For some, massages are once-in-a-while treats, perhaps enjoyed while at a luxury resort. The reality is that massage is indeed therapeutic. Massages are an integral part of our wellbeing. Cancer patients especially benefit from massage because their bodies are subject to significant stressors and anxiety. Despite the obvious physical and emotional changes, the side effects and various outcomes of treatment cause the body discomfort. Aside from pain, there is a loss of one’s “sense of self.” Feeling trapped in your own body, unable to fix anything immediately, is often a concern most patients and cancer survivors share. Massage during cancer treatment makes it possible to regain confidence and familiarity with one’s body by focusing on cancer-related issues and areas of the body that have been altered since diagnosis.
Oncology massage and esthetics focuses directly on the care and repose of the cancer patient in a way that a regular massage and esthetics do not. Finding a licensed therapist who have knowledge to modify the treatment specifically for the survivor can be tricky, but luckily there are organizations that specifically help address these issues. The International Society for Oncology Esthetics (www.isfoe.org) and the Society 4 Oncology Massage list members who are dedicated to making your return to normalcy as easy-going and relaxed as possible. Oncology Training International (OTI) (www.oti-oncologytraining.com) trains spa therapists to provide modified services that serve as a significant part of the healing process. Cancer is a stark reality in our society. We tend to focus solely on the survival through state of the art treatment programs, but finding peace within oneself and one’s own body is just as important. OTI’s Oncology Esthetics Foundation Training (which includes massage) are proven treatments that provide significant reduction in pain and anxiety, and promote healing and relaxation during life’s most challenging moments.