Massage therapy can be a refreshing complement to anyone in active treatment and those in recovery or survivorship. Living with and going through any cancer treatment can affect the body not just physically but mentally. Massage can introduce a calming and restorative touch to help deal with the pain and stress of treatment as well as just life in general.
What’s the difference?
Massage is unique to everyone! The main and biggest difference is the massage therapist’s knowledge and skill set about the pathology of cancer. The therapist has an understanding of the treatments including medication, surgery, radiation and chemotherapy as well as the side effects. Everyone can receive touch in some way shape or form but it’s the knowledge behind the touch that makes the difference, modifications to pressure and table bolstering are always present and may change visit to visit. Just as no one body is the same, no one treatment and the effects are the same, your therapist can help you through each visit accordingly.
What to Expect
Cancer takes a toll on you physically, mentally, and emotionally. Oncology massage at Freedom Massage can be a wonderful addition to your self-care routine both during and after your journey through cancer. Our oncology massage therapist Molly has received specialized training regarding cancer and cancer treatments. It is better to choose a trained therapist who can tailor a safe massage session to your specific needs during any phase of your life with cancer, both during and after treatment.
Your first oncology massage will be booked as a 90 minute session, 30 minutes of that time will be focused on Intake, positioning, bolstering and giving those who just need that extra time to get on and off the table. The remaining 60 minutes will be hands-on massage work. We have multiple bolsterings options like breast cushions, pillows and fully adjustable tables for inclines and body support. Pressure will be in a light to medium range.
Deep tissue or vigorous massage is not recommended while in active treatment, and it is suggested that you receive massage from an oncology therapist up to a year after your last date of treatment. These precautions are taken to respect the body repairing on a cellular level, after any treatment the body needs time to heal and deep tissue work can result in unnecessary inflammation. Pressure can be slowly increased in time, just as stated above everyone is different and your therapist will always keep communication open with any modification during all visits.
Prior to receiving an oncology massage, you must fill out and sign our Oncology Massage Waiver. Click here to fill out the Oncology Massage Waiver.
Benefits of oncology massage
- Improve quality of life
- Reduce anxiety
- Help with the management of pain
- Improve quality of sleep
- Reduce fatigue
- Reduce unpleasant sensation from chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN)
- Increase function in areas affected by scar tissue resulting from surgery and radiation
- Reduce post-surgical swelling and support rehabilitation and recovery
- Support the lymph system and assist with lymphedema management
- Improve body awareness and image
We invite you to do more research on oncology massage and its benefits. A good starting place is the Society for Oncology Massage. Freedom Massage is also a proud partner of Unite for Her, a wonderful organization that works with women with breast and ovarian cancer. When you are ready to schedule an oncology massage session we invite you to get in touch with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 610-644-9003.
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