Is massage safe for my patients?

The short answer is, "Yes." Even without knowing yourpatient's specific situation, we can tell you that a massage therapist who has received appropriate oncology massage training can provide safe and effective massage for any person at any stage of his or her cancer journey: during and after treatment, in remission, cure or at the end of life.

Part of a complete understanding of oncology massage involves a shift in how we define "massage". Many people think of massage as something that "has to hurt to be effective" or as something they have received, with some discomfort, after an injury or surgery. Others think of some of the more vigorous forms of massage that get the most visiblity in popular media.

When we are talking about massage in the oncology community it can mean anything from a very "normal" massage equally involving all of the client's body to very light, simple touch intended to help a person reconnect with his or her body in a kind and healing way. When we broaden the definition of massage in this way we can easily say, "Yes, oncology massage is safe for your patients when provided by a massage therapist trained in oncology massage."

Oncology massage is now available in many of the world’s leading cancer hospitals. Oncology massage training addresses the full spectrum of cancer-related issues: the physical consequences of cancer, the side effects of various treatments, and the psycho-social and emotional considerations. An oncology massage therapist will adapt his/her massage therapy techniques to the specific needs of your patient.

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