Oncology massage is the modification of massage techniques in order to safely work with the effects of cancer and cancer treatment, and includes people in active treatment, those in recovery or survivorship, as well as those at end of life.
Essential aspects of an oncology massage therapist’s skill set are an informed understanding of the pathophysiology of cancer; the side effects of cancer treatments, such as medications, surgery, chemotherapy and radiation; and the ability to modify massage techniques in order to adapt for these side effects, as well as for the disease.
Is oncology massage safe?
It was once believed that massage could cause cancer to metastasize (grow and spread). However, the more we learn about cancer, the more clearly we understand the safety and benefits of properly adapted massage therapy for people living with cancer.
Cancer is an accumulation of genetic mutations resulting from the presence of a very specific set of factors that cannot be affected by manual manipulation of tissues.