Massage and Breast Cancer
I have worked with women affected by breast cancer for many years but it wasn't until my own diagnosis and treatment in 2017 that I truly understood the unique challenges we face when dealing with this disease. In addition to the fear of the diagnosis itself, breast surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy can create physical and psychological trauma as our body changes with these treatments.
Whether you have just received a diagnosis of breast cancer, are currently undergoing treatment, or are years out, massage therapy with a trained oncology massage and lymphatic therapist like myself can offer many benefits. Some of these include:
reduced anxiety and symptoms of depression
reduced pain perception, fatigue and nausea during treatment
reduction of scar tissue and improved appearance of scars
increased range of shoulder motion on affected side
self-care to reduce risk of or manage lymphedema
relief from chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN), even years out of treatment
increased sleep quality
improved body image
For some women losing our breasts can affect the way we view ourselves and our identity as a woman. Whether you have chosen to undergo a lumpectomy, single or double mastectomy, reconstruct or remain flat, massage therapy can help you find comfort in your body as it is now.
“Oncology Massage” incorporates modifications and adjustments to traditional massage techniques in order to meet the unique and changing needs of someone in treatment for cancer or with a history of cancer. A safe massage therapy care plan generally revolves around the side effects (both short- and long-term) of chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. The changes that might be made to a massage that make it an “oncology massage” can fall under any number of categories, but typically they will be related to session length, pressure, position of the client on the table, and areas of specific compromise or concern like mediports, skin and bone fragility, and risk of lymphedema.
Oncology massage should only be provided by a Massage Therapist who has received training in the specifics of cancer and cancer treatment. This training is actually more about cancer and less about massage. A written treatment plan can be presented to your doctor for approval. I am a Preferred Practitioner with the Society for Oncology Massage and have completed over 200 hours of training and hands-on practical work in cancer, lymphedema, and end of life care, including scar tissue work specifically for women affected by breast cancer.
New Client Paperwork
If this will be your first session with me please complete the Health History and Consent Form online. Please arrive 10-15 minutes early for your first appointment so we have time to talk and complete a thorough health intake.
I have two convenient locations in Western NY. Please select the one that works best for you to learn about my hours, pricing, and scheduling options.
I think God sent you to me.
I always look forward to my sessions and feel so much better when I am done.
I feel more like myself before cancer.
I hadn’t looked at my breasts in the mirror in two years. Now they are starting to feel like a part of me again and I feel more like myself before cancer.