For many years people with cancer have been told that massage can help spread the disease and as a result have been refused massage treatments. This is not supported by the evidence and indeed massage has been repeatedly shown to be beneficial in alleviating the symptoms of cancer and the side effects of treatment as well as providing comfort and support to the person throughout their experience with cancer.
Since 2010 I have volunteered my massage skills to patients and carers at North Devon Hospice and am now a Registered Oncology Massage Therapist, having trained with Susan Findlay.
I am experienced in adapting the way I work to meet the person where they are on that particular day:
- finding the most comfortable position (sitting, side lying, leaning onto a table etc)
- adapting the nature of my touch - always thoughtfully and gently applied, aiming to comfort and nurture rather than place any additional stress on their body
- identifying the areas to be massaged taking into account the location of the cancer, any treatments and whether any lymph nodes have been removed
- working round the "accoutrements" of cancer treatments (PICC lines, patches, dressings, scars etc)
- modifying the duration of the treatment