If this will be your first session with me please complete the Consent Form and appropriate Intake Form online.
Please arrive 10-15 minutes early for your first appointment so we have time to talk and complete a thorough health intake.
Massage therapy makes a wonderful gift. Consider purchasing a session or a custom amount for a loved one to help them through their journey.
Frequently Asked Questions
How is oncology massage different from ‘normal’ massage?
While I always tailor a massage to the specific needs of each client, Oncology Massage Therapy has an additional set of goals and needs to be mindful of. We aim to decrease certain symptoms, like pain, nausea, and fatigue, or to improve sleep. We may also be helping with anxiety or depression, which tends to also come with being in cancer treatment.
We also ask a bit about the client’s health picture, in order to make adjustments where they’re needed and most beneficial. For example, we need to adapt the massage to things like bone or vital organ involvement, and lymph node radiation or removal. We need to know the effects of current treatment on the skin or blood cell counts. And even when cancer treatment was years ago, some of those effects can linger, and we safely adapt to those for the maximum benefit of the client.
How do we know massage can help people with cancer?
We know it’s helpful, first, because our clients tell us it is. People tell me, for example, that massage helps with their stress, sleep problems, pain, anxiety, depression, body image and awareness, fatigue, and so on.
So while the body of research on oncology massage is small just now, it’s growing, and what’s out there does suggest that massage can help with pain, nausea, fatigue, anxiety, and depression. The research does seem to be reinforcing what our clients are telling us.
I heard massage could spread cancer. Is that true?
In a word: no. Skilled massage therapy will not spread cancer.
This is a decades-old myth, that massage would spread cancer by increasing blood circulation. It simply hasn’t held up to what science and medicine now know about how cancer spreads. If cancer spread – metastasis – were as simple as how fast tumor cells were carried through the bloodstream, then certainly exercise and movement would be discouraged for people with cancer, because they also speed up circulation.
Instead, oncologists encourage exercise and movement wherever possible. We no longer have that old fear of increasing circulation, because we now understand metastasis is a more complex process, involving interactions of cancer cells with their environment, genetics, as well as other factors.
Today, exercise and massage are recommended for people with cancer and cancer histories, and many hospitals and cancer centers offer massage therapy as part of the treatment program, and beyond. These Massage Therapists, like myself, are trained to offer safe, effective massage therapy to anyone with cancer or a history of cancer.
Do I need a doctor’s note to get a massage?
A growing number of physicians welcome massage therapy for their patients, but it is not realistic to expect them to be aware of all the variations. Ultimately, the responsibility lies with the massage therapist to practice ethically and within his/her training and experience. A doctor’s note or order is not a replacement for sound judgment on the part of a massage therapist.
Even with a doctor’s order, it is best for the client/patient to see a trained oncology massage therapist who will know the appropriate questions to ask in order to make safe adjustments to the massage, and who will often include the physician in the massage care plan conversation if needed.