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Rates include tax.
Hot stone therapy may be included in a 90-minute massage by request.
Note: My appointments usually are booked 1-2 weeks out. Evening appointments are most popular. However, feel free to ask for same day or same week appointment(s); sometimes I have last minute cancellation. Contact
Oncology massage sources:
Medicine Hands Massage Therapy for People with Cancer by Gayle MacDonald, M.S., L.M.T. author of Massage for the Hospital Patient and Medically Frail Client.
What is oncology massage?
Oncology massage is a special type of massage developed specifically for cancer patients.
This is not Swedish nor Thai massage, but it is a massage style that has been adapted from different massage modalities to suite the needs specific to oncology clients. The therapist looks at the individual’s health, treatment history, and physical conditions in order to decide how to apply appropriate and safe massage techniques to the client.
The massage is not for healing or curing the disease, but to provide a comforting touch, reduce pain and side effects from cancer treatment, and improve the client’s quality of life.
The therapist is trained to understand how the cancer developed, the nature of each type of cancer, the spread of cancer and to be familiar with the conventional cancer treatment methods, side effects of the disease, treatments, process, and contraindications and precautions.
The therapist is also trained to meet people where they are in their experience with cancer and apply a safe and appropriate massage treatment to comfort, nurture, and support the patient in their process.
The therapist is trained to work with the patients with different physical needs, psycho-social, and emotional consequences of cancer.
Is massage therapy safe for people living with cancer?
It depends if you are receiving it from an experienced therapist or not.
It was once thought that the pressure from massage strokes would cause cancer cells to spread. Later, however, researchers have shown that massage is more beneficial to the client than harmful. However, therapists need to receive advanced training in oncology massage.
Basic knowledge about cancer:
Cancer happens when our body’s normal cells are disrupted by outside influences, such as smoke from cigarettes, chemicals, radiation, and viruses. Internal factors include hormones, immune conditions, and inherited or acquired genetic mutations. When cells become abnormal, they cannot control cell division, lack programmed cell death, and can accumulate into masses call tumors.
There are two kinds of tumors: Benign tumors (noncancerous tumors) and Malignant tumors (cancerous tumors, are composed of cells with no specialized functions, and their entire metabolism is geared toward supporting continual growth and replication).
The Spread of Cancer:
- Direct spreading to adjoining areas.
- Metastatic spread to distant sites.
Some tumor cells (malignant tumors) have left the parental mass and invade in the blood system or lymph vessels; however, not many cancer cells survive this transfer.
Once malignant cells lodge in lymph nodes, they are killed by white blood cells or by lacked of the proper environment. Very small percentage grows into a mass, if not they simply stay inactive.
Tumor cells that enter the blood stream circulate until they are killed, trapped in the capillary bed of another organ, and invade the blood vessel wall into the tissue of a distant organ.
Cells that remain in the blood stream or are trapped inside the tiny vessels of a capillary bed often die within hours. It is estimated that fewer than one in 10,000 cancer cells that enter the bloodstream live to reach another organ; however, fewer successfully implant themselves.
Can massage spread cancer?
MacDonald wrote “Metastasis, the spread of cancer to distant sites, is a complex, biochemical process that is orchestrated by genetic alterations. Generally, the changes are the result of mutations in the cells’ DNA. It is not a mechanical process spurred on by exercise, walking the dog, or massage. If this were the case, oncologists would instruct their patients to stay in bed to minimize circulation and muscle contraction. If metastatic tumors were caused by mechanical motion of the body, hospitals would not allow oncology patients to exercise or have physical therapy.”
However, it is important that therapist do not perform a massage or apply direct pressure “on or near” area of tumor sites. Also, the therapist should not perform manipulation techniques or deep pressure if cancer has spread to bones, because it could cause bone fracture and make the cancer worse.
Why do cancer patients need an oncology massage?
Research and testimonials have shown that Oncology massage:
- Reduces stress, which results in bolstering immune function. Strong immune function helps to strengthen the patient’s body for the fight against the cancer.
- Reduces muscular tension
- Promotes relaxation
- Improves sleep
- Decreases pain, fatigue, nausea and vomiting
- Increases energy and appetite
- Prevents edema
- Reduces the need for less medication
General relaxation massage is also great treatment for family members and caregivers, who are under more stress as their loved one goes through phases of treatment.
What to expect at my Oncology massage session with Healing Massage, LLC?
You will be asked to fill out a detailed health intake form. Areas of concern include permission to consult with your physicians, kind of cancer you have (or had), treatment history, current treatment, medication and their side effects, any removal or radiation of lymph nodes, site restrictions, goals or preferences for you massage and so on.
It is recommended that you arrive 10-15 minutes prior your appointment.
You will soak your feet in warm water with added sea salt designed to relax you before the massage session starts.
I will review your health intake form and discuss any health concerns. I want to be sure that you will receive the best possible benefits and have a safe massage treatment.
The massage maybe performed fully clothed or you may choose a level of undress appropriate to your level of comfort and modesty.
The massage is performed on a wide and comfortable mattress with pillows to support different parts of your body.
Depending on your specific issues, the position you lie in will be modified to accommodate any surgical or radiation sites or specific medical devices you might have.
Massage lubricant may or may be not used during the treatment and can be discussed with your therapist.
Heat pads may be applied to comfort you and/or to relieve pain.
Light pressure will be used.
You will receive a comfortable and pain-free treatment.