Oncology Massage

Massage can be safe and therapeutic during and after cancer treatment

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

Due to the various levels of training available in massage therapy, it is strongly recommended that one refer to a therapist with formal training in oncology massage. 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.

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, as well as:

  • Reducing pain and fatigue
  • Decreasing anxiety
  • Lessening nausea
  • Improving sleep
  • Eased isolation
  • Enhanced body image
  • Greater sense of well-being

To download research articles and more info,
please use the form to the right.

  • Oncology massage information review, Society for Oncology Massage, 2012
  • Massage in supportive cancer care, Seminars in Oncology Nursing, 2012
  • The use of massage therapy for reducing pain, anxiety, and depression in oncological
    palliative care patients: a narrative review of the literature.
    ISRN Nursing, 2011

Society for Oncology Massage

For more information, visit the S4OM website

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