If you have been diagnosed with cancer then you are likely to be going through a whole range of emotions: “why me?” “is this it?” are just some of the things that might be going through your head. It will often floor you and you may feel isolated and alone.
There is help out there.
Charities such as Rennie Grove, MacMillan and the Hospice of St Francis offer all kinds of support and treatments while you are going through this devastating disease. Regardless of whether your cancer is curable or not they have a whole range of free support services available.
Oncology massage can also help. It can help you feel supported, less isolated, it can give you a sense of control, it can help reduce anxiety and stress, improve aches and pains that you might be feeling and it can help you feel that there is hope for you. I myself volunteer for our local hospice, Rennie Grove, providing home based massage treatments to anyone living with cancer.
This is a massage treatment that is very close to my heart. My wife was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2018 just months after the birth of our third child at the age of 41. She is a Pilates Teacher and very health conscious so you can imagine this was was completely and utterly unexpected even though her instincts were telling her something was seriously wrong. She had emergency surgery to remove the T4 tumour from her sigmoid colon and rectum and then just one dose of chemotherapy which unfortunately her body couldn’t cope with. We are now in the period of high intensity monitoring and although we are forever grateful the shadows of cancer never leave us. Cancer has undoubtedly completely changed our lives in many ways both positive and negative. You can read more about Angela’s story here.
I’m not sure that you can ever get over a cancer diagnosis but finding a way through it, finding a way to ease the emotional and physical strains of treatment and the shadows of ‘has it gone?’ ‘Is it back?’ and building a tribe of support is so important. This was my inspiration for starting my career in oncology massage so that at least I felt I was doing something useful to help all those so unfairly impacted by this awful disease.
What Is Oncology Massage?
Oncology massage is a very gentle form of massage which is designed to make you feel more comfortable and in control. It can help with symptoms such as anxiety and depression. It is, of course, not going to cure you, however, there is evidence to suggest that it can help reduce hospital stays, it can help with some of the symptoms of chemotherapy such as neuropathy, it can reduce chemotherapy related nausea, help reduce chronic pain from either cancer or the treatment and help with the healing of the scars. This is useful to do along with some gentle restorative movement.
You can book your treatment to have at our studio in Harpenden. If you are unsure about anything, please feel free to contact me to discuss your requirements.
Your Massage Sessions
Sessions are interchangeable with Pilates sessions held at the Zing Wellness Studio, Harpenden so you can mix and match as appropriate.
NOTE: Due to the Corona virus all massage services are currently suspended.
Address: 80 Luton Road, Harpenden, AL5 2UT
Telephone: 07865 645 708
Buy a gift voucher for either a single massage or 1-2-1 Pilates classes or a block of 2, 3, 5 or 10 .
Book 1 x 60 minute massage or 1-2-1 Pilates class at Zing Wellness Studio.
Book 2 x 60 minute massages or 1-2-1 Pilates classes at Zing Wellness Studio and save £5. Valid for a year.
Book 3 x 60 minute massages or 1-2-1 Pilates classes at Zing Wellness Studio and save £10. Valid for a year.
Book 5 x 60 minute massages or 1-2-1 Pilates classes at Zing Wellness Studio and save £25. Valid for a year.
Book 10 x 60 minute massages or 1-2-1 Pilates classes at Zing Wellness Studio and save £100. Valid for a year.
Does oncology massage spread cancer? Some people worry that massage can spread cancer cells throughout the body via the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is a network of vessels, organs and nodes through which lymphatic fluid (lymph) flows. It is part of the body’s immune system. Lymphatic circulation occurs naturally as we move.
Cancer may spread (metastasise) into the lymphatic system via the lymph nodes, or it may start in the lymphatic system itself. However, the circulation of lymph – from massage or other movement – does not cause cancer to spread. Research has found that cancer is NOT spread by oncology massage. Cancer develops and spreads because of changes to a cell’s DNA (genetic mutations) and other processes in the body.
How often should I have oncology massage? Oncology massage is designed to relieve stress and anxiety and make you feel more in control. Therefore, it is often used more as an adhoc massage treatment rather than a specific plan. However, as everyone will react differently please feel free to contact me to discuss your needs.
Does oncology massage hurt? Oncology massage is very gently massage style. I always start with a really light touch and if you feel you would like it a bit deeper I am happy to do that. We never go beyond what is comfortable for you.
Do I need to get permission first from my consultant? Although you don’t need written permission it is usually best that you speak to your consultant to get verbal permission that it is ok for you to have oncology massage.
Will I be able to have my treatment at home? If you would prefer to have your treatment at home this is an option for you. Please call me to discuss this option. I will need extra time for travel and set up. There is a £20 additional fee for home visits.
I am a certified oncology massage therapist completing Susan Findlay’s Oncology Massage course. I am also qualified as a ScarWork therapist completing the ScarWork therapy organised by Restore Therapy . These two courses advocate a light touch massage working and ‘communicating’ with the body rather than imposing the therapists desire. This approach produces startling results with very little discomfort to the client. The other real benefit was they both had clinics at the end of the course so that we could put into practice everything we had learnt during the course. This meant that clients of theirs came along to be prodded and poked by us. Also, with such a wide range of people attending the clinic we were able to treat some clients with conditions that we would not normally be able to treat at the beginning of our careers.
I have completed Burrell Education’s c-section, hysterectomy and abdominal scar immersion course and I also have a level 4 diploma in sports massage and deep tissue therapy from Premier Global.
I am going to be volunteering at Rennie Grove in St Albans treating clients in the community. I think it is safe to say that without the help of volunteers that many of the charities involved in supporting people with cancer would not be able to function. It is for this reason that I think it is important to give something back, and providing relief from stress and anxiety with a little massage is the least I can do.
It helps you feel in control
It reduces pain and relieves stress by promoting relaxation and boosting the body’s production of endorphins
It improves sleep patterns. If you are relaxed after a massage you are much more likely to get a good nights sleep
Regular massage can reduce anxiety and can create a prolonged sense of wellbeing improving your overall mood
Cancer treatment although can be live saving is often unpleasant. Regular massage gives you time and space to forget about all your other worries and it adds a gentle touch to all the prodding and poking
It has been proven to help reduce hospital stays and reduces the side effects of some of your treatment including neuropathy