I am excited to add oncology massage to my practice. I was enlightened and humbled to understand clearly the different needs the client living with cancer is challenged with.
Society For Oncology Massage (S4OM)
An oncology massage therapist is a massage therapist who, following the comprehensive training in general massage therapy, has completed additional training addressing a spectrum of cancer-related issues: the physical consequences of cancer, the side effects of various treatments, and the psycho-social and emotional consequences. Therapists adapt the extensive repertoire of standard massage therapy techniques to work safely and effectively for people living with cancer. We never stop learning – The Society for Oncology Massage (S4OM) is a continuous source of new and useful information about this work.
Massage therapy for people who are living with cancer is a less demanding massage: a non-circulatory, low impact massage. We inch our way forward to a new normal!
The focus of the massage is not to “fix” as in deep tissue work. The intent is to provide a safe, relaxing, comfortable massage that will reduce stress and anxiety.
I would like to take this time to dispel the myth that massage spreads cancer. It does not! That being said, it is very important that the oncology massage therapist understands the boundaries and risk factors associated with the following:
Metts, tumors, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), avoiding lymphedema, the effects of drug therapy, etc. It is understood that a standard of care is to be implemented that follows a medical model.
A thorough consultation is scheduled for each oncology client where a detailed intake sheet is required to be filled out before the massage. The questions cover your treatments, medications, fatigue level, and lab work and are crucial to providing YOU with a safe care plan while providing the therapist a safe boundary to work within.
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