatment:
• A regularly-scheduled session provides something to look forward to
• It is a therapeutic intervention that isn’t painful
• It may help manage symptoms such as pain, anxiety, poor sleep, muscle tension and nausea
• A regular massage seems to ease depression and help body image