Chemotherapy and radiation treatments can cause a wide array of symptoms that massage therapists can aid through oncology massage. Home-study courses in oncology massage can help therapists ease client’s aches, pains and the emotional impact of their condition.
The techniques of these treatments can be learned through home-study courses that can be taken at your leisure in your home or office. For oncology massage, basic home-study courses include topics that cover cancer and neoplasia; the causes of cancer; current medical treatments for cancer; general guidelines for massage therapists; cancer types; skin health; specific massage oils; therapy protocol; and cancer massage precautions.
There are many benefits to offering oncology massage, some of which include reducing or eliminating nausea, general pain, fatigue and depression in clients who are undergoing cancer treatment. However, there are also side effects of cancer treatment you will learn about. These effects can cause increased anxiety, anger and depression. Other patients can also develop a negative body image.
In a recent study, massage was found to reduce the psychological and physical distress in children diagnosed with cancer and blood diseases.
The study, “Children with Cancer and Blood Diseases Experience Positive Physical and Psychological Effects from Massage Therapy,” monitored 30 children diagnosed with cancer or blood diseases between 6 months and 17 years old. The subjects in the study were divided into a control group and massage group.
In the study, a Swedish massage protocol was used that included effleurage, petrissage, percussion, compression and friction. The children in the study were evaluated by their vital signs, discomfort level, muscle soreness and emotional state.
Researchers reported that those in the massage group had significantly less muscle soreness and a decreased level of discomfort. The anxiety levels in those treated in the massage group were also decreased significantly and the subjects reported they felt better after treatments.
“As seen in other cancer studies, our findings in this study are consistent with the positive rehabilitative effect of (massage therapy),” researchers reported. “Physiologic measures suggest that MT reduced muscle soreness, discomfort and respiratory rate.”
Make sure to check with your national and state licensing bodies to make sure the courses you select are acceptable for massage continuing education credits.