Oncology Massage

Oncology massage is the adaptation of massage techniques to safely nurture the body of someone affected by cancer or its treatments.

Massage can be safe and therapeutic during and after cancer treatment.

An oncology-trained 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 people are out of treatment, receiving bodywork from an oncology therapist is important due to the potential for late effects of treatment. An oncology massage therapist will adapt massage techniques to safely meet the changing bodywork considerations during and after cancer treatment.

Massage adaptations are required for:
  • Low blood cell counts
  • Blood clots
  • Bone metastases
  • Radiation or surgery
  • Fatigue
  • Bone pain
  • Removal of lymph nodes
  • Lymphedema
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Medications
  • Medical devices
  • Late effects of treatment

Many cancer treatments require long-term massage modifications. If you are
in, or have a history of cancer treatment, request an oncology
massage-trained therapist.

The body of research relating to massage and cancer is small but growing. Clinical research shows that massage can improve some cancer treatment side effects, namely perception of pain and anxiety.

Massage benefits can include:
  • Reduced pain and fatigue
  • Decreased anxiety
  • Less nausea
  • Improved sleep
  • Eased isolation
  • Enhanced body image
  • Greater sense of well-being
Download Massage and Cancer Brochure

Caregivers need to be cared for too!

The time and effort required to care for an individual with a serious illness can be mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausting. Take a moment to focus on your own restorative needs and experience the benefits a massage has to offer. Massage offers an opportunity to address stresses such as fatigue, insomnia, anxiety, or even depression. Taking care of you allows you to take better care of them.

Recommended Resources

Society for Oncology Massage

For more information,
visit the S4OM website


The Society for Oncology Massage (S4OM) is a nonprofit organization providing resources for advancing the knowledge and understanding of oncology massage amongst massage practitioners, consumers, and health professionals.

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Over the last 30 years I have been treated by MDs, osteopaths, and physical therapists. Joan's therapy has proven to have been by far the best value of any.
- L.H. , Decatur

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