The application of massage for clients undergoing cancer treatment can offer significant relief from the aches, pains and emotional impact associated with their condition. Oncology massage can aid in easing a wide array of symptoms that persist from chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
These techniques can be learned through home study courses that can be taken at one’s leisure in a home or office.
Some of the benefits of oncology massage include reducing or eliminating nausea, general pain, fatigue and depression in clients who are undergoing cancer treatment. Side effects associated with cancer treatment can sometimes cause a client to have increased anxiety, anger and depression. Other patients can also develop a negative body image.
An Internet search revealed numerous home study courses that are available for any massage therapist to take to fulfill their continuing education requirements. 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.
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 six 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 continuing education credits.